Tom Kirk is the Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) since June, 2009. Before joining CVAG, Mr. Kirk spent half of his career in the public sector and half in the private sector. He served as Executive Director of the Salton Sea Authority and was a city councilman in the City of La Quinta. He also worked for real estate development companies and for planning/engineering consultancies. Mr. Kirk earned a bachelor's degree, with honors, in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley where he graduated at the top of his class. He was also a fellow of the University of California Transportation Center and a graduate of the Coro Foundation Public Affairs program.
CVAG is a California joint powers authority made up of the cities of Blythe, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, and Rancho Mirage; the County of Riverside; and two Indian Tribes: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and Cabazon Band of Mission Indians.
The most recognized success at CVAG is the transportation program. CVAG, the local Coachella Valley transportation planning agency, has successfully worked in cooperation with its thirteen member jurisdictions in development of a progressive regional road program and congestion mitigation program. Currently, Tom and his staff are overseeing the planning and funding efforts for five interchanges to be built on Interstate 10, within the Coachella Valley, with a combined total construction cost of $200 million. All projects necessary in the Coachella Valley through the year 2030 have been successfully funded through federal, state, and local funding.
Another successful effort at CVAG has been the development of the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan (CVMSHCP/NCCP). The CVMSHCP/NCCP will result in a streamlined regulatory process for development, while conserving over 200,000 acres of undisturbed desert land for future generations. The CVMSHCP/NCCP is supported by the local environmental community and the Building Industry Association.
CVAG has actively been involved in homelessness strategic planning, which will provide a balance in the provision of homeless services in the Coachella Valley. The plan’s first phase is for three years, with the first priority being the establishment of Roy’s Desert Resource Center in the western Coachella Valley.
Air quality, another high priority project at CVAG, involves several components, including maintaining our federal PM10 standard, our highly successful Regional Street Sweeping Program, the reseeding alternatives education program, dust control ordinances, and most recently, landscaper related educational classes on reseeding.