The City Council and the Chamber of Commerce are different organisms that are manifestly joining in a symbiotic fascistic-like union.
Nov. 11, 2002, Twentynine Palms —Up for discussion at last Tuesday’s Council meeting was the previously defaulted null and void agreement with the Chamber of Commerce for occupying and operating the City’s Visitor Center and building. Other aspects of the Council-Chamber symbiotic affaire de coeur — now resurrected — will later be taken up by the Council.
This is follow-up to a Cactusthorns article posted Monday, November 9, 2009, “California Desert Visitors Association makes noises to take over Chamber Contracts and Visitors Center.”
It was a lively discussion last night in Council Chambers. On the one side were the Gang of Four Council Dwarfs making no sense whatsoever attempting to justify giving-back to the Chamber a null and void contract, on the other was much respected Councilman Spear articulating good logic why a lesser qualified Chamber is not the best choice for running the City’s Visitors Center. Time-after-time Council members Cole, Harris, Klink and Flock reiterated that the Chamber has “expectations” of getting this contract. The Four Dwarfs fell miserably short of convincing any one at the meeting but themselves. The audience was squarely behind Spear. Spear was brilliant in his discussions with his peers on why the matter needs to go out for a bid. Indeed, he made an impressive case.
Sun Runner Magazine publisher Steve Brown — also a Commerce member — spoke on behalf of the California Desert Visitors Association (CDVA). Brown stated, “If the Council would open to bid we would probably be interested. We do need a home office.”
Later, Spear queried Brown on whether the CDVA wanted to bid on the contract or not? Brown responded with a resounding yes they would bid on the City’s contract for operation of the Visitor’s Center and move the Sun Runner into the Center. Brown also set fourth the CDVA’s qualifications. CDVA has been successfully running and promoting visitors centers throughout the regional High-Desert for years. Earlier, Spear informed the Counsel that he had verified proof that the CDVA is imminently more qualified that the Chamber.
Spear said, “To assume the Chamber of Commerce is the best is speculating, my recommendation is put it out to bid.” In this way, he explained, we’ll never know until we put it out for a bid what the Sun Runner-CDVA and others can do.
Happy Klink raised a xenophobic concern of “outside people coming in” to bid on the contract. Spear said if someone from Palm Springs wants to bid, let’s give them a chance. It’s obvious this Council is doing everything possible to protect their cronyism with Gary Daigneault (Chamber President), Chamber Officers and friends. The Gang of Four Dwarfs appear to not have one iota of concern for taxpayers monies concerning this matter. Certainly they were remiss last evening to present any intelligent or rationale argument for resurrecting a defunct contract with the Chamber. Their sole argument was that the Chamber’s ‘expectations’ in getting it. Happy Klink reported – “It was always the Chamber that was to get the contract.” This is a bunch of hooey. Lets be honest, ‘expectations’ is not the same as written agreement.
It seems the Chamber needs to move into the newly designed Visitor Center building ASAP since their lease elsewhere is coming to an end. Spear said, “We don’t need to do this anymore. We don’t owe the Chamber a building. Spear explained that ” they [the Chamber] made $14,000 on Pioneer Days. They have money. We need to give other citizens a chance to make a dime.”
Meanwhile, Dopey Harris cocked his head toward the West End of the Chamber Room and begin moving it from side-to-side. Obviously, he was demonstrating contempt for Spear articulating his logic against the Four Dwarf’s hopelessly puny argument. Dopey Harris was implicitly projecting the message that the Gang of Four Dwarf’s minds long-ago were made-up and that they need not incorporate new data. Damn the due process bidding process for women, the disabled, veterans, seniors and minorities in this Basin. If there are any federal funds involved, the City Council is clearly jeopardizing those federal funds because the Code of Federal Regulations and United States Codes are written to include these Americans in federally funded bidding contracts.
At about this juncture Grumpy Cole became testy with Spear. He took issue with Spear for saying we need not continue the “mistakes of the past”. Grumpy turned to Spear and said, “You’ve laid a gauntlet, a line in the sand” and he went on to express he’s taking taking exception for Spear’s saying “the Council was myopic”. Spear earlier referenced that the Council needs “To move from mistakes of the past” and that people have the right to “bid and make a living”. Spear said he will “fight this maneuver [cronyism] from hence fourth.”
During the discussion Spear’s compared a 60 Minute show on Halliburton getting no-bid contracts in Iraqi to the Council’s action. That broadcast highlighted that there were other qualified corporations that were shutout of the bidding process. And that it cost the taxpayers millions and millions of wasted dollars because others wanted to do the jobs for less.
Here is the crème de la crème of Grumpy Cole’s position, he said: “We are all geared-up to go this way and workout an agreement.”
Sleepy Flock wasn’t the most articulate of the Gang of Four Dwarfs during the discussion. He was the most quiet of them all. But offered this, “We’ve worked out a design to build a visitor center. Its always been the intent of the Chamber of Commerce to run the Visitor Center.” Sleepy added, “We’ve never had any opposition to the Chamber occupying the Visitor Center [before].” Sleepy needs to wake-up from his slumber and give 29 Palms a fair shake, not shamelessly and illegally stroke his Chamber cronies.
Sleepy Flock woke from his slumber once again (later ) during the discussions when he voiced to Spear: “Steve you have an excellent argument, but when we designed the building [Visitor Center] we asked them [the Chamber] to help us. They’ve had the ‘expectation’ all this time to occupy it.”
Most all reasonable minds would wholeheartedly agree with “Sleepy Flock” on one thing — that Spear does indeed have “‘excellent arguments.” Especially when Spear told his peers, “We are breaking new ground. It’s a city building. It’s not a Chamber building.” Thereupon Sleepy Flock seemed to drift back into slumber.
Dopey Harris was the most vocal Dwarf of them all during the discussion. In the beginning, he explained that the Council received correspondence from the Sun Runner [Steve Brown] expressing their interest in bidding on the Visitor’s Center contract. Dopey said, “He would like to explore if the Sun Runner wants to bid if the Chamber does not.” What a bunch of phooey. Dopey was the biggest phony of them all! Thereafter, throughout the discussion, Dopey made no effort to conceal his bias. He was not at all concerned about exploring the issue with the Sun Runner.
Dopey Harris made it very clear all during the discussion that his only concern was resurrecting the defunct contract and once again giving a no-bid contract to his crony Daigneault and others cronies over at the Chamber. Again, Dopey gushed the mantra the Chamber had ‘expectations’ of getting it. Since when is a mere ‘expectation‘ the legal criteria for awarding a contract to the lesser qualified pursuant to a null and void agreement in which the Chamber – via Daigneault — notified the Council in writing they couldn’t perform their contract.
In the end, the the Gang of Four Disney Dwarfs voted 4 to 1 to move on the contract and directed staff to take necessary actions to workout “structure and a deal.” Grumpy Cole voiced that the contract awarded to date totals $111,000, which is $36,000 more than original estimates. The Council was assured by staff that that contingency funds will cover the difference.
Cronyism is the driving force in the Council’s decision last night. That ought not to happen. Voters and residents of Twentynine Palms deserve and demand better representation. All of our laws and regulations and statutes and codes are meaningless to the the Council. It’s this writer’s opinion that these Councilmen in this matter are un-American.
Steve Brown makes his case for Fair and Open Bid Process on Business Center
Postscript: Once again, KCDZ distorts the news and gets it wrong. Is it is any wonder they distort the a tad on this matter since the station is owned by Gary Daigneault and very talented Ms. Daigneault. Fact: There were more than “several speakers” — as reported by KCDZ — who supported Spear’s vigorous position. Fact: it seemed most everyone in the room supported Spear. Daigneault claims to be a journalist, but he postures and always manages to distort the news when reporting on this matter since he is the news he is reporting on.