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When will it stop?

By   /   April 4, 2014  /   17 Comments

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Well. I have been asked this question several times this week and I tell people I have no answer.

Their concern is over the expenditure of $13,000 to purchase a metal sculpture and to place it “again” as they say on the road to the 29 Palms Inn.

These people do not see that the influx of money into the area around the Inn also supports the Park Headquarters rather they see it as an expenditure of their tax dollars to advertise a private business – the 29 Palms Inn.

They point out the sign with the sheep were made by the same artist. They say here we are a year or two later and again this artist will get more tax dollars.

They say how can a council approve of such a thing when Ron Peck indicated that come June 31, 2014 the yearly budget will be in the “red”?

I tell them that the money was already budgeted but they point out that may be so but clearly Ron Peck is indicating there will be over runs in other budget items so why spend money on this?

I tell them I do not know. And I do not know. I then tell them go to the council meeting and ask the council members in public to explain their position. Challenge them to answer the questions.

I also tell them “I wish you good luck” and I do know what the outcome of that will be do you?

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About the author

Steve Spear

Former 29 Palms City Council member from 2002 through 2010. Graduate of Villanova University with a BA majoring in criminal justice. Served in the United States Marine Corps from 1977 through 1990 attaining the rank of Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.


  1. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    This item is for DISCUSSION ONLY!!!. NO VOTE!!! Be there and express your opposition. 3 minutes.

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      Really Larry why don’t you read the FRIGGING agenda! You must be a paid city spokesperson.

      Here you go Larry:

      “That the City Council authorize the purchase of the “Miner and Pack Horse” Sculpture from
      Ricardo Breceda in the amount of $13,000 and the installation on National Park Drive.”

      What the F… do you not see about “authorize the purchase”!!!!

      You upset me when you attempt to mislead the public!

      • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

        Steve “What the F… don’t you see in the TITLE: “For discussion and potential action items” You wouldn’t want them to violate the Brown Act, would you?

  2. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    I don’t give a s… what the staff report says, if 3 council members say don’t put this on a future agenda, it dies. And if 1 member makes a motion to put it on a future agenda and it doesn’t get a second it dies.

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      Not so Larry.

      it is listed in the staff report as an action item. You watch. If three of those peeps vote to approve, it will happen. It will be a done deal 13 thousand spent.

      It is NOT, I repeat NOT a DISCUSSION item – it is an action item.

      Now should three decide not to act then it is still an action item because they decided not to act.

      Please get your head with the program.

  3. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    You are wrong. Case closed.

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      In your mind maybe.

      Just got off the phone with council members. They see it as I do. The agenda is worded wrong and they can take action if they so desire due to the wording of the staff report.

      I never say a case is closed until the verdict is in and that will not happen until Tuesday night.

  4. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Here is a copy of the staff report. Somebody tell me where it says this is an information item only and they can’t act to approve an expenditure of 13K.

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    TO: City Council and City Manager

    FROM: Community Services Director

    SUBJECT: Authorize the Purchase and Placement of a Ricardo Breceda Sculpture on
    National Park Drive.

    That the City Council authorize the purchase of the “Miner and Pack Horse” Sculpture from
    Ricardo Breceda in the amount of $13,000 and the installation on National Park Drive.

    Request Staff Report (Community Services Director Presenting)
    Council Questions of Staff
    Request Public Comment
    Council Discussion
    Discussion of Motion
    Call the Question (voice vote)

    At its March meeting, the Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) agreed to recommend to the
    City Council, the purchase and installation of the “Miner and Pack Horse” metal sculpture from
    Ricardo Breceda for $13,000. The PAAC is also suggesting the sculpture be placed on National
    Park Drive on either side of the median by Inn Avenue and near the Old School House
    Museum. The sculpture will represent the mining that took place in the local mountains.

    The first alternative is to approve the purchase of the sculpture and the installation on National
    Park Drive and the second option would be to deny the project.

    The fiscal impact will be $13,000 or less, which includes installation of the sculpture. Funds
    would be utilized from the $20,000 that was allocated for Murals or Public Art in the Capital
    Projects Fund.

    According to Larry they can’t act to spend the 13K on Tuesday night. Am I missing something?

  5. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    BTW – pretty cool sculpture. I would vote “yes” in a heartbeat because it does represent where the city came from.

    Problem is – until Ron Peck reports we are in the black we can ill afford to spend even a dime on anything that is not essential.

    Think Fire Department. Think future money on Project Phoenix. Think …

  6. michaelv michaelv says:

    Well Mr. Briggs, I have read the posted staff report and it looks to me that they can take action on the expenditure. I agree Steve, it is a pretty good looking piece of art, and if the city hadn’t P’d away so much on a law firm and a dead project, and the fire department was at full capacity, the expenditure would make sense. However, Mr. Peck has stated that the redline is coming. Let’s save the pennies for the future.

  7. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Why isn’t it under Public Hearing?

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      Because it is not a public hearing it is an actionable agenda item. I agree it should be a public hearing but it is not. Nonetheless anyone that wants to can speak three minutes on the matter when it comes up.

      • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

        You were right, I was wrong. The vote was 5-0 in favor of funding the art work.

        • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

          There is really no right or wrong Larry.

          We see things differently at times but I can say this. I appreciate you because you are not reluctant to get into the fray and offer other ideas and thoughts.

          To me that is what governing is all about. Engaging in thought and disagreements and then at the end both people leave knowing that they are respected for that engagement.

          Unfortunately that is not the case in our city with those that should be more engaging but are not.

          They are dismissive of those that disagree with them and pigeon hole people into the category of “Them”.

          Again Larry always a pleasure to talk Marine talk with you anytime!

  8. This CT story pretty much sums it up:
    The Caligula Factor

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