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OPINION, The San Bernardino Municipal Advisory Council was formed by 3rd District Supervisor James Ramos to represent the unincorporated communities. The following appointees were reported by a press release from Ramos office to represent their communities:
Max Rossi (Wonder Valley)
Larry Parrott (Flamingo Heights)
David Peach (Joshua Tree)
Mark Lundquist (Joshua Tree)
Jack Dugan (Pioneertown)
Mike Lipsitz (Landers)
Gayl Swarat (Morongo Valley)
Mary Helen Tuttle (Copper Mountain Mesa)
Elizabeth Karman-Resident of Landers (Yucca Mesa)
What was the criteria for selecting these individuals? “The Board of Supervisors appoints citizens to sit on the council, who have a heartfelt interest in their community.” MAC Handbook>LINK
A closer look at the above appointees also indicates each one lives in his or her community, with the exception of Elizabeth Karman, who legally lives in Landers, California…not Yucca Mesa.
Karman’s past actions at the MAC meetings, or shall I say…lack of action to represent Yucca Mesa may be the result of not living in that Yucca Mesa community, not sharing the same zip code, not in the same voting precinct or sharing the same water district of the Hi-Desert Water District. Besides refusing to attend any of their community meetings or gatherings, she has deliberately chosen to sit on her thumbs when it is her turn to report on “her community”during the past Big MAC meetings.
At the last meeting, thank goodness it’s recorded on a DVD, Karman who is not from Yucca Mesa, announced the following items under “Agenda item #J-Community Reports:”
1. The ABC’s of Water held by the Mojave Water Agency in Apple Valley
2. A composting class at the Yucca Valley Community Center after declaring she was a “Master Composter.”
3. Finally, she excitedly urged everyone to attend the Board of Supervisor’s meeting.
MAC Chair Mike Lipsitz then recognized a person from the audience to speak, as he is authorized to do as the Chair. Bobbie Flint, President of the Yucca Mesa Association announced their biggest fund raiser takes place in 5 days and not only emailed this information to Karman, but gave her a flyer at the beginning of the meeting. Flint said she was puzzled why Elizabeth chose not to announce the information she provided on Yucca Mesa because she was trying really hard to work with her to keep her informed.
Karman then leaned into her microphone and chastised Flint for not using her 3 minutes during Public Comment to make the announcement. Making matters worse, Mac appointee David Peach, now labels Ms. Flint a “heckler,” and stated Chair Lipsitz has now been educated to Robert’s Rules of Order promising this would not happen again.
The other members seated on the dais continued to report on “their” communities to include a “burrito fundraiser” and “First Saturday Breakfast fundraiser” without any hesitation. Max Rossi inquired about the possibility of formulating a Resolution addressing the bad roads in his community of Wonder Valley. (Karman sat on her thumbs and did not support the same for the bad roads in Yucca Mesa.)
The members will soon be informed of the Brown Act to proper notice the agenda and will learn the citizens have the right to make a public comment on each agenda item limited to 3 minutes. Most organizations, cities or towns limit the agenda items to a maximum of four, or a total speaking time not to exceed 12 minutes per meeting. Again, all rests on the discretion of the Chair conducting the meeting to allow additional time, or not.
I propose Supervisor James Ramos appoint someone from Yucca Mesa who lives in that community and appoint someone to represent Desert Heights Community. Both have No representation at this time.
If, in fact Supervisor Ramos selects Chair Mike Lipsitz from Landers to be his Field Representative, Karman is currently seated to represent same.
***After the meeting was over, Karman yelled at Ms. Flint without realizing her microphone was hot, again chastising a citizen for her public comments. Ethics training anyone???
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