GCVCC staff recently spoke with La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans about commercial development, the global rise of the city brand, and where La Quinta is heading next. Mayor Evans was elected Mayor in 2014, and is currently in her third term as Mayor. Prior to Mayor, Linda served as a La Quinta City Council Member since June 2009.
Most people who run for City Council have a deep connection to their community as a motivation. Tell us what you love about La Quinta?
La Quinta is a unique combination of quaint historic charm and progressive thinking. It’s a beautiful city that has a vibrant energy that draws visitors from all over the world. What I love most about La Quinta is the PEOPLE. I’m continually fascinated and impressed with the depth of people, their experiences and diversities, and how they came to choose LQ as their home.
One of the challenging parts of governing is trying to represent everyone, and as Mayor it can be even more challenging as you often represent your Council publicly as well. You have been doing this for a while, how do you find that balance?
Serving the community, and representing them in a positive, informative, and forward-thinking mode is always my priority. We are elected by the people, and we need to ensure our decisions reflect the good of the community. As Mayor, I represent the Council on items that have been discussed or decided as a group in Public Meeting forum. Each Council Member has an equal vote and an equal opinion. My voice as Mayor is to inform, educate and promote the best of La Quinta to everyone. I keep the balance simple – the people of our city come first.
La Quinta has several commercial projects either in construction or planned as we begin 2019. What do you see as positive business growth trends in La Quinta? Are there areas you would like to see improve?
Business growth ebbs and flows, and the financing and timing of projects is ever-changing. Positive growth is reflected in the new hotels in development, new homes being built, and proposals being presented to the Counsel that include retail and experiences for all ages. The Highway 111 “Vision” corridor project, combined with the future CV Link, is an area I’m very excited to see progress in the near future.
La Quinta has seen its global profile rise significantly over the last decade, with its own premiere events as well as its adjacency to other major events. Tell us about managing the La Quinta brand? What should visitors and potential residents know about this city?
La Quinta is welcoming to ALL! We appreciate the balance of long-time residents, young families, snowbirds, and visitors who help shape the brand we call La Quinta. We will always be the Gem of the Desert, however, we have elevated beyond our valley and are attracting people internationally because of the events around us and our beautiful topography. Our brand encompasses a home-like, family feeling combined with classic style and vibrant energy.
What are your major goals as Mayor for 2019?
Continued engagement and participation of our residents is what has proven successful for me as Mayor. I love the interaction – both positive and “needs improvement”. The people are the core. As for projects, major goals include the progression of SilverRock with the Montage and Pendry hotels, Village Make for the Old Town/Village area, flood control/storm drain enhancements, and progress with CV Link and the Highway 111 “Vision” project.