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December 26, 2019

Community Update

By Charlie McClendon, City Manager

2019 was a very significant year for Cathedral City, full of achievements, new projects and our share of sadness and challenges; much like, I suspect, the year in each of our personal lives.

January – The year began on a sad note with the passing of our Mayor Greg Pettis on January 15.  Mark Carnevale was installed as the new Mayor and John Aguilar as Mayor Pro Tem on January 23.    The Council held their annual goal-setting session on January 26 and developed the road map that guided us through the year.

February - The community came together to pay our respects and celebrate the life of Mayor Pettis on February 1.  On February 9 the community gathered to celebrate our sister city relationship with Tequila, Jalisco through the annual Taste of Jalisco festival.  During the month the Council heard testimony and receives letters and messages from many people in the community regarding the vacant Council seat resulting from the death of Mayor Pettis.  They ultimately decided to fill the vacancy through a special election.

March – On March 13, Council voted, in accordance with the time tables dictated by state law, to hold the Special Election for the vacant District 1 Council seat on August 27 via an all-mail ballot.  They also decided to name the Fountain of Life and the Rainbow Crossing in honor of the late Mayor Pettis.  On March 27 Council awarded a contract for the grant-funded Date Palm sidewalk project and voted to name the new bridge on Cathedral Canyon as the Ofelia Bringas Memorial Bridge in recognition of her work for the youth of our community over many years. 

April – In April Council approved the name Cathedral City Community Amphitheater for the new facility and approved the award of the contract for construction of the stage structure at the amphitheater.  Council also awarded grants to local non-profit organizations serving the community through the Community Assistance program.  They also held public study sessions on the proposed budget for Fiscal Years 19-20 and 20-21.

May – In May the Council approved a resolution authorizing the submittal of an application for grant funding for a new park in the Dream Homes neighborhood adjacent to the new CV Link segment in Cathedral City.  The application process included several opportunities for people of the community to submit their vision and ideas for the park.  Additionally, Council adopted a balanced budget for Fiscal Years 19-20 and 20-21 that included increased funding for street maintenance and improvement projects, added a position in Police to help address homelessness and added a manager position in Code Enforcement to provide better efficiency and improved service in that important function.

June – On June 12 Council heard a presentation on the status of Short-Term Vacation Rentals (STVR) in the City.  In response to input received from people in the community, Council directed staff to form a task force to study STVRs and report back with recommendations to Council.  The task force began their work in July they are currently continuing work on developing their recommendations.  On June 26 Council adopted an ordinance establishing a moratorium on new STVR permits while the task force completes their work.

July – In July Council approved a contract award for construction management services for the new Ofelia Bringas Memorial Bridge, another key step in the process to get this important project started.  Planning Commission completed design review for a new Denny’s restaurant proposed for the corner of Vista Chino and Landau.

August – August saw voters in District 1 participate in the Special Election to fill the vacant Council seat.  When the votes were all counted Rita Lamb was elected.  Additionally, in August the Council approved an agreement with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to mitigate the impacts of the future Casino development project.  This key agreement allowed the project to move ahead. 

September – On September 25, newly-elected Councilmember Lamb was officially sworn in to office as the representative from District 1.   

October – In October the third annual Tejano Music Festival was held, and a large and enthusiastic crowd enjoyed listening and dancing to the great line-up of musicians.  A ground-breaking ceremony was held marking the start of construction on a new Fire Station to replace the current station near Date Palm and East Palm Canyon.  Additionally, in October Council approved a Specific Plan Amendment paving the way for the construction of a new Tower Market at the northwest corner of Date Palm and Ortega.  Two public meetings were held in October to allow the people of Cathedral City the opportunity to provide input to the STVR task force and the well-attended meetings gave the task force the chance to hear important testimony.  October also saw another successful Halloween Spooktacular event attended by our families and children from across the City.

November – November saw the ground-breaking for the new Agua Caliente casino at Date Palm and East Palm Canyon.  Special events included the annual Healing Fields event honoring those who gave their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The sixth annual Hot Air Balloon festival was held November 22-24 and record-setting crowds attended.  Council approved a temporary contract to provide improved enforcement of STVR codes and a Memorandum of Understanding with the Desert Recreation District was approved, paving the way for a 2020 election for voters to consider annexation into the DRD.

December – OnDecember 11, John Aguilar was sworn-in as Mayor and Raymond Gregory as Mayor Pro Tem.  The annual Snow Fest event was held on December 14 and families enjoyed music, a seasonal market, visits with Santa, the lighting of the Christmas tree and more.  Council awarded a contract to a data analytics company to help identify unpermitted STVRs and those advertising occupancies in violation of the code.  Council also awarded a contract to an executive recruiting firm to help us find the best candidate for Police Chief.  Finally, Council awarded a contract for street paving and reconstruction projects at various locations across the city. 

Now I wish you all a safe and prosperous year in 2020.

NEWS

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Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch” – Movie in the Park – Saturday at 7 pm

Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch” – Movie in the Park – Saturday at 7 pm

Gather the family, blankets and/or chairs for “Movies in the Park” this Saturday, December 28th at 7 pm for Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch.”  The holiday fun continues at Panorama Park, 28905 Avenida Maravilla, in Cathedral City.  The free event, presented by Honda of the Desert, allows families to bring their own snacks and hot chocolate and share a lasting memory …Read more.

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“Museum of Ancient Wonders” Opens in Cathedral City

“Museum of Ancient Wonders” Opens in Cathedral City

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnnvTIw9GmM   Where can you go to see a King Tut’s exhibit, dinosaurs, and ancient masks of Africa?  The answer is Cathedral City.  CCTV Host Conrad Angel Corral interviews Chief Curator Alberto Acosta about the new “Museum of Ancient Wonders” that has recently opened at the northeast corner of Highway 111 and Date Palm Drive, next to Big Lots.   …Read more.

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EVENTS

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Movies in the Park - December 28

Movies in the Park - December 28

Gather the family, blankets and/or chairs for “Movies in the Park” located at Panorama Park, 28905 Avenida Maravilla, in Cathedral City.  The free event, hosted by the City of Cathedral City , happens once a month on a Saturday evening between November and May, at dusk.

You are welcome to bring snacks or non-alcoholic drinks.  Great Family FUN!...Read more.

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First Friday Art Walk - Perez Plaza H and I

First Friday Art Walk - Perez Plaza H and I

Go Where ART Lives! Cathedral City is the place for wonderful art and design galleries. Every First Friday of the month, the galleries in Perez Plaza Suites H & I will host the First Friday Art Walk along Perez Road from 5 pm to 8 pm between Date Palm Drive and Cathedral Canyon Drive. You can meander in and out …Read more.

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City Hall at Your Corner - January 6, 2020

City Hall at Your Corner - January 6, 2020

Have an issue you would like to speak to your mayor about or learn what is happening in Cathedral City? Then join us for “City Hall at Your Corner” hosted by Mayor John Aguilar and Councilmember Mark Carnevale.   The forum will take place on Monday, January 6, 2020 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am at Date Palm Country Club, …Read more.

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sday

Two for Tuesday

Cathedral City residents can ice skate for half-price on the first Tuesday of every month (excluding holidays) at Desert Ice Castle. Just bring proof of being a Cathedral City resident, such as an Driver’s license, copy of a utility bill, or any other form of residential proof.  Ages 3 years and up. The Time for Public Skate Available for "Two …Read more.

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For Questions or Comments, Contact Chris Parman, Communications and Events Manager
cparman@cathedralcity.gov