The City Council is responsible for establishing policy direction for City staff to follow so that those services that are deemed essential by the electorate and taxpaying residents and businesses of the community are provided in a cost-effective and professional manner. The City Council is mandated to provide an environment that stimulates participation in the governing processes and to conduct the affairs of the City openly and responsively.
Ted Weill has been a desert resident for 22 years and was appointed to the City Council on December 20, 2012. In April 2014, he was elected to a two-year term, winning over 73% of the vote. He was overwhelming reelected in April 2016 to a four-year term and became Mayor on April 21, 2016.
He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania and received his MBA from Pepperdine University, graduating with honors.
Ted served in the U.S. Navy, assigned to the U.S.S. Randolph, an aircraft carrier stationed in the Middle East. After completing his service, he moved to California in an executive training program with ABC Television. His passion was real estate where he formed Weill Financial Corporation. His company was involved in the development of master planned communities in California and Nevada and recreational vehicle parks. Ted has been active in banking and has taken a company public that was listed on the stock exchange.
He was Chairman of the Planning Commission where he served for six years and Co-Chairman of the Redevelopment Successor Agency Oversight Board.
As a member of the City Council, he represents the City and is Past Chairman of the Transportation Committee to the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), Chairman of the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy, Chairman of the Cove Communities Services Commission which includes the Joslyn Senior Center,
He is the city’s representative to the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), the Bighorn Institute and is a delegate to the Palm Springs Unified School District.
He is on the Sustainability Subcommittee and has been active in pursuing alternate forms of energy including the installation of solar at City Hall, the Library and the maintenance facility.
Ted is a member of the Special Assistance Fund (SAF) Subcommittee which directs the City in regard to charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations. He has recently introduced changes in policy to provide for the distribution of funds to a greater number of deserving organizations.
Other activities include being a representative to the McCallum Theatre, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, Coachella Valley Animal Campus, Public Safety Committee and alternate delegate to the Sunline Transit Agency Board. He is a member of the Rancho Mirage Golf Club Subcommittee.
His strong real estate background provides to the City Council his expertise on the Affordable Housing Design Subcommittee which includes the San Jacinto (senior units) and Monterey Village (families). He has been actively involved in coordinating the purchase and development of the Rancho Las Palmas shopping center, a major visual link to our city. He has been a major contributor to the reopening of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, which had been closed for seven years.
He is active in the planned development of Section 19, 269 acres that will be the future economic engine of the City. The property is bordered by Bob Hope Drive to the west, Dinah Shore Drive to the south, the I-10 to the north and undeveloped land in the City of Palm Desert to the east. The area is planned for three million square feet of mixed use residential, commercial, retail and entertainment.
He is a member of the Section 31 subcommittee, the unimproved 650 acres between Bob Hope and Monterey on the West and East and Gerald Ford and Frank Sinatra on the North and South.
He is a member of the Eisenhower Medical Center Subcommittee and works cooperatively with representatives of Eisenhower Medical Center to ensure an effective partnership between the Medical Center and the City.
He introduced legislation to the City Council that limited a resident member to one Commission appointment, thus creating an opportunity for other residents to participate on City Commissions.
Ted was on the Board of Directors of the Hereditary Disease Foundation and his family was involved in the formation of United Cerebral Palsy. He has been a strong supporter of The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Other charitable interests include the RM Public Library Foundation, Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, Palm Springs Art Museum, Tolerance Education Center, Desert Aids, American Cancer Society and Braille Institute.
Ted and his wife Jenny have two children and five grandchildren.
Charles Townsend Vinci was elected to the Rancho Mirage City Council in 2014. From 2016, he was Mayor Pro Tem and on April 20, 2017, he was sworn in as the Mayor of Rancho Mirage.
Mayor Townsend was the proprietor of the Charles Townsend Collection in Rancho Mirage since 1996; a company he started 30 years ago in Pasadena, California. Charles served on the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 12 years, rising to Vice Chair in 2011 and elected Chairman in 2012. In 2013, he was appointed interim President/CEO Chairman of the Board of the Chamber and served until his election to the City Council. In 2014, Charles was voted Citizen and Business Man of the Year by Rancho Mirage Chamber members.
Mayor Townsend serves on the Board of Directors of the Mission Pointe Home Owners Association: he was elected Vice Chairman of the HOA in 2012. In 2013, he was Appointed to the City’s Emergency Preparedness Commission. He is a member of the College of the Desert Circle, and funded the Moller/Vinci scholarship endowment at the College of the Desert. He was a founding member of the Desert Aids Project. He also supports the AARP Foundation, the McCallum Theatre Foundation, the Children’s Discovery Museum, the Stroke Recovery Center and Equality California and has been a long time supporter of the Eisenhower Medical Center Annual Fund. He serves on several Coachella Valley Association of Government (CVAG) committees including Energy & Environment Resource Committee, Homelessness Committee and the Joslyn Center Board.
Mayor Townsend enjoyed a distinguished three decade career as an advertising executive with Southern California newspapers culminating in 1996 after 22 years with the Los Angeles Times. He served in the United States Army Medical Corp and was honorably discharged in 1964.
Charles Townsend was Councilmember Gordon Moller’s domestic partner for 42 years until Gordon’s passing in 2012. Charles and Gordon were married in Vancouver, Canada in 2002.
Mayor Pro Tem
Richard W. Kite has been a Palm Springs area resident for over 57 years. He graduated from Palm Springs High School in the early 1960s and then went on to the University of California at Berkeley where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. Upon returning to the desert, he entered the investment business and was later the Manager and Vice President of PaineWebber in Palm Desert for 22 years. In 2005, he joined the investment firm of UBS Financial where he is currently a Senior Vice President and Investment Advisor.
Richard has served as President of the Board of Directors for both the Cove Communities Joslyn Center and the Family YMCA of the Desert. He was also elected as the Director of the Coachella Valley Parks and Recreation District. Because of his service to the community, the Palm Desert Post selected him as “Citizen of the Year.”
In April of 2000, Richard was elected to the Rancho Mirage City Council where he served as Mayor from April 2001 to April 2002. In April 2004, he was re-elected for another 4-year term on the City Council, running unopposed. He served again as Mayor for the City from April 2006 to April 2007. In April of 2008, he was re-elected again for another 4-year term on the City Council. On May 6, 2010, Richard was selected to be Mayor from May 2010 to April 2011. In 2012, he ran unopposed and appointed by City Council for another 4-year term. He was once again Mayor for the City from April 2013 to May 2014. In 2016, he was re-elected for another 4-year term on the City Council.
In 2008, Richard served as Chairman of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) and is currently serving as the Chairman of the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission (CVCC). In 2007, Richard joined the Executive Board of the League of California Cities and was elected Chairman of the Riverside County Division in 2010. In 2015, he was elected to serve as President of League of California Cities, Mayors and Council Members Department Executive Committee. On November 14, 2016, he received the Outstanding Public Service Award from the League of California Cities, Riverside County Division. He currently serves as the immediate Past President. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Cove Communities/Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert and the Board of Trustees for the McCallum Theatre. He was appointed as the City’s representative on the Board of Directors for the Coachella Valley Economic partnership (CVEP).
Iris Smotrich was first appointed by the Rancho Mirage City Council on July 7, 2011. In 2012, she ran unopposed and was reappointed by the City Council to serve for a two-year term. In 2014, she ran for office and won a resounding victory.
Councilmember Smotrich has dedicated her tenure on the council to “improving the quality of our resident’s lives by adopting frugal policies and supporting economically sound projects that constitute smart investments in the City’s future”.
Her commitment to enhancing residential enjoyment and security has sharply focused her attention on accessibility, emergency preparedness, safety issues and cultural programs. To that end, she serves on the Council’s subcommittees that address marketing, special events and tourism. She is Rancho Mirage’s representative on the Palm Desert –Indian Wells – Rancho Mirage Cove commission that primarily address issues of mutual concern around safety and the operation of the Joslyn Center.
During her tenure as Mayor of Rancho Mirage (2014–2015), she served as the Executive Committee member of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments CVAG) where she also served as Chairperson of the Public Safety Committee. She has also been involved with the CVAG Homelessness Committee. She committed much time and effort to the implementation of public information broadcasting on the Rancho Mirage Television station, reaching out to residents throughout the Coachella Valley, with public informational broadcasts related to health, safety and Rancho Mirage Library programming.
Councilmember Smotrich also serves on the Council’s Subcommittee Chamber of Commerce, the Aqua Caliente Indian Tribe Subcommittee, Special Assistance Fund Subcommittee and the Sphere of Influence Subcommittee. As a Council member, she attends and participates at the meetings of the Speakers Series Commission and the Parks and Trails Commission.
Councilmember Smotrich is the City’s alternate delegate to the Board of Directors of the Children’s Discovery Museum and serves on its Advisory Committee. She also serves as an alternate for the League of California Cities, the Coachella Valley Mountain Conservancy and is very proud to serve as a Board Member of the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival.
Councilmember Smotrich takes great pride in ensuring that play equipment for disabled children had been incorporated in the plans when building the new Rancho Mirage Community Park Children’s Area. She has worked diligently to ensure that a “Wall of Honor” was established at the Rancho Mirage Community Park, recognizing our countries Veterans and fallen soldiers. The Recognition Wall and Monument Flame will be unveiled and dedicated at a special Veteran’s Day ceremony on November 11, 2017.
Her work for the disabled community is also significantly important; making sure that closed captioning was incorporated in the Broadcasting of City Council meetings and that ADA standards have been applied to the City’s updated website.
Iris and her husband Thom, have been very active with over 50 Coachella Valley charitable organizations for the past 16 years. By serving on boards and hosting innumerable charitable events at their home, Iris has developed a profound awareness of the challenges and opportunities facing the valley communities and has drawn attention to a variety of worthy charities and organizations in need.
Trained in interior and exterior commercial property design and business management, she has managed commercial real estate in Los Angeles and beyond with portfolio representation of residential, commercial, farming, industrial and high-rise properties.
Born in Chicago, Illinois and moving to Los Angeles at the age of three, she and her husband Thom have been married for 52 years, lived in Rancho Mirage since 2001 and have one married daughter and two grandchildren.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dana and his wife, Vicki, have lived in Rancho Mirage since 1993. They have four children and three dogs. After serving in the US Air Force from 1950 to 1954, Dana attended local colleges, graduating from California State University in 1959, and received his Juris Doctorate from USC School of Law in 1963. As an attorney, Dana achieved a variety of honors and achievements. He was President of the Consumers Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, he has been identified annually in “Best Lawyers In America” from 1987 to 2013, and was conferred the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell since the mid-1970s. Dana also taught civil trial law at a Los Angeles law school. He has pleaded and won precedent-setting cases, including one before the United States Supreme Court.