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City Manager's Message - October 2017

For the last 28 years, I have had the joy and privilege of serving as City Manager in a variety of cities in California and South Carolina. In mid-August, I was appointed by the Indio City Council to the position of Interim City Manager while the City conducts its recruitment for the permanent position. I intend to be a candidate for the job. 
My wife and I have been residents of the Coachella Valley now for almost two and half years. Carol is the Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert, located in Rancho Mirage. We would love to make our home in Indio.
A City Manager is appointed by the City Council to run day-to-day operations of the City, and to implement the policies and priorities established by the City Council. It is very much like the public sector version of an American corporation – with the Mayor and City Council serving as a publicly elected Board of Directors and the City Manager performing the duties of the Chief Executive Officer. This is a role I have served for many years and I love what I do. 
I am delighted now to fill the Interim City Manager role in Indio. My enthusiasm for Indio is driven by my perception of several factors:

  • I see Indio as a town of pure opportunity. Our advantages include location, weather, physical beauty, easy transportation options, high-level educational institutions, great people and affordability. 
  • Indio is therefore a smart investment – for a home, a business, or simple financial upside. Show me another Southern California city with this set of advantages!
  • Indio, for me, is an opportunity to work with a team of excellent elected officials, a talented team of co-workers, and an engaged, caring community. That’s a City Manager’s dream.
  • Indio is also a great place to live life! We are the City of Festivals. World-class festivals. At the same time, we are also a community where neighbors interact with their neighbors. We were named one of the Best Places for Young People, and we strive to be a nurturing community for everyone.

So I feel very fortunate to be occupying this role at this time and am hopeful for the future of Indio and as a member of the community. 
Local government, as an institution, gets increasingly challenging every year. We are challenged by financial problems, societal problems, and by our efforts to retain the trust and faith of our citizenry we serve. This is a common challenge for all governments. In local government, we are the closest government to the people. That seems to me to be an advantage. We actively seek our community’s participation, and through our day-to-day activities, we welcome the chance to earn your trust. All of us at City Hall embrace that mission.
An invitation - Indio is currently engaged in a City General Plan Update. A General Plan is the State-mandated document that sets goals, standards and priorities for the physical development of the community – land use, housing, transportation, environmental quality, cultural resources, growth policies and much more. Cities in California are given this tool to proscribe how their community will build out over time. The "vision" in a General Plan usually looks out about 30 years. The document gets updated from time to time, but the basic document lasts beyond the term of any elected official and engages multiple generations of a community’s residents. It is critical, therefore, that we actively engage our public – all of our many publics – in the development of the General Plan. The General Plan addresses the historic downtown, the Highway 111 corridor, the I-10 corridor – and in fact the north-south-east-and-west of our community. We are also very close to presenting our City Council with a Downtown Specific Plan, which takes vision to an even greater level of detail and aspiration. Public meetings will continue on both the General Plan and Downtown Specific Plan. Please check for further information about the General Plan Update.
I look forward to meeting members of the community. Please introduce yourself to me if you attend any of our City meetings or events. I am eager to hear from you. 
Mark Scott
Interim City Manager