How’s the city doing? Pretty good, mayor tells audience at annual event

‘The city is just booming. It’s going incredibly well. It’s a really nice story to be able to tell.’

Palm Springs is in great shape, based on several key performance indicators shown in a slideshow presented by Mayor Lisa Middleton Tuesday evening.

Driving the news: The city’s civic and business leaders gathered at the Plaza Theatre downtown for a pep rally for Team Palm Springs — the annual State of The City event sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

By the numbers: Middleton took the audience back in time, explaining that tax revenues have jumped nearly 60% in the past decade — from $70 million in 2011 to an expected $169 million this fiscal year.

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  • Credit due: She acknowledged the foresight of former city leaders and voters who elected to tax themselves through Measure J, even during a recession.

    • “What we are seeing today is the direct result of the investment that was made a decade ago, and we thank you.”

Forward progress: In the past year, increased revenue led to increased spending on much-needed fire equipment and personnel, infrastructure at the airport, and soon a navigation center to serve homeless city residents.

  • Critical partnership: Middleton lauded an agreement last year between the city and Martha’s Village and Kitchen to run an access center for homeless services off El Cielo Road. The organization will run the navigation center.

    • “On El Cielo, we are proving that a homeless center can be a good neighbor.”

But wait, there’s more: The mayor pointed to success during the past year in sustainability efforts, the battle against Covid, and emergency services.

  • Calling 911: The Palm Springs Police Department responded to 167 calls each day and took 80 guns off the streets in the past year; the Fire Department responded to roughly two calls per hour, all within minutes.

Room for improvement: Speaking to downtown merchants earlier in the day, Middleton said the city needs to focus next on fixing aging properties.

  • “Our infrastructure clearly needs some significant rehabilitation,” she said during a Main Street Palm Springs meeting. “We’ve got a number of buildings that are showing their age a bit.”

Bottom line: It’s good to be mayor of a city that’s the envy of many others.

  • “The city is just booming. It’s going incredibly well. It’s a really nice story to be able to tell.”


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