Coachella City Council Recognizes Councilman V. Manuel Perez’s Service to the City
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Coachella
COACHELLA CITY COUNCIL TONIGHT WILL RECOGNIZE COUNCILMAN V. MANUEL PEREZ’S SERVICE TO THE CITY
Councilman Perez resigned from the Coachella City Council May 10 so that he could begin serving as a county supervisor. He was appointed to the post by Governor Jerry Brown.
COACHELLA, May 24, 2017 — The Coachella City Council tonight plans to recognize former Assemblyman and Coachella City Councilman V. Manuel Perez, who has started a new stint as a member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Perez to fill the Board of Supervisors seat left vacant by John Benoit, who died of pancreatic cancer Dec. 26.
Perez was two and half years into a four-year City Council term when Governor Brown appointed him to replace Benoit. Perez announced his resignation from the Coachella City Council May 10 so that he could begin serving as a county supervisor for the Fourth District as soon as possible.
In an emotional statement at the conclusion of the May 10 City Council meeting, Perez thanked his fellow council members, city staff and the community for their support.
“With the limited staff that we have and the limited resources that we have, this city has come a long way,” he said, adding that he has been honored to serve the community and support positive and transformative changes in the city.
Indeed, during his two and a half years on the Coachella City Council, Perez actively supported numerous multimillion dollar improvement projects that are transforming the city’s downtown, some of which included:
—Construction of a 15,000 square foot Spanish revival style library and conference center that will help transform the city’s historic Pueblo Viejo into a vibrant educational and cultural center. The groundbreaking took place May 3 and will be completed in October of 2018.
— Construction of a new Veterans’ Memorial Park, which features engraved tiles in several sections, including a Veterans’ Story Wall, an Honor Wall, and an Ultimate Sacrifice Wall. The park also includes an amphitheater and lawn areas for special events, a rose garden, a memorial fountain and a water conservation garden that showcases water efficient plants. The $4 million project was completed last November.
— The use of grant funding for numerous traffic safety and road improvement projects, including the widening of Avenues 48 and 50 from Calhoun to Harrison Streets; the resurfacing of Grapefruit Boulevard between 3rd and 9th Streets; as well as several other smaller road improvement projects.
During his time on the Coachella City Council, Perez also got to see Coachella complete a traffic signal synchronization project along Harrison Avenue that was made possible by legislation he co-authored while serving in the state Assembly.
The grant funding was made possible by the 2009 adoption of Assembly Bill 1318, which Perez co-authored with former Supervisor Benoit when he served in the state Senate. The legislation allows for the sale of emission credits from the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Internal Emission Credit Bank for the construction and operation of the Sentinel Energy Project near Desert Hot Springs.
Mitigation funds made possible by Assembly Bill 1318 were also used to pay for attic insulation in hundreds of older homes across the City of Coachella in 2016. The insulation, which was installed free of charge to Coachella homeowners, was used to seal air leaks around lighting, plumbing, electrical connections and ventilation ducts, all of which reduce emissions by lowering energy usage in the heating and cooling of homes.
Although he was born in Indio, Perez grew up in both Calexico and Coachella as the son of immigrant farmworkers. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and ethnic studies from the University of California, Riverside and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. He worked as a high school teacher before being elected to the Coachella Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees in 2004.
During his time on the school board, Perez said he helped secure $250 million in funding to build new facilities and to modernize classrooms. He won election to the state Assembly in 2008 and served there until being term-limited out in 2014.
While in the Assembly, Perez served as majority floor leader and was chairman of an economic development committee. He is credited with advancing Salton Sea restoration, renewable energy development and a small-business loan program.
Perez also served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Aside from his government service, Perez has worked for Borrego Health, most recently as senior vice president of government and strategic affairs. Borrego Health provides healthcare services in Coachella, Riverside and San Diego.
Looking to the future, Perez said Riverside County faces very serious budgetary challenges and that difficult decisions will need to be made. But he said he would do his best to honor the legacies of both Benoit and former Supervisor Roy Wilson.