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Budget Lies, Deception and Broken Promises

By   /   April 24, 2013  /   9 Comments

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Forensic Audit

Yucca Valley, Ca,- A review of the 2012/2013 financial transmittal letter to Mayor Dawn Rowe issued by town manager, Mark Nuaimi, is filled with lies and broken promises further contributing to Rowe’s Legacy of Debt. Story link> here

Appointed Mayor Merl Abel is faring worse than Rowe and should order a forensic audit.  Has he ever read the past and proposed budgets line by line? Highly unlikely since Abel depends on the town manager to lead the way for him on town matters.

Our appointed Mayor is not even capable of calling on his fellow citizens to speak  at meetings. A speaker card is turned in at town council meetings and citizens are called to speak. Why would that honor be delegated  to an unpopular town manager that lives in Fontana?  All previous Mayors spoke directly to their fellow citizens and ran the meetings, until Nuaimi came into the picture.

I have provided a link to the town of Yucca Valley’s adopted budget for fiscal years 2012/2013 dated June 26, 2012, for your review at this link> here.

LIE #1-Page i- “The proposed budget for 2012/2013 is a balanced budget, with anticipated revenues exceeding anticipated expenditures by $232,000, including a $10,000 contingency account.”

LIE #2-Page ii-”The budget identifies a reserve level that exceeds the upper end of the Council’s reserve policy, and will provide for a reasonable amount of resources in the event of economic hardship or emergency. It is not anticipated that reserves will be needed to supplement current appropriations…”

LIE #3-Page ii- Investment of infrastructure set aside of 2.5% each year to reach 10%.  $232,000 surplus funding was set aside.

LIE #4-Page vi- ” Staff is pleased to present a staffing plan that does not propose the elimination of any additional positions.”

“Promoting two positions and adding one half-time, non benefited position to Parks Department.”

(Note: NO MENTION of adding payouts for sick leave and vacation time. See 2013/2014 proposed)


There is no surplus of $232,000 with a $10,000 contingency account.  In fact, Nuaimi presented a $750,000 deficit!

Nuaimi has dipped into the town reserves for the amounts of $300,000 and an additional $120,000 to cover cost over runs for litigation after claiming reserves would not be touched. Both amounts taken in one month. See story link HERE

Nuaimi fired and eliminated employee positions on Good Friday, whacking young parents and grandmas two days before Easter. The brutal manner he chose to use is indicative of his only connection to our town is to collect his check. Why would Mayor Merl Abel condone this type of activity?

We need a forensic audit on this incompetent town manager’s out-of-control spending he is trying to hide in the budget.

More later on Nuaimi’s inter-department moving of funds including designated impact fees and “loans.” Looks like he needs to budget his severance fee…..or has he already done that?







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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. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Hi Margo,

    Can I make a suggestion for you if you don’t mind? In these Towns and Cities where there are five council members it does not mean anything that you are the “Mayor”.

    Your writings imply that the “Mayor” wields some powers that the other council members do not. And that impression is just not accurate.

    Merl Abel, Dawn Rowe, Joel Klink, Jim Harris and every mayor that Yucca and 29 Palms has had have had no more power than the other four. Each councilmember has 20 percent of the vote on any given meeting night.

    I think that you may be doing a disservice to Dawn and Merl as well as any other elected official in these small municipalities when you write about this or that “mayor’s” failures and short comings.

    They have no more culpability than the rest of the council.

  2. @ Steve Spear. Yes, I agree with you they should not have any more “power” than the other four because it is a position they rotate into. Abel and Nuaimi both attended the conference in Sacramento held for newly elected mayors without offering any sub-categories of non-elected mayors or rotated mayors. I was told the seminars in the past were geared to elected Mayors.

    Unfortunately, since this town manager has arrived, the council’s perception of their roles as Mayor has changed, and not for the better.

    I have been told, “As Mayor, it would not be wise for me to comment on this matter.” and yet, while this person was a plain ol’ council member, there were no problems. Another quote, “It might appear that you are taking advantage of my position as Mayor if you call me direct.”

    In the case of Council member Dawn Rowe, she is the Chair for the Oversight Board of the winding down of the RDA and is very knowledgeable about the ROPS approved by the Successor Agency. As Mayor, she did not share that experience when Nuaimi was promising the moon, the stars and the check is in the mail from the DOF. Not.

    Yes, we are a small municipality so it is even more important to stay connected to the citizens and not turn over everything to a town manager whose only connection is his paycheck because he lives in Fontana.

    The four gave a 3 year contract and an increase in salary package in the midst of a budget shortfall caused by the town manager’s out-of-control spending. They did this before the experienced councilman Leone could return to the dais, a calculated move by Nuaimi.

    Don’t get me wrong, Mayor Abel, George Huntington, Dawn Rowe and Robert Lombardo are nice persons but did not attend ONE stinking town council meeting before coming into office. They ALL landed on the dais with zero experience which created a perfect storm for the politician-manager Nuaimi.

    One day they might even understand the budget or ask, “How come we are spending our reserves?”

    I am not able to share anymore on this matter at this time. We need a forensic audit.

    Thanks for your comment.

  3. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Hi Margo,

    Again I see that you somehow condone their statements as “mayor”. You also seem to accept their statements that they are somehow more important – they are not.

    I also think your constant reference to them as “Mayor” inflates their already perhaps overly inflated egos.

    I never refer to the siting “Mayor” as mayor when i speak at a council meeting. I never will either. Nor will I address anyone of them as mayor in the newspaper or on this blog.

    Council member – yes, “Mayor” never. Until our respective communities actually elect a “Mayor” there is no “Mayor” other than at a council meeting in order to actually run the meeting.

    If in your community that authority has been surrendered then vote the COUNCIL MEMBER out that has surrendered that authority.

    But to keep referring to them as “Mayor” is a mistake in my opinion.

    Just my thoughts.

  4. Agreed! Council member-yes, “Mayor” never. They even address themselves as “Mayor” or even “Mayor Pro-tem,”and some written correspondence is addressed to the “Honorable Mayor.”

    The newspaper reports the “Mayor” swore in the Board of Directors and one council member exclaimed, “Don’t let me hear the Mayor’s kid was called in to see the Principal!”

    It was explained by veteran Councilman Bob Leone that traditionally certain meetings are always attended by the Mayor. Since Abel was too busy to attend, Leone volunteered to go in his place but the same “gang of four” blocked him from attending even though they themselves could not volunteer to go.

    The “gang of four” was scolded by a resident that has lived here for 45 years telling them he voted for them and to brush the chips off their shoulders and stop meeting behind closed doors. He then praised Leone for coming out of retirement and entering into the den of snakes.

    Thank you very much for your comment.

  5. Advertised: “MAYOR” Merl Abel on Up Close Show Friday 26th @10am

  6. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    I saw that also Margo. My intended emphasis was for you to not refer to individuals in your stories as “Mayor” this or “Mayor” that.

    From my point of view you seem to make them more accountable because they sit in a non-elected position of “Mayor”. I also think you somehow hold those that are the “Mayor” at the time more accountable and they are not.

    People that live in real cities that have real Mayors know what the position Mayor really means and may confuse the issue when we refer to our little “Bergs” as having REAL “Mayors” when we do not.

    As far as I am concerned it is council member so and so if I even use that term when I speak at meetings. I will use that term in my writings but I do not ever refer to anybody as “Mayor” in 29 palms.

    Anyways, good luck in you endeavors over there in Yucca.

  7. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    I understand what you mean Steve. I agree. If you think these people have overblown egos now….if you had an “elected” Mayor, then they really think they are the “King” in these little bergs… such as “King Adolph”….who look down their noses at the minions, declaring, “off with their heads if they dare question me”! I have to laugh at how others must look at these small town politics…in fact, I laugh a lot myself. It’s so ridiculous that these councilmembers have such as sense of self-importance. RULERS OF THE KINGDOM! lmfao. My brother-in-law was on the council of a little town called Vicksburg, a true burg, and their most important decision was determining how many pigs or chickens you were allowed to keep in your yard!…aahh, the good ole’ days.

  8. One councilman resigned because he would NOT rotate into Mayor. That’s what the big deal it has come to in Yucca Valley. Actually, it is our town manager, Mark Nuaimi, that now runs the meetings as a throw back to the height of his political career as Mayor of Fontana.

    If it is the councilman to conduct the meetings….let’s use the title of Chair like any other committee and seat the Town Manager over with Staff like they do at the Hi-Desert Water District and the 29 Palms City Council, yes?

    When a forensic audit is ordered, I am sure Nuaimi will slip out the back door and return to his digs in Fontana.

  9. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Hi Margo I hear what you are saying. Some small cities do in fact refer to their “meeting” leader as Chairman. They learned a long time ago that using the term “Mayor” has issues as you are finding out in Yucca Valley.

    The Town Council can at anytime decide to cease with the term “Mayor” and call that position “Chairman of the Board”.

    Will they do it – “no”! I tried it in 29 Palms and the ego’s got in the way.

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