DHS Holds First Mayoral and City Council Debate
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
DESERT HOT SPRINGS - With election season around the corner for certain parts of the desert, the debates have begun. Thursday night, mayoral and council member candidates from Desert Hot Springs held their first debate.
Current mayor of Desert Hot Springs Yvonne Parks says she's proud of what she’s accomplished during her three terms as Mayor. "Getting the Health and Welness Center with a 22,000 square foot Boys and Girls Club and bringing the medical and dental services that have been so lacking in this community,” says Parks. “What we had before was what people have in third world countries.”
Giving her a run for her money is DHS resident John-Paul Valdez. He says his background in finance will get the city out of its $4 million dollar hole as well as revitalize the community. "I had a $300 million budget with General Motors in six countries; in six countries with six currencies. I was able to budget that on time for the largest company at the time,” says Valdez.
There were also four candidates vying for city council-- two incumbents; the first was Jan Pye who says bringing business is key to a bustling Desert Hot Springs. "Desert Hot Springs loses over $2 million in sales tax revenue every year because our residents are getting better shopping choices in neighboring communities,” says Pye. Second is councilman Scott Mattas who says he's seen crime lessen since his time in office. “The image of DHS, sometimes isn’t the greatest but we have been out there for the past six years changing that,” says Mattas.
Their opponents are Joe Mckee, a man who says focusing on crime and the mentally ill are at the top of his platform. "I want to focus on problems of unemployment, with addiction, with mental illness; with the fact that two parents are working multiple jobs and still can't take care of their family,” says Mckee. Robert Bentley is the other candidate who says the residents are sick of politics as usual. "I think I’m fair in my opinion in saying that the people on city council just drive through the town. They don't live there,” says Bentley.