PALM SPRINGS — Les Young, 67, a retired banker is one of three people who have to date filed a Candidate Intention Statement to seek the seat in District 1 in the city’s newly drawn districts.
The others who have filed a California Form 501 to win the District 1 seat are Summer H. Morris and Grace E. Garner.
Thus far, seven people have filed a Candidate Intention Statement.
Those filing for the District 2 seat are Peter J. Maietta, 51, an interior designer; Carlton (Carl) A. Baker, 57, director of Legal & Legislative Affairs for Desert AIDS Project; and Adrian M. Alcantar.
The only one in District 3 to file a Candidate Intention Statement is incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Geoff Kors.
All candidates have been given identical questions and the same opportunity to answer. To date, Garner has declined to respond. Alcantar and Morris were the most recent contacted and have not had sufficient time to respond.
Voters in Districts 1, 2, and 3 will be eligible to vote in the November election. The newly drawn district map is available by clicking here.
To introduce candidates to the public, Uken Report has submitted each of the seven a series of identical questions with a deadline. Following are the questions and Young’s unedited responses.
Uken Report (UR): Why specifically are you running?
Young: I will fight the oversaturation of cannabis, the lack of critical access roads, and the deficient facilities in public parks. My 40-year career in banking and finance, paired with my involvement in Palm Springs government, gives me a strong foundation to represent District 1, and to work to solve these issues.
UR: City Council races are typically nonpartisan, but local races of late have been highly partisan. This is your chance to set the record straight and speak for yourself. Are you liberal, conservative, or other and what that means to you and your constituents?
Young: I am a Democrat, and while socially liberal, from a financial perspective I will be focused on ways to resolve the failing infrastructure of Palm Springs, and the rising pension costs.
UR: What is the most pressing issue in your specific district?
Young: There are several issues impacting District 1:
- Over saturation of cannabis grow facilities in residential communities, specifically Desert Highland Gateway Estates and Demuth Park.
- Frequent closure of critical access roads like Indian Canyon Drive, Gene Autry Trail, and Vista Chino during bad weather conditions.
- Deficient facilities in public parks. The James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center has not grown to keep up with the needs of the Desert Highland community. Also, the Demuth Community Center in the Demuth Park community requires updating, expansion and air conditioning.
- Lack of retail convenience services like fresh grocers, pharmacies, dry cleaners and banks, particularly in the north end of District 1.
- The development of future candidates from within our constituents in District 1.
UR: With what issue, ordinance, project do you want your name to be most associated?
Young: I would like to be most associated with resolving both the over saturation of cannabis grow facilities in residential communities, and the lack of retail convenience services in the north end of District 1.
UR: Do you have any local government experience, serving on boards, commissions, etc.
Young: (I have served on the following:)
- Parks and Recreation Commission February 2016 to present, second term as the Chair of that Commission.
- Palm Springs Police Advisory Board February 2017- present, initially serving as the representative from the LQBTQ Community, second term as President of the Police Advisory Board.
- Parks and Recreation Commission’s Liaison to the City Council’s Downtown Park Sub-Committee.
- Parks and Recreation Commission’s Liaison to the Homelessness Taskforce.
- Point in Time Homeless Count Taskforce in 2018 and 2019.
- CDBG Grants Committee since 2017.
- Third year on Board of Directors at Four Seasons Home Owners Association, current Board President.
- Member of Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies Board in formation as a 501(c)(3).
UR: What sets you apart from your challenger(s)?
Young: My career in banking, finance, and history of active involvement in local government sets me apart from my challenger(s) and has prepared me with skills to effectively represent District 1 while working to advance the objective of the entire city. My local government involvement is evidenced in:
- My presence at City Council meetings 4 + years
- Active involvement in One PS, Main Street Downtown/Uptown Business Association and HOA Board
- My leadership on Commissions, Boards and Committees
- Les Young: Les Young