Learn More About My Views and Position on Important Topics
Speech on the Environment and the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy
February 6th, 2014
One of the pleasures I have enjoyed is being a member of the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy. The City of Rancho Mirage is one of 21 members of the Governing Board and I serve as Vice Chairman.
The Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy is a state agency established in 1991 to pursue the protection of natural and cultural resources of the Coachella Valley including scenic, wildlife, cultural, geological and recreational resources that make the Coachella Valley so special.
There are amazing trails throughout the Valley. One of them is directly behind City Hall and travels around and above the Ritz Carlton and the wonderful Mirada residential development. The bump and grind trail is one of the Valley's prime outdoor hiking experiences. The Friends of the Desert Mountains have a visitor's center off Highway 74 where you obtain maps to many of the trails. I hiked the Dunn trail that is further up Highway 74 and the views are breathtaking.
The Conservancy is an exceptional example of how local communities, state and federal agencies, elected officials, non-profit organizations, and business and environmental interests can work together for the good of all.
Since its inception, the Conservancy and its partners have conserved over 65,000 acres by purchasing property from willing sellers. This preservation of significant natural resources will enhance the value of the valley by offering open space in an urban environment.
The Conservancy buys land not only in the mountains but on the desert floor as well and numerous sand dune habitats have been purchased and protected. I want the public to know the good this agency is doing by collaborating with property owners by purchasing their properties to preserve key natural resources in the valley and thereby enhancing our quality of life.
The Coachella Valley is indeed a special place to live. Rancho Mirage is very proud to take an active role in protecting our environment. We want to make certain the view corridors will remain for future generations to enjoy. The City used Redevelopment Agency Funds to underground utility lines that would also distract from our scenery. I feel very fortunate to be part of the process that involves protecting our way of life and the beauty of Rancho Mirage.
Click here to download this speech as a pdf.
Public Safety and Police Protection
Public Safety and Police Protection is of vital importance to our residents. It is the duty of the City Council to support this activity and I feel passionate about this responsibility.
Yesterday I attended the Cove Commission where I am a Board member along with Mayor Pro Tem Iris Smotrich. The Commission represents the Cities of RM, Palm Desert and Indian Wells. The Commission is a long standing, cooperative Commission that oversees the law enforcement and fire service contracts for these communities. At yesterday's meeting, Captain Vest gave an update on law enforcement activities. That is why I invited him here today. Some have suggested that crime is up in RM. Capt Vest will share the factual statistics that show just the opposite.
Kevin Vest actually started his career in law enforcement as a beat cop in RM in the early 1980s. He is here today as the Police Chief for the three cities. It is my pleasure to welcome Captain Vest.