09 September 2016

Michael Harrington

Council Statements Regarding CV Link

In citing text from the meeting minutes, others' comment is not often included, and no ellipses are provided.

17 September 2015

The City Council met in regular session.
  • "Nicole Vandel, Desert Hot Springs, said negative symbols in the Council Chamber made her uncomfortable. Government space should be neutral. She suggested that the City not exclude itself from the rest of the Valley and added that there are opportunities for bringing in events which would cause the CV Link to make sense.
  • "9. CV Link Update.
  • "Mayor Hobart presented the Position Statement included in the agenda packet for Council' s consideration. [The Position Statement is appended at the end of this excision from the minutes.]
  • "Public Comment
  • "Joyce Virtue, Rancho Mirage, commented that transparency and due diligence by CVAG is of utmost importance. She said she posed a number of questions at the last CVAG Transportation Committee meeting, for which Tom Kirk indicated he would provide answers. Her questions included, but were not limited to, from where the hundred million dollars to care for CV Link will come and if contracts will be fixed or cost plus. She commented that sand on roadways is a problem for runners and bicyclists, which is a liability. She asked if each individual city will pay for maintenance and operation or if CVAG will take care of it. Ms. Virtue reported that she has not received answers from Mr. Kirk and requested answers from the CVAG representative in the audience.
  • "Michael Harrington, Rancho Mirage, said that each individual city is unique. The public safety needs of each city are unique. He suggested that each city assess their specific needs and requirements. If CVAG wants to put something in a city, they should discuss the public safety impacts to that particular city, rather than handle it in a general fashion. He said there is a need for transparency at CVAG. Mr. Harrington expressed concern that CVAG subcommittees may actually be standing committees and, therefore, be in violation of the Brown Act.
  • "Councilmember Kite asked if the adopted position will be presented to the Executive Committee on September 28th, to which Mayor Hobart responded that it will.
  • "Mayor Hobart reported that he spoke earlier in the day at a City of Indian Wells Special City Council Meeting regarding the CV Link. CVAG Executive Director Tom Kirk also made a presentation. Mayor Hobart said he made it clear that Rancho Mirage is resolute in the intention to not allow any of the routes already rejected.
  • "Mayor Hobart stated that, during a recent CVAG Technical Advisory Committee meeting, Finance Director Isaiah Hagerman asked why CVAG would waste money for an environmental impact report ( EIR) knowing the roads are unavailable. Comments were made that the individuals on Rancho Mirage City Council may not be re- elected and they are getting old, so there could be a new Council that may have different ideas. This shows that they want to have an EIR ready in case circumstances change. Mayor Hobart stated that if the motion passes at the CVAG Executive Committee meeting on September 28th, the City' s offer of Ramon Road as a connecting route will be withdrawn.
  • "Mayor Hobart reported that at the Indian Wells meeting, he addressed the fact that CVAG' s current documents show that CV Link/ CVAG plans to apply approximately $ 600, 000. 00 per year to CV Link maintenance costs. He said Measure A funds are accumulating and are required to be spent on disabled roadways, and preventative maintenance. The adopted Ordinance requires that preventative maintenance of Measure A funded arterials be allowed only if the majority of Coachella Valley local governments approve. He said CVAG seems to be taking the position that they do not need a vote of each government and that the cities' Executive Committee representatives may vote to allow Measure A funds to be used for preventative maintenance.
  • "DATE: September 15, 2015
  • "TO: Members of the City Council
  • "FROM: G. Dana Hobart, Mayor
  • "SUBJECT: Proposed Statement of City of Rancho Mirage's Position on CV Link Alignment to Present to the CVAG Executive Committee
  • "That the City Council review and consider the following position statement regarding the alignment of CV Link.
  • "No portion of any CV Link route, path, road, trail, and/or other alignment into, upon, or otherwise within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Rancho Mirage shall be permitted without the proponent(s) of any such route, path, road, trail, and/or other alignment first obtaining approval from the City Council together with a signed Agreement in writing with the City of Rancho Mirage. This requirement applies to any route, path, road, trail, and/or other alignment regardless of the entity proposing it -- CVAG, CV Link, RCTC, Riverside County or any other private or public organization.
  • "The requirement of prior City Council approval applies to any and all proposed routes, paths, roads, trails, and/or other alignments, whether or not they were previously proposed by CVAG, CV Link, RCTC, Riverside County or any other private or public organization.
  • "City Council approval will require the parties to agree to several conditions including without limitation, environmental, economic and otherwise.
  • "For example, Rancho Mirage must agree to the formula that sets economic responsibility on the City respecting the long and short term operations and maintenance expense. Another condition requires agreement of the owner of the land adjacent to the eastern portion of Ramon Road approving the CV Link intrusion and design adjacent to said owner' s property lines.
  • "The City of Rancho Mirage has offered and does hereby continue to offer to favorably consider Ramon Road from the vicinity of Bob Hope Drive to Da Vall Drive as a possible route within the City to enable CV Link to connect with Palm Desert and Cathedral City. (We note that CVAG has not indicated an interest in Dinah Shore Drive, the Mid-Valley Parkway.)
  • "The Executive Director of CVAG has recently informed Rancho Mirage that the September 28, 2015, meeting of the CVAG Executive Committee will consider authorizing environmental impact studies on one or more routes, paths, roads, trails, and/or other alignments within the City that were previously rej ected by the Rancho Mirage City Council. The City of Rancho Mirage strongly opposes the wasteful spending of taxpayer funds by performing unnecessary environmental impact studies on potential CV Link routes, paths, roads., trails, and/or other alignments which, by direction of the Rancho Mirage City Council, are not available. Therefore, the offer making Ramon Road available for CV Link shall automatically be nullified and withdrawn if the CVAG Executive Committee votes in favor of an environmental impact study pertaining to any portion of a Rancho Mirage route, path, road, trail, and/or other alignment including Highway 111 which were previously rejected as potential routes by the Rancho Mirage City Council."


5 October 2015

The City Council met in regular session.
  • "7. CV Link Update.
  • "Mayor Hobart - reported that on September 28th the CVAG - Executive Committee voted to approve a $ 150, 000 Environmental Impact Study including Highway 111 as a prospective CV Link route, after having been informed by Rancho Mirage that Highway 111 is not an option. Due to this vote, Rancho Mirage formally withdrew the Ramon Road route option and will not be part of the CV Link project.
  • "Public Comment
  • "Michael Harrington, Rancho Mirage, commended the Sheriff Department for their work and said the Coachella Valley Association of Governments ( CVAG) should be reformed.
  • "Joyce Virtue, Rancho Mirage, commented that CVAG is guilty of misuse of taxpayer funds, lack of transparency, lack of due diligence, and working conspiratorially to subvert Measure A funds to the CV Link project. She called for the immediate resignation of CVAG Executive Director Tom Kirk for Malfeasance of Office.
  • "Maria -Teresa Dobrev, Palm Springs, alleged that CVAG took 82 acres of her land and requested the City Attorney' s assistance in the matter."


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