For those of you who were out of the valley this week the weather could best be described as sunny and chilly in the mornings and warming up throughout the day.  Not too bad when compared to the rest of the country. 


President David Archer called the 21st meeting of the 25th year of the Rotary Club of La Quinta to order and Robert Wilkinson led the club in the pledge of allegiance followed by a rather eloquent reading of a special invocation by David Archer.


President Dave made the rounds and introduced our few visiting Rotarians.  President Dave reminded us all of the upcoming Board Meeting on December 14th, District Governor Steve Wallace’s visit to our club scheduled for December 16, and that our club will be “dark” (no meetings) on December 23rd and December 30th presumably to get a jump on our holiday celebrating!  Sandy Lauer made an announcement about the Holiday Party (to be) hosted by Dick and Victory Grund at their home nestled at the base of the Santa Rosas behind the world famous La Quinta Hotel… and Diane Kelly presold raffle tickets to those who could not attend for several prize packages donated to the cause. 


Dick Jandt announced that the “Bell Ringing” for the Salvation Army netted $700.00 one day last week and as always that he was looking for a few more “ding-a-lings” to volunteer.  The “Tour De Palm Springs” is moving along according to Corry Hunter who made brochures and posters available for members to distribute either in their own business or in others encouraging participants to sign up via the Rotary website or the official website and giving the Rotary Club of La Quinta the credit!  President Dave announced that the La Quinta Chamber Car Show will return on January 29th and that hopefully the La Quinta Rotarians will be able to apply their #1 skill set in pouring, serving and selling beer!!!


Bruce Franklin selected the white marble from the black bag and collected $5 green dollars.


President Dave then proceeded with the main business of the day and distributed written ballots to all of the club members in attendance presenting the slate of candidates for the election of the 2012-2013 Rotary Club of La Quinta’s officers.  Unfamiliar with this type of “official” voting, the members defaulted to the usual and customary verbal rubber stamp of approval for the slate as written.  Next year’s officers will be:  Robert Wilkinson as President, Corry Hunter as Incoming President, Sandy Stewart as Treasurer, Doug Motz as Secretary and Andy Lorenz as Foundation Board Member.  Congratulations to you all… and congratulations to all of us for having such high quality individuals step forward and volunteer to lead us as Rotarians into the future!


Lunch was served about the same time our Phenom of a Phine Master Allan Levin took to the podium.  The lunch by the way (in addition to the usual salads) was the Cowboy Skirt Steak served with tortillas, slaw and salsa… one of the better lunches!  Allan proceeded to collect for a veritable cornucopia of birthdays with Steve Robbins, Bruce Cathcart, and Allan himself all paid for their wives’ birthdays; and then Diane Kelly, Adrian Gysi, Ray Lopez, Sandy Stewart, and Tom McDermott all paid for their own birthdays.  Doing the math backwards it appears that a lot of Rotarian’s and their spouses’ parents must have gotten caught up in that whole spring fever thing to produce so many December birthdays!  David Archer paid for the Teebo Fever in Denver, Bruce Cathcart paid for the good work that Lori Archer (Dave’s wife) did in painting their historical building accent mural and Dick Grund paid a few bucks to announce his pleasure at working his entire life and paying into the social security system and finally getting a cost of living increase of 3%... which made the overall 5% reduction in benefits applied earlier this year as a little easier to take.  Ah yes, what the government giveth it also taketh away (and then some!).  Doug Motz was the secret greeter today… same as last week.  Eventually we hope Doug will get it right!


Our Speaker this day was our very own Raymond Gregory.  Ray is a Captain with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and also the Chief of Police for the City of La Quinta.  As a contracted service Ray’s duties also include the City of Coachella and the unincorporated areas of the County of Riverside here in the valley like Bermuda Dunes.  Ray is an excellent public speaker and shared a ton of information about the different components that it takes to make a healthy police department and how all of those components are necessary.  Some interesting facts that he shared specific to the City of La Quinta included:  The City of La Quinta contracts for 150 patrol hours per day which generally equates to 5 officers on duty at any given time in the City.  The Budget for Police services in the City of La Quinta is approximately 12.7 Million dollars or a little over 25% of the overall City budget.  (Most Cities that fund their own police departments run approximately 50% of their overall budget for police services!).  In addition to the patrol services provided the City of La Quinta also receives other services through the Sheriff’s Department such as a coroner, corrections, judicial services, gang and narcotics task forces, a business district team and a whole list of volunteers and volunteer services. Listening to Ray speak I was very impressed with all that the Sheriff Department provides to the City of La Quinta and felt that they were meeting all of the needs of its citizens and at a bargain price to the City and the taxpayers!  I am very proud that Ray chose to be a member of the La Quinta Rotary Club and that he represents us all so well both professionally as our Chief of Police and personally as a fellow member and our friend.  Great craft talk Ray!


President Dave closed out the meeting leading the members in the four way test.  As a final note, this year as you scramble about doing your Holiday shopping… instead of buying some cheap foreign made junk consider giving dinner certificates to local restaurants or for local services (massage, spa treatments, golf course certificates etc.).  This money will go to help support local hard working Americans and if spent locally… La Quintans!  If you must buy stuff check out where it is made first and hopefully buy it right here in the City of La Quinta.  Every little bit helps.