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Needles Next California City Flirting With Insolvency

By   /   March 6, 2014  /   6 Comments

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Daryl Propst / Desert Vortex News
A dozen protesters showed up at Rick Daniels’ Going Away Party to express their support of his departure while several dozen of his supporters from Coachella Valley cities partied inside the exclusive Flemming’s Restaurant in Rancho Mirage.


 

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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About the author

Dean M Gray

Writer, Artist & Publisher. Dean started in the newspaper business at the age of nine earning 90 cents a week walking 3 miles delivering a newspaper door to door. 500 miles later he graduated to a bicycle route. Delivering news evolved into reporting news when he started publishing his first independent newspapers in high school. He served as editor for college newspaper has been published in newspapers and magazines. Dean has been writing his way out of a paper bag and traveling uphill ever since. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. His publication is Desert Vortex News - http://www.desertvortex.com

6 Comments

  1. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    Old dogs can’t learn new tricks…. I find it funny that Needles gets the poke from Daniels.

  2. A lesson for the spenders on the 29 Palms City Council:

    “Unless there is significant expenditure reductions or revenue enhancements, the city will essentially be out of cash by 2015,” Rick Daniels told the council.

  3. Anotherpowergrab Anotherpowergrab says:

    The carpetbagger Daniels will bumble and fumble from small town California wreaking havoc. Usually, those cities, cannot attract good talent, and then hiring incompetents. Daniels went from the Salton Sea to DHS now in Needles, three places not to brag about.

    Next time folks, USE THE INTERNET. Follow the trail. Just like Warne, Nuiami, Daniels and others before them.

  4. The City of Blythe Lancaster hired ex-CFO HDWD Frank Luckino as their Director of Finances and he was recently promoted to interim City Manager on a split vote.

    Luckino, also known as “Friday Frank,” works in Blythe Lancaster while living in Yucca Valley, coming home to his family every Friday…returning to Blythe Lancaster each Monday.

    The citizens have been asking when is Luckino going to move to Blythe Lancaster with his family as he pledged to them?

  5. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Thought he was hired in Blythe.

    • Sharp-as-a-tack-Larry Briggs keeping me on my toes! Yes! Thank you Sir…I appreciate the correction(s), any time.

      I have made the corrections above, all three references, to reflect the City of Blythe.

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