Grand Opening of the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands
In February 2012 the Grand Opening of the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands was held on their spacious and beautiful grounds. Mayor Dana Hobart was asked to provide a welcoming speech on behalf of the City of Rancho Mirage.
Town Hall held by Assemblyman Brian Nestande and Mayor Dana Hobart
Before a packed Library Community Room, Assemblyman Brian Nestande and Mayor Dana Hobart held a Town Hall meeting. Dana discusses such topics as the status of The Ritz Hotel, the City's loss of the Redevelopment Agency. Also discussed was the Rancho Mirage zero dispensaries marijuana ordinance that was initiated by him.
Employees’ New and Old Wage and Benefit Structure Discussed by Mayor Hobart
Effective in late December 2011, the city imposed a new wage, pension and salary plan on city employees. The Employees Association opposed the new plan. In this clip of the city council meeting Mayor Hobart explains what the changed wage, pension and benefits schedules would be and how they differed from the “old” plan.
According to financial authorities the new pension plan alone allows the city to deal responsibly with the $8,500,000 unfunded liability decades in the making under the “old” pension plans.. Despite the fact that the average Rancho Mirage employee annual salary was $84,089 in FY 2011-2012 the employees remain angered at Mr. Hobart. (Actually, They have joined a Union and in November 2013 they voted to create a Political Action Plan for the purpose of opposing Hobart’s bid for reelection in April 2014.)
Hobart took on this task because city employee wages and benefits had spiraled out of control, posing considerable danger to the long term fiscal stability of the city. At the time we had 74 employees and of them:
4 had salaries between $150K and $190K
11 had salaries between $100K and $149K
7 had salaries between $90K and $99K
12 had salaries between $80K and $89K
8 had salaries between $70K and $79K
13 had salaries between $60K and $69K
12 had salaries between $50K and $59K
7 had salaries between $40K and $49K
The effect of the salary numbers can be illustrated by this example. A person starting in 2002 at Rancho Mirage at the median starting salary level of $67,400 who received the 9 automatic salary increases, together with the CPI adjustments they received, would, nine years later, have an annual salary of slightly over $128,000 per year. We had to deal with this issue regardless of the employee opposition. Additionally, Hobart led the council into eliminating the outrageous “pension spiking” that occurred until the new contract was imposed on the employees over their strong objection. That device is too arcane to explain here, but Mr. Hobart will explain it whenever asked. That saves the city and CalPers hundreds of thousand dollars in future unearned benefits.
Dana Hobart Explains His Quest for Rancho Mirage to Have Extended Rights with Agua Caliente Tribe Regarding the Expanded Casino and Hotel
A few months later Chairman Richard Milanovich authorized discussions with the city. His suggestion that the Tribe's Casino and Hotel annex and become part of the city became the solution to the problem. The Tribe made the request for annexation and the city complied. Now the relationship between the Tribe and the City is a partnership dedicated to working together for mutual benefit. Approximately $400,000 per annum flows to the city from the hotel and the city provides full police and fire protection in return.
G. Dana Hobart Awarded "Preeminent" Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
Mayor Dana Hobart, A Voice For Homeless Animals
Coachella Valley Weekly, September 4, 2012
Mayor Dana Hobart is one of the Coachella Valley's biggest proponents of rescue animals. The three-time Rancho Mirage mayor and current Councilman paved the way for his city to host Loving All Animals' Super Pet Adoption Fair at Whitewater Park annually in November. Upon taking office, he asked to represent his city on the Coachella Valley Animal Campus commission which oversees our Riverside county shelter in Thousand Palms. To encourage more pet adoptions, Mayor Hobart instituted a program whereby the citizens of Rancho Mirage can be reimbursed the adoption fee for a county shelter pet.
Mayor Hobart and his wife Vicki are the proud parents of three rescue dogs, each with an amazing story of how they joined the family. Rosie, a Pug/Brussels Griffon . Then three year old Giaco, a puppy mill rescue... then later came LoLa out of the local shelter.
Are you or someone you know mourning a pet to the extent your heart won't let you consider adopting another? Dana tells them, "When you lose a dog, it's not disloyal to get another one. Get another one as fast as you can. You can cry for the old one while holding the new one. I don't know anyone who has adopted a rescue dog who doesn't say it's a miraculous connection." Vicki adds, "The dogs find their way to you. They know they've been rescued and appreciate their homes. I would never trade the experience of rescue for a pedigree dog again. Dogs work miracles in our lives."
Dana Hobart, early in his career as an attorney in Los Angeles, may be the only person to bring a dog into the courtroom as a witness! He represented a man accused of assault by dog, while walking his German Shepherd dog in a city park. The situation escalated, and the man was arrested and charged with assault and battery due to the dog's alleged behavior. During the jury trial attorney, Hobart told the judge he had to step outside to bring in a new witness, leaving them no time to object. He returned to the stunned courtroom with the shepherd on a leash. He had the officer testify this was the same dog from the park incident. Dana then shoved the dog several times, and the dog sat calmly without response. Dana queried, "Officer, would you like to come down here and test this dog for aggression yourself?" The officer declined, and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.. Contact the Coachella Valley Animal Campus at (760) 343-3644, or view their adoptable animals online at www.rcdas.org.
Not Another Tie Dana Hobart Receives the Perfect Father's Day gift FFrom Daughter Christy
Our Westside, July-August 2011
Somehow Father's Day is often celebrated with an uninspired gift - a bottle of wine, a golf shirt or maybe an Amazon gift certificate. Why not skip the present this year and make a memory instead? Here are some ideas for quality time with Dad.
Take him to the Santa Monica Airport for an exhilarating tour in an open-cockpit, two-seat biplane. Fly up the coast, over the Malibu compounds, or inland to the Hollywood Sign and back. Taxiing up the tarmac is almost as fun as the flight: you get a behind-the-scenes peek at the private jets in the hangers of the rich and famous. Grab breakfast before at the Spitfire Grill.
If Dad likes to cook, gather the siblings together in his kitchen for a class taught by famed cookbook authors Clifford A. Wright and Martha Rose Shulman of the Venice Cooking School. Menus are tailor-made and can range from manly (barbeque and spicy sides) to chic (tapas from throughout the Mediterranean). Then pop open a bottle of wine, toast Dad and enjoy the meal.
Take Pops out for a round of pool and a beer at the House of Billiards in Santa Monica. It's an institution. Skip the food there and celebrate his win with a martini-and-steak dinner at the old-school Pacific Dining Car up the street.