Twentynine Palms, CA– Council Chambers at Twentynine Palms City Hall was filled to capacity for the changing of the guard at the City Council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Superior Court Judge Rod Cortez administered the oath of allegiance to councilmembers-elect Jay Corbin, Jim Harris, and Daniel Mintz. Then, selecting new leadership for the City Council as their first official act, Corbin, Mintz, and Councilmember Joel Klink joined in voting Jim Harris as Mayor and John Cole as Mayor pro tem for 2011.
Before stepping down, outgoing Mayor Steve Flock delivered the State of the City address, listing the many accomplishments of the City Council and City staff over the past year, including major road improvements throughout the city, five completed Redevelopment Agency projects and a new Visitor Center. “All this was accomplished while maintaining a balanced budget for the 10th straight year,” Flock reported.
Mayor Flock then presented the annual Mayor’s Recognition Award to 20-year resident writer, publisher, historian, and promoter Vickie Waite, who has served as Media Consultant for the City for the past two years. Flock and outgoing Councilmember Steve Spear were presented with resolutions of appreciation from the City of Twentynine Palms and from the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors First District, as well as a plaque from General Manager Joe Meer of the Morongo Basin Transit Authority honoring the two councilmembers for their service on the MBTA board. In a final, humorous “Kodak moment” orchestrated by new Mayor Jim Harris, a special name plate was presented to Spear, with the title “Steve Spear Rogue Councilmember.”
In other action, the new City Council appointed a two-member Task Force consisting of Jay Corbin and Daniel Mintz to work with Interim City Manager John Tooker to review applications, conduct interviews, and make recommendations to the City Council for three Planning Commission appointments in early 2011.
Regarding a General Plan Advisory Committee’s request for an extension of time to finish reviewing the General Plan Update, the Council agreed “to allow the GPAC to meet one more time, on Jan. 3,” and to bring this item back to the Council for further discussion and a possible decision at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 11. While newly seated Councilmember Jay Corbin, who has served as Chair of the GPAC since July 2009, did not consider his presence on both entities as posing any conflict of interest issues, he agreed to resign his position on the committee after concerns were raised by fellow councilmembers. “I would not want to go on without the full City Council support,” he said. “The Council has spoken.”
Organizational assignments were also completed during the Dec. 14 meeting, with Mayor Jim Harris offering his recommendations and the City Council approving with a 5-0 vote. Seven organizational assignments include Jim Harris as representative and John Cole as alternate for the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) and the SANBAG Measure I Committee; and Joel Klink and alternate Jim Harris for the Desert/Mountain Division of the League of California Cities. Representatives John Cole, Jay Corbin, and alternate Joel Klink were appointed to the Morongo Basin Transit Authority board and the San Bernardino County Flood Control Advisory Committee. Daniel Mintz and alternate Joel Klink were appointed to the San Bernardino County Solid Waste Task Force and Mojave Desert/Mountain Recycling Authority; and John Cole and alternate Jay Corbin will attend the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District meetings.
The city’s two-member task forces were reorganized as follows: Economic Development Task Force, John Cole and Daniel Mintz; Circulation/Caltrans Task Force, John Cole and Jim Harris; Wastewater Task Force, Jay Corbin and Joel Klink; Chamber of Commerce Liaison, Jim Harris and Joel Klink; Fire Department Task Force, Jim Harris and Daniel Mintz; Redevelopment Agency, John Cole and Jay Corbin; and CDBG Task Force, Jay Corbin and Daniel Mintz. The Finance Task Force and Personnel Task Force will consist of Mayor Jim Harris and Mayor pro tem John Cole.
The next City Council meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 11, in Council Chambers at Twentynine Palms City Hall, 6136 Adobe Road. For agendas, news, and more information, go to www.29palms.org or contact City Hall at (760)367-6799.