Indio Mayor Michael Wilson responded to Fermon’s announcement the day after the event. Below is his full statement.
“I am looking forward to an honest and spirited debate with Mr. Fermun during this election season on the issues that impact Indio’s residents daily lives as well as represent the residents of District 2. Mr. Fermun was quoted as saying that Indio is stale, that Indio has plateaued, and the City Council has become out of touch with the residents. Obviously, Mr. Fermun is out of touch of what’s happening in Indio. A little over a year ago a survey of Indio residents was taken, during the Measure X Campaign, and Indio’s residents responded strongly and gave the City and City Council Leadership a 70% approval rating. Thus, Measure X was passed strongly due to the trust that Indio’s residents have in their City Council and City Staff. Indio’s residents are the strongest indication of an effective City Council Leadership Team. Indio is far from stale and plateaued and actually issues more building permits than all other Coachella Valley Cities combined. Indio’s business community has strongly indicated that Indio is in a renaissance period and the current active projects in Indio indicates that belief. New schools and remodels are being built and underway in Indio including the Indio C.O.D Campus announcing a great expansion doubling the size of the College to 8,000 students and double the square footage. The City of Indio is committed strongly as a partner with our educational community. Simply put, Indio is booming with new economic development projects underway or will be this year. District 2 will see the build out of The Palms Shopping Center (Walmart Center) which will include multiple buildings including a 14 plex new theatre by Maya Cinemas. Hotels are also under construction in District 2 with the Fairfield Inn by Marriott and the Hampton Inn by Hilton will be breaking ground this year. Indio has worked hard to create new jobs and opportunities for our residents and we are seeing the results. To be an effective City Councilmember one must have experience and the ability to work hard at the Local, Regionionsl, and State & Federal levels to bring back results and money to better Indio for its residents. I have done all of that and more. My experience of 21 yrs. on the City Council and my positions on numerous boards and commissions at the Local, Regional, and State levels has Indio positioned very well to succeed and to effectively lead. In today’s reality and the size of Indio requires a Councilmember to be available and responsive. As a retired Fire Chief I have the time and ability to put Indio first and actively participate when needed and required. It is extremely difficult to put Indio first when a candidate works a full time job out of the area, as Mr. Fermun’s job takes him to Calipatria for his shifts as a Correctional Officer weekly. That will make it very tough to be effective and put in the hours required to make Indio a priority. I have a strong record of Public Policy, Economic Development, and Transportation knowledge and success’s for Indio. I look forward to sharing Indio’s strengths, my strong record, and the facts about Indio’s success and future, that I have helped build with my colleagues on the Indio City Council, during this Campaign. Indio is back as a leader in the Valley and in a renaissance that will be the envy of the Valley. Strong effective leadership and a strong work ethic fighting for Indio and its residents is what I bring to the table and will continue to do for Indio. Thank you. ” – Indio Mayor Michael Wilson.
Original Story 1/2/18:
The new year will bring changes to the city of Indio with new district-based elections going into effect. On Tuesday morning, some residents gathered for an announcement at the start of what they hope to be– ‘The Year of Indio.’
“I love my city and I just feel that now it’s my turn to take part and come out and show my support,” said life-long resident La Ray Lopez.
Organizers of The Year of Indio movement said they want to get back to basics and are working to erase the disconnect between city leadership and the constituents. The first order of business in the new year was endorsing Indio native Waymond Fermon for councilmember.
“It truly shows that the community will be behind me and I’m just ecstatic and excited,” he said.
Due to the new district-based election system, Fermon will run for a spot on the council against Mayor Mike Wilson in District 2.
“Mike’s been good, but change is also good,” said Paul Thompson. “Indio has kind of, like Waymond was saying, was kind of plateaued out.”
Three of the five districts will vote in November. Some locals said they hope a change in leadership will help stimulate the city.
“You can go to other communities, other cities and it just feels like other cities are growing around us,” said Lopez. “I just feel that Indio needs more growth.”
The remaining two districts will vote in 2020. KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 reached out to Mayor Wilson, who said he has “no comment.”