DESERT HOT SPRINGS — Russell Betts, a fixture on the City Council since December 2007, is seeking a fourth term in the Nov. 3 election. He is one of seven people seeking one of two City Council seats on the five-member board, The two seats are each four-year terms.
Betts, 61, is retired from manufacturing.
The six others seeking the seat are Robert Griffith, incumbent; Stephen Giboney; Jessica Gilbert; Jonathan Laura; Jason Moore; and Roger Nunez.
The city of Desert Hot Springs has five elected officials including the mayor and four members of the City Council, elected at large. Commencing in 2020, the directly elected Mayor shall serve a four-year term with a term limit of two terms pursuant to Measure “V” passed by the voters in November 2018. Members of the City Council are elected for a four-year term.
Uken Report has asked each candidate identical questions. Following are Betts’ responses.
Uken Report (UR): Why specifically do you want to be on City Council?
Russell Betts: I really love this city and I have accomplished a lot for Desert Hot Springs but there is still a lot of good projects in the pipeline that need to get finalized. I want to make sure they get completed.
UR: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment either in or out of office?
Russell Betts: Guiding our city through a financial turn-around. Our city was on the verge of financial collapse and now we are on strong financial footing. We went from massive deficits to steady reserves while at the same time upgrading and renovating many needed city amenities. I feel really good about this result and the strong hand I had in making it happen.
UR: How do you define leader and leadership?
Russell Betts: A leader gets the entire team to move in the same direction and work towards well defined team goals. Leadership is the ability to see the goals and motivate a team to work enthusiastically towards them.
UR: Do you fit this definition?
Russell Betts: Throughout my career, yes, I fit this definition.
UR: What are your top three goals for Desert Hot Springs if elected or re-elected?
Russell Betts: Continue efforts to bring reliable good paying jobs to Desert Hot Springs with the focus to raise the median income and standard of living of our residents. Keep our city on a strong financial footing, not letting it slip back into financial trouble. Develop more retail shopping options and city-wide beautification to attract new residents, businesses and jobs.
If you could change one thing about Desert Hot Springs, what would it be?
Getting back the entrance land to Desert Hot Springs that was given away to Cathedral City by a prior city council at Palm Drive and the I-10.
- Russell Betts: Russell Betts