Volume 34 | January 2020
Mayor Pro Tem
All of us at City Hall wish a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to you and your families! We truly believe this is going to be a great year for our community. We have momentum and opportunity that we have never had before. We have a deserving population, and Indio has authenticity and character. I like our prospects and continue to feel very blessed to have this job at this time in Indio's evolution. We know you have choices -- where to live, where to conduct your business, and whether or not to express your community pride. Speaking on behalf of the entire City organization, our goal in 2020 is that you will feel rewarded for making Indio your choice. Thank you.

Everyone likes to make New Year’s Resolutions. I’m resolving to learn some Spanish this year. That’s achievable and I plan to do it!

But the New Year tradition I love is the predictions! So I’m going to step out of my cautious character a moment and offer my clear-eyed 2020 predictions. (Get it? Clear-eyed? 20/20? Oh well...)

I predict...

1) The teachers and students in our public schools will earn awards and recognitions for extraordinary achievement.
2) We will break ground on new Police & Fire facilities that will finally provide our very highly regarded Public Safety personnel with working conditions that befit their professionalism.
3) Indio will be recognized (again) in national polls as among the best places to raise a family.
4) The City Council will once again fund in excess of $4 million for repair and rehabilitation of our local streets -- meeting a standard that even better funded cities struggle to meet. (Thank you Measure X!)
5) A groundswell of new retailers, restaurants and at least one movie theater will announce new Indio locations. Our great car dealers will continue to lead the way on sales tax. (Buy local!)
6) Our 2020 municipal election will be spirited, but will demonstrate high passion among citizens who selflessly offer us their leadership skills. 
7) In 2020, we will see development and business activity in Downtown Indio that will surprise and delight! We will start to see the vision of a renewed Downtown that is "a true gathering place owned by the entire community".
8) Many tens of thousands of Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festival celebrants will snap photos of themselves standing in front of Indio signs and landmarks -- and will do social media postings proclaiming Indio as the place to be in April.
9) The 2020 Tamale Festival will be a huge success and someone at City Hall will proclaim that it attracted "more than 100,000 people" -- even though, truth be known -- we really do not know!
10) Indio residents will prove to be the friendliest, most welcoming in all of the Coachella Valley -- warmly tolerating the constant influx of seasonal and special event visitors, meanwhile creating an environment where young people can grow and succeed, and exhibiting neighborliness that makes Indio the great community it is.

So... maybe not the riskiest list of predictions ever, but this does reflect my attitude about the town my wife and I made our home in 2019. Some of you know that I started my City Manager career many years ago in the City of Beverly Hills. I remember standing at an event in front of Beverly Hills City Hall, listening to legendary actor Jimmy Stewart ("It's a Wonderful Life") pay tribute to the City employees who had made Beverly Hills such a warm, memorable place for his family to live. Mr. Stewart passed away a year later. Our residents deserve no less! I can assure you that the employees and officials of the City of Indio want the same great memories for our residents in Indio. We are in the "memory-making business." May all of your 2020 memories be reflective of the wonderful life you deserve!  

Mark Scott
Indio Swears In New Mayor

For the third time since taking office, on December 4, 2019, Glenn Miller was handed the mayoral gavel in Indio. Lupe Ramos Amith now rotates into a Councilmember position. Mayor Miller was first elected to City Council in 2008, and now also represents District 1.

"It is my greatest honor to represent Indio and serve on its Council," said Mayor Miller. "It is a privilege to serve our residents as a whole, and I look forward to what we will achieve in the months to come."

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for January 15, 2020.
Arbor Day 2019 A Success

Dozens of people gathered at North Jackson Park on December 14, 2019 to recognize the 13th Annual Arbor Day in Indio. Indio is the only Tree City USA Community in the Coachella Valley, a testament to its commitment to sustainability and community beautification.

Volunteers and donations from local businesses and nonprofits such as West Coast Arborists, El Sol Health & Wellness, Kelsey's Heroes and the Woman's Club of Indio allowed the city to plant more than two dozen trees, which included Cork Oaks and Afghan Pines. The chosen trees are fairly drought tolerant, and the location of each tree was both significant to the donor and highlighted each tree's unique attributes. For example, Indio based Kelsey's heroes helped plant one tree which will provide shade and beauty to a nearby playground. The group's goal is to make play equipment and organized sports accessible to all children, regardless of physical ability.

Wanting to get involved in here community, College of the Desert student, Tessa Jenee, found her passion and shared it during the event. In honor of Indio's Arbor Day Celebration, she read a poem about trees that she had written. This may be the start of a new Arbor Day tradition Indio!
East Indio Hills Trail Head Improvements

Indio Water Authority (IWA) is pleased to commence the construction of fencing, parking, access and safety improvements for the trailhead at the end of Golf Center Parkway and 42nd Avenue by the Coachella Valley Canal. The trail has not been officially opened to the public by any entity. Currently, the public is accessing the trail by walking alongside the canal, which is not safe. The improvements are made possible through collaboration and funding by the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy and City of Indio/the Indio Water Authority.
To ensure the safety of the public and accommodate heavy equipment for the project, the trailhead will remain officially closed from January 6 through February 17, 2020. Please note that street parking is not allowed in the area. 
Once improvements are complete, a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place and the trailhead will officially open and the public will be invited to enjoy the East Indio Hill Trails (aka East Indio Hills Badlands). The approximately 5-mile trail was completed by the Friends of the Desert Mountains as part of a trails network in the Northern Coachella Valley. 
Please contact the IWA Project Manager, Mario Camacho at (760) 625-1786 or  mcamacho@indio.org  if you have questions or concerns regarding this project.

Please join distinguished guest speakers, district officials and others in the community for the Grand Opening Celebration of the Eisenhower Community Education Center, Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 5 to 7 p.m. 

ECEC offers classes for adult learners in our community including English as a Second Language and Citizenship. Students can also work to earn their high school diplomas and high school equivalency exams. The location at 83391 Dillon Ave. also offers onsite childcare for toddlers of ECEC students.  

Free prizes, refreshments and program information will be provided to those who attend the Open House and Celebration on the 16th. For more information, call (760) 775-3810.
Sun City Shadow Hills Volunteer and Resource Fair

Sun City Shadow Hills and the Riverside County Office on Aging are hosting a Volunteer and Resource Fair on Friday, January 17, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sun City Shadow Hills Montecito Clubhouse located at 80814 Sun City Blvd. Agencies will showcase their volunteer programs, advocacy and internship opportunities during the fair. Those who are interested can find service opportunities that match their interest, skills and experience. The following volunteer categories/interests will be represented:
Animal services
Hospital services
Senior and community center schools.
Citizens on Patrol
Sheriff Department 
Disaster services
Environmental stewardship
And many more!
For a volunteer application, please visit the Riverside County Office on Aging  here  or call 760-771-0501.
Suit Drive and Giveaway at IPAC

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia held his first ever Suit Drive and Giveaway event on December 18, 2019 at the Indio Performing Arts Center in Downtown Indio. Desert Best Friend’s Closet and Desert Theatreworks also helped 30 local young men be professionally measured, suited and accessorized with gently used and new donated attire. These young men now look the part to pursue their promising careers.

Desert Best Friend’s Closet is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers clients for success in employment and life. Their vision is for all Coachella Valley residents to be economically self-sufficient through employment. The Interview Attire Program is one of their many services. In collaboration with other agencies in the Coachella Valley, they are able to provide interview-appropriate attire at no cost to individuals seeking employment who do not have the means to buy such attire themselves.
Indio International Tamale Festival Wraps Up
28th Successful Year

Tens of thousands of people took over 10 square blocks of Downtown Indio December 7-8, 2019 to celebrate the City’s cultural heritage and fill their bellies and bags with some of the best tamales in the world. Some of Indio’s own institutions also made their hometown proud, obtaining hardware in the Best Tamale category.
Casa de Silvia’s “Pork with Red Sauce” won Overall Best Tamale. The same tamale from Casa de Silvia’s also won 1st in the Commercial Traditional category. 2nd Place Commercial Traditional Tamale went to Nana Chuy’s Handmade Tamales for their “Pork & Beef Combination.” 

The 29th Annual International Tamale Festival will take place December 5th and 6th, 2020.
Palm Springs Kennel Club
Dog Show

Now through January 5, 2020, the Palm Springs Kennel Club invites the public to the Empire Polo Club for one of the most prestigious dog shows in the country. The Palm Springs Kennel Club Dog Show is the largest show on the West Coast, and admission to the ALL BREED shows are free on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, individual breed specialty and group shows are held, including Terrier Dogs, Sporting dogs and Obedience and Rally competitions.

Parking costs $10 per day, and valet parking is available for $30 daily. The shows start at 8 a.m. and run until approximately 7 p.m., culminating in a "Best In Show" on Saturday. Another competition starts all over again on Sunday with different judges sniffing out the best of nearly 7,000 entries.

Please leave family pets at home. "Visitors will have a good time, be educated about pure bred dogs and meet and greet them," added Show Chair Gloria Toussaint.

The PSKC Dog Show is held at Empire Equestrian Park and Polo at 81800 Avenue 51. For more information, go to  kennelclubpalmsprings.org.
Roasted Root Veggies for Your Winter Time Side Dishes

Dense root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and parsnips benefit from roasting. They sweeten as they cook, making for healthy comfort food during cold winter months. 

Follow these general steps for any hard vegetables: 
Start by cutting them into uniform pieces, so they’ll roast and brown evenly. (Otherwise, you can end up with either burnt or under cooked pieces.) Next, toss the vegetables in a healthy cooking oil like olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt, which helps to bring out their sweetness. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Then spread the vegetables evenly so that all pieces will brown at the same rate. Roast in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 45 minutes or until tender. The high temperature is key to bringing out the sweet flavor – plus it gets dinner on the table faster. 

Serve roasted veggies as a side dish instead of pasta or white rice with your favorite protein like chicken, or blend with broth for this fast and rich tasting soup to take the chill off a cold evening. 
Indio Senior Center Teams Up with
Quilts of Valor

Longtime City of Indio Treasurer Sharon Ellis, who is now retired, read about the Quilts of Valor program in the Indio Senior Center newsletter and submitted her husband Lee’s name in October 2019. Quilts of Valor (QOV) are handmade by local residents to give to those who have been in the service. Lee actually wrote the City of Indio newsletter for many years, but most importantly, Lee served his country in WWII, enlisting in the U.S. Navy the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Because of his advanced age of 95, QOV expedited Sharon’s request, and in an unusually rapid fashion, two local women, Marilyn Placek and Terry Rounds, were able to complete the quilt and deliver it to Lee early this month. Sharon said Lee was so honored to receive the quilt.

"It really was a joy to him. He wanted to show it to all of his visitors," said Sharon. Just days afterward, Lee got sick, and is now in hospice. "He got it just in time."

"We know there were so many people on the waiting list for a quilt," said Sharon. "We were very thankful he was able to enjoy it."

Click here to request a Quilt of Valor. To learn more about the Indio Senior Center's Quilting Bees, click here
Energy Efficiency Programs for
Indio Residents

Homeowners in parts of Indio, Coachella and the unincorporated communities of Carver Tract, Mecca and North Shore can qualify for free energy efficiency retrofits aimed at reducing their energy costs and improving air quality. Applications for the Coachella Valley Residential Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program are being accepted. To apply, call the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Air Resources Hotline at 909-396-2390. The program is funded with a nearly $1 million funding award from the SCAQMD. This one-time program will help retrofit approximately 350 homes.

Imperial Irrigation District (IID) also offers several income-qualified assistance programs designed to help our customers meet their energy needs.
  • Residential Energy Assistance Program offers income-qualified customers a discount on their electric billing rate (senior citizens 62 or over receive 30 percent)
  • Emergency Energy Assistance Program provides financial assistance to customers facing a financial crisis and disconnection for nonpayment (must be a participant in REAP to qualify)
  • Medical Equipment Assistance Program is an assistance program that reduces the electrical rate for a defined quantity of electricity used to operate medical equipment by a household that has a full-time resident who requires specific medically necessary electric equipment to sustain life or prevent deterioration of a person's medical condition.
More information on either IID energy program an be found here .
Indio Wins Two Beacon Awards for Environmental Efforts

The City of Indio was awarded two Beacon Spotlight Awards by the Institute for Local Government. The Beacon Awards Program recognizing California cities and counties that are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt policies and programs that promote sustainability. 
The City received a silver spotlight award for agency energy saving and a platinum spotlight award for a 26 percent reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions. The notable emissions reduction can be attributed to several factors, including City facility upgrades, residential and commercial actions and the movement toward a decarbonized grid. 
Indio is thriving. The population is expected to increase and businesses continue to be attracted to the city. The General Plan Update was recently adopted and it includes a vision for sustainable growth. However, it will take all of us to continue to make meaningful and sustained reductions in our community greenhouse gas emissions. We are a community nearing 90,000 people and any small efforts multiplied by that many people create big results. Indio plans use data from 2020 to do the next greenhouse gas inventory.  
Desert Theatreworks Presents N eil Simon's Rumors at IPAC

Hilarity abounds as guests arrive at the Deputy Mayor and his wife's New York City townhouse to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. The party never quite begins as the host has shot himself in the head (it's only a flesh wound), and his wife is missing!

Desert Theatreworks presents "Neil Simon’s Rumors! He said, she said… But he’s dead!" at the Indio Performing Arts Center Feb. 7 – March 1, 2020.

Buy tickets to one these "PG-13" rated performances online at dtworks.org or by calling the box office at (760) 980-1455. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Prices range from $32 for general admission to $30 for seniors and members of the military. The IPAC is located at 45175 Fargo Street.
Community Emergency Response Team Training
March 2020

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area, and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members are also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

The City of Indio conducts the basic 20 hour CERT training program over a three day period. All three classes must be taken in order to meet the minimum 20 hour training requirement. The program is free to attend.  

Those interested in taking Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training in the City of Indio should e-mail:  indiocert@indio.org  or phone 760-541-4459 for further information about upcoming classes which will take place on March 6-8, 2020 at the Indio Emergency Operations Center.
Happy New Year from The Lights at Indio Golf Course

Happy New Year! From all of us at The Lights and Landmark Golf, we wish you an enjoyable New Year.
Along with a challenging golf course to enjoy your next round of golf, we also have FootGolf, which has grown in popularity with both kids and adults. In less than two hours you can enjoy 18 holes of exciting FootGolf with the whole family.
Afterwards, stop by the golf shop to see our new merchandise and enjoy our daily specials!
Remember there is a secret in town, it's the North Indio Post Office. That's right, located right inside our golf shop, we have a regular post office. So the next time you visit our driving range to hit a bucket of golf balls, you can also mail all of your letters and packages.
Might as well have a hot dog while you're there. The Lights at Indio Golf Course has the best hot dogs in town!
So make The Lights your one stop shop! You can also visit us online at  indiogolf.com .
The City of Indio is the largest and fastest growing city in the Coachella Valley with more than with more than 89,000 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