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Is Project Phoenix dead yet?

By   /   December 22, 2012  /   4 Comments

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The City of Twentynine Palms is refusing to take the latest letter from the California Department of Finance on the status of Project Phoenix as the last word on the matter.On November 16, a delegation from the City met in Sacramento with representatives of the DoF, to discuss  bond proceeds that the Successor to the Redevelopment Agency had transferred to the City with the object of using them for the Project Phoenix downtown redevelopment plans.
On November 21, the DoF sent a letter to City Manager Richard Warne that said, in part , “the Agency is required to reverse the improper transfer and recover the bond funds from the City.”
We spoke directly with City Manager Richard Warne about the letter.
He told us:
  • The City is evaluating the DoF letter.
  • The City doesn’t feel that DoF has addressed the legal issues surrounding bonds issued in the first half of 2012.
  • Twentynine Palms is one of 53 cities and other agencies in same situation.
  • The City does not believe DoF can ignore Federal laws regarding contracts.
  • He believes the issue will be settled by legislation or litigation.




The October Letter Twentynine_Palms_ROPS_III-1.pdf

A letter of November 20th from Dof 

Here is the December 18th 2012 letter from the DoF…. Twentynine_Palms_ROPS_III_MC_Determination (1)…. 

Supreme Court Ruling… PDF of ruling


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  • Published: 2 years ago on December 22, 2012
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  • Last Modified: December 23, 2012 @ 11:08 am
  • Filed Under: 29 Palms

About the author

Gary Daigneault

Hometown Chicopee, Massachusetts Family Status Very Married, with Children, and Grandchildren Hobbies/Interests Theater, Motorcycle riding, Indoor Broad-Jumping Most Interesting Person I've Met Ronald Reagan I'd Give Anything To... Relax for a month on a deserted tropical Island with my beautiful wife. Let Me Let You In On A Little Secret I used to be a professional Dancer, and I paint (acryclic on canvas)!! Most Memorable Z1077 Event 1989 sign-on, 1992 Earthquake, 2004 Hurricane Katrina Fund-raiser How I Keep My Daily Work Tasks Creative The staff here is so creative and fun I am never at a loss for either! My Favorite Thing To Watch On TV Right Now NFL Football (Namely, the Raiders) What's In My CD Player Right Now Soundtrack to "The Producers"


  1. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    Good article, Gary…. Though, I believe that the December Meet and Confer determination letter (Attached to this article as Twentynine Palms ROPS III MC Determination (1)) puts to rest all of those concerns that were brought up by Warne in your article.

    Giving it a read makes it pretty clear that Warne has painted himself into a corner. I hope he was not trying to use the content of the October and November letters as part of the current discussion as the December Letter supersedes any argument he might have had, as it addresses the November Meet and Confer and is the final conclusion of the DoF for ROPS III.

    I hope you can get more face time with the guy and get more information…. Keep him on point and on the right dates… Keep up the good work.

  2. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    I also wonder what Warne is saying in light of the December 18 letter that seems pretty clear to be a “NO”.

    From the Desert Trail article and now this one by Z107.7 it seems that Warne is avoiding the December 18 letter and its content.

    I hope that The Desert Trail and Z107.7 can get an answer because as we all know anyone associated with Cactus Thorns is a member of a “group”. My oh my! And that there “group” ain’t getting no answers or even a nod of the head.

  3. Paparrazi Paparrazi says:

    A message to Mr Warne: If at first you don’t succeed, failure may just be your style.

  4. Warne and Rutan & Tucker and RGS have their professional credibility on the line. They have the scent of blood in their nostrils. They will never give up. It will take three three brave, civic minded and courageous council members.

    Warne, R&T and RGS will stall until other cities file a suit in Sacramento or file it in federal courts with a joinder (adding other cities (possible 29 Palms)).

    Remember the article Cactus Thorns put up wherein the Attorney/Client Retainer Agreement between the city and Rutan & Tucker was published? since the beginning of the bond fiasco, R&T attorney fees are spiked when dealing with RDA issues.

    The city manager is not the highest paid city official. A. Patrick Munoz and Tutan & tucker and RGS are the highest paid. Of course they will fight with the state until dooms day. It’s good business practice.

    “Proposed 2011-2012 City Budget: Piercing the veil of the City Attorney”

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