Yucca Valley, Ca.,- Why did the four members of the Yucca Valley Town Council throw the unpopular Town Manager/Politician Mark Nuaimi under the bus with a taxpayer pay-off? I asked this question of the council the day they voted to fire him citing the August 10th event when Recall targets Councilmen George Huntington and Robert Lombardo were praising their Nuaimi with high marks even though they admitted he had some serious attitude issues they were working on. Lombardo even bent over backward to say that Nuaimi “was an exemplary manager” after he was booed again.
Four days later, an emergency meeting was called and the council pulled the plug on Nuaimi placing him on admin leave with a unanimous vote of 5-0. Yes, Huntington and Lombardo both turned 180 degrees about face and dropped-kicked the Nuaimi under the bus.
So what happened during those four days? It seems these two councilmen were not in the loop of any negotiations that may have taken place behind closed doors and were left stepping on their shoe laces.
While it may appear to be a sudden move, a slick and polished severance agreement was unveiled at the very next regularly scheduled town council meeting with Nuaimi’s sticky hand prints all over the document to include accolades for his 3 years at the money trough of the Yucca Valley tax payer’s checkbook.
The clever wordsmith crafting this document states Nuaimi’s performance was overshadowed by the political divide he created. Bottom line… “Go away and don’t threaten to sue us!” A large severance pay-off for Nuaimi to zip up his pants, zip up his mouth, tie his shoelaces and go home. Go directly to Fontana, do not pass Go but be sure to collect your $126,666 plus one year medical coverage at the expense of the Yucca Valley taxpayers, again. The experienced Councilman Bob Leone voted to fire Nuaimi WITHOUT a severance package.
After the Council returned from their closed session, Nuaimi, who was waiting outside in the courtyard with ink pen in hand, stepped up to the lectern to make his final comments on his firing. His prepared speech was a mix of blowing his own horn, a farewell to his staff, and an acknowledgement he was not aware he had so many flaws laced with some words of Scripture. Not one word of thanks for his “Golden Boot.”
No one at the dais applauded except perhaps Councilman George Huntington and a few members sitting in the audience as he dashed out of the room avoiding eye contact with anyone. There was no standing ovation or outreach of hands for a final handshake.
In fact, the last words Nuaimi heard as he left the room were, “See you in Hell!”
For the reasons cited above, and there are more…support the Yucca Valley recall of Huntington and Lombardo.
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