This Tuesday the 29 Palms city council has some interesting items on their agenda.
The first item that is a start in the right direction is the authority of the council to construct flashing lights and traffic calming dots on the roadway at Utah Trail and Highway 62. The staff report is well written. This expenditure of tax dollars is a wise choice and exemplifies why we are a city.
There is also a “crystal ball” moment on the agenda that many saw coming back in 2010. In 2010 Action Council 29 tried to obtain tax dollar funding in order to hold its first “Chalk Fest”. They were not successful. However in 2011 they were back and the council started a precedence by funding the chalk fest of 2011.
Well here is where the “crystal ball” comes into play. In 2010 when Action Council 29 was left to their own devices it was said that once the city starts to provide funding for Action Council 29 then they will be back for more. Sure enough there is an agenda item that is seeking $10,000 to paint a mural. The mural program in 29 Palms has never been funded by tax dollars. The loss of a mural because Walgreens did not build its store is not a problem of the city and tax dollars should not be used to replace it.
Given that little over a month ago our city said it could not afford to even partially fund the Fire Department in any manner at all the expenditure of $10,000 for a mural seems highly questionable.
Finally there is a resolution to be sent to Sacramento supporting an Assembly Bill that if passed will allow all the cities in California that sold bonds at the last minute to be able to use the proceeds of those bonds to build stuff. Never mind that the combined cost of all those bonds is over 1.4 Trillion – that’s right TRILLION!
For 29 Palms it is 31 million. We have been all over this Project Phoenix story for two years now and positions are pretty well established.
Some of us would like to see a council member or two say “No” to this continued pursuit of a dead project. Just because someone was once against this bad idea of selling bonds does not mean that they should now support every attempt to breath life into the bonds. If it was a bad idea in 2011 and you voted “No” then it does not become a good idea two years latter when we all know that the pursuit of Project Phoenix has cost the tax payers $577,000.00 and nothing has been built or bought.
There is also a closed session to evaluate the performance of the city manager. I hope our council does not do what Yucca Valley did and provide a raise to Mr. Warne. With the projected furlough of civilian workers on the Marine Base anyone getting a raise in this current economy will be frowned upon at best.