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So I went to a Junior MAC meeting and a Road Squabble Broke Out

By   /   February 2, 2014  /   Comments Off

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284-61008Went to a meeting  at the Wonder Valley Community Center. A meeting that was supposed to be about road maintenance, turned out to be a semi-religious meeting that was more about changing the subject to talk about widening of Amboy Road, than it was about anything but the maintenance of the private road system in Wonder Valley.

Over the years the bill for brushing and grading the private roads out here in Wonder valley has gone up. Yet the condition of the roads have depreciated noticeably. Depending on who’s ox you are goring its been worth every cent or it has not been worth the effort.

The new proposal is well….  a bit of a shocker,

Lets get something straight. These roads are private roads, not county roads. The Road work fund was created to provide service to the community as a whole in a cooperative way. We pay the county so much and they provide a service. Sounds simple.

Well the problem is when does the cost of the service become more than what the service is really worth?

The new sort of demand is $67 per parcel per year. That’s 276,000 per year for the first year. It seems we need a new grader. And then $47 a year per  parcel ($194,00 total per year)  for the next couple of years until the county wants more.

It must be nice to work for the county. The County is bidding $90,000 a year for the cost of 1 employee. NINETY THOUSAND DOLLARS for a grader operator.

National Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median wage for heavy equipment operators in the United States is $41,870, an hourly wage of $20.13 per hour, as of May 2012. The average nationwide for those who operate bulldozers, backhoes, cranes and road grading machinery is slightly higher than the median, at $46,270 per year, or $22.24 per hour.



The County is planning to pay well over $50 and hour loaded. I want that job!!

And then there are the quarterly inspections at $5000.00 per annum. Inspect what? Not one of the roads in the Wonder Valley would pass the minimum criteria for proper road construction. Instead of above the grade with sloping grades. We got ditches. Half pipes that do more to direct the rain that shed the water off the road.  First thing who inspects? Under what criteria? If the inspection goes bad, who fixes it, using who’s money?

There were a score of questions like  that I was ready to ask.  Unfortunately it seemed it was more a circle jerk and I refused to be the pivot man.

Instead of discussing the bread and butter of the thing the meeting quickly changed to a meeting about the astronomically remote chance that the County of San Bernardino would actually make Amboy road meet State Hwy standards of construction.

So for the second time I’ve gone to one of these things….. All the folks down in the Wonder Bowl, close to the Fire Station and on east, hi-jacked the meeting to discuss. “how them thar’ flat landers are ruinin’ Amboy Road.”

I would like to actually have had a rational discussion. What are the options? Can a private contractor do a better job? Can it be done cheaper. Should the roads be brought up to some standard? So many questions and so little in the way of competent people in the CSA to answer them.

Quite disappointed in the event.


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About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.

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