BUILD IT HERE!
On April 6th, at 3:30pm the College of the Desert Board of Trustees will be presented with alternative locations to what was going to be the Roadrunner Motors Technology Training Facility in Cathedral City.
I am asking for your help in ensuring that this site decision is driven by what is best for our students and not by the aspirations of just a few.
So, the question is: Why is the College of the Desert considering moving the facility from Cathedral City to another location?
It is not sincerely because the economy has caused price increases. The Indio campus under construction; had an original projected build cost of $30 million and is now expected to be $67.5 million, a 125% cost increase. And the administration doesn’t bat an eye.
It is not because we are undeserving. Palm Springs Unified School District, where most of the students will come from, are 90% minority. 97% of the children receive free or reduced-fee lunches which are up 14% from just 5 years ago. Our children would genuinely benefit from this educational opportunity.
It is not because we lack support for the Cathedral City location. The auto center has already committed to developing a job pipeline here. The land that had already been purchased, in Cathedral City, is within the largest concentration of automobile dealerships, repair shops, parts stores, body shops, and car rental agencies in Coachella Valley. The industry is short of a workforce trained in the latest automotive design and propulsion. They too are asking for your help.
And it is not because we are wanting more than our fair share of the $557 million-dollar bond we voted for in 2016, and that we will all continue paying for it until 2046. The cost of Roadrunner Motors Technology Center will take but 5% of that total bond amount, while we represent 12% of the total residents in the valley.
As an elected Councilmember I build trust by following through with my commitments. COD asked voters to support bond measures to renovate and build new college campus buildings. The ballot campaign literature specifically identified the building of an automotive training facility in Cathedral City. Just as I must keep my promises to build your trust, so must they.
I have the responsibility to review all materials provided to me on inboard packages before each meeting, and to ask questions and study issues if there is something I am not sure of. These documents are a crucial part of my governing and they allow me to make informed decisions when it is time to vote. Failure to review documents, resulting in a lack of knowledge of an issue, cannot be the reason to change decisions.
As an elected official, I have the responsibility to listen to residents and to take into consideration their opinions in reaching a decision. This is also true of the COD Board of Trustees.
I am respectfully asking you, our citizens and leaders, to make your opinion about the future location of the automotive training facility known at the next meeting of the COD board of trustees on April 6th either by Zoom in real-time or by writing ahead of time.
Build it here, in Cathedral City. Hold the Board of Trustees to their promises.
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