Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon attends nearly all-star dedication ceremonies for the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.
“I was getting a little concerned about the number of them, and also some of the people who were getting stars were actually meeting the criteria,” Moon said.
Halting changes came to the Palm Springs Walk of Stars after a city council meeting in May
“Until the group, the selection group cleans up the criteria for that, you won’t see any new stars installed or any new recipients selected,” Palm Springs Councilmember J.R. Roberts said during the meeting.
“There are some concerns from people that it’s gotten to be a “Pay to Play” thing,” Moon said during the meeting. “If you can pay it, write a check for $10,000, you can get a star. And there really needs to be some stringent requirements for this.”
The News Channel 3 I-Team obtained the licensing agreement between the city and the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.
In the $10,000 donation needed for a star is nearly $4,000 for the cost for the actual star.
Other amounts go to ongoing expenses for the organization.
Now, city leaders are meeting to determine just how to improve to process moving forward.
One solution is charging more money, potentially $15,000 per star and a $5,000 premium for prime locations, with extra funds going towards city events.
“We’re coming up with ideas that should be considered by the full council, that’s what an ad hoc committee does,” Moon said.
Both Moon and Roberts said another changes include determine whose names get placed on the streets of Palm Springs, focusing on people excelling in their field of expertise.
“We want it to be something that’s interesting,” Roberts said. “We want this to be names that are familiar to be people, and that the honor is really an honor, and something special.”
Palm Springs Walk of Stars President Bob Alexander said five-star dedications have taken place since the May meeting.
The next star dedication is expected to take place this Saturday, November 18. It’s one of four dedications planned for this season.
Both Moon and Roberts said the moratorium did not apply for stars that were paid and approved in the past.
“The moratoriums were for any new applications,” Roberts said.
Mayor Moon said they also want the council to have more say in where the new stars will go, as Downtown Palm Springs continues to evolve.
KESQ News Channel 3 morning co-anchor Bianca Rae was awarded a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in June. She received the 416th star as recognition of her charity work and work on television. CBS Local 2 Chief Meteorologist Patrick Evans was honored in 2014 with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars for work at CBS Local 2 and his humanitarian efforts. Evans’ and Rae’s stars were awarded before the moratorium on new stars was put into place.
Moon and Roberts are expected to present the ideas at a Palm Springs City Council meeting in December.