DAILY BRIEFING: October 7, 2021

Good morning. It’s Thursday, October 7. Expect cloudy skies and a high of 87 degrees today. First, some news you need to know ...

Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege (far right), and Mayor Pro Tem Lisa Middleton (third from left) at the dedication of a plaque honoring former City Manager David Ready (second from left) last month. Ginny Foat, a former City Council member, is at far left.

If Holstege, Middleton leave City Council mid-term, here's what happens

Both Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege and Mayor Pro Tem Lisa Middleton have announced their intent to seek higher office during the middle of their current terms. What happens if they win?

The answer is as simple or complex as you care to make it, but the “too long, didn’t read” version is this: It’s up to their colleagues on the Palm Springs City Council.

City Clerk Anthony Mejia would be responsible for helping guide the city when and if either Holstege or Middleton win. He said Tuesday that while the state provides the City Council with 60 days to either appoint new Council members or call a special election, the city’s charter limits that timeline to 45 days.

While the California Elections Code is not very prescriptive about the process, he said the city would most likely follow the example of other municipalities and provide an open process.

“It is typical in most other communities to provide an open application and interview process with the remaining City Council responsible for selecting the appointee,” he said. ”Ultimately, the City Council will need to provide direction to staff on how they would like the appointment process to proceed if the situation occurs.”

A decision tree that outlines how Palm Springs would move forward if one or both City Council members should win election to higher office in the middle of their current terms. The 60-day timeline is actually 45 days in Palm Springs.

The following is a likely timeline:

  • Holstege, who represents District 4 in the city, is running for the State Assembly in the 42nd District. Middleton represents District 5 and hopes to win the State Senate seat in the 28th District. First, they would need to survive a June 2022 primary against any opponents who choose to enter either race.

  • If either or both survive the June 2022 primary, they would be on the ballot for the November 2022 General Election.

  • If either or both win in the General Election, they would be seated in Sacramento the first Monday in December following the election. Since the current terms of both Holstege and Middleton do not expire in Palm Springs until the end of 2024, that would leave a seat, or seats, needing to be filled on the City Council.

  • If most City Council seats were vacant (three of the five), the city would have only one option, a special election. But because that is not the scenario, how those seats are filled — either by appointment or via a special election — would be decided by the existing City Council members. Holstege and Middleton could participate in that decision. If appointing new Council members is the Council’s preferred method to fill the vacancies, they could also participate in that process.

  • Any candidates for appointment would be required to come from the city district where a vacancy exists (You can see Palm Springs voting districts here). Any special election would only take place in the district where a vacancy exists. The city is required to hold any special election within 114 days of calling the election.

  • Once seated by either method, any new member of the City Council would serve out the term of the Council member they are replacing. They would need to run in 2024 to retain the seat.

Whether any of the above scenarios play out, it is entirely likely the Palm Springs City Council will look much different within the next two years. By seeking higher public office in the middle of their terms, Holstege and Middleton have provided every indication they hope to leave the City Council. The terms of Geoff Kors, Grace Garner, and Dennis Woods all expire at the end of 2022, and none have announced they intend to run for re-election.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Reach our newsroom via email at editor@thepalmspringspost.com or visit our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.


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BRIEFLY

SNOW IN PALM SPRINGS?: If you had October 6 marked on the calendar as the day of the first snow of the season in Palm Springs, you’re partially correct. Thanks to a little movie magic, this home at the intersection of Crescent and High roads in Vista Las Palmas was transformed into a winter wonderland for a car commercial being shot yesterday and today. San Diego Ice Company is providing the “snow,” in the form of large ice blocks that will be shredded to create the effect.

CHARGES EXPECTED: Felony charges are expected to be filed today against an 18-year-old man from Mountain Center for allegedly shooting a 15-year-old boy in Palm
Springs. The man was arrested Monday evening on suspicion of shooting at the unidentified teen from a moving car while the boy was entering a vehicle in the 3400 block of North Sunrise Way earlier that morning. Patrol officers took the man into custody after the shooting and a short car chase that ended on Rosa Parks Road. Jail records show he is being held on $4 million bail on suspicion of attempted murder and carrying a loaded firearm.

POLICE TRAINING: The Palm Springs Police Department is taking part in a week-long training against implicit bias. Earlier this week, the city announced that all police department employees began their eight-hour daily training in principled policing, procedural justice, and implicit bias. The city defined implicit bias "as the automatic association people make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups." According to city officials, these associations can influence behavior in certain situations and cause people to make biased or prejudiced choices. For the complete story, turn here.

SCHOOL COVID: As of this morning, the Palm Springs Unified School District is reporting 20 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff. Schools in Palm Springs account for two of those cases, both among students.


TODAY’S EVENTS

MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers basic jewelry making, an Alzheimer’s support group, and more today, starting at 8 AM. Today’s complete schedule can be found here.

ADULT CRAFTS: Watch Palm Springs Public Library Assistant Anna create yarn pumpkins on the Library’s YouTube channel at 10 AM, and then craft your own. Those who wish to create their own yarn pumpkin can pick up materials at the library, 300 S. Sunrise Way, prior to the YouTube event.

STORY TIME: The Palm Springs Public Library offers storytime for preschoolers starting at 10:30 AM via YouTube. Librarian Nancy Valdivia reads stories, sings songs, and shows early learning concepts (Wednesdays in Spanish and Thursdays in English). You can find more information here and watch the YouTube videos here.

WOMEN’S CHAT: The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert offers a chat group for all women — no matter how you identify — to discuss topics of interest and find connections every Thursday at 10:30 AM. You can find information about the event here.

NOT TEEN TALK: The Palm Springs Public Library’s teen librarian hosts an Instagram Live session each Thursday at 3:30 PM. To follow along, follow @psplteenzone on Instagram here.

FOOD AVAILABLE: FIND Food Bank distributes food in the city today at a community food bank, 610 S. Belardo Rd., between 5 PM and 7 PM, and at Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, from 5 PM until 6:30 PM. A complete calendar of food distribution in the community this month is available here.

FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION: The Palm Springs Art Museum offers free admission from 5 PM to 7 PM this evening. Tickets are required and can be obtained here.

SUNSHINE SISTERS: The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters will be having a happy hour get-together at Boozehounds in Palm Springs starting at 3 PM. You can sign up to be part of the group formed to help women make new connections and friendships on Meetup here.

VILLAGEFEST: The city’s weekly outdoor street fair takes place between 6 PM and 10 PM on Palm Canyon Drive downtown. The event includes vendor booths on both sides of the street — a portion of which is closed to vehicular traffic. At this time, face coverings are required for all who attend, regardless of vaccination status.


ONGOING / UPCOMING

MODERNISM PREVIEW: Tickets are still available for Modernism Week Fall Preview, which takes place October 14 through 17. The event offers visitors and locals a taste of modernism through talks and seminars, and in-person home tours and parties in unique locations not regularly open to the public. Tickets for dozens of events can be found here. In addition to the Fall Preview, you can find furniture, art, décor, and design elements at the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale Fall Edition that runs October 15 through 17 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros. The weekend kicks off with an opening night party (tickets are available here) on Friday, October 15 at 6 PM, and continues with the main event all weekend, starting at 10 AM (registration is available here).

VOTING UNDERWAY: Our partners at The Coachella Valley Independent have started the next step in the process of determining the best of the best in the Coachella Valley for 2021-2022. The top vote-getters in each category have been selected, and now you can vote for the winners. To vote for your favorite in any one of multiple categories, start here.


COMMUNITY CONNECTION

Want to know what’s happening in your city and at agencies that make decisions affecting your neighborhood? See below for calendars, meeting agendas, and links to all city services, police reports, code enforcement reports, and more:

City of Palm Springs calendar of events | Official city contacts

Palm Springs Public Library calendar of events

Palm Springs Unified School District calendar | Board meetings

Desert Healthcare District Board of Directors meeting agendas

Mizell Center calendar of events

Desert Water Agency calendar

ONE-PS calendar of events

Police reports | Submit a police report

Code compliance reports | Report a code violation

Current road projects and closures

Street sweeping schedule

Palm Springs Disposal pickup schedule | Holiday schedules

Sunline Transit bus schedule

Currently active development projects

FIND Food Bank mobile market schedule

Well in the Desert daily meals | Food distribution