For those who monitor Rancho Mirage politics, it will probably come as no surprise that Charles Townsend Vinci, like his political bosom buddy G. Dana Hobart, has refused to participate in a Uken Report candidate questionnaire.

He is well within his right to do so.

We had hopes he would rise above the childish antics. No such luck.

It was a missed opportunity to answer questions in his own words without being filtered or edited.

Vinci, 76, is one leg of a three-legged stool in Rancho Mirage that dictates the direction for all of Rancho Mirage because it commands a quorum. The other two legs of the stool are Hobart and Iris Smotrich. Hobart is the apparent Pied Piper with everyone following the lead.

Independent thinkers and those with opposing viewpoints are seemingly not embraced. Take the late and beloved Scott Hines, for example. He was elected to the City Council in April 2010 and served one term, which was marred by controversy.

During Hines’ 2010 campaign, residents received fliers encouraging them not to let Hines “infect” Rancho Mirage with Palm Springs politics. The not-so-subtle message was as an attack on the gay community – at least that’s how many interpreted it. The mailer had the opposite impact the letter intended. It rallied supporters and helped Hines win his election.

During this election cycle, Katherine “Kate” Spates is the intended target of an anonymous, vindictive letter that is riddled with lies. The contents were reported once on and posted to the Uken Report Facebook page. They do not bear repeating. It gives voice to the gutless cowards who wrote it and mailed it.

Townsend is described as a “goes-along-to-get-along” kind of guy. He does what Hobart, dubbed the “Alpha Dog” wants. Unlike Hobart, Townsend doesn’t spew vitriol and sarcasm every time he opens his mouth. He seems reluctant to answer questions on controversial topics.

Uken Report reached out to Townsend, in his role as mayor, in October after a lawsuit was filed alleging illegal money is being used to build CV Link. The question was straightforward as to whether Rancho Mirage supported the lawsuit. The mayor deferred to Hobart.

Townsend, who currently serves as mayor, was elected to the Rancho Mirage City Council in 2014.  From 2016, he was Mayor Pro Tem and on April 20, 2017, he was sworn in as the mayor of Rancho Mirage. The mayor’s position rotates among all City Council members.