Cover Story: Ted Weill

A good mayor leads from a strong sense of community. For Ted Weill, all the different people he’s met during his varied life experiences have reinforced the value of dedication, teamwork, and cooperation. Between humbling experiences in South America, deployment in the U.S. Navy, working on an aircraft carrier, and career endeavors in sales and real estate, Ted was uniquely prepared for eventually becoming the beloved mayor of Rancho Mirage in 2016.

Ted grew up in a Pennsylvania farming town, moving to New York State at the age of seven. His world opened up to him at age 17, when a classmate (and still present-day friend) named Joel Block shared stories of a summer working on ships to South America. “I thought that sounded fascinating!” Ted says. He cornered Joel and asked how he too could get involved.

It’s one thing to decide to work on a ship to South America as a teenager, but another thing entirely to convince your parents. However, Ted’s enthusiasm was met with support from his close-knit and progressive-thinking family. “My mother was the wind beneath my wings,” Ted says. An only child, he enjoyed his loving relationship with his parents and grandparents, and credits his mother’s endless encouragement of his zest for adventure for the many rewarding chances he’s taken.

Soon enough, Ted was setting sail through a National Maritime Union program to Brazil and Argentina as a utility man. Working and living in very close quarters with a wide variety of people was a profound lesson in cooperation and the value of a hard-earned dollar. It’s a foundational experience that’s guided Ted’s work ethic ever since.
Ted went on to graduate from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, and received his MBA from Pepperdine University, graduating with honors. Ted joined the Navy after graduating, working as a journalist aboard the U.S.S. Randolph, an aircraft carrier stationed in the Middle East. From there, he was assigned to the Sixth Fleet and deployed to the Persian Gulf. During his service, he gained insight to the outside world. While he didn’t face combat, constant drills kept him prepared and ready to face any eventuality.

The passing of his beloved grandfather was another turning point for Ted, causing him to reflect on his future and what he wanted out of life. After completing his service in the Navy, Ted chose to live close to his then-widowed grandmother in Palm Springs. It was a big adjustment after a military career, but he found that his life flourished in many ways. He started a career in sales for ABC Television before finding his passion in real estate. Ted is married to Jenny and they enjoy two children and five grandchildren.

Just when Ted thought his career in Real Estate would wind down into a quiet retirement, he was approached by a friend who thought Ted would be a perfect fit for the Planning Commission, and Ted saw it as a great opportunity for another new adventure!

After 6 years on the Planning Commission where he became Chairman, Ted was appointed to City Council in 2012 and was re-elected in 2014. He went on to become the Mayor of Rancho Mirage in 2016 and was re-elected in 2021 by a landslide victory. “I am passionate about this city, it has a unique style and sense of dignity that all of us in office strive to maintain and develop,” Ted says. In his role as mayor, he’s proud to spearhead innovative and alternative forms of energy including the installation of solar energy at City Hall, the library, and the maintenance facility. He is also involved in the purchase and development of the Rancho Las Palmas shopping centre, the reopening of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, and many other developments in the city and surrounding areas.

Ted is endlessly inspired by the strong sense of community within both Rancho Mirage and the greater Coachella Valley. Meeting a wide variety of people and hearing their stories is endlessly rewarding. He takes pride in the region’s world-class libraries, incredible parks, and fabulous amphitheatre. But above and beyond all the wonderful treasures Rancho Mirage contains, Ted loves his work because, as he puts it, “we are a large family!”



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