Gathering of elected, appointed officials provides kickoff for greater collaboration

The Palm Springs City Council and City Manager Justin Clifton have vowed to examine efficiencies that can be gained by working with boards and commissions to make adjustments in their size and scope.

Collaboration and communication were two central themes at a unique event Tuesday evening at Palm Springs Convention Center.

Driving the news: The Palm Springs City Council held a joint meeting with members of the boards, committees, and commissions serving the city in the Primrose ballroom that lasted approximately two hours. City staff members were on hand as well.

  • Roughly 100 people volunteer their time to serve on 14 different governmental bodies. They range from the Administrative Appeals Board to the VillageFest Board.

  • The volunteers were feted during an appreciation dinner before the joint meeting.

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State of play: One by one, representatives of the different groups spoke before the Council, offering insights into their work and a glimpse at what they hope to accomplish in the coming fiscal year. Some also came prepared with wish lists.

Among the asks: 

  • The Administrative Appeals Board asked for “a little more leeway” regarding the city’s strict vacation rental ordinance.

  • The Architectural Review Committee asked for increased code enforcement around signage and landscaping requirements it places on developers.

  • The Library Board of Trustees asked for the continued support for replacing or retrofitting the city’s main library. “Our building is tired,” said outgoing Board President Ed McBride. “It needs renovation. It needs help.”

Bigger picture: The Council and City Manager Justin Clifton have vowed to examine efficiencies that can be gained by working with boards and commissions to make adjustments in their size and scope. Greater collaboration and increased communication with the volunteers who fill the seats are also priorities.

  • “This begins a conversation on how we make our boards and commissions better. We want to see you as partners, and we want to ask, ‘How do we make ourselves more effective?’ — Mayor Lisa Middleton

Why it matters: Lilly Hanner, a junior at Palm Springs High School later this year, said serving as the student representative on the city’s Human Rights Commission allows her to explore her curiosity about politics. It also assures younger members of the LGBTQ+ community have representation in the city.

  • “As an omnisexual youth, it’s important to represent my community and others in other communities,” she said after Tuesday’s event, adding later, “It looks amazing on a college application.”

Apply to serve on a board or commission here.

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