Gay Desert Hot Springs

Members Of The Desert Hot Springs LGBTQ Community Should Consider Applying For City Commissions and Running For Political Office – Start Preparing for the 2024 Election Season Now. The More Positions We Fill, The Better For Our Community. There Are Enough Of Us To Decide Elections In DHS If We Stand Together, Run and Vote.

Posted on November 14, 2022

Thankfully, we have LGBTQ representation throughout our City Government. There are LGBTQ City employees at all levels, including in senior roles. We have one LGBTQ member of our City Council. We have two LGBTQ members on the Planning Commission, and we have at least one LGBTQ Director on the Mission Springs Water District. But we need to do better. Much better, given the size of our population here in DHS.

All members of the Desert Hot Springs LGBTQ community should seriously consider running for as many elected and appointed positions as possible.

From the City’s Website: Desert Hot Springs has five elected positions in its government. In 2024, the Mayor’s position will be up for election, as will two City Council positions, in districts 2 and 4.

Municipal Elections

The City of Desert Hot Springs consolidates with the Riverside County Registrar of Voters for all municipal elections. Elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years (every two years). The City Clerk serves as the local elections official.

The City of Desert Hot Springs has five elected officials including the Mayor and four (4) members of the City Council. Commencing in 2020, the directly elected Mayor shall serve a four-year term with a term limit of two terms pursuant to Measure “V” passed by the voters in November 2018. Members of the City Council are elected for a four-year term.

Qualifications for Office

A person who holds office as Council Member or Mayor must be at the time of assuming such office an elector of the City of Desert Hot Springs (City), and must have been a registered voter of the City at the time nomination papers were issued. (CA Government Code §§ 34882, 34904, 36502).

Additionally, City Councilmember candidate(s) must reside in the jurisdictional boundaries of their respective district for no fewer than thirty (30) days prior to filing nomination papers, and for the duration of their term. Proof of residency in document form must be provided to the City Clerk upon filing nomination papers. (Ordinance 760)

RUN FOR DHS CITY COUNCIL

In 2024, the following three City positions will be open for election: 

Mayor (We expect Mayor Matas to run again and we will support and campaign for him if he does).

Council District 2, currently held by two Council members, Russell Betts and Roger Nunez.

Council District 4, currently unfilled

Gary Gardner just won re-election in District 1

Jan Pye just won re-election in District 3

Here’s a link to a map of the City’s Districts:

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APPLY TO BECOME A COMMISSIONER ON THE DESERT HOT SPRINGS PLANNING COMMISSION OR THE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSION 

Serving on a commission is a rewarding way to get involved in and serve your community! Submit Applications NOW and whenever a vacancy opens.

Appointments

The Mayor and each City Councilmember appoints one member to each commission, subject to ratification by a majority of the City Council. Appointments are made at the first regular City Council meeting in January following each regular election year. (Elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years (every two years)). Each member of a City commission is appointed for a two-year term commencing at the February meeting of the year of appointment.

Compensation

Each member of a City Commission shall receive compensation in the amount of $100.00 per meeting (DHSMC 2.40).

Vacancies

If vacancies in any commission occur other than by expiration of term, such vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the Mayor or Councilmember who had appointed the member whose office has been vacated subject to ratification by a majority of the City Council.

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meetings:

Regular Meetings of the Planning Commission are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 P.M. at City Hall/Council Chamber located at 11-999 Palm Drive.

About:

The Planning Commission consists of five (5) members, appointed by one member of the City Council, and ratified by a majority vote of the City Council. Members are appointed for two-year terms. Appointments are made at the first regular City Council meeting in January following each regular election year. Vacancies are filled by appointment for the unexpired term of the member replaced. (Desert Hot Springs Municipal Code Chapter 2.24) 

The City’s success is linked to its ability to plan for the future. As such, the Planning Commission plays a vital role. The Commission’s responsibilities include:

  • Ongoing evaluation of the City’s building codes and ordinances;
  • Continual update of the City’s General Plan;
  • General oversight of zoning review and variances.
Staff Liaison:  Erick Becerril, Community Development Director 
Email:  ebecerril@cityofdhs.org
Phone:  (760) 329-6411 

If you would like to be considered for an appointment to the Planning Commission, please submit a Commission Application.

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSION

Meetings:

Regular Meetings of the Public Safety Commission are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:00 P.M. at City Hall/Council Chamber located at 11-999 Palm Drive. 

About:

The Public Safety Commission consists of five (5) members, appointed by one member of the City Council, and ratified by a majority vote of the City Council. Members are appointed for two-year terms. Appointments are made at the first regular City Council meeting in January following each regular election year. Vacancies are filled by appointment for the unexpired term of the member replaced. (Desert Hot Springs Municipal Code Chapter 2.24) 

Providing citizens with public safety is one of the most important services a city can offer. The Desert Hot Springs Police Department is charged with ensuring the city is safe, drug free, crime free and gang free. The Public Safety Commission is an ongoing public forum that ensures the public is involved in the process. Commission members serve as liaison between the community leaders, citizens and the Desert Hot Springs Police Department; and review budgets and proposal for greater efficiency and effectiveness in the area of public safety.

Staff Liaison:  Steven Shaw, Deputy Chief of Police 
Email:  sshaw@dhspd.com 
Phone:  (760) 329-6411 Ext. 315

If you would like to be considered for an appointment to the PSC, please submit a Commission Application.

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RUN FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS, MISSION SPRINGS WATER DISTRICT

MSWD is governed by a five-member Board of Directors. Directors are elected concurrently with the general elections every even-numbered year. Director’s terms are four years. The election of directors alternates between three seats and two seats, respectively, every two years.

All Directors are appointed to serve on two of five Board committees (finance, engineering, public affairs, human relations and executive committee). Members also serve as liaisons to other governmental, community, regional and national boards, associations and organizations.

Please see the MSWD board Handbook (adopted January 2020), information on the Board of Directors Reorganization, and the FPPC form 806 – Agency Report of Public Official Appointments.

In 2024, there will be vacancies for MSWD Directors in Districts 2, 3 and 4.  

Board Meeting Information

The Board of Directors meets on the third Monday of each month and the Thursday prior to that Monday for a study session. Meetings begin at 3 pm. Workshops are scheduled as needed. Meetings and Study Sessions are held at the District Administration Building, 66575 Second Street, Desert Hot Springs. For easier access, please use the First Street entrance and parking lot.

Election Process

What division do you live in? Check out our current division maps using our interactive map tool here, or view a PDF of the division map here.

On June 24, 2020, MSWD adopted Ordinance No. 2020-2, establishing the election of members of the Board of Directors by five divisions, establishing the boundaries and identification number of each division, and establishing the election order of each division. The Adoption of the Ordinance was the final step in the transition to by-division elections as per the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) process. Map option 2 with five divisions was approved by the MSWD Board of Directors and the County Registrar of Voters.

Division 1: Nancy Wright, Term Expires 2022

Division 2: Robert Griffith, Term Expires 2024

Division 3: Russ Martin, Term Expires 2024

Division 4: Ivan Sewell, Term Expires 2024

Division 5: Steve Grasha, Term Expires 2022

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If you would like to be considered for an appointment to the Planning Commission, please submit a Commission Application.

If you would like to be considered for an appointment to the Public Safety Commission, please submit a Commission Application.

Submit Commission Applications NOW and then again whenever vacancies occur. We strongly suggest that you type your applications, and include as much narrative as possible. Don’t give one-word answers. Put some effort into your applications. Then, whether you are applying to a Commission or running for office, make yourself known. Well known. Attend as many City events as possible. Attend City Council and Commission meetings. Volunteer for City initiatives. Attend DiversityDHS and Men Of Desert Hot Springs Meetup events as much as possible so that members of the LGBTQ community become aware of you and can meet you. Join local service clubs such as Rotary, or the Women’s Club.