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Balancing the Budget in Yucca Valley?

By   /   March 9, 2013  /   21 Comments

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OPINION- Yucca Valley Town Manager Mark Nuaimi wrangled a $14,000 raise and a 3 year contract including added benefits increasing the cost to terminate him. His total package is now $293,000.00 per year.  He did all of this with an inexperienced council prior to the budget workshop sessions to close his $700,000-$1 million budget gap. He is ending the children’s swimming lessons and the popular Summer Concert series. This lack of leadership also reveals insight into Nuaimi’s real concerns, or lack thereof, because he does not live in Yucca Valley.   Z107.7 Editorial link

Nuaimi has been on a spending spree from the moment he was hired in June 2010.  He is a politician trying to cross over to a town management position that is not working out for the residents of Yucca Valley especially in these difficult economic times.

His only connection to this small rural town of 20,700 with an average income of $35,000 is the paycheck package he receives now totaling over $293,000.00 a year and he lives in Fontana.

Town Manager Mark Nuaimi was hired by a previous town council claiming Congressman Paul Cook urged him to apply for the position even though he had no real previous experience as a Town Manager. Nuaimi’s  turbulent 3.75 years at the helm of the City of Colton left their finances near bankruptcy and reserves were taken down to $50,000. His claim to fame was “he laid himself off as a cost cutting move to save the City of Colton.”  The reality was he was NOT going to be promoted to City Manager and the incoming newly hired manager, Rod Foster, made it known there would not be a place setting for Nuaimi anymore.

1. As I see it, there are pockets of money hidden out of sight that should be put back into play.  At one meeting, Nuaimi said there was a $71,000 surplus after the completion of the dog park.

2. There is $350,000 (plus $17,000 interest) in a loan to the Hi-Desert Water District that has been returned to the Town verified by CFO/AGM Frank Luckino who reported a $300,000 projected budget surplus for HDWD.

3. When outsourced, the Yucca Valley Engineering Department costs were $124,550 in earlier years. The in-house cost for the coming budget cycle, including vehicle and car allowance is now pegged at $304, 495.00!

4. Remove any and all car allowances for Department heads living within 30 miles from Town Hall. These funds were allocated under the current town manager. Each of these department heads receive six-figure salaries plus benefits. Car allowances in the 2013-2014 proposed budget include: Finance Department, $9,000; Community Services, $6,000; Community Development, $4,500; and Engineering Department, $6,000.

5. Refuse to accept the generous gift of  the turn-key Youth Sports park from Mr. Brehm (Cindy Melland/Hi-Desert Star) until the economy has turned around and/or an annuity is provided for maintaining of said gift.  Our town cannot afford $200,000-$300,000 maintenance costs per year. Outsource all the current Parks and Recreation maintenance for further savings.

6. Save $3.2 million by pulling the plug on the Yucca Valley Senior Housing fiasco NOW. Threats that Yucca Valley MAY not be eligible for grants are a moot point when the State is broke and the Government isn’t flush with cash either. Obligating $3.2 million dollars to build 75-one bedroom units does not pencil out. There may be another Senor Housing program available in the future that will not jeopardize the financial future of Yucca Valley.

7. The Town Manager must immediately stop any further negotiations or agreements by our town to partner with Brehm Communications/Cindy Melland on developing the Golf Course.  It is now in PRIVATE hands and that money pit will never turn a profit even when the town changes zoning to allow building  975 high density units at the perimeter of the golf course.

8. Any litigation costs exceeding $25,000 are to be taken out of the Town Manager’s salary. Spending $50,500 to impound two pets was absolutely insane!

9. Cease the Town’s supplemental funding of the 4th of July fireworks of $8,000-$10,000 for one evening. The Rotary Club should stop competing with the Marine Base signing up for a “Bigger and Better” show each year. A 50% reduction of fireworks blowing up in the sky is still a spectacular event for one evening.

10. Transfer out the marketing funds from the Chamber of Commerce over to DARTA and let the professionals promote Yucca Valley Tourism at the Welcome Center. Charge rent to Chamber and DARTA for office space.

11. Submit Nuaimi’s claims of 400-500 hours for overtime payment to Basinwide Foundation/Brehm Communications in the amount of $30,000-$50,000.  Nuaimi is meeting with them to discuss a golf course partnership agreement and has been involved in the designs of the Brehm Sports park. These are PRIVATELY owned projects and why should the citizens foot the bill for special interests?

12. Increase the Hotel bed tax to bring in $150,000 per year assigned only to road maintenance.

13. Invest in Mom & Pop stores by placing them in a tax-free zone for 5 years.  Change the name of “Old Town” to “Toon Town” where every building is painted in eye-popping neon colors…Polka Dots! Stripes! Take video of the transformation and showcase the progress on YouTube! Place all receipts for purchases by residents over $50 in a monthly drawing for prizes. Make “Toon Town” a tourist and shopping destination of curiosity by word of mouth or YouTube.

14. Build an indoor skating arena for Roller Derby or Roller Hockey competitions. Set aside one day a week for 539399_10151229979093755_1350382312_nmini motorized model car competitions or remote control helicopter golf. A wall can be designed for rock climbing.  A place to encourage our youth to exercise or just hang out in a climate controlled facility. Add bleachers, bring in food vendors, pizza, popcorn or arcades. What about the old Walmart building?

And, of course……

15. The biggest savings to the Town of Yucca Valley is to give Mark Nuaimi a 30-day notice pink slip laying him off due to budget constraints in this horrible economy. That would save Yucca Valley $293,000.00 per year, not to mention the $$millions of dollars in overspending and over budget projects. After all, it was his idea when Measure U failed, remember? See below….Town Manager $250,000

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More ideas coming…….

 

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

21 Comments

  1. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    I swear Margo, every single one of these items are on my list for La Quinta, including a cost-bloated senior housing project of 75 units, a ridiculous golf course and subsidizing the Chamber of Commerce! Shut these cities down and get rid of these moronic councils who have no idea what they are doing! I think the only hope at this point is that these greedy City Managers and Council will run these cities into BK.

    • Tim Humphreville Tim Humphreville says:

      Wow. This is unbelievable. The town can balance the budget by increasing the occupancy tax by $150,000 to fix roads that need $650,000+ a year. Oh wait, that’s right, it takes a vote of the people to increase the occupancy tax and there have already been discussions about doing that to ASSIST THE HOTELS/MOTELS in paying their connection costs to the sewer.
      Next is the $350,000 (plus interest) that HDWD paid back to the town. Uh, Margot, the town pre-purchased ten years of water using those funds and negotiated a reduced water rate with that agreement. It’s going to save the us money every year for the ten years and allow the HDWD to purchase water now and bank it for later — saving them $$ as water costs continue to increase. Remember, you opposed that idea!

      Next up on this budget balancing strategy is the “surplus” from Essig Park. At the time, Margot claimed the town had cost overruns on that project. –once again attacking Mark, Then there was the complaint that the town was borrowing against future development impact fees for park development. The unspent contingency on the park means that the town doesn’t have to borrow quite as many of those development impact fees.
      Next in her brilliant budget balancing strategy is using affordable housing funds and other restricted sources (like flood control fees, Local Transportation Funds, etc.) instead of delivering 75 affordable senior housing units. Those units are in great demand with the recent elimination of the income restrictions on the senior housing in JT. I thought Margot supported helping the elderly? Maybe I got confused and thought it was ALL of the elderly and not just Bob L.

      Brehm Park is an amazing gift to this town. I know your word means nothing, But past council members, and Andy Told them the town would take it. The museum should be a non-profit, with very little subsidy if any. We do spend far to much money there ,But have not had any politicians willing to cut that funding. Besides,there is no room for wheelchair races in there. At least at the park we can use the miracle league field for them. And scene I am so stressed for work, Maybe I can get the job of retrofitting all the town restrooms for the diaper changing stations.

      I really love the idea of building an indoor roller rink. Or maybe using the old Walmart. What money does Margo think the town should use to use to purchase that? Or are we supposed to ignore the fact that building actually belongs to Walmart and demand that they donate it?
      Then there the litigation cost issue. When the town gets sued, Margot’s solution is to not defend itself. So the next time we see dogs attack a woman in her 80s, Margot will be asking that we release the dogs (unless she’s the victim) and not contest this in court — well, not immediately. As soon as those dogs attack another person and we don’t have liability insurance protecting the town, I’m sure the legal tab will be in the millions! Did I mention the woman attacked was in her 80s? Hmmm, maybe Margot is just trying to eliminate competition for the senior housing waiting list since I have heard Bob L is a prime candidate.

      Now to the outright lies… the car allowances for senior staff have been in place long before Mark was the town manager. ANDY TAKATA put them in place, right around the same time that he increased the retirement benefit for all employees and had it retroactively apply to all the years of service – including his own five years!!!! I believe Bob Leone was on the council when that brain fart was accomplished. I will be sure to ask Bob at his first council meeting, so be sure your recorder is working!

      Margot, next time there’s a vacancy for city manager (you seem to track those closely), you should take your vast ideas and budget balancing experience and apply for the job. Good luck in those efforts. I am sure your resume listing “flea market vendor” will get you that job!

      • LINDAG LINDAG says:

        I can only see one solution to all these costly issues….disincorporate and go back under County control and let the County figure it out. Just like I have been saying, cities are just another costly layer of government that needs to go.

        • Floyd Brown Floyd Brown says:

          linda, i have been reading your disencorporate argument for months. You propose having the county government 60 miles away make decisions for our city? that makes no sense and would only aggrivate the problem of our officials not living in our area.

          • LINDAG LINDAG says:

            Well, Floyd, our City Manager in La Quinta does not live in our area anyway, and controls our City Council…you all know him well – Frankie/RSG – and how he manipulates Councils. How much worse could it be? And I know disincorporation is a near impossibility…that is why I am hoping that Frank with his bad decisions and spendthrift ways will drive us into BK, then maybe we can be done with all this City nonsense. I lived out here when we were under County control and it was not a problem…and a hell of a lot cheaper! We are counting the days until this poorly managed city starts pushing the voters to approve special assessments or other type tax.

  2. Ed Montgomery Ed Montgomery says:

    The only thing I see coming from Town Manager Mark Nuaimi is more games. He’s going to run the town of Yucca Valley into the ground before he’s done. He has no idea what he’s doing , he’s not going to be able to balance the budget and then he is going to blame measure U because it didn’t pass. The whole thing is the town Council is let him do this nonsense.

    If anybody knows this or not when the town of Yucca Valley was voted in as a incorporate entity it only passed by seven votes, I know because I was here. I voted against incorporation at that time and I said we should have a recount, but nobody had the money to do the recount at the time. Now we’re stuck with this mess and a Town Manager Mark Nuaimi that’s out-of-control right along with the town Council. They are running amok with taxpayer dollars. They have no shame whatsoever, and they don’t care.

    You have a town manager that doesn’t live in this area whatsoever he has no interest in this community and the only thing the town manager is interested in, in my opinion is getting his money and even then he’s only working 3 to 4 days a week, this is what I call an out-of-control city government. They will lie through their teeth to try to make you believe all their nonsense!

    The town Yucca Valley claims that everybody’s working 10 hours a day four days a week, I’m sorry but I don’t believe it. By the way the High Desert water district is doing the same thing. But they’re only open half an hour longer than they used to be.

    The people that are running the water district and the town Yucca Valley taking advantage of the taxpayers of this community. We need to go back to five days a week and stop wasting taxpayers money. Balance the budget. Everybody has to balance a budget so why not the town Yucca Valley, because they have no idea what they’re doing.
    .

  3. The town manager allegedly worked 400 overtime, many of those bogus hours with with the private sector, but failed to first clear it with the town, then he comes back after the fact asking for overtime.

    The town manager is the “King of Greed” and is known in this state as the “King of Conflict.” He may have the town council snowed, but the public sector is not.

    Now he’s putting in five more stop lights in this small town. Some of which on side streets. This guy is out of step with the (once) rural nature of Yucca Valley. He continues to harm the town and the community.

    He is drunk with power and out of control. His MO is to divide the community with a ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality. The oldest trick in the books for Machiavellians.

  4. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Same here in La Quinta, and I forgot to mention that our new CM, Frankie, does not live in our City either. That explains it…”His MO is to divide the community with a ‘them’ and ‘us’mentality. The oldest trick in the books for Machiavellians.”

  5. Tim Humphreville Tim Humphreville says:

    Margo, Each and every one of the town council members are much more successful than you. It was not to long ago I remember you posting that you blew your monthly food budget, buy buying a pie at the farmers market. So don’t you think they just might have insight that you do not have. Yet you keep posting they are stupid. I think you should re evaluate your stance on these issues. Maybe leave it to the business people to figure it out. Go back to selling your used boots at the swap meet

    • Humphreville, you need to be jerked from the planning commission and removed from the town hall establishment.

      Your vehement attacks and elitist attitude is why people in Yucca Valley are fed up with centralized powers. You can be counted on for demonstrating why voting districts will be voted.

      Your ethics as a condition pledge for public office has once again been violated, and you are becoming increasingly deplorable as an appointed public official.

      • Tim Humphreville Tim Humphreville says:

        Ben, You and Margo spend your time spewing lies and dividing this town as a Hobie. Take a look at the top of this page, It starts out as all of Margo’s “reports” do with opinion. What it really is, Hog wash. You can sit behind your computers and spread this crap, then expect some to not respond, But it will not be me! Both of you seam to have very thin skin, If you cant take what you put out, find another hobie.

  6. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Wow! Who are you…are you an elected official? I hope not. Yours is such an elitist attitude. I know you are stupid because no smart person would say those things out loud. Many of us live on budgets and do not have City/taxpayer provided expense accounts. I would not want an apology from you if I were Margo, because it would be meaningless to come from such a low place, but you sure should not be in politics, if you are, Mr. Trump. I’m shocked, even though I should not be, by your statement. “Leave it to the business people…”, boy that sure leaves a lot of people out of the governance of our cities, which probably explains why things are so screwed up and why these councils do not listen to the residents they purport to represent.

    • Sorry, Lindag, you had five stars until my cursor mistakenly raked over the stars and hit the 1-star button.

      Seems people don’t much care when a public official like Humphreville acts like a complete jerk filled with with malice, contempt and loathing.

      His days as a public servant (sic) are numbered.

  7. @Linda, Tim Humphreville could NOT get elected so never ran for office. Timothy Dean is an APPOINTED Planning Commissioner that was “left over” from a previous town council member that resigned. The appointed Town Council member to the empty seat, with ALL the rights and privileges of an elected official, did NOT have this Humphreville guy on his short list of his appointments. As luck would have it, the appointed councilman who has no spine, was convinced by Yucca Valley Town Manager Mark Nuaimi to keep Timothy on the planning commission. Therefore, his gratitude and indebtedness to Nuaimi to even ghost write articles as a faithful minion.

    Never being recognized in our community and growing up in his successful brother’s shadow, Timothy Dean Humphreville has allowed this appointment to go to his head and is an embarrassment to our community.

    His disrespectful attitude displayed above in his comments and posts indicates he could benefit from counseling.

    His outbursts of rage indicate he has a problem with anger management.

    His short temper reflects pent-up financial stress in this economy since he only knows construction framing and is not a licensed electrician.

    His spec home that he lives in has been on the market for years while prices are depressed below the cost of construction.

    Humphreville accidentally rotated into the seat of Chairman which inflated his ego over the top but would not help him overcome his inferiority complex of being the second (or middle?) child. Again, a qualified psychiatrist could help him work on these issues to allow him further development into adulthood.

    There is a term for his compulsive lying. Unable to remember facts due to his short memory span, the reality is distorted as he has nothing to fall back on. Panic sets in when he feels he is “caught” or “found out.” I doubt serving in our military forces would have helped him with this disorder.

    An example of his distorted reality was to take his friend, who was out on bail for a DUI hit and run fatality of a bicyclist, out to a bar to have a few drinks to celebrate being released out of jail.

    • Tim Humphreville Tim Humphreville says:

      Margo, While at the same church that you knock the town council members for attending, ask the Pastor ,for forgiveness…. wait he may not since you call him corrupt also, But you could ask anyway. Don’t worry the devil will still walk with you tomorrow.

      • I never called ANY pastor corrupt but Tim Humphreville writes the Pastor is corrupt in his comment. Is this what Timothy is trying to spread?

        Remember, this is Mayor pro-tem Robert Lombardo’s Planning Commissioner.

        Tim is a bad example for the high school kids reading this blog.

        More Lies by Timothy Dean Humphreville:

        I never knocked the council members for attending church.
        I never called the pastor corrupt.
        I always keep the Grace of the Lord to be strong when evil tries to block the works He has placed on my heart.
        I give all the credit to the Lord and I am never alone.

        Thank you for your comment and I will say a prayer for you.

        Sincerely,

        Margo

        • Mr. Lombardo ought defend the integrity of his office and the integrity of the planning commission and control this unhinged nut job.

          Humphreville has demonstrated he’s not cut out to be a public official, and if Lombardo doesn’t have a talk with him or replace him, Lombardo cleary endorces and enables Humphreville’s malicious and malevolent attack on Margo.

          Humphreville transfers his vile acts back to Lombardo, and it speaks more of Lumbardo than it does Humphreville.

          I don’t know rotating Mayor Robert Lombardo but I do know he has appointed someone who is immature, arrogant, verbally abusive and who is abusing his public office and violating state ethics pursuant to FPPC 1234 ethics.

          • Tim Humphreville Tim Humphreville says:

            Ben you need some cheese to go with that wine? Tell you what stay tuned for about fifteen minutes and I will show you what horse pucky margo’s post is. Why don’t you call him and suggest a better person for the job? Maybe he will like your suggestion. Your threats of FPPC violations get really old. You and Margo may intimadate some people with that crap, But not me. As long as she writes this kind of hate I will respond the same. I kind of like it its comic relief for me.

            • No threat has ever been made by me, Tim. Had I wanted to file a FPPC complaint against you I would have done it long ago. I will say it again, you are a disgrace to the office Lombardo appointed you to, and becoming a disgrace to Yucca Valley local government.

              Have fun with your malevolence. Your days as a public official are numbered.

    • LINDAG LINDAG says:

      Oh, and Margo, not only is he stupid, but he does not have a sense of humor as I got the joke without even reading the posting re the “pie” issue…I know what you meant, that many of these homemade goods are expensive, (but always worth the splurge), just as I have joked that I “mortgaged my house and went out to dinner at Cuistot, for instance…(and it was worth it). I get the joke…geesh…but isn’t it amazing that he remembered this remark, of all things, from your posting?

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