By Aurora Saldivar, COACHELLA UNINCORPORATED
Mayor Eduardo Garcia seems to be putting his youth and vitality to work in sparking some new life back into the city of Coachella. Before the June 22 City Council meeting, the mayor took the time to share his enthusiasm for the new direction Coachella seems to be moving in to Coachella Unincorporated.
A priority will be working to develop the undeveloped areas of Coachella to bring the city to its full and vibrant potential, he said.
“I don’t see any other cities bragging about having a balanced budget,” he added, boasting about the city’s annual budget. This fantastic feat allows for Coachella to engage in some innovative projects, he said. Among the projects will be street and park renovations, along with extending water and sewer lines.
There certainly seems to be some rapid movement occurring in the city. Coachella will also soon welcome a Farmer’s Market into the community. This market will create a venue for local farmers to sell their produce and also allow those on food stamps to receive twice the amount than at your average grocery store, Garcia said.
This is a trendy and innovative endeavor that has already been going on in the cities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert and La Quinta. With all these new developments you might very well ask whether there is the risk of overly developing Coachella, detracting from the city’s cultural identity. Garcia said the key is to just “be honest and be proud of who you are.”
Although the Mayor cites Palm Desert as a model city, he acknowledges that they won’t turn the city into a copy of shopping centers like El Paseo—instead he hopes the end result would resemble Old Town Indio on Miles Street.
Coachella, to residents, is a city that has soaked up the best characteristics of the Hispanic culture with an emphasis on family and community involvement. All new business allowed into the city will be a direct reflection of the needs of Coachella residents as well as maintaining the overall “Pueblo Viejo” style. Garcia makes protecting the cultural identity of the city a priority. He articulates his vision and hopes that these new projects will bring attention to the city of Coachella to those across the Valley.
Despite the negative view of Coachella often expressed in the media focusing on crime and vandalism, the city’s mood is currently one of hope; the hope that the hard work and planning of residents will lead the city to flourish both culturally and economically. Garcia hopes that these new city projects will speak for themselves showing that the city has more to offer than a negative headline splashed across the front page.
Garcia seems sure that the integrity of these new projects will lead to a change in perspective and insists that Coachella’s “resources will go towards soccer fields, not a branding campaign.”
At any rate, it seems that Coachella residents should be ready to witness some pretty exciting new changes to their beloved city.