Volume 50 | May 2021
Mayor Pro Tem
Dear Indio Neighbors,

They say there is nothing permanent except change. 
For the City of Indio, we are embracing a significant change as we face the end of one era of leadership, and turn our focus to the beginning of a new era of leadership. For some that might sound like an embroidered version of reality, but for city staff it is an honest account of the current transition. As many of you already know, I am talking about the departure of City Manager Mark Scott and the welcoming of Indio’s next City Manager, Bryan Montgomery.  
Both of these leaders have professional lineages of the elite. If city management was an Olympic sport, they both would be gold medalists. They leave the cities they work for better than they find them, and exemplify what it means to be a public servant. Both Mark and Bryan are the kind of leaders every city needs. Both possess moral and ethical standards, which are indomitable to the constant barrage of requests, proposals, and glitches that can redirect a city’s progress away from the greater good. I am by no means discounting the power and responsibility of the City Council, but a city manager is the lightning rod between that power and the ground we walk on. 
As Mark reluctantly hangs up his city management cleats, we reflect on how well he played the game. However, knowing all-too-well, Mark will always be at the ready as the city’s pinch hitter. Being a big time Dodger’s fan, I suspect Mark would appreciate the baseball analogy and want to be remembered for the grand slams he achieved in Beverly Hill, Culver City, Fresno, Burbank, Spartanburg, San Bernardino, and now Indio. Mark has most definitely been a heavy hitter. Here are some of Mark's most notable homeruns with the City of Indio:

  • Entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the Haagen Company to revitalize, re-tenant, and expand the Indio Fashion Mall.
  • Successfully eliminated neighborhood canvassing by the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. 
  • Adopted the Indio General Plan 2040 on September 2019.
  • Adopted the Indio Multi-Modal Hub Feasibility Study on February 5, 2020.
  • Adopted the Indio Downtown Specific Plan on April 15, 2020.
  • Adopted the Indio Transformative Climate Communities Plan on January 20, 2021.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, kept all City Staff employed while working with City Council and Staff to provide $645K in grants to small, local businesses. 
  • Implemented a new Computer-Aided Dispatch/Records Management system at the Indio Police Department.
  • Implemented a sponsorship program for police candidates to the academy, as opposed to relying on pre-service and laterals in order to fill our vacancies.
  • Moved a new Public Safety Campus into the design phase.
  • Received first Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for preparing a budget document meeting the very highest quality in accordance with the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting.  
  • Centralized IT Department working together to achieve the goals of the city as a whole.
And now, we welcome Bryan Montgomery, who will soon step up to the plate here in Indio. Bryan will be at bat for the city on May 13, 2021. He is already pointing over the centerfield fence, predicting what he will do for Team Indio. I do not doubt him and neither should you. Bryan, let’s play ball!

Rob Rockwell
Assistant City Manager

At its last April meeting, Indio’s City Council approved the appointment of Bryan Montgomery to replace Mark Scott, who announced his retirement last year, and has served as Indio's City Manager since 2017. The decision concludes a nationwide executive recruitment search conducted by Ralph Andersen & Associates that resulted in attracting 58 qualified applicants. 

Montgomery comes to the City of Indio with over 28 years of local government experience. For the last 15 years, Montgomery was City Manager in the fast-growing Bay Area suburb of Oakley, California. Previously he was City Manager of Mesquite, Nevada and City Administrator in Rupert, Idaho. He has also held positions in city government in Alamogordo, New Mexico and Provo, Utah.

In his role with the City of Oakley, Montgomery implemented a comprehensive economic development strategic plan including a downtown revitalization program. He was also instrumental in the redevelopment of a former Dupont chemical plant, which now serves as a 150+ acre logistics center with over two million square feet of buildings, including an Amazon Hub and Fulfillment Center, which opened in late 2020, and will bring more than 2,500 jobs to the region. While in the City of Mesquite, Montgomery managed several major capital projects including a new city hall, senior center, recreation center, arts center and a city-owned industrial park. 

"I am honored to be selected by the City Council to become the City Manager of Indio," said Montgomery. "We love the desert and have been looking for a community with a solid foundation, a quality City Council, professional city staff, and a bright future -- Indio has all of those and the people here are so friendly and genuine.”

Montgomery holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree from Brigham Young University. He has been a valued member of many organizations such as Rotary International, International City Management Association, International Hispanic Network, and the United Way. He speaks Spanish and is married with adult children. In 2015, he was honored with the Volunteer of the Year Award by VEGA (Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance) for his more than 15 years of pro-bono assistance to ICMA’s Mexico office conducting field visits to provide technical assistance to multiple cities and participating in workshops and other events to promote professional local government management. Montgomery and his wife are in the process of purchasing a home in Indio.

Indio City Hall highlights some of the City employees who shine in their jobs and as successful community members.

Spotlight: Francisco Urbano, (almost) 38
Known in the City: As a mechanical savant who can do metal fabrication or rebuild an engine on any one of the City's more than 300 vehicles, which include street sweepers to electric bicycles, ambulances to police cars. "There are new projects every day. I just love it."
Most Recent Accomplishment: Promoting to the position of Senior Fleet Mechanic
Juggling Act: A proud father of two. Daughter Isabella is 10, and his son Kaleb just turned 6. Francisco has been married 17 years to wife Laura. 
Behind the Scenes: Francisco has lived in Indio all of his life, graduating from Indio High School and working at dealerships before joining the City of Indio nearly 7 years ago. 
What's so great about working for the City of Indio? "The team I work with. They are the best! You get to teach and you get to grow." 
Words From The Boss: "Francisco has impressed me from his first day and continues to grow daily," offered Dennis Wolbert, Fleet Services Operations Manager. "He is one of the employees here that makes every day a great one! I see him growing and developing, and there is nothing he cannot accomplish personally or professionally. He is the embodiment of a team first person; we all value and appreciate his sense of humor! I look forward to his continuing growth within the City."

From new housing, to new retail, restaurants and office buildings, the city's Community Development department is busier than ever. Driving around the city, as ground gets graded and walls go up, you might be curious about what is opening In(dio):

  • Highway 111 & Clinton (Mathis Brothers restaurant- inspections underway)
  • Ave. 42 & Monroe Street (Quick Quack Car Wash- opened this month)
  • Ave. 44 & Golf Center Parkway (Starbucks Coffee- opening this month)
  • Ave. 50 & Jefferson (Canopy at Citrus: restaurants, residential units- planning and building process)

The City of Indio is committed to recognizing that our growth and strength depends on the safety and economic value of the homes, buildings and infrastructure that serve our citizens, both in everyday life and in times of natural disaster, and will recognize the Building and Safety Team with a Proclamation at the City Council meeting on May 5, 2021.

Building Safety Month is an international campaign that takes place in May to raise awareness about building safety. This campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, regularly-updated building codes, and helps individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.

The theme for Building Safety Month 2021 is “Prevent, Prepare, Protect. Building Codes Save.” This theme encourages all Americans to raise awareness about:

  • Importance of safe and resilient construction
  • Fire prevention
  • Disaster mitigation
  • Energy conservation
  • Water safety
  • Training the next generation
  • New technologies in the construction industry

Each week, watch for information on the City's social media channels about how the four themes of Building and Safety Month are applicable in Indio.

For example, during week one, our City Building Inspectors will highlight "Energy and Innovation" by explaining the solar photovoltaic requirements at new homes.

The last day of school for Indio students at Desert Sands Unified School District is June 4. The 2020-2021 school year has been an unusual one. But students have been doing their very best throughout the academic year. What began as a year of full remote learning transitioned in March to a hybrid learning model with approximately one third of students in what was termed Cohort A, a third in Cohort B, and a third remaining in distance learning. The elementary and secondary students in Cohorts A and B returned to in-classroom learning two days each week on March 15 and March 29, 2021 respectively.

In a unanimous vote at a special board meeting on Monday, April 26 , the DSUSD Board of Education passed the following motion, "To approve the proposal to increase in-person learning days from two to four days per week by combining cohorts A and B beginning May 3, 2021, for all or part of grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-11 for the remainder of the academic year." With that vote, students in Cohorts A and B would now, starting on Monday, May 3, be in their classrooms four days per week.

All safety and security precautions remain in place including plexiglass around desks, handwashing and hand sanitizer stations across the campus and in classrooms, required wearing of face masks, and social distancing as directed by the CDC (Center for Disease Control).

While the last day of school is June 4, our high schools will be walking to the sounds of Pomp and Circumstance a bit sooner, as they celebrate an in-person graduation on the football field. Attendance will be limited and social distancing and the wearing of face masks will be enforced. Amistad High School graduates on May 25 and 27; Shadow Hills High School graduates on May 28; and Indio High School on June 1. In a robust summer school program, students at all grade levels will be found on DSUSD campuses in June and July. On campus classes begin on Tuesday, June 8 and end on July 15. 

As always, Desert Sands Unified School District will closely follow all national, state, county, and local public health guidelines and orders.

Questions can be emailed to WorkingTogether@DesertSands.us. 

Summer school is being offered in person to all Coachella Valley Unified School district students enrolled at Mountain Vista Elementary School on Hjorth Street in Indio. Summer school registration for Mountain Vista Elementary School students began on Monday, April 26th and the last day of registration is May 15, 2021. However, parents are encouraged to register their students as soon as possible. 

Parents need to follow this link to complete their registration
form. Once they've submitted their form they will be contacted with further instructions.

Parents can send administrators a private message on Facebook or call 760-399-5137 for further assistance.

Water conservation is always important, even for residents of apartments, condominiums or mobile homes who might not receive a bill directly for their water service. The cost of water could be rolled into the rent or homeowners’ associations fees, so wise water use ultimately will save water and money.
It is important to promptly report any leaks to the landlord or HOA, since even small leaks can quickly grow, potentially damaging personal property. If you see broken sprinkler heads or other irrigation issues in common areas outside, be sure to report it and do not assume others have notified the property manager.
Working together to save water will ensure we have a sustainable supply now and for generations to come. This includes being smart about water use by taking shorter showers, turning off the faucet when brushing teeth, and running dishwashers and washing machines with full loads to maximize efficiency.
Even if you do not directly receive an Indio Water Authority bill, conserving water and avoiding waste will reduce costs and preserve this essential resource. 

Effective May 3, 2021, students in grades 8 through 12 who are attending school in-person, can now participate in free after school programming at the Indio Teen Center up to four days a week. This change reflects the decision by Desert Sands Unified School District to combine cohorts, and allow students who have enrolled in hybrid instruction the opportunity to attend classes on campus four days a week.

In addition, the Indio Teen Center, located at 81-678 Avenue 46, will be open for in-person activities a half hour earlier. Hours of operation will now be from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 

Teens in distance learning can continue to participate in virtual programming on Wednesdays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. with contactless supply delivery. Wednesday programing includes culinary arts, such as shrimp ceviche and bruschetta.

Following health guidelines and safety protocols, some programming can now resume indoors. The Teen Center has a game room with ping-pong, air hockey, and foosball, a lounge, outdoor volleyball, basketball, archery and multiple art activities weekly.

All participants must have both an ITC Registration Form and JPIA waiver completed. Both can be found online at the Teen Center’s Website, or can be picked up at the Teen Center. In addition to both forms, school enrollment will be verified via current school ID and screenshot/printed copy of their StudentVUE portal that shows their name, grade and assigned cohort.

Additional COVID safety precautions and a monthly Teen Center calendar can be found here. Follow the ‘indioteencenter’ on Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat for programming information. For questions/concerns please contact the Indio Teen Center at (760) 541-4400.


Riverside County Library System Adult Literacy Program provides FREE virtual adult reading and writing services to adults 16 years or older in our communities through one-on-one and group reading and writing tutoring, English Language classes and family literacy events. The RCLS programs provide literacy awareness, tools, and resources to adult learners, potential adult learners and their families. Many programs are available one-time, once-a-month, and 6-week workshops to engage learners and their families in literacy at different libraries and off-site locations throughout the Riverside County.
Depending on your needs and reading goals, we offer different programs to help,
  • One-on-one and group tutoring for adults
  • Family literacy programming
  • English Language classes
  • Career Online High School program
  • Walk-in tutoring hours
To see the current schedule of literacy classes available now, click here.

If someone you know needs reading and writing help, call (951) 685-6901 or email Literacy@rivlib.net for more information about our adult literacy program, which is also available through your Indio Library!

The City of Indio has revived its Traffic Signal Box program! As a way to reinvigorate our community after this really tough year, we are using this opportunity to support local artists, and beautify these unexpected places with new artwork. We want to think outside the (traffic signal) box and offer a theme that celebrates the wide imaginations of our local artists. The theme “Dreamscapes” invites artists to share with us the images that ignite their dreams that can beautify, inspire, and celebrate the beauty and diversity of our community.

This program is part of an effort to beautify the City and also to reduce the instances of graffiti on traffic signal boxes while making them artful objects. The Traffic Signal Box (TSB) program strives to enhance the pedestrian and driving experience by incorporating artwork into the streetscape.

To kick off the program, two works of art were selected for installation at the intersections of Highway 111 at Oasis and Smurr Streets. The selected artists, Janet Zepeda (The Good Hug) and Jaye Elle (Conclave in Eden), are both Coachella Valley natives and current residents. Their work was chosen for otherworldly dreamscapes and their ability to capture themes of transcendence, relevant to the dystopian times we are all currently experiencing.

This rebooted program is open to local artists who reside in the Coachella Valley. Artists will be paid $750 per selected image. The application process is simple. Only online submissions using the this online portal will be accepted. The TSB committee will review applications on a rolling basis, make recommendations to the Public Arts Commission and selected artists will be notified. For full guidelines please visit the Public Arts page on the city website.

Are you looking for ways to be more active in the Indio community? There are several organizations in Indio that are looking for volunteers! 

Check out FIND Food Bank! Anyone over the age of 17 is welcome to be a volunteer, and due to the increased demand for food needs due to COVID-19, volunteers are definitely needed. Did you know that FIND relies on volunteers to sort and distribute about 2 million pounds of food per month? Learn how to volunteer through their website.

The Coachella Valley History Museum has reopened and needs volunteers to help run its historic site on Miles Avenue! The museum is in need of tour guides, clerical staff, building and grounds support and more. As a volunteer you will help share the history of Indio and the entire Coachella Valley. Sign up to be a volunteer here.

Revivals is coming to Indio this month and they need your help! With their new store opening in the Food 4 Less shopping center, volunteers are needed for administrative support, community health outreach, resale, welcome desk and more! Fill out an application with Revivals here.

The Academy of Musical Performance or  AMP, which is headquartered in downtown Indio on Miles Avenue will be hosting two musical summer day camps for the youth of the Coachella Valley! 
AMP Summer Camp is an intensive contemporary music performance day camp for Coachella Valley youth from 6th—12th grade. For three weeks, musicians create, communicate, and collaborate on original and cover music in bands, culminating in a Final Showcase. AMP Camp 2021 will be located in Palm Desert this year, and runs from July 12 - July 30, with a Final Showcase on Saturday, July 31. Camp days run Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 5.p.m., and accepted students are expected to attend all days of camp. AMP also provides lunch daily. Registration is currently open until May 19 and AMP is accepting audition videos now! Visit ampcv.org/summer-camp for more information. 
preAMP is AMP's group day camp program for kids in 5th grade and younger, introducing them to the joys of playing on an instrument that is easy for anyone to pick up — the ukulele! Kids will have fun learning to play the ukulele and singing together in a group with the guidance of AMP’s enthusiastic music teachers. Open to youth with any level of musical experience, and the camp is $30. Visit ampcv.org/preAMP for more information. 

Desert Recreation District (DRD) is now open! On Thursday, April 15, 2021, DRD opened its doors once again for indoor workouts, classes, camps, and other events in Indio and at its other locations. Due to COVID-19, DRD has made many modifications to ensure public health and adhere to county guidelines. They will continue to monitor information published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Riverside County Department of Public Health, and follow state of California guidelines including orders that are issued by Governor Gavin Newsom. In addition to wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart, DRD will also maintain rigorous disinfecting and enhanced cleaning protocols, ask anyone who is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or who has been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 to stay home, and encouraging frequent hand washing.

As Desert Recreation District keeps the well-being of all staff and guests, volunteers and anyone who uses their facilities as their top priority, they are balancing these health concerns with recognizing that physical exercise and social interaction are also important aspects of the daily lives of Coachella Valley residents. DRD is the largest park and recreation district in California, covering over 1,800 square miles and serving more than 380,000 residents throughout the greater Coachella Valley! 

The Summer 2021 Activity & Program Guides have also been mailed to all residents within the DRD service area, and guests are always welcome to visit  MyRecreationDistrict.com, call 760-347-3484 or pick up a local Activities Guide at any DRD Community Center. Locations include Palm Desert, Thousand Palms, Bermuda Dunes, La Quinta, Indio, Indio Hills, Coachella, Mecca, Thermal, or North Shore.
The Activity & Program guide can also be downloaded at from their website

Now that it is officially pool season, and Pawley Pool is open, sign your kids up for Operation Splash! They will learn swim techniques, water safety and get lots of good physical exercise. First sessions start in June 2021 so sign up through the Desert Recreation District’s website. Applicants may be eligible to receive a scholarship for Operation Splash, a grant funded program offered through Kaiser Permanente’s “Healthy Eating, Active Living” Program. Any child receiving a free and reduced lunch is automatically qualified for the program. Application deadline for Operation Splash is Friday, May 28, 2021.

Pawley Pool also offers lifeguard certification courses through the end of May! If you have any questions, please call 760-347-3484 and ask to speak with someone in the Aquatics Department.

The longest running facility since the 1950’s, Pawley Pool continues to serve generations of families. Open swim is $4 for adults and $3 for children. Children under 3 years of age are free.

Pawley Pool features:

  • Large pool 3,750 sq. ft
  • 2 large 9 foot slides
  • Wading pool for toddlers
  • Splash pad
  • Child frog slide

Pool hours starting June 5, 2021 will be:

9 a.m. - 6:45 p.m. (Youth swim lessons)
7 - 9 p.m. (Lap swim)

9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (Adult class or lesson)
12 - 4 p.m. and 7 - 9 p.m. (Lap swim)

9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (Adult class or lesson)
12 - 4 p.m. (Lap swim)


Pawley Pool is located at 46-350 Jackson Street. For more information, call 760-347-5655 or 760-347-3484.
The City of Indio is the largest and fastest growing city in the Coachella Valley with more than 90,000 residents. Nearly 1.4 million people visit Indio every year to attend its world famous arts, food, and music festivals. With nationally recognized public safety services, exceptional schools, great parks and senior and teen centers, no wonder more than 2,700 new housing units are in construction or being planned throughout the city in addition to new hotels, restaurants and retailers. Indio was the first city incorporated in the Coachella Valley on May 16, 1930, and is governed by an elected City Council that employs a City Manager. The City of Indio embraces its diversity and provides outstanding municipal services to enhance the quality of life for its residents, visitors and business community.
City of Indio |100 Civic Center Drive | (760) 391-4000
information@indio.org | www.indio.org