Community Wants Say in Measure J Millions
Voters said yes to Measure J in November. 43 million dollars goes to the Desert Fashion Plaza project, but its up to a seven-member panel where the rest of the millions raised every year goes. Video by kmir6.comvideo
Taxpayer dollars are helping to create a new downtown Palm Springs.
And a large group of people want to help decide where the money from Measure J goes.
Voters said yes to Measure J in November.
43 million dollars goes to the Desert Fashion Plaza project, but its up to a seven-member panel where the rest of the millions raised every year goes.
There was an overwhelming response for one of the seven coveted seats on the measure j oversight commission.
Over 100 applied, city council narrowed it down to 45, but the mayor is having trouble getting that number lower.
"He is finding it difficult to narrow that list down even further for interviews, so I believe the city council on Wednesday's meeting will discuss an alternative process where they can interview all 45 names on their priority list," said Palm Springs city clerk, James Thompson.
Crystal Fantasy storeowner, Joy Meredith, is one of the names on that list.
"I think it's a good idea that they are adding more people to the list, because really so many people applied, and they really care about it, so I think they deserve to have their time as well," said Meredith.
The demolition of the Desert Fashion Plaza began in January.
"We've been watching it come down for the last week, from the beginning until now, and now as you see, there's nothing left," said Palm Springs resident, Patti Kirk.
Now just rubble remains, and in two months it will become a new temporary park.
"I think that's a great improvement, especially for this particular intersection," said Kirk.
The city says this is the first phase of the project.
"We expect something to be up, it should be summer of 2013, so its very exciting, we're looking forward to what that space will become and its the beginning of a new revitalized downtown Palm Springs," said Palm Springs communications directorr, Amy Blaisdell.
The fate of the rest of the millions raised by Measure J will be decided by the 7-member commission once they are chosen.
The Measure J Oversight Commission interviews were going to be next Wednesday, but now they will be rescheduled to allow for all the extra candidates.