Yucca Valley, Ca.,- At the Special Town Council Meeting of December 10, 2013, there will be hugs, tears and cake as the Yucca Valley Town Council appoints a new mayor by way of rotation on the dais. After the State of the Town is delivered by outgoing Mayor Merl Abel, (appointed), it is anticipated Mayor pro temp Robert Lombardo will be seated on the dais as the new mayor for 2014.
Lombardo is quite excited about his new title. Spilling the mayoral beans back on November 10th, he started talking up & celebrating this December 10th event. Lombardo is aware the recall movement is still pending, however, his photo will forever grace the mayoral gallery wall no matter what the outcome of the potential June ballot recall election. The recall is to remove Councilmen George Huntington and Robert Lombardo from office for their past actions without regard for the citizens and unwavering support for the unpopular ex-Town Manager/Politician Mark Nuaimi. Lombardo was appointed to the council and ran unopposed in the last election.
Usually the mayor pro tem replaces the mayor and a member of the council takes over for the mayor pro tem, however, this procedure is not set in stone. Pro tem Isaac Hagerman quit mid-term when he found out he would not rotate into the seat of Mayor over speculation of the serious charges pending against him and his failed Assisted Living Senior facility, Hagerman Gardens.
The council is expected to approve changes to the mayor rotation to mandate any future appointed council member must take the junior position of his or her election cycle. These changes were vetted by Councilmen Lombardo and Huntington as members of the ad-hoc committee reviewing and updating the council procedure manual.
Background: Councilman Abel was appointed to fill the seat vacated by the resigning Chad Mayes with over 3 1/2 years left of his term. Abel fell into the junior spot by a fluke of the rotation cycle and by another fluke of Mayor pro tem Hagerman quitting midterm, he advanced forward another spot.
The invitations have been sent out to usher in the new Mayor Robert Lombardo and you can bet Councilman George Huntington will slide into the seat of Mayor pro tem. Lombardo and Huntington both ran unopposed and are the targets of the Yucca Valley Recall. Will Huntington take the high road and yield to the re-elected elder statesman Councilman Bob Leone who was elected to replace Mayor pro tem Hagerman? Don’t hold your breath folks.
Here’s a preview… Mayor Abel will be very thankful during the State of the Town, especially to the support of his wife and to the four votes appointing him to office. He will show grace and humility to have served as Mayor then might say…”It was one hell of a ride!” (Just kidding…)
Then with sweating palms and twitching eyebrows…Lombardo will be nominated and voted Mayor shedding tears of joy and pride. His family and friends sitting in the audience for this monumental event will beam with pride too. Lombardo’s voice will crack with emotion as he is seated on the dais clinging to his gavel.
Huntington, wearing a blue shirt, will be sitting slouched off to the side of his chair, as he does regularly as councilman, waiting for Lombardo and Abel to nominate him as Mayor pro tem. He will not crack a smile during this process looking forward to just getting the meeting over.
Outgoing presentations to Mayor Merl Abel? Here are a few thoughts… Resolutions from dignitaries…Congressman Paul Cook, Supervisor James Ramos, MBTA, the City of 29 Palms,The Mayor of Needles, MBUSD, Hi-Desert Water District and anyone else?
A short video of ground breaking ceremonies for the past year will document Abel’s legacy leaving out the financial dips into reserves and IOU’s for overspending on projects. A Yucca Valley street sign: Abel Avenue with a map to the City of Needles, a MBTA bus pass, a book “Politics 101″ signed by M. Nuaimi with a souvenir lawn sign “Yes Measure U,” and a “Vote for Jennifer Collins” button mounted on a wall plaque in gratitude for his endorsements.
Speaking of legacy, Abel should receive framed documents of his signature on Town Manager Mark Nuaimi’s 3 year contract with bonuses alongside his signature on firing Nuaimi agreeing to pay out $126,666 severance package.
Yes, it will be a full house! Be sure to get there early. 6 pm at the Yucca Valley Community Center. You’re invited!
I will continue to pray that Merl Abel throws his hat into the ring to run for a seat on the Morongo Unified School District Board of Directors in November 2014, that is where ALL his real talents will benefit our community and especially our children.
Margo Sturges Author>LINK
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