KA-CHING! KA-CHING! Yucca Valley Town Council votes to pay Code Enforcement salary/benefits with Community Block Grant Funds (CDBG) intended for assisting local non-profit charities.
Yucca Valley, Ca.-The Town of Yucca Valley is trying to increase their revenue in order to keep all the balls in the air with the current budget crunch and increasing pension fund demands for their employees. While other State and Citiy employees are taking a 10% across the board reduction in pay, and/or furloughs, our past exiting Town Manager, Andy Takata, gave all the Town employees a 2% wage increase as his parting gift in February 2010. His Valentine Gift to the Town put our prudent financial advisor, Curtis Yakimow, in an uncomfortable position of having to deal with the aftermath of that gift in perpetuity.
The last proposal to increase revenues by Mark Nuaimi, current Yucca Valley Town Manager, was to charge an additional $100 fee for impounded vehicles. Or, as Gary Daigneault called it on his radio talk show, “piling on fees.” According to the Staff report, the reason behind this additional fee is to “recuperate the hourly pay to our law enforcement agency for this process.” Excuse me, isn’t that their job?
Where did this figure of $100 fee come from? No one knows…..perhaps Colton or Fontana? Nuaimi was the deputy Town Manager for Colton and at the same time Mayor of Fontana prior to being hired by our Yucca Valley Town Council. Perhaps they charge that amount in those cities? The City of Twentynine Palms only charges $48.00 and they employ the same San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.
All the Yucca Valley Councilmembers voted in favor of this additional impound charge. Isaac Hagerman even called in to the local talk show last week trying to justify why he voted yes for this new fee. Daigneault wasn’t buying it.
At the Town Council meeting last evening, Yucca Valley Staff went “Treasure Hunting” and offered up more than chump change to supplement their budget. This time they shifted over $126,000.00 from the Community Development Block Grants, usually distributed to non-profits, to their Code Enforcement payroll/benefit column because it is legal.
“Besides,”, said Neil Derry, 3rd District Supervisor by telephone yesterday afternoon, ”this is how San Bernardino pays for their code enforcement.”
It may be legal, but is it right?