Palm Springs City Manager David Ready will retire at the end of the year, the city announced Thursday.
Ready, who previously served as City Administrator of the city of Flint, Michigan, for eight years, has served in the city’s top administrative post since 2000. He is set to depart Dec. 31.
“Serving the residents of Palm Springs has been an honor and a privilege. I am proud of the work our team has accomplished in partnership with our City Council, residents, businesses, tourism and hospitality stakeholders,” Ready said in a statement released by the city.
Ready is the third Coachella Valley city manager to announce retirement plans in recent months, which comes as the valley weathers massive financial repercussions stemming from a shortened tourism season triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Early estimates peg COVID-19 costing the Coachella Valley nearly $3.5 billion in lost revenue, according to the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism. That’s a loss of 57% compared to 2019, when visitor spending accounted for more than $5.9 billion in revenue, according to an economic impact study by Tourism Economics citied by local tourism officials.
Other city managers to announce retirement plans during the pandemic include Lauri Aylaian in Palm Desert, who is set to retire Nov. 20, and Mark Scott in Indio, who will depart once the City Council chooses his replacement.
In a statement, the Palm Springs City Council lauded Ready for helping to transform the city into a powerhouse in the tourism, arts and entertainment sectors, a shift that has brought increased revenue to city coffers.
“In the past two decades, city sales tax revenues have increased five times, transit occupancy taxes have tripled and property taxes have doubled,” the council statement said.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Ready has also served as the city’s emergency manager.
“Palm Springs has experienced an unprecedented renaissance under David Ready’s leadership,” Mayor Geoff Kors said. “My City Council colleagues and I are incredibly grateful for his extraordinary knowledge and expertise when it comes to governing a complex municipality like Palm Springs and implementing important policy and community programs that make our city uniquely like no place else.”
The City Council announced it would begin a national search for his replacement “in the near future,” but specifics on the timetable were not released.