Palm Springs City Manager David Ready reflects on 20 years of service ahead of retirement

Palm Springs City Manager David Ready reflects on 20 years of service ahead of retirement

Olivia Sandusky

David Ready has served as Palm Springs city manager for just over 20 years.

He plans to retire at the end of the year.

Prior to working in Palm Springs, Ready worked in Flint, Michigan, but says he’s proud to finish his career in the Coachella Valley.

He says he’s enjoyed watching downtown Palm Springs become a tourism hub throughout his time with the city. 

“The old downtown mall, at the time, had been vacant for sometime and the convention center needed expanding. The airport was a beautiful airport, but it desperately needed more air service. It was a full range of challenges that we needed to sink our teeth into, and it’s been an amazing opportunity,” said Ready as he reflected on his career. 

The city manager position also serves as the city’s chief executive officer, and he says, after working with five mayoral administrations, and through an FBI raid, his focus has always been on economic expansion.

“Our general fund was about $30 million when I arrived. It’s about $140 million now, so that shows you the large amount of more services we’re able to provide for police, fire, streets and parks,” said Ready. 

The decision to retire was not an easy one, especially in the midst of a pandemic, but Ready says he’s excited for the future.

“It’s going to be a little difficult imagining not being the city manager of Palm Springs after all this time. I love government, I always have. Whether I continue in the academic universe, or government, or a combination, it’s been my life for a long time and I enjoy it,” said Ready.

Ready has a little over a month left at his current position, and says he’s contributed as much as he can.

But, he knows there is still a lot to accomplish. 

“There’s more you can do on every project. There’s more streets you can pave, more parks you can build. The question for me has always been how do you create public value, and what do you have to bring into existence to create that value?” said Ready.

Ready also says, despite the challenges that come with the position, there are several things that he will miss.  

“Just working with a great group of people and getting things done, I will miss that,” said Ready. 

Ready says the new city manager will most likely take over by the end of January.

It is unknown who that person will be at this time.

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