The editorial board of the Desert Sun asked this question of all candidates for City Council:
"Are you in favor of Palm Desert being part of the CV Link? Why or why not?"
Here are the council candidate responses:
- Kathleen Kelly, winner 2016 with 23%: "As the question suggests, CV Link will happen because of numerous cities
supporting it and funding that cannot be used for anything else. It
would not be to Palm Desert’s advantage to resist participation. The
proposed route uses existing roadways along Magnesia Falls, and could
feed visitors to the proposed “city center” on San Pablo. I will work
for implementation to be as advantageous to Palm Desert as possible,
guarding funds intended for other uses."
I endorse Kelly's support of CV Link and an implied opposition to the isolationist attitudes of neighboring cities. Her reasons for support exhibit appreciation of how CV Link can build on and build up other development projects in the city.
- Jerry Martin, not winner 2016 with 10%: "The CV Link is an exciting opportunity for our city. It is a long
process and I believe that it will be a benefit for our city’s residence
Martin expresses support for CV Link, but I think his short statement reveals that the topic is low on his priorities.
- Gina Nestande, winner 2016 with 26%: "As a former Professional Ironman Triathlete, I understand the health
benefits of physical activity. The CV Link can benefit many in our
community, provide a venue to hold sporting events, give the tourism
industry another marketing tool thereby bringing more tourists to our
area – even in the summer months. My support ultimately depends upon
evaluating the final environmental and financial documents when made
available within the next several months."
Nestande evidences the greatest support of CV Link and the broadest understanding of its positive impact. In addition, she expresses a fiscal reserve that might be eased by reading Section 8 of the CV Link Conceptual Master Plan, which itemizes the expected services that provide O&M and which offers over 20 sources to combine for funding O&M costs.
- Van Tanner, not winner 2016 with 19%: "In the very near future there is going to be an Environmental Impact
Study Report showing what the potential impact CV link will have on our
valley cities. My thoughts are that the link will bring the East Valley
together with the West Valley and everything in between. In doing this
the public needs to know the benefits and the costs involved. This
study will go a long way in telling me what the overall impact will be.
At this time I am favorable to the idea but reserve final opinion until
after the report is completed."
Turner expresses an overarching understanding that CV Link is a transportation corridor, and not merely a recreational amenity. A bit concerning is his apparent reliance on the Environmental Impact Study to reveal CV Link impacts on the cities. (I understand the EIS might be limited to the impacts on the natural environment and habitats of native flora and fauna. Perhaps I'm wrong in this assumption.)
- Susan Marie Weber, winner 2016 with 22%: "Throughout all my campaigns, I have commented on having a
cross-valley method of transportation. I spoke to SunLine
representatives, thinking a bus line would help solve the problem.
"As an accountant, I look at the costs, not just the
design/construction, but long-term maintenance and operational costs,
such as lighting, trash, loitering, and vandalism.
When the long-term costs are more fully defined, I think we will all be able to make a more educated decision on the value of the CV Link."
Weber, like Tanner, understands the transportation advantages of CV Link—a positive sign. I must advise her to reread the project document (CV Link Conceptual Master Plan, Section 8) to be reminded of over 20 sources of funding for O&M costs, which are estimated to be about $10K to 30K per mile annually. These O&M costs include regular maintenance, safety patrols and security measures, marketing and events, insurance and risk management, and general management.