Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to fill three seats on the Palm Springs City Council, marking the start of the city’s switch to a district-representation system.
The election will be the city’s first to use the district system, in which the city is divided into five districts and residents of each select a council member from that specific area. City Council elections had traditionally be done on an at-large basis, with voters citywide choosing from a slate of candidates to fill available seats.
Tuesday’s election will chose representatives from Districts 1, 2 and 3. The transition to the district system will be completed in November 2020, when elections are held for Districts 4 and 5.
The switch was prompted by the threat of a legal challenge contending the at-large system violated the California Voting Rights Act. The threat has prompted municipalities across the state to move away from the at-large system.
The City Council approved the district maps last year. District 1 represents the northern and northeastern parts of the city, with the districts generally moving numerically southward, with District 5 covering the south and southwestern parts of the city.
Only one incumbent is up for reelection on Tuesday. Councilman/Mayor Pro Tem Geoffrey Kors is looking to represent District 3.
Mayor Rob Moon and Councilman J.R. Roberts — who both also live within the boundaries of District 3 — are not seeking reelection. Moon will be the city’s last elected mayor. The title will henceforth rotate among the council members.
A total of 10 candidates will be running for office Tuesday. The highest vote-getter in each district will win the seat.
In District 1, the candidates are:
— Michael Shogren, a real estate agent;
— Les Young, a retired banker;
— Scott Myer, civil rights attorney; and
— Grace Garner, a lawyer.
Vying for the District 2 seat are:
— Dennis Woods, urban planner and chair of the Palm Springs Planning Commission;
— Peter J. Maietta, interior designer; and
— Adrian Alcantar, a small business owner.
In District 3, the candidates are:
— Alan Phillip Pettit, an entertainer;
— Michael J. Dilger, a gig economy worker; and
— Kors, the incumbent councilman and LGBTQ activist.
Residents must vote at a polling location within their district, city clerk Anthony Mejia said. Mail-in ballots can be dropped off at any polling location or at Palm Springs City Hall, which is hold extended business hours until 8 p.m. Residents still standing in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
The following polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.:
— for District 1, the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center. 480 W. Tramview Road, and Demuth Community Center, 3601 E Mesquite Avenue;
— for District 2: Desert AIDS Project, 1695 N. Sunrise Way, and Palm Springs Fire Department Training Center, 3000 E. Alejo Road; and
— for District 3, the Church of St. Paul of the Desert, 125 W. El Alameda, and Palm Springs Public Library – Learning Room, 300 S. Sunrise Way.
For a complete roster of candidates, or to find out which district you live in, visit VotePalmSprings.com or contact Mejia at 760-323-8206.