Each candidate was given three questions and a limit of 750 words in which to answer all of them. Following are their responses, which are presented in the alphabetical order of the candidates’ last names.
Pye on Attracting Business:
Our role as your city leaders is to be a positive partner with our local business community. What sells a city today is quality of lifestyle, an available workforce, affordability of housing and cooperation from city staff. We have that in Desert Hot Springs, and my role as one of your city council members is to make that story known to potential new businesses. I have been consistent with this endeavor.
Our economic development team, including the Economic Development Committee, Chamber of Commerce, local business leaders, property owners and staff, has been working to recruit new retailers and industries to our community in order to provide more shopping and well-paying employment opportunities.
Encouraging new development is one of the keys to improving our local economy, creating jobs and generating the new municipal revenues that are needed to effectively run our city.
Pye on Budget Balancing:
We are cautious and we critically review the budget. We are currently directing staff to identify where budgets may be trimmed and where greater efficiency measures may be implemented while still providing essential public safety and other needed services to protect our residents and the quality of life in Desert Hot Springs.
The best path to a sensible budget is transparency. Since November 2012, I have chaired a new Finance Committee comprised of local residents, business and property owners. This committee is open to the public and meeting notices are posted on the city website.
The Committee’s budget recommendations are currently under review by city staff and will soon be presented to the city council for policy decisions and direction.
Pye’s Ideal DHS:
By continuing to work as a team with fellow council members, staff, and the community at large, I can help bury the negative image. This has already started; the word “desperate” is fading as part of our name. Also, by attending regional meetings regularly, we as public officials can display a new and consistent image and mentality for our beloved city.
It is working; proof is in the development activity. Some of our economic development accomplishments include:
The Innovation Hub (I-HUB) — a collaboration of Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs. This program gives small businesses a launching pad to grow, create local well-paying jobs and contribute to our local economy. This I-Hub is recognized as one of the best operating in California.
The new Dollar General Store that is already showing tremendous success in our community.
We have attracted the Borrego Solar Project — a 1.5-megawatt solar plant on 15 acres on south side of Dillon.
The new YK Spa on Hacienda is currently under construction and we expect it to open fall of 2013.
Private investors are planning to build 2.6 million square-foot industrial park near Indian and I-10 – a project that will create 1000 new, permanent, well-paying jobs.