Businessman and Philanthropist

September 27, 2014
Robert Sylk, Candidate for City Council

This posting is the sixth in a series of interviews and written responses from ten candidates for La Quinta mayor and city council. They will appear daily until October 2 in the order that each candidate appears on the actual ballot. The candidates for mayor have been published (September 23-25), and two candidates did not respond to the invitation to be interviewed. Remember that the Cove Neighborhood Association does not endorse any candidate. Also, please take the opportunity to respond to these interviews by clicking on “comment” and then writing in the little box, to correct what you feel might be misinformation, or to applaud what a candidate has stated. Be sure to check back to see the comments your neighbors have made, and add your own.

Prior to the candidate interviews, the Cove Neighborhood Steering Committee posed five questions to each candidate, who was requested to respond in 75 words or less. Here are the responses for Mr. Sylk:

1. Other than your professional activities, in what ways have you been involved in the community? How many city council meetings have you attended in the past six months?

Six (6) year Board Member Chamber of Commerce, City Commissioner, Chairman Concerned Citizens of La Quinta Organization, Presidential & Gubernatorial Appointment to Selective Service Commission for Riverside County and State Board of California. Led effort to rid La Quinta of the CA/BioMass 40 acre plant. For more please visit Attended numerous city council meetings.

2. City of La Quinta assets include a number of properties, including, but not limited to Silver Rock. What is the best use of this property and. Practically speaking, how can this be achieved?

Residents don’t know what is happening to SilverRock and this is an important element. Residents need a clear picture of what is currently planned. The Council needs to continue SilverRock’s growth via the private sector. A Clubhouse, Hotel, Convention Center and Retail are high priority items. 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.

3. What is your solution for increasing revenue to fund lighting, landscaping, and park maintenance? Please discuss pros and cons of levying a parcel tax, sales tax, or other options.

We need to develop sustainable forms of revenue, without raising taxes or placing a burden on our city:

  • Offer La Quinta residents a special discount on goods and services.
  • Encourage business owners to give preference to qualified La Quinta residents.
  • SilverRock can bring in new revenues for the City.
  • A fresh look at how we market La Quinta as a destination.
  • Help existing businesses grow and prosper, so we can create more jobs and heightened economic activity

4. As one member of the council, what specific measures would you support to increase economic development across the city?

We must change the way we plan and build infrastructure. We have to better investigate the close connections between sustainability and the tourism business. Between our city and our commerce, our planners need to more ensure our vibrancy and attractiveness. A new breed of public-private partnerships is needed. We have to reinvent the city.

Reinventing the city can be accomplished with these principles coupled with an unwavering focus on excellence.

5. What is your vision for the City of La Quinta ten years in the future?

My vision for La Quinta in 10 years is the same vision as I have for La Quinta now. The demographics & technologies may be different, but we should be ranked as one of the top 5 safest and cleanest cities in the country and our schools to be rated as excellent. We must balance our budget and be fiscally responsible. What is good for La Quinta in 10 years is good for La Quinta now.