I am sure many have heard the news that on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 the city council voted in a closed session to pursue legal litigation against the State of California. This litigation is a result of Project Phoenix being denied by the State on numerous occasions over the last two years.
Some questions come to mind about this event of Tuesday night. The first question is why was a discussion had in closed session by the council, the city manager, and the city attorney without any public comments or input at all? Why would our elected leaders, the city council, allow the expenditure of $200,000.00 of tax dollars without any input from the public?
To be sure we will hear that the $200,000.00 is not money that is coming out of the General Fund. We will be told that the $200,000.00 is part of the “tax increment” as if “tax increment” money is not real money.
But that is another story for another day. Suffice it to say that this $200,000.00 that is going to be spent for attorney fees should have been going to the Morongo Unified School District, Copper Mountain College, and The High Desert Medical Center to name a few. However, it will not and we will continue to hear how the hospital is in the red, the college is in the red, and the school district is in the red but not one of those agencies will take a stand to fight for their part of that $200,000.00.
The second question is why has our council not publicly announced the cost in tax dollars to date that Project Phoenix has cost? That would be a question each of you may want to ask your particular councilmember whom you think will actually provide you an answer to be sure not all of them will nor will all of them actually know the cost.
With that in mind I will provide each of us with the cost to date as was supplied to me by the city attorney.
Total expenditures to date for Project Phoenix have been $377,321.10. We can now add another $200,000.00 to that number and we all can see that we are now at over 1/2 of a million dollars and nothing has been built or bought.
I as well as others had some assurances from three councilmembers that they would not authorize any further expenditures for Project Phoenix if the December 2012 trip to Sacramento came back empty handed. Well that December trip came back empty handed with yet another rejection letter from the State.
Here we are two months later and what me and others now have are empty promises from three elected officials.
I can remember when our city was not run like this – can you?