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More Bang For Your Buck

By   /   January 12, 2013  /   15 Comments

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Hear it? That sucking sound? Its coming out of your wallet…. It is the sound of Millions of Dollars being wasted yearly by a non-responsive and burdensome layer of local government.

You know I have been thinking about this Fire Department thing. The city leaders are about to tell us that they are not going to spend a penny out of their revenue to support a fire department. They believe fire protection is best handled by the folks 120 miles away in San Bernardino… The county Seat. They are planning to force the Water Department to give up control of the Fire Department to the County…. Half the folks in town like that idea the other have don’t, but the Council is in the drivers seat and will do what the council majority will do.

I am thinking if fire protection is not the responsibility of the city and they sure as hell are not going to pay for it, why is it the responsibility of the city to provide police protection? Ain’t it the same?

The whole idea of cityhood was “local Control”… loosing the local control of fire protection is not, “local control.”

Lets reevaluate the need for local government… Hey I can go up online right now and do everything and get everything with the County of San Bernardino I would ever need to conduct my business. I can pay my bills, buy my licenses, get a permit and deal with almost every department and commission the county has right there on the computer or on the phone. I can do that right from my kitchen table or my computer desk, I don’t need to travel down the hill to the county seat. The County Seat comes to me, by way of  the World Wide Web. Why do I need a over burdensome middle man city government ? Why in these modern times do we need a meddlesome group of local busy bodies hindering  both growth and commerce? Why should I need to deal with bureaucrats that can’t give me an answer without a committee having a year of meetings to decide?

I am thinking since the city feels that the County Seat can control and protect us, when come to fire protection, Why not every other aspect of government service and function? Why not we move to dis-incorporate?

Talk about saving money…. Look at the Millions of dollars saved annually in payroll and pension costs. The City right if we closed this puppy down right now owes $12 Million in unfunded pension liability.  That can be paid off with what is in the kitty, and we are done with it.

I will be expressing this sentiment to LAFCO at Monday Nights Council Meeting. We want everyone to be on notice that the end game of refusing to accept local control of the fire department will be used as the to cause the push that avalanche of events leading to dis-incorporation.

For you see with the advent of modern communications and technology we need not travel to the county seat for licenses or permits, and a belief that if both fire and police services are best provided by the County of San Bernardino, why not let them cut out the expensive middleman and take the whole thing back over?

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  • Published: 2 years ago on January 12, 2013
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  • Last Modified: January 13, 2013 @ 7:12 am
  • Filed Under: 29 Palms, News

About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Yeah Dan! Lets disincorporate all these little towns and cities, Like La Quinta which does nothing except spend, spend, spend!..and does not act in the best interest of its citizens. DISINCORPORATE! I’m going to watch your presentation on the 29Palms website and take notes to present to our Council. Our City will be hitting us up soon for special assessments to pay for their folly and bad management decisions and I want to be ready with the call to DISINCORPORATE!

  2. Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 says:

    If they aren’t willing to support a Fire Dept, I don’t think providing art, a theater and a few over paid jobs at City Hall gives the City justification to exist.

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      Interesting thought.

      If the city budget were online like it is supposed to be I think we would see that except for the Sheriff’s Department contract the lion’s share of the tax money goes to Park and Recreation. Even our roads do not get as much of the general Fund as does Park and recreation if I remember right because measure “I” funds are used for the roads.

      Again, in my estimation, this boils down to the responsibilities of a city and why people form governments. Either a local government provides for the “must have” services as opposed to the “nice to have” services speaks volumes about the elected leaders of that community.

      We shall see.

  3. Cora Heiser Cora Heiser says:

    FY 2013- Police Dept. 38%
    non-departmental- 14%
    Community services- 13%
    Admin. services-11%

  4. It’s time for a change of elected officials if the city fails to act in in the public’s best interest. I would support a recall of on those whom put the entire town, its structures, businesses, future development, schools and churches in harms way with inadequate public safety and fire protection.

    Moreover, it’s time for Mr. Warne to begin his job search. He has been one of the most destructive forces that has ever come to this city-village.

    To name a few: Scandalizing debt, mismanagement of public funds, power mongering, a clear and verifiable intent to do harm to people, their property, their children, trashing the fire department and TPWD with malice, ignoring the wishes of city council members, generating exorbitant fees for self-serving consultants and legal council, disseminating conflicting info re Project Phoenix, undermining disclosure and transparency (fundamental cornerstones of an open government.

  5. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Pinole Firefighters Spared Ax By New $1.2M Grant

    The funding should help cover some of the department’s most critical needs, including maintaining 24-hour staffing, increasing its roster of frontline firefighters and hiring and rehiring firefighters who were laid off by budget cuts.

    December 22, 2012



    Bay City News

    The Pinole Fire Department just got a big financial boost from the federal government, officials announced this week.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded the department a $1.24 million “Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response” grant.

    The funding should help cover some of the department’s most critical needs, including maintaining 24-hour staffing, increasing its roster of frontline firefighters and hiring and rehiring firefighters who were laid off because of budget cuts, according to a statement from the office of Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez.

    “This grant is a vital boost to our local fire department which plays such an important safety role in our community,” Miller said in a statement.

    “First responders all over California have been hit especially hard by the recent economic turndown and I’m glad to see the federal government stepping in with critical financial resources to help carry out the vital mission of our local firefighters.”

    The SAFER grant is also meant to support the recruitment and retention of volunteers to increase the number of trained, certified, competent firefighters in the event of an emergency.

    The SAFER program provides about $320 million in grants to fire departments statewide, according to Miller’s office.
    Related Topics: $1.24 Million Grant, Pinole Fire Department, SAFER, and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant

  6. Thanks Lindag for the info. This is what city staff ought to be working on. But they have their own agenda and that does not include serving the people and making them safe in their homes and property.

  7. Carey Alderson Carey Alderson says:

    Maybe it’s me but, would it not be prudent for ALL agencies to apply for any and every grant, supplemental funding, and assistance available to them?? The worst that could happen is that they might be told “No”.

  8. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Branson, do you mean to tell me that you expect our city’s staff to actually do some work for the $60,000, $70,000, $80,000, $90,000, $100,000 +++++ salaries that they collect? La Quinta created 4 new “chair warmer” positions at City Hall to do Frank’s job for him, and eliminated 4 “boots on the ground”/public safety positions. I called the HR Dept to find out where they were advertising to recruit for these positions and she said, mmmm, errrr, aaahhhh, “on our website”, errr, aaahhh, in the Municipal Employees publication, aand I asked her if they contacted EDD as there are a lot of good, qualified people who are out of work, and she said “do they help people GET JOBS?”….R U KIDDING ME? How much do you think she gets paid for not knowing how to do her job?

    And yes, Carey, staff should be applying for all grants, but the problem is that whenever we in La Quinta talk about doing some actual, real work, they have to hire a consultant at $175 per hour to do their work for them. Just as in the HR example above, they are used to hiring an employment agency to do their work for them, so they have no clue what to do when called upon to do some real work!

    DISINCORPORATE! DISINCORPORATE!!!! What a waste of money these cities are!

    • Lindag, have you sent the city a request for public records?

      I see the burgeoning and robust upswell from the public toward their local politicians (in terms of squandering money, being complacent to outside self-serving influences, passing out huge consulting fees like it free pancake feed, pandering to influential forces, the good old boy networks, bending the rules, as well as corrupting) is like this:

      Governments all around the globe are experiencing backlashes from the public. It’s happening in California and right here in our own Morongo Basin. Albeit without the violence and mass protests in the streets. There are inexplicable forces at work in this new millennium and it is not going to go away.

      In turn, some elected and appointed officials will begin to change. The protest are not going to go away.

  9. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    …have I sent a request for public records? I am famous! I was mentioned in the City Council minutes as one who “inundates” the Council with requests and the Mayor characterized my requests as “harrasing”…and he then said he would not respond to any more of my requests unless they are “legally required to…”, which, frankly, is all I ever asked…for public information. So, the answer is yes, I make requests all the time. When I read the responses, I am usually even more infuriated and frustrated. Citizen involvement here in La Quinta is just beginning, ergo, the astonishment by our Council. The are wondering who these people are who are asking questions and actually attending Council meetings…they forgot that there are actual people who live in this town because they have been so busy catering to big money influences and running an elitist golf course (Silver Rock, fyi). DAMN PESKY RESIDENTS, ANYWAY.

    Council member Henderson was heard to say that “somebody” is out there stirring up trouble….I hope it was me she was referencing. Who wants to do all this work and research and have nobody notice? So thanks Henderson, for noticing all my hard work.

    Isn’t it “troubling” that a council members feels that citizen involvement is considered to be “stirring up trouble”? If there is no trouble to stir, what are they worried about?

    She is mad at me because I provide to the newcomers to our area (I have lived here 25 years)background information on our council members and hers includes the DUI reports from The Desert Sun where she was arrested, once on my street after crashing – she could have injured somebody/me/my family/my friends. I am not a fan of hers….nor of any of our Councilmembers who operate in group-think and vote in lock-step. We need to ask our city’s engineer to check the “red light button” on the council’s dais as it may not work and nobody knows it…

    And now they are being lead around by the nose by Frank. Frank drove us to the edge of the fiscal cliff of a half-billion dollar in RDA debt to repay, and now I hope he drives us over the edge by draining our general fund with $175 an hour insider consulting contracts, and we head quickly, into bankruptcy…maybe then we can DISINCORPORATE!!! DISINCORPORATE!!

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