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2024 Annual Meeting Mills__edited_edited



February 3, 2024

Demuth Community Center

Palm Springs, CA


Board Chair Tamara Hedges opened the meeting at 11:30, February 3, 2024 at the Demuth Community Center in Palm Springs. Tamara welcomed all members and guests to the Annual Meeting for the Deepwell Estates Neighborhood Organization (DENO). She then introduced the DENO Board members followed by a brief synopsis of the agenda.

2023 in Review:

Tamara reviewed the events held in 2023 and thanked the hosts for each of the events, having the attendees acknowledge the graciousness of these members for opening their doors to the neighborhood. The Block Captains for Neighborhood watch were also asked to stand and accept the neighborhood’s gratitude for their service throughout the year.


Guest Speakers:

Scott Stiles, City Manager

Several important matters for the City were covered by the City Manager. The first topic was the unhoused situation and Mr. Stiles was pleased to report that the new Navigation Center is due to open next month with 55 beds in a congregate setting. The opening of the center now gives the police a place to offer a bed when they encounter a person without a means of shelter. The law indicates that the police cannot force someone off the street without giving them alternative shelter. Furthermore, later this summer the City expects to open 85 more beds in a modular living situation. Martha’s Kitchen will be offering food and other amenities.

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Secondly, Mr. Stiles talked about the coming storm next week and the potential impact to the City. He noted that before and during Hillary, our last big storm event, the City was fairly well prepared for notifications and support before and during the event. The roadways across the floodplain are still in potential peril, but a $250M grant from the state is allowing work to begin on a bridge for Indian Canyon. He gave Lisa Middleton credit for the work she has been doing at the state level and noted that the governor visited Palm Springs during the time of Hillary to witness the damage being done.


Regarding City projects, Mr. Stiles relayed the plans for the restoration of the Old Plaza Theater, a Palm Springs City property, noting that $15M of the total $30M needed for restoration has been supplied by private donors. The Theater is to be the location for community programs, participating in the Film Festival, as well as other events.

Renovations to the Palm Springs Airport were also discussed, noting that the current 3.2 M visitors/

year we are now experiencing is expected to grow to 6M visitors/year in 10 years. They expect to have to expand from the current 18 gates to 36 gates to keep pace with the expected growth. While many want to keep the airport small, it is important to note that it is under the jurisdiction of the FAA and they have the authority to allow nighttime flights to keep pace with the demand if the airport is not expanded. The City is expected to pay $2.2B over the next 10 years to implement the expansion.


District 1 Fire Station (downtown) is old and outdated, without the necessary amenities for personnel as well as space for new equipment, so the only solution is to build a new fire station. The Parks and Recreation District’s plan includes upgrades for the swim center as well as additional courts for Pickleball.


Tourism funds 25% of the general fund for the City and is provided by the rental tax paid to hotels and vacation rentals. Mr. Stiles noted that there was an increase in the number of vacation rentals, although the City is still receiving the same amount.


Mr. Stiles also spoke briefly on the Council Management type of government we have in Palm Springs. He noted that it is like a company with 650 employees and a $280M annual budget. The Council members are like a board that provides the plan, vision, and budget while he would be considered the CEO of the company.


A couple of questions were entertained from the floor:

1.) What is the plan for the old Mesquite Golf Course? Mr. Stiles reported that the property has been purchased by the OSWIT Land Trust and they are working on turning it into a nature preserve. Some nearby residents are upset that it will no longer be a golf course. He has gotten emails from both sides indicating residents’ feelings on the topic. The City Planning office is working with OSWIT to get the final plan in place so that progress may continue. Chair Hedges added that as a member of the OSWIT Board she would be happy to set up a separate meeting with Jane Garrison, founder and executive director of OSWIT, to discuss their plans for the preserve with DENO residents.

2.) What is the Tourist Industry’s influence on the City planning policy (referring to the height of a proposed building in the Historic Tennis Club)? Mr. Stiles remarked that he had not heard of the height issue, so perhaps it is no longer an issue. However, on the note of planning, he noted that when he arrived, there was a backlog of 700 building permits. To deal with this, the City hired McAlister, the chief building official, approved overtime, created a new online system and hired consultants. The backlog has now disappeared (much applause).

3). Measure J status? Mr. Stiles reminded attendees that the additional 1% sales tax in Palm Springs is used to provide infrastructure, development and other projects . All of it stays in Palm Springs and the Measure J committee approves and tracks all of it ($30M last year), allowing 2 the City budget to be used elsewhere. Board vice chair Linda Futterer, who serves on the committee, added that it is used extensively to maintain our roads, but that it has a sunset clause effective in 2025. It was suggested that folks shop in Palm Springs rather than neighboring cities, but noted that food is not taxed. Whether drug purchases were taxes was questioned and Mr. Stiles confirmed that specifically cannabis sales are taxed.

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Police Chief Andy Mills

Chief Mills reported that only 4 burglaries were reported from January to September 2023 in and around the Deepwell area (including 1 at his house!). However, he was happy to also report that the police were able to track and arrest the perpetrator of several in the area (he was charged with 7 counts of burglary), primarily through the use of homeowner’s video cameras. He further noted that the level of crime is directly related to the level of cohesiveness of the community, noting that was the reason Deepwell’s crime incidents are so low.


Speaking to the issue of the homeless population on the street, Chief Mills noted that the department’s current focus is on the behavior exhibited, not the status of the person. There is a low level of tolerance for unacceptable behavior (e.g., defecation/urination in public areas, stealing, displays of hostility or aggression, etc.). Four locations have been targeted for enforcement, one of them being the intersection and surround area around Sunrise and Palm Canyon. Signs have been installed at the bus stops indicating that people cannot stay for long periods of time there, although every couple of days the police have to ask them to move along.

The department has made contact with every person known to be living on the street in order to get their information as well as provide information to them about services that may be helpful to them. They have arrested 600 (the number representing some individuals arrested numerous times) and found that about 80% either have drug issues or are considered to be mentally ill.


Chief Mill reiterated that homelessness is not a crime. The department has set appropriate standards of behavior for living in Palm Springs and individuals who do not meet those standards will be dealt with by the police. The second item of importance for the Police Department is Gun Violence.


Chief Mills was pleased to report that through targeted efforts, a lot of guns have been confiscated and gun violence, as a result, has diminished. The third item he addressed was traffic. Contrary to popular belief, the police have written thousands of tickets and there are 4 full-time officers dedicated to traffic enforcement. He also reported that while there were 16 fatal accidents in 2022, the total number dropped to 7 in 2023.Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

In terms of departmental positions, he noted that they increased 3 positions last year for fighting crime. However, they still have 6 positions in the department that have not yet been filled. He also stated that they have given raises to be implemented over a 3 year period to show the department’s commitment.


In addition, Chief Mills shared that at the end of February, they will be having a community meeting where they will show the progress they have made as well as accept resident input in order to set future priorities. These meetings will last about an hour and residents can find out about them by following the Department on Facebook and Instagram.


Questions: Are the security cameras at the shopping centers effective? Chief Mills responded that those units are provided by the owners of the locations, not the police department. As such, he has no direct data, but noted they can be an effective deterrent. He noted that shoplifting is a regular event in supermarkets. He then relayed an incident in a local Starbucks where he had an encounter with a person attempting to walk out with unpaid merchandise. He personally intervened (although he was off-duty and out of uniform) and was able to arrest the individual when backup arrived.


Chief Mills closed by noting that if you see something illegal happening, call dispatch. He also encouraged the use of video cameras around your home. If you need help with an issue beyond the purview of dispatch, Chief Mills provided his personal cell phone number with several caveats (do not call late at night, do not put his number on speed dial, and always use 911 or the non-emergency number FIRST).

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Neighborhood Watch Nick Falconio, Chair of Neighborhood Watch then followed up thanking all of the Block Captains, as they play an essential role in the safety of our neighborhood. However, we still do need more and he encouraged interested persons to sign up or contact him. You can send an email to if you do not have his contact information. And as always, please remember the motto: “See something, Say something.”


Nick also reminded neighbors to keep gates locked as pool equipment is subject to theft. Locking mailboxes should be a priority to avoid mail being stolen easily and be vigilant about porch pirates. You can sign up for Informed Delivery at to see what is going to be delivered each day by the mail person. UPS has delivery notification as well at for anyone at your address. For FedEx, go to to sign up for delivery notification. Using these services allows homeowners to be aware of what is going to be delivered and many allow you to request alternative arrangements if needed for particular deliveries.


Nick also noted that Lt Browning, our newest area officer, has been successful in dealing with drug issues at the old Palm T Hotel on Palm Canyon at Calle Rolph. Nearby neighbor Linda Futterer at 4 am relayed information about late night activity at the site and officers were able to apprehend the drug dealer. There was a question from the audience regarding corner homes that have hedges so large it is difficult to see traffic coming into the intersection; the person was wondering if there were any code requirements to keep them cut back. No one was aware of any for hedges (although there are for fences and walls). The suggestion was made to use the app My Palm Springs to contact the City or Code Compliance for further information about hedge setbacks.

A representative from Vector Control shared with the group that they provide free home visits (up to 4 per year to anyone needing help with fire ants or mosquitoes

He further informed the group that if there is no water, there will be no 

mosquitoes. He suggested that homeowners take a walk around their property once a week to verify there is no standing water (especially after the rains). Once the temperatures rise above 70°, there will be an increase in mosquitoes if there is any water. He further recommended that people use a repellent to avoid bites. They had samples of suggested repellents at their table that have been recommended by the EPA. He further suggested members can visit their table after the meeting to find out more about their services.


Jeannie Keys from PS Library spoke about services offered by the library such as eBooks, over 100K physical books available, the availability of a library card at any CA library for California residents, as well as a free pass to read the New York Times. She also noted they have over 16K visitors/month to the library, exhibits at the Welwood Murray Memorial Library downtown, OSWIT Land Trust lectures (which seem to be popular so get there early!), Modernism lectures (sold out), Friends of the Library book sales and PS Speaks guest appearances; coming up are Terry McMillan 2/27 and Billy Dee Williams 3/7 (tickets for these were raffled off!). And of course, the upcoming renovation that will upgrade the building to meet seismic standards as well as improving the plumbing and electrical infrastructure.


Denise Goolsby, Office of Neighborhoods Manager, was in attendance and while she declined to speak, she did indicate her pleasure at seeing such a great turnout and thanked us for inviting her to the meeting. 

Financial Report: Treasurer Michael Surina was not able to attend and Vice President Linda Futterer gave the Financial Report in his absence. Linda reported that DENO has a $6K budget per year and in 2023 we reported income of $5680, just under the budgeted amount. However, our actual expenses for 2023 were $4,361, partly due to the generosity of our Holiday Event hosts. VC Futterer reported that we are safe, well fed and financially secure.


Elections: Chair Hedges reported that unfortunately Board Member Tim Hohmeier is stepping down at this time and no one to date has been nominated for the position. The other 2 positions up for 5 reelection are being continued by the incumbents (Tamara Hedges and Nick Falconio). Chair Hedges opened the floor to nominations. Rosemary Humphrey was nominated for the position. As she was the only nominee, Tamara offered that the three candidates be elected by acclamation. Brian Eggert so moved and Barry Smith seconded the motion. Chair Hedges called for a verbal vote and it passed unanimously. Welcome to the Board, Rosemary! The raffle was held for the remaining gifts.


The many donating businesses include: • Native Foods • ACE Hardware • Chef Tanya’s Kitchen • L’Horizon • Palm Springs Animal Shelter • Bread and Flours • Sparrows Lodge • Low Desert • Koffi • Over the Rainbow Desserts • Elmer’s • Palm Springs Library. In addition neighbors Verna Norris and Judy Moriuchi donated items. Upcoming


Events: Chair Hedges briefly reviewed the list of upcoming events including:

Garage Sale Saturday, Feb 17 8am-12pm Participating homes throughout DENO

Plant Swap March 2, 9-10am 1647 Calle Rolph Garden Walk Date to be determined (still looking for participating homes)

Also mentioned was the concept of creating a private Facebook group to facilitate communication among participating members. This would be totally voluntary and there was sufficient interest to give it a try. However, we are looking for willing volunteers to help moderate the group. If you are so inclined, please contact us at In addition, a subgroup of the Board is looking at creating a Book Kiosk somewhere in the neighborhood for folks to donate and/or take a book to read. We are looking for a suitable location as well as perhaps anyone with woodworking skills that would be able to build such a structure. Any interested parties should contact

The meeting was adjourned at 1:11 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Verna Norris Secretary

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