Dana Hobart Newsletter

MAYOR'S MESSAGE

Disrespecting Rancho Mirage

March 11, 2016

Does the search for political advantage justify an outside group of elected officials attempting to influence an election in another city? In my 23-years as Coachella Valley resident, I have not seen such inter-city disrespect as I saw the other day.

Like you, I received an 8½" by 11" postcard political mailer that was both misleading and factually inaccurate. In point of fact, those politicians shown sponsoring the mailer are those who are generally viewed as most biased and deeply involved in promoting the CV Link. They are the same ones most vocally denying voters in the Valley a free and open vote on the CV Link.

Those politicians identified on the political mailer also know that with Rancho Mirage out of the CV Link program, the cost to their cities for maintenance and operations expenses increases substantially. Their silence on that point speaks volumes to the financial objectives behind the intrusive political mailer.

The other objective of the mailer was clearly discerned by the boorish effort of these disrespecting politicians to advise our residents as to how they should vote on Rancho Mirage Measures 1, 2, 3, and 4. It was disquieting to see council members from other cities so staunchly allegiant to CVAG as to abandon civic protocol and courtesy by interfering with another city's vote.

On February 29, 2016, the CVAG Executive Committee considered a motion made by Supervisor Benoit. The motion was to allow Rancho Mirage to go its own way respecting the CV Link. On March 1, 2016, the Desert Sun reported that the Executive Committee voted "to officially leave Rancho Mirage out of the CV Link project." Supervisor Benoit was quoted as saying, "This body has never had any intention to force this on any city that didn't want to participate. I don't know if that has been clearly stated." Those who believed this rhetoric were, to put it simply, duped.

You may recall this is exactly the tactical approach first accidentally disclosed by Executive Director Tom Kirk a few months ago. Forgetting that he was being recorded, he was clearly anticipating a change in the Rancho Mirage city council sometime in the future when he stated:

"... The broader the environmental document is, the better because circumstances change; maybe even politics change and generations change, and having a full range of alternatives gives somebody in the future an opportunity to make a different decision than somebody today might."

Upon reading the newspaper, Rancho Mirage residents were lead to believe that the breach between Rancho Mirage and the CV Link was mended. It would be a huge mistake to think that the motion was sincere. Their political mailer actually proves it was not. It was nothing more than a clever gambit to lull Rancho Mirage residents into thinking the astronomical cost and location of CV Link was no longer controversial. This subterfuge was nothing less than a maneuver to confuse and mislead Rancho Mirage residents.

The Political Mailer Demonstrates That CV Link is Still Pursuing Rancho Mirage

If, as the newspaper printed, CVAG and CV Link really intended to let Rancho Mirage go its own way, this deceptive mailer would not have been created. Why else would the proponents care about how we vote in the upcoming election?

CVAG knows we have offered CV Link a path through Rancho Mirage along Ramon Road, where we are not (yet) built out. We now have proof positive by this political mailer that CVAG flatly intends to have CV Link connect Rancho Mirage with Palm Desert and Cathedral City via the Bob Hope Drive and Highway 111 corridors. We now know that the February 29 motion before the Executive Committee was a tactical ploy considering that the mailer landed at our homes on March 9th. The mailer was doubtlessly in production when the vote occurred.

It is important to review the deceptive content of the political mailer. If the mailer were sincere and absent chicanery or duplicity, the content of the document would have demonstrated its legitimacy. It fails miserably, however.

Examples of Deception In the Political Mailer

DECEPTIVE CLAIM: "CV Link is a gift to the community..."

... Sure, like a Trojan Horse was a Greek gift to Troy.

Fact: CV Link is literally draining millions of dollars away from projects in the Coachella Valley that could actually benefit the public.
Fact: CVAG is setting up to drain our Measure A funds, which voters limited to roadway, bridge and intersection repairs.
Fact: CV Link has not raised a dime since December 2014
Fact: Of their claimed funds ($73,689,500) a total of $62 million would remain in the Coachella Valley - because they are not outside grants. Over $50 million originated in Riverside County
Fact: We were falsely led to believe, as to the money received, that "if we don't use it, we lose it." Totally false. 82% of all money allocated to the CV Link could be used on other Coachella Valley projects.

DECEPTIVE CLAIM: "CV Link ... will provide a more dynamic economy."

No facts; no examples; no dates; no proof
Just a lot of hot air; an unsubstantiated claim

DECEPTIVE CLAIM: "700 permanent jobs will be created."

No facts; no examples; no dates; no proof
Just a lot of hot air; unsubstantiated claim

DECEPTIVE CLAIM: "Produce $1.47 billion in economic benefit"

Ridiculously overstated report from 2012 using old data, false estimates and projections

DECEPTIVE CLAIM: "Increase property values"

No facts; no examples; no dates; no proof

Ask yourself: Will property values increase or diminish if bikers, skate boarders, electric vehicles, and strangers are passing residents' homes, or nearby? Most people purchasing homes seek relative privacy and want to avoid noise and clamor - conditions that substantially reduce property values.

DECEPTIVE CLAIM: "CV Link will yield a 11X return on investment"

No facts, no examples; no dates; no proof
If you believe this one, let's discuss a bridge in Brooklyn...

CONCLUSION

YOU must decide whether Measure 1 is good or bad policy. The same with Measures 2, 3 and 4.

The effect of Measure 1, if it passes, is that before a future council could overturn the current Council's decision to ban CV Link from traversing on or adjacent to Bob Hope Dr., Highway 111, and other streets, the proponents of change would first be required to obtain an affirmative majority vote of our residents.

In short, a Yes vote on Measure 1 gives our residents a voice before the current ban on CV Link in our city can be overturned by the city council.

In short, a No vote on Measure 1 would allow a future council to eliminate the ban, without a vote of residents, at any time three council members supported such a motion.

Please forward your email to as many valley friends as possible. We are but a single voice in speaking out; often drowned out by others who are committed to CV Link.

Thank you for caring about our city and for respecting the quality of life we have worked hard to secure. We respect every city's right of determination and ask for the same in return.

As always, I will continue to keep you updated on the CV Link and the issues at hand. To share your views and/or comments, please email me at: GDanaHobart@aol.com

Best Regards,

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Dana Hobart
Mayor, Rancho Mirage