Following several Desert Sun stories that pointed out that Cathedral City Councilman Greg Pettis spent about $92,000 in travel using a city-backed credit card over five years as his city cut back and laid off workers, the Desert Stonewall Democrats sent out a news release this week supporting him.
The political group commended Pettis for “his untiring, effective, and valuable service to Cathedral City and the entire Coachella Valley. His participation and leadership in community, Valley-wide, County and State organizations have resulted in vital economic and social benefits. His work on the Riverside County Transportation Committee, for example, has yielded over $90 million in new I-10 freeway interchanges and the CA-91 freeway. These projects provided good jobs and badly needed economic stimulus for the construction industry. ”
“The Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) recently announced the inclusion of $400,000 in the State Rail Plan to initiate improved rail service between our Valley and Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego. This start-up money was generated in large part by the lobbying of Council Member Pettis,” the group wrote in an email The Desert Sun received late Thursday.
The group also said it commends Pettis “for all his civic accomplishments, and for his invaluable work on behalf of the LGBT community.”
Pettis has pointed out that some of the intra-governmental organizations he belongs to repaid Cathedral City for some of the expenses over the five-year period, however The Desert Sun – through interviews and document-sifting over several months – could only account for about some of the $96,000. The city picked up at least $38,000 charged to Pettis’ MasterCard.
From 2009 to 2012 – three fiscal years – Pettis spent about $65,000 on travel, the most of any other city council member among the Coachella Valley’s nine cities. The second-most spent was nearly $15,000 by La Quinta Councilwoman Terry Henderson. Cathedral City Mayor Kathy DeRosa, for comparison, spent about $6,200 during that three-year period.
Read The Desert Sun’s original story that ran on April 28.