The flags flew half-staff at Cathedral City City Hall, Mayor Greg Pettis, dies at age 63, he was one of the longest elected officials in the Coachella Valley.
The loss of Mayor Pettis is truly being felt through the entire Coachella Valley and not just the city he served for more than two decades.
Councilmember Mark Carnivale was one of Pettis closest colleagues, he remembers the loss of a friend.
“What a loss just occurred at Cathedral City,” Carnivale said. “His thinking was from his heart, whether it was sanctuary cities, was it plastic straws, or a nude bike race he was always in the forefront of ideas in Cathedral City.”
His experience of more than 20 years as an elected official is what many of his colleagues said they will miss.
Lisa Middleton, Palm Springs Councilmember worked closely with Pettis on a few projects.
Middleton said, “I would come up with a new idea and Greg would tell me how old my idea was in fact, and that it had been done this many years ago.”
Pettis also made Cathedral City history by becoming the first openly gay mayor.
Middleton said, “Greg was involved in the first pride event that took place in the Coachella Valley.”
Mayor Pettis shared with us his advocacy for the LGBTQ community who served in the military back in 2018 while speaking about the Desert Memorial Park’s LGBTQ Veterans Memorial in Cathedral City.
Pettis said, “We’re still hopeful President Trump lets go of the issue of continuing to ban transgender individuals.”
However, colleagues said he had many passions such as projects related to transportation. The La Quinta City Councilmember Kathleen Fitzpatrick served in committees with Pettis.
Fitzpatrick said, “It’s a tremendous loss, we’re still feeling it I don’t think we know the impact of what he left undone.”
The County Supervisor for the Coachella Valley, Manuel Perez said through a statement, “I considered Gren not only a colleague but also a friend and an ally in the struggle for social justice and civil rights.
Congressman Raul Ruiz also shared a few words for Pettis.
Ruiz said, “A true public servant who will be missed but he will also be remembered.”.
The communications manager for Cathedral City said the family will hold a private ceremony for Mayor Greg Pettis. Soon the city will host a celebration of life for Pettis where anyone will be welcomed to join, details will be released soon.