It’s normally not my business to comment on the illegal actions by the City of Twentynine Palms spelled out by the Attorney General for the Department of Finance regarding the winding down of the RDA, Redevelopment Agency, and the bonds. However, the Oversight Agency, designated to protect my tax entities to include the hospital, college and school district have failed miserably to do their job, especially when member Korina Cole, is the daughter-in-law of the ousted Mayor John Cole, who has not removed himself from the RDA Successor Agency.
Joe, when I read you were looking forward to the new year of spending $10 million dollars on the downtown Project Phoenix, I knew you were duped, destined to be holding the bag. Story>LINK As the past manager of the Joshua Basin Water District, I watched your careful management style as you led the agency into the proactive era of water conservation, protection of the aquifer, installation of the local hospital sewage treatment plant and collection of development impact fees towards the sewer system destined for Joshua Tree’s future. You are a great listener and problem solver reflecting in high morale of the JBWD staff. For these reasons, and there are more, finding a replacement for your vacated position has been a lengthy and currently ongoing search.
Your contributions and dedication to give back to our community through your membership in the Joshua Tree Rotary did not go unnoticed by me and you never claimed any self credit. You were a team player for JT Rotary and always conducted yourself as a gentleman.
Perhaps this previous experience did not prepare you for the treacherous high seas journey embarked by the City of Twentynine Palms with the 29Palms Council at the helm, apparently now including newly-elected, Cora Heiser. The doomed voyage, Project Phoenix, was set in motion by city attorney, Patrick Munoz, ex-City Manager Richard Warne and the ousted Mayor John Cole participating in back room decisions. If you had followed Cactus Thorns or listened to Cora Heiser’s concerns, before she was elected to the dais, you might not have been duped about Project Phoenix.
Joe, I have faith in you that you are going to do the right thing because of the re-do demanded when you were hired by the Twentynine Palms Council. I know you have someone that can give you an objective legal opinion to wade through some of the legalese of the recent decisions. I gotta tell ya, it is really very clear and spelled out in a document of only 34 pages. (The other pages are the Attorney General’s supporting exhibits.) Even I can understand what is being stated and my gut feeling is there are some serious charges coming down on this matter. Having been hired on May 30, 2013, after the ex-city manager Warne slithered away with a tidy severance package followed by the retired/fired charade of the city council, certainly the honeymoon has worn off by now, right? Twentynine Palms, a small, quaint rural city previously without any debt, zero debt, is now stuck for a $30 million bond and related costs.
Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law, and you my friend, have been duly noticed by this letter. The questions that will be asked of you by the Grand Jury…what did you know… and when did you know it?
Here is the easy-read simple document..in pdf. Pages 1-34 are the only ones necessary to study at this time, the other 168 pages are exhibits presented by the Attorney General sent overnight on December 23, 2013. I am unable to highlight several key phrases stated by the Attorney General: illegal, unlawful, sham, Doctrine of Dirty Hands and highlighting city Attny Munoz contract payment obligation of $1 million dollars, etc. Document pdf>LINK
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