All of us at City Hall wish a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to you and your families! We truly believe this is going to be a great year for our community. We have momentum and opportunity that we have never had before. We have a deserving population, and Indio has authenticity and character. I like our prospects and continue to feel very blessed to have this job at this time in Indio's evolution. We know you have choices -- where to live, where to conduct your business, and whether or not to express your community pride. Speaking on behalf of the entire City organization, our goal in 2020 is that you will feel rewarded for making Indio your choice. Thank you.
Everyone likes to make New Year’s Resolutions. I’m resolving to learn some Spanish this year. That’s achievable and I plan to do it!
But the New Year tradition I love is the predictions! So I’m going to step out of my cautious character a moment and offer my clear-eyed 2020 predictions. (Get it? Clear-eyed? 20/20? Oh well...)
1) The teachers and students in our public schools will earn awards and recognitions for extraordinary achievement.
2) We will break ground on new Police & Fire facilities that will finally provide our very highly regarded Public Safety personnel with working conditions that befit their professionalism.
3) Indio will be recognized (again) in national polls as among the best places to raise a family.
4) The City Council will once again fund in excess of $4 million for repair and rehabilitation of our local streets -- meeting a standard that even better funded cities struggle to meet. (Thank you Measure X!)
5) A groundswell of new retailers, restaurants and at least one movie theater will announce new Indio locations. Our great car dealers will continue to lead the way on sales tax. (Buy local!)
6) Our 2020 municipal election will be spirited, but will demonstrate high passion among citizens who selflessly offer us their leadership skills.
7) In 2020, we will see development and business activity in Downtown Indio that will surprise and delight! We will start to see the vision of a renewed Downtown that is "a true gathering place owned by the entire community".
8) Many tens of thousands of Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festival celebrants will snap photos of themselves standing in front of Indio signs and landmarks -- and will do social media postings proclaiming Indio as the place to be in April.
9) The 2020 Tamale Festival will be a huge success and someone at City Hall will proclaim that it attracted "more than 100,000 people" -- even though, truth be known -- we really do not know!
10) Indio residents will prove to be the friendliest, most welcoming in all of the Coachella Valley -- warmly tolerating the constant influx of seasonal and special event visitors, meanwhile creating an environment where young people can grow and succeed, and exhibiting neighborliness that makes Indio the great community it is.
So... maybe not the riskiest list of predictions ever, but this does reflect my attitude about the town my wife and I made our home in 2019. Some of you know that I started my City Manager career many years ago in the City of Beverly Hills. I remember standing at an event in front of Beverly Hills City Hall, listening to legendary actor Jimmy Stewart ("It's a Wonderful Life") pay tribute to the City employees who had made Beverly Hills such a warm, memorable place for his family to live. Mr. Stewart passed away a year later. Our residents deserve no less! I can assure you that the employees and officials of the City of Indio want the same great memories for our residents in Indio. We are in the "memory-making business." May all of your 2020 memories be reflective of the wonderful life you deserve!