Needles, Ca.,-The Needles city council was speechless when informed by its city manager that it will burn through all its reserves and be out of cash within the year. When hired in Needles, Rick Daniels was billed as a economic turn-around city manager capable of working magic to reverse the city’s dying economic base. Daniels is near universally now recognized in Desert Hot Springs as having spent the city to the brink of bankruptcy and causing rancor among council members.
Sliding Towards Bankruptcy the Second Time Around for City Manager Rick Daniels and Development Management Group
NEEDLES, CA – The city just across the border from Arizona is desperately trying to avoid being the next California city to face bankruptcy. The Needles city council was speechless when informed by its city manager that it will burn through all its reserves and be out of cash within the year.
Learning a lesson from his time as city manager in Desert Hot Springs, California, where he worked before taking the position in Needles, City Manager Rick Daniels informed the city council it would be out of cash by 2015, in just 9 months.
When hired in Needles, Rick Daniels was billed as a economic turn-around artist promising magic to reverse the city’s dying economic base.
Architect of Fiscal Crisis
Rick Daniels is near universally recognized in Desert Hot Springs as having spent the city to the brink of bankruptcy. Plus the management style of Rick Daniels was notorious for keeping secrets – especially critical financial reports – and withholding documents from the city council and kept hidden from public disclosure.
In Needles, Rick Daniels this time chose to share the bad financial news with the city council. It was news the Needles Desert Star newspaper reported as having left the Needles city council speechless.
Rick Daniels pitch in his bid for the Needles position was that he would bring economic development to the city. Soon after landing the job he bought in former Desert Hot Springs economic consultant Michael Bracken of Development Management Group with a Needles contract.
DMG Collected $1 Million for Dollar Store
Michael Bracken’s tenure in Desert Hot Springs was lackluster at best, having spent a million dollars of taxpayer money on his economic development effort. In three years the city’s economic development efforts produced just one new retail store, a Dollar General.
“Development Management Group did not produce the results that should be expected from a million dollar expenditure by our city,” said Desert Hot Springs Councilman Russell Betts. “It was a disappointing performance and with the city banking heavily on DMG to produce economic growth, when it did not happen it nearly wiped out the city financially.”
DMG has been on the job only six months in Needles so it is too soon to know if DMG will be able to do in Needles what a three year effort in Desert Hot Springs failed to produce. It appears for the most part that DMG is Michael Bracken.
Nothing To Say
If there is concern among Needles council members, none have said so. The Needles Desert Star reported not one question was asked by the council and none of the council members offered comment. Plus no one from the public spoke up.
It is clear Rick Daniels is looking to Michael Bracken and DMG but also taking note that spending cuts may also be needed.
“Unless there is significant expenditure reductions or revenue enhancements, the city will essentially be out of cash by 2015,” Rick Daniels told the council.
For the rest of this story>Desert Vortex News
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