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Animal Shelter Ground Breaking Last Friday-Public Not Invited!

By   /   March 10, 2013  /   3 Comments

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Yucca Valley, Ca.,- In another move to shut out the public, there was a ground breaking event last February 28th at the highly controversial Yucca Valley Animal Shelter location NOT announced to the public.  There were no press releases, no announcements on the Town Website or the YV Animal Shelter Facebook page.

San Bernardino Sun newspaper reported the Yucca Valley Shelter groundbreaking was attended by local officials and dignitaries.

In the meantime, town manager Mark Nuaimi is doing the razzle-dazzle with our budget shortfall trying to cover a moving target of a $300,000 to $800,000 gap for the upcoming fiscal year by closing the summer concerts and children’s swimming lessons.  Nuaimi is so upside down with the town finances, the reserves have taken a dip of $1.2 million dollars which he defends is only temporary. We’ll see.

The next fiscal budget (2014-2015) will have to factor in annual payments of $50,000.00 per year towards the town’s 50% share of construction costs for this replacement shelter that will not house any more pets than presently housed. We citizens foot the bill but are not notified of the ground breaking, eh? Doesn’t smell right to me.

The Rancho Cucamonga architect given the no-bid contract designed large shade trees to protect the courtyard from the sun. This was a huge mistake because trees were to be planted on top of the sewer leach lines!  After removing that idea from the drawing board, there were no funds to buy any shade structures.

The design SPECIFICALLY called out for metal buildings which eliminated most of the bids except for the metal building manufactory in Fontana.  Big surprise!  Oh yes, after the first walk-through, the potential contractors that attended received a letter calling for stricter qualifications which narrowed the field, again.

I wrote about the top concern expressed by other architects were the costs of heating and cooling due to our extreme weather in the high desert and there are no natural gas lines to the shelter.  How or why metal buildings ended up for this shelter is going to end up costing more money to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  Town manager, Mark Nuaimi, who lives in Fontana was the lead for the most part on this shelter fiasco.

Another feather in his cap and on his resume, I suppose.

His feather, his project, our dime.

Public not invited.

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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. yucca13 says:

    Why the secrecy about the shelter ground breaking? Is it because of fear of criticism about the way the new facility has been planned? Why aren’t bids taken on projects like this? I was acquainted with the original owner of the property and her very loving intentions for unwanted animals. I wonder what she would have to say if she was alive today?

    It certainly seems like a no brainer that with no shade planned for the shelter, that it will be much more difficult to cool. Being in an area where propane is the source for heating, there also isn’t any doubt that it will be expensive to heat the facility. It doesn’t seem as if the ‘powers-that-be’ give a damn about the animals for the most part. There was a grant given to the shelter not too long ago that was around $300,000. What is that money used for?

    Why are we bothering to put money into a shelter that doesn’t house more animals? That is very strange in my way of thinking. The animals seemed to be adequately housed for the most part. I know the shelter workers do the best they can – using electric heaters in small rooms to house the cats for instance.

    It is getting really discouraging to observe the apparent mishandling of many things related to the Town of Yucca Valley. Five new stoplights on the way – why? People don’t know how to stop at stop signs?

    • Hello Yucca13- The secrecy of the ground breaking is a puzzle to me too. I have heard wonderful stories of the previous owner and her love for animals. I was told she donated the property for a No-Kill shelter. The crew at the shelter do their best and have great hearts….in the end, it is animal control.

      The $300,000 dollar grant was dispersed quickly as reported by Tami Roleff of Z107 news: “The Yucca Valley animal shelter dominated the agenda at last night’s meeting of the Town Council. In a last-minute addition to the agenda, the Town Council formally accepted a nearly $303,000 bequest from the estate of Cyla Wells, to be used by the animal shelter.

      Animal Care and Control Manager Melanie Crider was enthusiastic about the possibilities the money offered. “It’ll all be toward the animals. Cat condos, spay-neuter vouchers programs, sponsored adoptions.” Crider was grateful to Wells for the bequest. “So thank that someone thought of us and trusted us to do that.” -Nov. 7. 2012

      Yucca13,it’s a long story why we are putting money into a shelter that doesn’t house any more pets….Yucca Valley Town Manager,Mark Nuaimi, forced this site/location after being advised there was only 1+acre of usable land on the 5acre property. When government builds anything…the costs are always higher. When Nuaimi is involved, the costs come in over budget..it’s not his money.

      Thanks for the comment.



    • Yucca 13, intelligent comments and good insight.

      That is exactly the question on the minds of people and animals right activists. Why build a costly shelter that does not house any more animals than the old shelter?

      And there is no to room to expand inside pens, or to build and add more sq. feet to the facility. Moreover, the rookery first-time town manager stated something so ghastly it was a manifest insult: To paraphrase, he said they could add make more cages by making smaller existing areas that hold the the animals.

      Stop lights going in everywhere is insane in such a small town. Now in order for motorist to get to where they want to go they have loop around the block and deal with ‘gridlock’ traffic. Making more traffic and pollution and will for sure cause more accidents.

      Mark Nuaima wants to Fontanaitize the once rural and rustic town. Personally I do not trust the guy. How can you trust someone who’s word means nothing…

      He signs an employment contract with terms and conditions, only working four days a week, then shakes-down a gullible, pandering, sycophant town council for more money in overtime (after the fact) — then cuts the youth aquatics program and the summer concerts to pay for his increase in take home pay.

      Moreover, town manager circumvents the bidding process by sculpturing it to fit his buddies in the Inland Empire by inviting bids — on in one case giving a cement contract to a YV planning commissioner. There is more cement in the new dog park than there is dog park.

      The town is doomed until he packs his “carpetbag” and leaves. For sure, he will leave YV in worst shape than he found it.

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