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Town Manager Mark Nuaimi – Can Yucca Valley Afford to Keep this Guy?

By   /   December 31, 2012  /   8 Comments

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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
REFERENCE: Brehm Lease>>>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?”
Margo Sturges Author Link



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About the author

Margo Sturges

Yucca Valley Editor

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


  1. Mark Nuaimi Mark Nuaimi says:

    Misinformation continues…

    1). Essig Park was delivered for $1.2 million using federal, county, development impact fees, and transportation funds.

    2). General plan is being completed for under $1 million. There has been no cost increase. State DoF has indicated it may allow for RDA bonds issued prior to 2011 to be used to pay for $500k. The general plan should be updated every 10 years. Yucca Valleys general plan is 17 years old.

    3). Community center playground renovation project was designed with the budget estimate based upon recent bids received from Southside (Essig Park) construction contract. Bids to construct this Project came in 2-3 times higher in a number of areas causing the Town staff to recommend against OVERSPENDING for this renovation.

    4). Town council approved spending $20k to support a grant application for the Brehm Sports complex. The community was pursuing $5 million from the state to assist in constructing the park. The grant required the Town to demonstrate site control and a commitment to maintain the project. The project was not funded by the Prop 84 grant and there are no agreements in place. As Town Manager, I cannot commit he Town to expenditures beyond $25k approval authority. I have not approved any future obligations regarding this future park improvement. This is an issue that the Town council will be discussing in upcoming months.

    There are a bunch of other nonsense here attributing decisions and actions that were not mine to make or were made prior to my arrival at the Town. The last item I will address is the issue of performance reviews. As with every public agency, performance reviews are done in closed session. They are a personnel matter and are not conducted in open session. Any adjustments to employee contracts are made in public.

    Happy New Year everyone. Glad to see that nothing is changing in 2013!

    • Dean M Gray Dean M Gray says:

      Performance reviews should not be secret. In America its in the best interests of the public to know what is going on. That is called open government and quite different than the closed governments of communists and dictators. The spending limit of city managers should not exceed $5,000 a pop. The amount of $25,000 is way out of line. Public documents should not be suppressed (see above regarding American government versus commies and dictators. Citizen comments should not be belittled by public officials. They are called public servants for a reason. Pay to city managers should be limited to an amount tied to the average earnings in the town. There have been too many expensive screw ups no matter which way you spin it. Time for regime change!

    • HDWD-A CLOSED SESSION FOLLOWS TO EVALUATE GENERAL MANAGER ED MUZIK (June 18, 2008),Montecio Water District Closed Session Section 54957(b)(1) – General Manager’s Performance Evaluation and Salary & benefit Review (Nov 20, 2012,LAPP– GENERAL MANAGER EVALUATION AND MERIT PAY INCREASE. RECOMMENDATIONS. That the Board: 1, In closed session review the manager..(Dec 13, 2007)……the list goes on.

      Nuaimi writes: “As with every public agency, performance reviews are done in closed session. They are a personnel matter and are not conducted in open session. Any adjustments to employee contracts are made in public.”

      Okay, since that is the case, please do share the “Closed Sessions for performance evaluation of Yucca Valley Town Manager” that were agendized for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

      Did I really miss all three closed session announcements to evaluate the town manager?

  2. Damn Dawgers Damn Dawgers says:

    Happy New Year everyone. Glad to see that nothing is changing in 2013!
    Don’t bet on that Mark, I foresee all kinds of changes, 2 of them bieng you and J.C. are on your way out! She forgot the more than $50,000 spent on dog issue?

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