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City Government

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Cathedral City is “The Spirit of the Desert.” The city reflects a unique balance among small-town atmosphere, big-city conveniences, and desert resort living, and it is convenient to all activities in the Coachella Valley. Cathedral City, incorporated in 1981, operates as a General Law city. The Mayor is elected for a two-year term. Four Council members are elected to serve four-year, overlapping terms. The Council appoints the City Manager.

Approximately 170 city employees provide a full range of municipal services including Police, Fire/Emergency Medicine, Building, Housing, Planning, and Redevelopment, Public Works.

There are many places to dine, shop and play in Cathedral City, from trendy restaurants, to the only big screen IMAX Theatre in the Valley, from niche antiques to unique home remodeling supplies, from family entertainment to beautiful hills to hike in – Cathedral City is Family, Progressive and Business.


A city must assure its residents access to knowledge and learning opportunities, in addition to the school environment. Completed in 1995, the 20,000-square-foot Cathedral City Library is the community information and reference center that provides basic business, legal and medical information, as well as general reference material.

With over 43,000 titles, the library strives to meet the informational and casual reading needs of the community’s children, students, adults, senior citizens and bilingual population. Keeping pace with the growing demand for computer technology, the library provides access to the Internet and word processors free of charge. In addition to the basic resources, the Cathedral City Library also provides three study rooms, a community room, a local history collection, a Spanish language collection, an Adult Literacy Program, and the Gary C. Ray Story Room.

Police Department

In 1984, Cathedral City's own municipal Police Department was created. Sharing the community's common interests and goals has boosted the effectiveness of the police department and contributed to the city's low crime rate, phenomenal growth and continuing prosperity. Cathedral City boasts the lowest crime rate in Coachella Valley. Some of the important programs the department offers the community include a Youth Diversion Councilor teaching a “Character Counts” curriculum in all the elementary schools, a School Resource Officer, Community Anti-Blight Task Force, Traffic Division with a strong focus on keeping the motoring public safe while traveling on Cathedral City roadways, and a vibrant Citizens on Patrol volunteer organization.

Fire Department

The Cathedral City Fire Department currently operates three fire stations, each strategically located in the city. In addition to fire suppression activities, fire prevention, code enforcement and disaster preparedness, the department also provides Paramedic Ambulance service to those residing in or visiting the city. Each of the department's apparatus is staffed with at least one paramedic firefighter, insuring that Advanced Life Support Care arrives on the scene of a medical emergency within just minutes of a request for assistance. Ambulance transports are always available to support the engine companies and provide immediate patient transportation to one of the two local emergency life care hospitals. Cathedral City's fire insurance classification rating is four.

Redevelopment Agency

The City’s Redevelopment Agency also has an important impact on the future of the city. The Agency has worked to assist the expansion of the auto center, which in turn brings in nearly half of the city’s sales tax revenue. It’s also responsible for bringing over 1,800 new affordable housing into the city – 1,000 of which are designated for senior units. As the city moves into the future, the downtown area is being developed for a mixed-use plan using a 23-acre parcel east of the Mary Pickford Theatre. Also moving forward is a 300-plus-room Sheraton Hotel on the southwest corner of East Palm Canyon Drive and Date Palm Drive.

For Mission Statement, Department Committees, etc., visit

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