Businessman and Philanthropist

October 20, 2010
Answers to Eight Questions
from The Desert Sun

Question No. 1
La Quinta is in the process of revising its General Plan. What is your vision for the city in 2035?

My vision for La Quinta in 25 years is the same vision as I have for La Quinta 3 years from now. The demographics may be different, the technologies with which we communicate will be different, the world will look differently, but there are some basic things that make our city in particular, attractive. I want La Quinta to be ranked as one of the top 5 safest and cleanest cities in the country for its size and for our schools to be rated as excellent. Everything about La Quinta should be done well, whether putting on art festivals, landscaping our streets, our web site and library. I want La Quinta to always balance its budget and be fiscally responsible. Now is the time to state a vision for La Quinta, once done comes the plan then the execution. What is good for La Quinta in 25 years is good for La Quinta now.

Question No. 2
The council has strengthened its penalties for people who let their dogs run without a leash. Did the city go far enough? What would you do differently?

Like laws, codes are critical for the harmony of a community. The codes need to be as few as possible. They need to be accessible and clear to all. The enforcement needs to be consistent, fair, and with the going-in premise that residents want to comply and be good citizens. Fines and “prosecution” need to be a last resort, enforcement needs to be more personal.

Question No. 3
The city contracts with Riverside County for its police and fire services. Is this deal working? Should La Quinta have its own police and fire departments?

Yes, as of now it is working but we need more sworn police officers. When compared to other comparable cities they have more police and less crime. We can do better. The Mayor should appoint a blue ribbon task force to evaluate the “long-term” feasibility of creating our own police department. We can develop a community outreach program monitored by the police department to encourage neighborhood watch. Our patrol officers perhaps need to get out of their cars, ride bikes, motorcycles or segways to boost their visibility and mingle with La Quinta residents to prevent crime. Introduce new after school and summer programs for our children that provide educational and recreational opportunities thus helping families to reduce juvenile crime.

Question No. 4
How do you feel things are going with the SilverRock Resort and Golf Course?

My sense is that residents don’t know what is happening to SilverRock. They know that things have either stopped or slowed down because of the economy but have no idea what is planned. I believe SilverRock is and should be an important element of La Quinta. While it’s understandable that progress has slowed, I think residents need a clear picture of what is currently planned, for example a town meeting regarding just SilverRock at SilverRock will engage residents by our reaching out to them. I think that the Council needs to continue SilverRock’s growth even if a bit slower now. I would agree that a Clubhouse is a high priority item. SilverRock is a “diamond in the rough.” We need to find a new partner to help us get it developed, while money is available at historically low interest rates.

Question No. 5
If elected (or re-elected), how will you maintain dialogue with the residents of La Quinta?

I think that the single most important thing that the Mayor and Council can do is to let residents via the internet know of current discussions and issues so that interested parties can provide input. The special interest groups affected by issues “do” know about them but interested residents do not know. On the current website there is a place for “give us your feedback” but we need the reverse of this and very prominent on the home page stating “current issues under consideration by the City and by the Council.” This way residents can either attend meetings or use the “give us your feedback” section to respond. Residents need to know that their comments have been acknowledged. We need an “in-reach” open office for individuals or groups so we can actually speak to them as well as an “outreach” office.

Question No. 6
What is one big idea you will bring to the council?

Don’t let the recession go to waste. Economic downturns can bring enormous opportunities for the cities that are capable of recognizing them as such. The creative destruction wrought by recessions leave us with space to redefine ourselves, refine our business models, and gain a big upper hand. Innovation is all about realizing and capitalizing on the opportunities available to our City. However, success in the long term has to be driven by success in the short term. Recessions result in one certainty, “big change” which means big opportunities to find new and novel ways in which to not only survive but to thrive. I find it interesting to watch how councils react and they can be dreadfully shortsighted at times at whether or not the City can do the core job needed.

Question No. 7
Is there any message you haven't been able to get out in public that voters should know before Nov. 2?

We can achieve anything that we want; all we need is the right leadership. I have a comprehensive single plan for the City of La Quinta that covers all of us which is available at . A more regional approach to issues regarding our young families and their children, our most precious commodity is needed. We should seek to become men and women of action, less leaders than facilitators capable of enacting real change. If you are facilitating change you are a leader. The dreams of today are the practical realities of tomorrow.

Question No. 8
Why should La Quinta residents vote for you?

Since day one I have never wavered my commitment to La Quinta. I firmly believe we can make La Quinta the best place to go to school, raise a family, build a career, and play in a happy retirement. This election is a battle for the soul of the City and I have the skill set to shape our City and getting us back to work. Vote for me if, when, and because you understand my thoughts on how to continue to evolve La Quinta into one of the top destinations in the United States because you understand my background and believe I can lead the City toward this goal. To move La Quinta forward, I'm asking for your help. I urge you to get my message out, to recruit your friends and family, and most importantly to vote for me. I sincerely care about you and La Quinta.