Explore Palm Springs: Incorporation Creates First City Council

Phillip Boyd is tapped as first mayor



When Palm Springs voted to incorporate in Spring 1938, the first city council was formed.

Photo Coutesy of Palm Springs Historical Society

 

In May of 1938, Palm Springs residents were just becoming accustomed to the city becoming incorporated.

On April 12, voters passed an incorporation by a 442-211 coount.

The arguments both for and against incorporation were strongly voiced and hotly debated.The necessity to build a high school that would alleviate students being bused to and from Banning was a key component in the argument for incorporation. Up until this time, the library had been shuffled between three locations. City funding created the opportunity build a permanent home, but also money to buy books could be allocated.

Seven city-wide districts elected one city councilman per district. Elected to serve in the first city council were John W. Williams, Robert Murray, Phillip Boyd, Dr. Bacon Clifton, Alva Hicks, Frank “Pop” Shannon, and Austin McManus.

As a council-manager form of government, the city council members are elected, and they appoint a professional manager to oversee the administrative operations and implement city policy. Boyd was selected by his fellow city councilmen to be the first mayor even though the position was simply a ceremonial title.

Incorporation also opened the ability to hire and pay a city fire department as well as a city police force because Palm Springs was able to collect and spend tax money collected within the city limits.

There is a multitude of ways to learn more about Palm Springs, which turned 75 in 2013. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.

The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a weekly story whose time and place corresponds with today.

The Palm Springs Historical is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive. For more information, visit www.pshistoricalsociety.org

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