Yucca Valley, Ca.-OPINION- The list of Yucca Valley Town Manager, Mark Nuaimi’s, spending spree continues in this story asking the question: Can Yucca Valley afford this Town Manager?
Nuaimi was hired July of 2010 and is paid close to $20,000.00 per month when you add up salary, perks and benefits, to NOT make mistakes. However, it seems he is fast and loose with over committing Town funds for projects. Most of these costs over-runs and budget-busters came in during Mayor Dawn Rowe’s turn on the dais leaving her term as her “Legacy of Debt.” >>>Link
Nuaimi’s unchecked spending spree continues:
Sky Harbor Dog Park Project costs $1.5 million dollars
Project bumped up and “internal loan” increased from $250,000 to $377,000 from the General Fund.>>>LINK This project did not use or hire local sub-contractors, landscapers or plumbers.
General Plan Update-Project costs $1,020,000.00
Against the concerns of two experienced Town Council members to check the current budget situation, Nuaimi pushed forward with the General Plan Update stating the costs of $1 million would be spread over three years. Contract awarded to Orange County firm $20,000.00 over cost estimates. Nuaimi submits $500,000 to Department of Finance for a ROP, Recognized Obligation and was denied. >>>link
Community Development Block Grants Nuaimi Swiped for Pro-active Code Enforcement Officer
Our local charities, who were the past beneficiaries of CDBG funds, agreed to sit tight for three years as a previous Council voted to save these funds for three years to install a simple zero-depth splash pad similar to the one in Joshua Tree. The third, and last leg, was swiped by Nuaimi to hire a pro-active code enforcement officer further delaying this park for our families with small children. At the March 1, 2011, meeting Nuaimi recommended the Council allocate the entire $126,400 to the Town’s Code Enforcement program. Ex-Council Member Isaac Hagerman disagreed with the proposal but ultimately voted with the rest of the Council, 5-0. >>>Link
Nuaimi has taken over the design of Splash Pad project and cost estimates soared beyond CDBG funds previously saved for three years.$43,400.00 awarded to RJM Design Group Jan. 17, 2012. Agenda #15 >>>Link
The project is at risk of being tossed aside even with $356,000 saved for this project. >>>Link Stamp page 37.
Brehm Youth Sports Park- Commits $300,000 per year to support private park.
Yucca Valley citizens footed a $20,000 bill to hire a Grant writer seeking Prop 84 funding for the privately owned Brehm Youth Sports Park. On June 29, 2011, Nuaimi obligated Yucca Valley to support the park at a cost estimated at $180,000.00 per year, plus $40,000 for scholarships (annual lease amount) and continued funding of the Boys and Girls Club, non-profit, at $50,000.00 per year. A blank “lease agreement” that neither party agreed to, was submitted to obtain millions of dollars in grants. Nuaimi offered to write-up “side agreements to the lease,” if funding was secured. The only one objecting to that idea was newly appointed Councilman Merl Abel, but then voted yes on the item.
REFERENCE: Town letter of Commitment, page 7.>>>Link
This Brehm Sports Park agenda item was pulled off the regular Town Council meeting (which is recorded and televised) and was approved the following week at a 4 pm meeting on June 29, 2011, which was not televised. Ex-Councilman Isaac Hagerman voted on two items, spending $20,000 for a grant writer and the Town paying the yearly maintenance. A personal loan to Isaac Hagerman by Cindy (Brehm) Melland over $10,000.00 has been revealed on Hagerman’s Form 700 disclosure of Economic Interests.
Nuaimi recently bumped up the Town of Yucca Valley’s commitment and maintenance to $300,000.00 per year (originally $180,000.00) to support the “turn-key gift” of the Brehm Youth Sports soccer fields.
Nuaimi’s Track Record
Dissolved Veterans Day Parade.
Leans on Town vendors to give to political campaigns/advocate for Measure U. Burrtec donated $10,000. >>>Link
Brought in full-time in-house engineer originally suggesting a cost savings over out sourcing.
Personally approved the Certificate of Occupancy to Sonic Burger over-riding the Planning Commission’s insistence for the required safety improvements of concrete medians and light signals at Balsa and Hwy 62.>>>Link
Reading emails and texting during Town Council meeting interviewing applicants to fill vacated seat by appointment.
Did not call for a General Election to fill 3 1/2 year term when Councilman Chad Mayes resigned.
Closed Town offices on Friday. Machine answers calls to front desk.
Spent over $199,000.00 General Fund dollars and 18 months Staff time to promote Measure U. >>>Link
When Nuaimi’s was hired July 2010, his employment contract states his evaluation will be on an annual basis each January following certain guidelines he must approve in advance. Employment Contract>>>link
Where are his evaluations for 2011, 2012 and 2013? Did Nuaimi conduct his own “eval” behind closed doors like when he discusses the agenda with each Council member?>>>link
Again, the question….”Can Yucca Valley Afford to Keep this Guy?”
Note: Margo Sturges has written many articles for Cactus Thorns and is the founder of Citizens4Change.info. Email contact: MargoSturgesYV(at)aol.com
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell