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The OVERSIGHT BOARD, Stacked with Political Whores & Playhouse Cronies?

By   /   February 16, 2012  /   41 Comments

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If they have their way with you, it’s a money grab of the worst kind. The whores and cronies on the City Council are working very hard to pick the flesh clean from old redevelopment funds for their own purpose. Yes, it’s the same Old’ Phoenix theater. They want themselves to be appointed to the Oversight Board.

“We, as a city, are committed to Project Phoenix.” — City Manager Richard Warne (Feb. 14, 2012).

Mintz - the Conflict King, Klink – the Clangorous Playhouse Puppet, Cole – the Bird of Phoenix, Warne – the Wart Hog Machiavellian, A. Patrick Muñoz – the Town’s biggest Money Sucker is missing from the mix

“Acting in its capacity as the successor agency to the former Twentynine Palms  Redevelopment Agency, the council adopted two resolutions to recommend Klink and Mintz as appointees of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to the successor agency’s oversight board and to appoint Cole and Warne as city appointees to the oversight board. Desert Trail, Feb. 15

The Old Wart Hog known as the City Manager, Richard Warne, desperately hustled seniors for their meager support for Project Phoenix when he addressed them at the senior center on February 14. He played the fire department card again, but failed to addresses why the town fails to annually fund the 29 Palms Fire Department.

He told the crowd about the grandeurs of a 250 seat theater known as Project Phoenix. What he did not tell was that the existing city playhouse has empty seats as it is and constantly runs at a sold seat rate of less than 50 percent of the house over the course of a play. There is not a need for a duplicate city theater. These people on the council, its legal council, and Wart Hog himself would sell their grandmothers out for this second city theater.

Warne is spreading his community propaganda once again. Advocating how the duplicate theater will serve the community. The facts don’t bear out the propaganda. The Theater will premiere Theatre 29 plays. That is a year-around venture. Last time he was asked, the Wart Hog had not even been to the city theater known as Theatre 29.

The Old Ward Hog said, “We have bonds that are dedicated to a specific project [Project Phoenix] and that the city also has $2 million in cash, that we believe the legislature and the governor are going to let us keep.” And now they work to change the Development Code to fit their agenda.

Warne seems to overlook the importance of schools, colleges and taxing agencies that have a legal right to the old redevelopment funding.  This is not serving our community.

This City Council of cronies would rather feed their shallow egos at the expense of educating its youth. Imagine a City Manager who works against the public, against the fire department, and where public safety takes a back seat in order to duplicate an existing city theater.

The City Hall Bandits continue to bed down with special interest who have been hard at work behind the scenes since 2008 putting together this new city playhouse. It keeps changing form. Whatever you want to hear, the Wart Hog will sell you. Unless of course you say we do not need another playhouse in which case you are ignored.

In this opinion, this town council is far more of a body of political whores and playhouse cronies of the local elite, than it is a representative government.

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About the author

Branson Hunter

(This story was posted by Cactus Thorn contributor Branson Hunter)

"The ends do not justify the means." If you use illegal mean to accomplish a legal and even desirable result, the good result does not make the bad means you used justifiable.


  1. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    We simply file for a referendum to shut the project down.. And while we are at it a referendum to repeal city-hood. Let the People Decide.

    Its time folks for you to either crap or get off the pot. It is either we support our Schools or we support waste in government.

    This is an example of blind abuse of the purse strings of government. Blind ambition. This has to stop. This can not stand.

    • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

      Is this similar to your semi-annual recall petition?

      • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

        You willing to put up your house that Mark and I could get enough signatures to put it up for a vote to shut down Project Phoenix?

        I’ll wager project Phoenix would get shot down than a Cartel member at the El Paso boarder.

      • Careful what you wish for Larry.

        Can you please put fourth a couple of good reasons why a useless secondary playhouse is needed for Kurt, Gary, Brian, et al.? The first, a local playwright and local actor; the second a director of many local plays; the third is the important guy behind the plays.

        I will anxiously wait for your response: Why a playhouse over education, safety and fire needs, town infrastructure, streets, beautification, and the unspeakable *S* word — (s-E-W-e-R)?

  2. Terry Elam Terry Elam says:

    A “whore” is simply a business woman. The cost is up front with no hidden fees. No deception.
    While I personally don’t partake, I will stand up for them. Comparing them to politicians is uncalled for.
    The politicians are there because they have personal agendas. Is there financial gain for them or is this truly what they believe? One makes them out to be crooks, the other perhaps only to be over zealous.
    Sounds like the problem with your leadership may have more to do with diversity as well as lack of realism.
    Not sure how Derry ties in with all this, but I will say Bagley seems a lot less offensive and has the experience. If nothing else perhaps more diplomatic.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      Twice in two days I agree with you Terry….. must test my sugar levels…. must test my BP…. :-)

      • Terry Elam Terry Elam says:

        I think we can agree on government waste.
        Truly an anarchist at heart, I have to rationalize, realizing their are scores of gangs, mafias, special interest groups, along with hamburger vendors all in line and ready to pounce. Government is either something you chose or it is forced upon you with absolute tyranny. I don’t know if there is a difference. Even in our small towns.

      • michaelv michaelv says:

        I believe that the council has their own agenda and has no intention of listening to the people of 29. I also think that they believe the majority of the citizens will not even notice what is going on until MUSD sends out a press release stating that due to lack of funds they are going to start merging schools, oh wait, they already started doing that. I would think that Mayor Cole, who spent many years in the district and I am sure receives a nice retirement check from that system, would understand the ramifications of what they are trying to do.
        I have heard over the past several years people saying that we should return back to county control and disband City Govt. I was not to sure about that when I first heard it, but if the people who are in charge keep acting like they are, then I agree, disband the circus we call govt., get the money were it belongs, schools, fire, community instead of it being wasted on someones pet project that will not do anything for the community as a whole.
        I can hear the computer keys already, but really, enough is enough.

        • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

          I ask again, Are you planning on running for City Counci this fall?

          • michaelv michaelv says:

            Larry to answer your question. There are two groups of people that I don’t trust but dislike as well, lawyers and politicians. For whatever reason, politicians change once they get into power. They are elected and then transform into a self centered non caring person. As for lawyers, Patrick Munoz, enough said.
            I even noticed that someone gave your question a thumbs down rating. That person doesn’t even know me and has already made an opinion.

            • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

              I wonder if the thumbs down was from larry asking twice?
              As far as those greedy bastards known as politicians, you ever notice that they have a rapid increase of wealth once in office? Just look at the small time locals going from old chevys to new caddies. from the local slums to sunrise. did they earn it or did they extract it from the wealth of the citizens?

  3. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    I’m not betting the roof over my head. But if you and Mark win I’ll buy a dozen hot dogs at Mustard’s Last Stand.

    • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

      Rutan and Tucker the overloards of 29, the sick five on the council are just their surrogates. I am not sure where you fit in this larry are you a surrogate of a surrogate, you may want to be on the commitee, you know they will want someone on the inside. Your wisdom can serve them well.

  4. By David John Mueller | Examiner.com | Apple Valley, California”

    “The same thing is happening with the oversight boards for the RDA “wind downs”. These people that created the RDA’s are now self-appointing to provide oversight without complying with disclosure laws or preparing code of ethics for this brand new successor agency. They just did so last night at Apple Valley’s Town Council meeting. It’s really indicative of where we are headed in this nation. If you don’t like it, fight us. We will use your tax dollars to defend our positions. We have millions- how much do you have? If you appeal to the DA or Attorney General to enforce government code, the Political Reform Act…. or even the Brown Act- you get responses like it isn’t our responsibility…. You forgot that we are also elected….by the “People.”


  5. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Ben, are you asking a question or making a political statement?

  6. There is no easy way to ask the question, Larry.

    Schools, fire department funding and safety issues, town infrastructure, street maintenance, street beautification -vs- a playhouse for a tiny gaggle of selfish, local elite bastards that still want to spend mega-millions on the backs of working families and their decedents over the next 30 years for something as frivolous as a second and unnecessary city Theatre 29.

    When you also address the fact that the Basin will not support a fifth (5th.) playhouse, and there have been NO studies.


  7. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    It’s a political statement and is noted as such.

  8. Larry, call it what you like, just answer the questions. The community desperately needs a voice that makes sense. Make sense of this Larry.

  9. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    The Civic Center has more than a theatre. It has a place for conventions (small). It has rooms for activities such as classes on how to write letters to the editor. It has the capability to be an indoor movie theatre showing oldies but goodies. It has a lot of potential. I would suspect that the Kay Ballard has had some County money to help them in the past.

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      Hi Larry,

      I have been following this story and also the story in the Desert Trail.

      You will find a comment online in the Desert Trail that I just posted.

      You may remember that I asked for an income and expense study in regards to our current Community Center and “Theatre 29″, so as to extrapolate or provide some form of correlation as to what we presently make or lose with our current buildings as compared to what we may make or lose with this expenditure of 8.9 million dollars for this new complex.

      Those figures have never been released by the city. So given the current story by the Desert Trail that the city is “committed” to build this complex, I have asked for a meeting with the city manager to obtain those figures.

      You as a business man know full well that one does not insist on spending 8.9 million dollars if you can not ensure, or at least have high expectations, that the expenditure will be profitable to the city.

      The current claims of the city about this 8.9 million dollar building are very thin on facts and heavy on dreams.

      If they are proposing that this new 8.9 million dollar complex can compete against the convention business of the Coachella Valley then prove it – mere claims that it can do not float.

      We are not a little red train in a story book that can make things happen by saying “I know I can. I know I can”.

      This matter of 8.9 million dollars is not a small matter and the city should not think that a coordinated and effective opposition to their plans will not formulate.

      Project Phoenix is a multifaceted project and all facets need not be pursued – plus, other facets can be augmented. This is where more than a few citizens feel the city is failing to address the needs of the people.

      Just my thoughts.

      • michaelv michaelv says:

        It appears to me that the City is going to keep trying to throw as many obstacles at you as they can. I would have thought that all the information that you have asked for would have been provided to the public at a council meeting and available at City hall. However what I see is a total lack of transparency and a cover up in the making. I hope that you get the true answers that you are looking for and not some fabrication to fill their needs

  10. michaelv michaelv says:

    Enough already, trying to justify the spending of millions of dollars so that the City officials can say they did something good for the City is plain bull crap. Look around, notice how many empty buildings we have, look at the streets that are falling apart, go down highway 62 and see the Copper Mountain College facility that sits empty a great deal of the time. That was sold to everyone as something that could be rented out, but is not living up to it’s selling point. Even if the county gave the Kay Ballard theater money, I would bet it isn’t close to the millions the city is trying to spend on a building that is still on paper where it should remain.

    • Michael, that’s right Copper Mountain College Bell Center is another venue for public use, as well as High School theaters.

      Who would have thought this wasteful City Council would pull an unconscionable and pigheaded wastefully scheme to dupe the public for an $8.9 million playhouse, not to mention putting the City in debt for 30 years, for a hard-core cadre of heartless and overzealous theater enthusiasts who feel the city owns them an $8.9 use of a new theater, when they already have exclusive use of a fee city theater.

      Is there any greater arrogance between the this council and special interest friends in their circle?


  11. I suppose the massive steel superstructure has the capacity for a skating rink as well as an indoor circus. I guess the present community center can’t accommodate all of that so it’s time to blow the money that ought to go for real things to improve the entire town, and for things like education, schools, Copper Mountain College. Oh, and Larry, lets not talk sewers mandates.

  12. Paparrazi Paparrazi says:

    Branson, I think your missing the point on having a 250 seat venue. Wouldn’t it be nice to have 4 empty seats next to you on both sides incase you get sleepy during the show? Just sayin….

  13. Terry Elam Terry Elam says:

    Jobs, nobody has mentioned the 400 permanent jobs attached to the project… Or was it 800?
    Regardless it’s for the women and children, old folks and vets. Not necessarily in that order.
    The discoveries made along the way may lead us to new flavors of Tang.
    Whatever. You could use it for a shelter.

    • Sure enough, Terry, it could be used for a shelter if it’s not undated with flood waters like FEMA warns.

      • Terry Elam Terry Elam says:

        More jobs!!!
        Sorry if I make fun of it. I love the desert out your way. I like 29, but this is really a joke, putting that much money into something so useless in such a small town. What happened to using the high school gym for special events?
        I find many who have relocated to your area do so to get away from all that crap. For some reason, others want to bring it with them.

        • Terry, I’m in agreement with you. Am I wrong to believe that the City Council is clearly out of touch with the community? That they push their agenda for themselves and special friends with little regard for the larger community?

  14. Paparrazi Paparrazi says:

    It’s funny. Some of the people in smaller towns want to have the conveniences like shopping, fancy parks, entertainment etc like the big cities have. Once things actually move in that direction the people complain that the town has lost the ambience and friendly nature it used to have. Once that happens the appetite for expansion will never cease to stop. What I like about small towns is that they are small towns. What I like about larger cities doesn’t last longer than I can get what I need, press the gas pedal and go. To those of you who want expansion. Be careful of what you ask. You might get it.

  15. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    The old 29 Palms Water District office building is no more. It’s just a heap of busted bricks. It is to be replaced by NEW firefighter living quarters as part of Project Phoenix.

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      No disagreement there Larry,

      That PART of Project Phoenix is what we need.

      What we don’t need is an 8.9 million dollar building that houses convention facilities that can not compete against the Coachella Valley and a Theater that is 2.5 times bigger than the economic failure that we now have.

      Could it be possible for the city leaders to realize the above and place those 8.9 million dollars in expanded infrastructure and beautification in the downtown area?

      8.9 million dollars will build a whole bunch of sidewalks and curbs and paseos, etc, etc.

      Only a passing thought on my part.

  16. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    I knew you would be excited.

  17. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Steve, Depends on how Sacramento rules.

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      According to the city manager, as reported in the Desert Trail, there was no mention of Sacramento – only that the “city is determined” to build Project Phoenix.

      As to why a city manger can not break this project down into its component parts and then seek a consensus on what parts have support as opposed to the present strategy of full steam ahead on the whole idea dreamed up by the staff only, is beyond me and to be honest, beyond the reasoning of a majority of the citizens of the city.

  18. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Thanks Steve.

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