Creative Financing! YIKES! These two words crept out of the grave uttered by appointed Yucca Valley Councilman, Robert Lombardo in praise of Town Manager, Mark Nuaimi, for his “Creative Financing” of the YV Senior Housing Plan.
Not having studied his agenda, again, “Lazy Lombardo” came up with that comment on the project. The golden words of the 1980′s was used to cobble loans providing “Creative Financing” when the interest rates at that time were 20%. As the melt-down of that era has faded from most memories, these two words are now being resuscitated.
Nuaimi’s “Creative Financing” cost the Colton Water Department $2.1 million dollars for 2012. Department of Finance did not approve the 2007 loan he arranged between two Colton agencies, The Colton City Council borrowed from the Colton Water District by “Creative Financing.”
In May 2007, former Colton Assistant City Manager, Mark Nuaimi, had eyes on some property to be developed and devised a way to secure it, so he thought. He convinced the Colton City Council to purchase 11 acres of undevelopable property for $3.65 million dollars.This property had little value was not eligible for development because it was habitat for a federally endangered species, the Delhi Sands Flower Loving Fly.
Nuaimi razzle-dazzled the Council selling them on the purchase because he told them the City had to own the property in order to provide mitigation for future development of the Colton “Superblock.” Nuaimi continued to pitch his purchase plan to the Council despite the concerns of the City Treasurer and others in the community.
The City had no RDA funds available to purchase the land so Nuaimi came up with some…….yep, that’s right, “Creative Financing.”
Nuaimi convinced the Council to borrow the money from the City of Colton Water Department which was already millions of dollars in debt and City Staff set up a loan from the Water Department to the RDA. The year the loan was made to the RDA, the Colton Water Department lost almost $5.5 million dollars.
Early in 2009, less than 2 years after borrowing almost $2.1 million dollars from the debt-ridden Water Department, Nuaimi and other city officials pushed through a highly controversial 112% water rate increase to try and stem the flow of red ink flowing in the water mains.
The RDA never made one payment to the Water Department as the repayment was predicated on “future development” of Nuaimi’s “Superblock.”
The Superblock “was a plan to develop restaurants and stores along the west side of Pepper Avenue across Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.”-Press-Enterprise, news archives.
Fast forward to 2012, with the Department of Finance, DOF, reviewing the Recognized Obligations Payments, ROPS, with the demise of the RDA.
The DOF has denied Colton’s attempt to be reimbursed for the land acquisition loan from the Water Department dating back to 2007, leaving the City of Colton out the almost $2.1 million dollars and the ratepayers on the hook for Nuaimi’s “Creative Financing Boondoggle.”
In the meantime, the 11 acres of property that Nuaimi convinced the City Council to purchase is unable to be developed and sits idle as the City of Colton has scrapped Nuaimi’s plan for a “Superblock.”
(Note: During our telephone conversation yesterday, appointed YV Councilman, Robert Lombardo blamed the State of California for this fiasco trying to deflect responsibility away from his BFF, Nuaimi.)
Lombardo’s term expires this November.
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