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Direct From The Spin Room – 29 Palms City Hall

By   /   October 17, 2012  /   4 Comments

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In an attempt to counter the growing questions being presented to the city by citizens and the press as a result of the revelation on this site of the October 7, 2012 denial letter from the State Department of Finance to city manager Richard Warne in regards to project Phoenix and the questionable actions of the city. The following information was sent out yesterday at 4:26 PM.

This information has been provided to me by confidential sources and I have redacted portions of the email header that could result in those informants being identified. The email was sent to the members of the Oversight Board, which are Owen Gillick, Jerry Matos, Korina Cole, Liz Meyer, and Dave Price. It was also sent to all council members as well as several members of the city staff and others.

I have my own opinion about the content of this email but that is not why I am posting the email. I am posting the email in order to provide to you, the public, information that needs to be provided to you and is not being provided to you buy a city that now operates in secrecy as opposed to transparency. Again you be the judge:

“Good Afternoon 29 Palms Oversight Board Members:

Given the numerous questions staff has been asked regarding the recent letter from the Department of Finance (DOF) and staff’s actions in filing a Meet and Confer request, we wanted to provide additional information and updates. To-date, staff has not heard back from the DOF regarding the Meet and Confer request. Staff anticipates hearing back from DOF sometime this week and will likely receive a meeting date in Sacramento within the next 10 days. Several questions staff has received have revolved around why staff is filing a Meet and Confer request as it appears the DOF has denied the use of the bond proceeds to complete Project Phoenix. Please understand that DOF has not given a final response yet as to whether the bond proceeds can be used – instead DOF appears to be questions the methodology. While we have been pushing hard to get a final responses from them, we are hindered by having to follow the process that has been laid out in AB 1484 to get final answers. The Meet and Confer process is part of the process we must follow. We note that there are numerous examples that now exist in which expenditures of 2011 bond proceeds were not approved by DOF initially, but ultimately such expenditures were approved after the process played out. At this point we need to go through the process so that the Successor Agency can demonstrates the validity of the obligation, and we fully assume that the DOF will not allow the proceeds to be spent on Project Phoenix until after we can demonstrate this.

As staff reported, an informal meeting took place between DOF staff and successor agency staff (including the Mayor and City Manager) on September 19 to discuss Project Phoenix and the use of the 2011 tax allocation bond proceeds. At that meeting, the two most senior members of the DOF team reported that they did not know about Project Phoenix or the matter of using the 2011 bond proceeds to fund the project. Staff presented a variety of questions and issues regarding the DOF position to-date. As of the drafting of this email, Successor Agency staff has not received anything in writing to address these concerns that staff has raised. For example, if the DOF’s position is that the bond proceeds must be returned to the Successor Agency, what then happens to the bond proceeds? The DOF letter that staff recently forwarded to you does not answer and address all of the issues. If/when staff receives additional information from the DOF and when a Meet and Confer date is confirmed, staff will be sure to get back in touch with you.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I can attempt to answer them. Please keep in mind this is provided for informational purposes only and you should not hit “reply all” to this email. Please be mindful of the fact the Brown Act continues to apply to your communications.

Matt McCleary

RSG, Inc.”



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  • Published: 2 years ago on October 17, 2012
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  • Last Modified: October 18, 2012 @ 6:39 am
  • Filed Under: News

About the author

Steve Spear

Former 29 Palms City Council member from 2002 through 2010. Graduate of Villanova University with a BA majoring in criminal justice. Served in the United States Marine Corps from 1977 through 1990 attaining the rank of Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.


  1. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:


    A visit to the city of 29 Palms website will reveal nothing about the October 7, 2012 letter nor this latest email.

    Why can’t this current city staff do the people’s business in the light of day?

  2. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    I have to ask the members of the Oversight Board that read our blog:

    In the over all scenario of this RDA issue has this blog been wrong in its predictions or observations?

    Have we told you continually that the Bond Proceeds can not be used for Project Phoenix because no contracts were signed prior to June 2011?

    Have we made it clear that the bonds will be paid at the expense of the tax increment?

    Is it clear yet that the City and now you are being poorly serviced and advised by the City Attorney and RSG?

    Can there be any doubts that the State has told the city to reverse course or loose their income from state collected taxes?

    Mr. McCleary is plainly insulting your intelligence. To assume that you are unable to read the clear English language of the Letter of October 7th, is unconscionable.

  3. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Regardless of how we got here, which I care not to disregard come November 6 when I cast my vote, one thing is painfully clear.

    Richard Warne, Patrick Munoz, and Matt McCleary have this city set on a trajectory to engage the State in a protracted law suit. The “meet and confer” proviso is but one of the steps required to file a lawsuit.

    I would estimate that at this point the city has spent close to a quarter of a million dollars, that is $250,000.00, of our tax dollars in pursuit of this matter. Additionally, by the tone of the Matt McCleary email those three, Warne, Munoz, and McCleary intend to spend upwards of a million or more to engage the State in a court of law that no matter the initial decision will be appealed by one party or another and more and more tax dollars fly into the wind.

    What I want to see is if our council has the leadership ability to evaluate in public, at what point or cost in tax payers dollars, do they think this issue continues or dies.

    As of yet I have seen little leadership from the council in demanding reports from city staff. What I have seen is city staff force feeding the council information on non-actionable items and a council that just sits there and then fails to initiate a future council agenda item that would force a decision.

    Time will tell.

  4. The Bond Industry dies hard.

    Locally, it’s driven by the a gang of three: Richard Warne (rotating director of a state-wide bond entity that deals with bonds (Form 700)), Patrick Munoz, and Matt McCleary.

    Indeed, outside Bond Ties working out of City Hall are exhausting administrative remedies as required by law so they can enter, become a joinder, or piggyback on the larger picture of the Bond Industry as they think the courts in Sacramento are going to be sympathetic to their *malfeasance.

    It’s win-win for Munoz and McCleary because they continue to to shakedown the residents of 29 while continuing to make huge profits. What do you think about the recent raise now that Richard Wayne was granted by the city council?

    Two city councilmen lemmings have been ssitting on the knees of the gang of three since 2011.

    Is Munoz committing legal malpracitice?

    *MALFEASANCE n.– intentionally doing something either legally or morally wrong which one had no right to do. It always involves dishonesty, illegality, or knowingly exceeding authority for improper reasons. Malfeasance is distinguished from “misfeasance,” which is committing a wrong or error by mistake, negligence or inadvertence, but not by intentional wrongdoing. EXAMPLE: a city manager putting his indigent cousin on the city payroll at a wage the manager knows is above that allowed and/or letting him file false time cards is malfeasance; putting his able cousin on the payroll which, unknown to him, is a violation of an anti-nepotism statute is misfeasance. This distinction can apply to corporate officers, public officials, trustees, and others cloaked with responsibility

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