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This is so good it does not need a headline…..

By   /   December 27, 2012  /   Comments Off

The Desert Sun and the SB Sun do not shine on the wrong side of the tracks and the Press Enterprise doesn’t cover the east end of the county leaving a few sorry city marooned in the wilderness. Thanks to Cactus Thorns there is enlightenment and the blog gives us hope to find our way out of the darkness.

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City Manager Merry-Go-Round

Desert Hot Springs, CA – With half of the cities in Ventura County hunting for a new city manager due to a spate of departures the shortage is beginning to affect Riverside County.

Close to home Cathedral City just suffered a city manager turnover, as well as the city of Rancho Mirage. Of six cities in Southwest Riverside County – Murrieta, Temecula, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar and Canyon Lake – only Murrieta will end the year with the same city manager it started with.

CaliforniaCityNew.org pointed out… “Perhaps the most notable departure was the firing of Temecula’s City Manager Bob Johnson, as city officials have divulged little information about their decision.”

Robert Rizzo former city manager city of Bell now in prison

Robert Rizzo former city manager city of Bell now in prison

That’s right. Some cities have fired their city managers and no one is talking about it. After what happened to the city of Bell and city manager Robert Rizzo it is no wonder.

“In Wildomar, City Manager Frank Oviedo decided to resign to take a position in Santa Clarita as Assistant City Manager. Lake Elsinore City Manager Bob Brady was fired back in the spring and in his place the city has hired Grant Yates, formerly Director of Community Relations for the city of Temecula. In Canyon Lake the council decided not to renew the contract of City Manger Lori A. Moss, so she cut short her tenure by around 6 weeks. Then in November Menifee’s city manager, Bill Rawlings, stepped down from his position.”

Menifee in particular has had five different city managers in four-and-half years. The average endurance of holding the position of city manager is five years. Desert Hot Springs city manager Rick Daniels is celebrating his five year anniversary holding on to his job.

Whatever happened to the days when bureaucrats were blissfully boring?

Press Enterprise writer Carl Love covered the subject of the Southwest on December 7 “LOVE: Something Weird is Gong On With City Managers.”

Still, East Riverside County is ignored by the PE, the county paper and that only leaves news readers stuck with the Gannet daily.  The Desert Sun has often abandoned Desert Hot Springs as the poor stepchild of Coachella Valley cities without a full time reporter on the beat and often the assignment of cub reporters fresh out of college who don’t know the faces, names and politics essential to telling the story. This often leaves the city manager alone to tell the story and we all know how that story goes.

Up in the high desert there are many stories that go unreported in the Hi-Desert Star for lack of staff or interest and The Sun of San Bernardino also does not have the resources to cover the east end of that county. That’s why Cactus Thorns is so important.

Stuck on the Wrong Side of the Tracks

Desert Hot Springs, stuck across the railroad tracks north from Palm Springs its is an awkward place for the city that is tied at the hip to Palm Springs but oh so different.

The Desert Sun doesn’t shine on the wrong side of the tracks and the PE doesn’t cover the east end of the county leaving this sorry city marooned out here in the dark cold of the wild wild west with few friends, few eyeballs watching over the government, and few paying attention to what is really going on.

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About the author

Dean M Gray

Writer, Artist & Publisher. Dean started in the newspaper business at the age of nine earning 90 cents a week walking 3 miles delivering a newspaper door to door. 500 miles later he graduated to a bicycle route. Delivering news evolved into reporting news when he started publishing his first independent newspapers in high school. He served as editor for college newspaper has been published in newspapers and magazines. Dean has been writing his way out of a paper bag and traveling uphill ever since. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. His publication is Desert Vortex News - http://www.desertvortex.com

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