Yucca Valley, Ca,- In a blink of an eye, there will be the mid year review of the Town budget as the New Year is quickly approaching. Pulling out of this Great Recession is going to take a longer time for Yucca Valley compared to surrounding communities. Several projects were brought in over budget ignoring some of the “No” votes cast by past Mayor Dawn Rowe to Town Manager Mark Nuaimi continued spending and committing funds beyond the means of the town during her term sitting on the dais.
To this day, Nuaimi continues spending funds hiring outside consultants and large multimillion dollar contracts are awarded to his Fontana connections. The recent $3.99 million dollar award of the animal shelter included a bid from concrete supplier in Fontana and no local vendors were listed for that project.
The defeat of Measure U, Nuaimi’s 1% General Fund tax for 30 years, put an extra strain on the Town budget because it is estimated over $200,000.00 tax dollars was spent to promote the tax through “educational” outreach and mailers. The true dollar amount may never surface unless there is a forensic audit to include Staff time and Town assets that were provided, they are unknown factors at this time. Nuaimi’s salary is about $20,000.00 per month and he was involved for 18 months working to promote this tax.
The Yucca Valley Town Council will look to close a few gaps in the next budget deciding what programs to cut or give the axe which may include the Hi-Desert Nature Museum, again. While ex-Councilmen Chad Mayes and Frank Luckino are no longer seated on the dais, there is still the “Ghost of Museum Axe,” represented by Councilman Dawn Rowe.
When Rowe ran for office in 2010, she was asked about the Museum. She stated, “I do not think that our town can continue to sustain the almost $300,000 a year that goes toward the museum’s operating expenses. We looked at cutting public safety this year, and I don’t think there should be any cuts in public safety over something like that.”
If you care about the Hi-Desert Museum, your group should start to organize now, sooner than later.
The Yucca Valley Town Council strategic meeting will take place on January 12, 2013, to decide what the priorities are for the coming year. This meeting will take place during the day to allow the Town employees to take part, I’m guessing. Questions and ready answers, posing as choices, will be offered by Town Manager Mark Nuaimi in his Power Point presentation. Everyone in attendance will be given a clicker to cast a vote and the citizens will never know how the elected Councilmen voted or if they changed their vote at a later date.
Councilman Robert Lombardo was absent last year from participating by showing up after the session was over.
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