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29 Palms Consultant Matt McCleary impugned by Oversight Board

By   /   March 8, 2014  /   2 Comments

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Updated 3-9-14@ 11:50

documentaryevidenceofmyvirtuebitches-500x360When the 29 Palms Oversight Board (OB) met 10 days ago, it barely had a quorum to conduct the people’s business. Skipping the meeting were Board Members Korina Cole,‭ ‬Jerry Mattos and Dave Price.

Nonetheless, given these three no-shows, it seems local officials charged with addressing redevelopment dissolution issues are becoming a bit edgy, more conscientious  and concerned about doing their jobs than passively letting bad legal advise attorney Patrick Munoz and his faithful side-kick, RSG Consultant Matt McCleary, continue to push around our public servants and bedazzle them with self-serving bullshit.

McCleary was clearly impugned by the Vice Chairman Owen Gillick and all OB members that were present.


Impugned: 1. to challenge as false (another’s statements, motives, etc.); cast doubt upon; 2. to assail (a person) by words or arguments; vilify.

Synonyms: criticize, contradict, call into question, upbraid

McCleary was clearly provided a warning by Gillick and OB Members that next time there would be consequences.

Vice Chair Gillick impugned McCleary at the last Oversight Board meeting for disregarding the successor agency, for failure to obtain directions from the 29 Palms city council, failure to get vote from council, failure to follow propriety protocol, failure for not being totally open with the public.

‭McCleary’s retort to Gillick: It was “‬his opinion the law didn’t require a prior vote from the successor agency before sending the revised LRPMP‭ ‬to the oversight board.” Where is the bond counsel Munoz? Taxpayers are on the hook for a million dollars of legal advice without any results,  and neither McCleary or Munoz he can’t keep this mess on track and keep ethics in politics?

Gillick stated, ‭“‬We’re up against a deadline tonight and of course we’re going to approve it (The Long Range Property Management Plan (LRPMP)),‭ ‬but if something like this comes up again and the city has not voted on it,‭ ‬I’ll vote against the approval.‭”

‭Board Member ‬Liz Meyer stated. “It’s our job to oversee the actions of the city as successor agency, not to take those actions ourselves. I would be very uncomfortable if we were put in this position again to make a decision on something that hadn’t been approved by the successor agency.”

Board Chairman Cole told McCleary — “I can’t speak for the others who aren’t here, but it would be important for the city to have made that action.”

Not only has the OB impugned McCleary, but he’s been discredited by the Department of Finance and severely impugned by the California Attorney General’s top litigator — and now heavily impugned by the 29 Palms Oversight Board.

Twentynine Palms is under a legal microscope for violating state laws and mandates. It’s bond attorney Patrick Munoz, who drove the city to this financial quagmire, all with the pathetic blessing of the city council, is under scrutiny by the Attorney General and the superior court in Sacamento. The city council, its successor agency and even the OB are being scrutinized.

The Oversight Board is wise to finally do their jobs (and cover their backsides).  The city council ought to cease treating McCleary as consultant guru of superior powers the city can’t do without.

Rebecca Unger reported that Board members Cole,‭ ‬Gillick,‭ ‬Meyer and City Manager of 29 Palms voted to approve sending the Plan the state Department of Finance. All said and done, the OB approved the plan absent approved by the successor agency. But they put did McCleary on notice. 

Therefore, looks like the city may not be able fritter away more taxpayers money to build a second visitor’s center on four parcels of land on the downside of Donnell Hill where the metal “29 Palms!” sign sits.  Those four parcels in question are mandated to be sold off because of the city’s nefarious dealings with state laws and mandates.

Imagine…  another duplicate building costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Twentynine Palms Finance Director Ron Peck informed the council that the city will be in the red within a few months. ““In my 20 years, I don’t remember a negative fund balance“, adding “In past years there’s usually been $1 million left over, we’ve usually had more revenues than expenses.”

Of course the city will be in the red in a few months (and a 30 year debt for $30 million) because of the unbelievable spending spree of city council members the last  three years.  Cheer leading them were McCleary and Munoz. Both had much to gain financially.   Now, as Peck explained, the usual million will not go into the city reserves, or any fund because it is no longer there.

One could speculate that the one million usually carried over is in the pockets of Munoz of Rutan & Tucker and generously overpaid consultant Matt McCleary with absolutely nothing to show for it but more debt.

Opinions and commentary herein by Branson Hunter.   

This story in part was adapted from an article reported by local journalist, Rebecca Unger.    



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About the author

Branson Hunter

(This story was posted by Cactus Thorn contributor Branson Hunter)

"The ends do not justify the means." If you use illegal mean to accomplish a legal and even desirable result, the good result does not make the bad means you used justifiable.


  1. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    I appreciate the current position of the OSB but where were they when it first started?

    Where was that attitude that we as the OSB are here to dismantle things?

    Why all of a sudden are they doing their jobs?

    Could it be that the mention of the Grand Jury might have woke some people up?

    As far as I am concerned it too little, and way too late.

    They knew the bonds were bogus and they went along with it.

    No former mayors, Meyer and Cole, along with city founder Gillick, would have reasonably thought it was all good to go unless they were told to vote for the sale of the bonds by Munoz. The OSB job was to stop the sale not endorse it.

    Lets see what the Grand Jury thinks after the Judge rules against the city.

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