City Manager's Message - April 2018
Dear Indio Neighbors and Visitors,
It is music festival season again in Indio. For me, as the new City Manager, this will be my first time to experience them. Considering that our community welcomes in excess of 100,000 visitors to our community for each weekend of the festivals, it is a major undertaking. I have done my best to familiarize myself with the festival operations and to listen to the hopes and concerns of our local citizenry. In many meaningful ways, these festivals “put us on the map” and they create an important income stream for the City, for our hospitality industries, and for those who work the events in many capacities.
At the same time, this is still home to the 88,000 citizens who live here. As a result, it is the City’s desire to do everything possible to achieve a reasonable balance in how we handle these major events. I have been briefed by all those who manage these events. It is a monumental undertaking involving staffs of thousands. I have been very impressed by the extent of their organization -- involving logistics, communications, technology, ticketing, camping, traffic management, sound attenuation -- and especially security. There are representatives actively engaged from more than a dozen local, state and federal law enforcement organizations, and the event employs many hundreds of police and security personnel.
The musical and art experience is, of course, world class. Perhaps the very best! We are proud to host these great events. And we will do our best to be responsive to our citizenry who put up with sometimes significant inconvenience during the 3 weekends. We have designated our great staff member and teammate Jim Curtis to be liaison for community contact. Jim, who not incidentally was selected by his peers as City Employee of the Year recently, can be reached at (760) 559-1581 if you have questions or concerns. Jim monitors the City resident hotline, which is (760) 391-4112, during the event. The number is listed on the resident access passes issued in advance to all of the HOAs in the area of the activities. We fully appreciate that it is impossible to handle crowds of this size without impacts, but we are making every effort to be as responsive and effective as possible in addressing resident concerns.
I do look forward to experiencing these events myself for the first time. I am proud to say that the top 3 ranking members of our Police Department, the Chief and two Assistant Chiefs have each chosen to buy homes in the immediate neighborhood of these festivals. They are doing their best to walk the talk. We are all proud to serve Indio, and we have all been drawn here by the quality of life and the active living opportunities. As City Manager, I know that these festivals enhance our reputation, increase commerce and support our budget. We will give you our best effort in managing the impacts as well. Indio is home to our residents, and we are proud of that.