Palm Springs City Councilmember Dennis Woods was one of seven people to begin the process of election or re-election to the City Council Monday, pulling the necessary paperwork at the City Clerk’s office on the first day allowed.
Woods has not formally declared he would seek re-election in the Nov. 8 General Election, leaving many to speculate whether he would be willing to face a challenge from local business owner and Measure J Oversite Commission Chair Jeffrey Bernstein in District 2.
The matchup has particular intrigue given events earlier this year.
Roughly two weeks after Bernstein announced his candidacy in January, Woods surprised his fellow elected officials when he announced during a City Council meeting that he wanted an “independent investigation” of the Measure J Commission. He went on to accuse its members of playing favorites with certain community projects the Commission puts forward for Measure J tax funding.
“This has the potential to show favoritism and opens the process up to corruption, and it’s not a good model that we want to set,” Woods said at the time. One week later he backtracked during a Measure J Commission meeting, saying, “My comments were not in any way intended to be offensive.”
Bernstein also began the formal process of seeking the District 2 seat at the City Clerk’s office Monday, as did Renee Brown, a lifelong city resident well known for her work with the Palm Springs Historical Society. Brown declared her intention to run in May.
Also pulling papers on Monday were:
- Mayor Pro Tem Grace Garner. The incumbent in District 1 announced her intention to seek re-election in January;
- Scott Nevins, a board member at DAP Health, seeking to unseat Garner in District 1. He came forward last month to say he was running;
- Palm Springs Pride President Ron deHarte, who announced his candidacy in District 3 in January; and
- Joy Brown Meredith, a longtime downtown business owner and head of the Main Street Palm Springs business organization. She announced her intention to seek the District 3 seat being vacated by Councilmember Geoff Kors earlier this month.
Three additional potential candidates — Daniel Algazi in District 1, Julia Kabik in District 3, and Thomas Reinhard in District 2 — filed paperwork earlier this year declaring their intention to run but did not pull formal documents on Monday.
Candidates for City Council have until Aug. 12 to request paperwork from the city and turn in a minimum of 80 signatures from registered voters in their districts.