Dog park ceremony honors former city manager; critics had asked for input

Dog park ceremony honors former city manager; critics had asked for input

Retired Palm Springs City Manager David Ready speaks after being honored with a plaque Tuesday morning at the city dog park. At left is City Councilmember Dennis Woods.

Recognition of Palm Springs’ longtime city manager went to the dogs Tuesday — literally — as elected officials past and present helped dedicate the city’s dog park to David Ready.

Ready, who served as city manager for 20 years, retired earlier this year. Among his accomplishments while serving in the role, Ready is credited with helping guide the revitalization of the dog park, located behind City Hall, and helping to establish the city’s animal shelter off East Mesquite Avenue.

“This is an incredible benefit to our community,” said Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege during a brief ceremony preceding the unveiling of a plaque honoring Ready. “It’s a safe, warm, friendly place for people to bring their four-legged friends. I’m honored that [David] will accept this plaque since it’s so hard to get him to accept anything honoring him.”

Added J.R. Roberts, a former member of the City Council and current Planning Commission member: “Every day David Ready was at the helm of this city it was a really good day for Palm Springs.”

Speaking after the unveiling, Ready credited current city staff for the dog park’s success, saying, “Building a dog park and maintaining a dog park are two different things.”

He also noted that the project was an excellent example of perseverance for those who choose careers in public service.

“This underscores the challenge,” Ready said, pointing to the park behind him. “It wasn’t easy to do this. That’s the beauty of our local government. The key thing is we do it together.”

Some members of the public, including those serving voluntarily on a city commission, maintain that elected officials didn’t come together with them before approving the plaque.

Speaking during a regular meeting Monday evening, members of the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission voiced concerns about the lack of public input before the City Council approved the plaque, at a cost of $1,000, as part of its consent calendar during an April meeting. One member echoed those concerns following the Tuesday dedication.

“This is the second time relatively recently the City Council has named a public space after a former employee — people paid six-figure sums to do their jobs,” said Parks and Recreation Commissioner Travis Armstrong. “These are the type of actions that become common when communities don’t have strong media watchdogs.”

While members of the public acknowledge Ready’s contributions, many hoped the city would slow down, solicit input from residents who use the park, and consider naming it after a police canine, Ike, killed in the line of duty in 2011.

“Naming any public space or public park is a big deal,” Armstrong said during public testimony at a City Council meeting in April. “This needs a proper public hearing. Officer Ike is much more worthy of this.”

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BRIEFLY

WATER RATES: A water rate increase postponed in July 2020 will go into effect 18 months later, in January 2022. The Desert Water Agency (DWA) Board of Directors unanimously approved the rate increase at the meeting on September 21. The rate adjustment was the last of five planned increases approved in late 2016 to cover the costs of replacing aging pipelines and the increased cost of importing water. Last summer, DWA’s Board of Directors approved a streamlined budget that did not include the planned July 2020 rate increase. For the complete story, click here.

COVID-19 BOOSTER: Riverside County residents 65 years and older, and those at risk of a severe COVID-19 case, can get the Pfizer vaccine booster at one of various vaccine clinics operated by Riverside County Public Health and community partners beginning Saturday. The booster is available for those who received their second vaccine dose at least six months ago. Federal and state health officials approved the use of the booster this week, and Riverside County officials moved forward with a rollout plan to begin administering the doses starting Saturday. For the complete story, click here.

FLOOD CONTROL: The Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized the county’s Flood Control and Water Conservation District to finalize an agreement with the city of Palm Springs to construct a storm channel near Palm Springs High School. In a 5-0 vote without comment, the Board cleared the way for the district to obligate up to $7.5 million for the “Master Drainage Plan 20 line,” due for construction along Farrell Drive between Baristo and Ramon roads. For the complete story, click here.

SCHOOL COVID: As of this morning, the Palm Springs Unified School District is reporting 26 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff. Schools in Palm Springs account for three of those cases, including two among students and one among staff. The most cases reported at any city school were at Cielo Vista Charter School, where two cases were reported.


TODAY’S EVENTS

MIZELL EVENTS: Programs at the Mizell Center today include Dick Brodie’s Jam Session, a bereavement support group, and beginning Spanish. The center is located at 480 S. Sunrise Way, and events begin at 8 AM. For a complete list of today’s offerings, click here.

HORA DE CUENTOS: La bibliotecaria Nancy Valdivia lee cuentos, canta canciones y enseña conceptos de aprendizaje temprano (miércoles en español y jueves en inglés) para estudiantes de preescolar de 10:30 a.m. a 11:30 a.m. Puedes ver los videos en YouTube aquí.

MOBILE HEALTH: A mobile health clinic will be parked at the James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 W. Tramview Rd., from 9 AM until 4 PM. Operated and staffed by Borrego Health, the mobile unit will provide a variety of medical services for residents, such as family medicine, women’s health and pregnancy tests, immunizations and physicals for school, HIV/STI testing, COVID-19 testing, labs, and more.

LIBRARY BOARD: The city’s Library Board of Trustees holds a meeting this evening at 5:30 PM via Zoom. A complete agenda and instructions to view, listen, or participate in the meeting can be found here.

PRESERVATION BOARD: The city’s Historic Site Preservation Board meets this evening at 5:30 PM via Zoom. Among the items up for discussion is approval of a permit for a mural that is already being painted on the south wall of the Town & Country Center. A complete agenda and instructions to view, listen, or participate in the meeting can be found here.

BOGERT STATUE MEETING: The Palm Springs City Council and its Human Rights Commission are holding a joint meeting at 5:30 PM to discuss removal and relocation of a statue honoring former Mayor Frank Bogert. A complete agenda and instructions to view, listen, or participate in the meeting can be found here.


ONGOING

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.

FILM FESTIVAL: Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ+ Film Festival, ends its run on September 30 at the Historic Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2100 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way. This year, Cinema Diverse is offering a multi-platform experience with films available virtually and at the theater. Complete information about tickets for this year’s event can be found here.

HUNGER ACTION: FIND Food Bank is engaging with the public through fundraising and awareness events this month in an effort to leave no local resident hungry. Multiple Palm Springs businesses are participating. For more information about all local events this month, go here.

LIBRARY CARD DRIVE: The Palm Springs Public Library is running its annual library card drive during the month of September. Library cards are free to residents of California and offer many advantages other than being able to reserve and check out books. Ready for a library card? Just head to this site to register.

TRAM CLOSED: The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is closed for its annual maintenance. If all goes well, it should reopen on October 11.


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

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