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Ethics Training for Twentynine Palms City Council

By   /   April 22, 2014  /   Comments Off

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April 22, 2014 – Updated 1:40 p.m.

Twentynine Palms, CA – Sure all council members are good people… bla, bla, bla. Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk.

Jay Corbin is not running for another four years. He will be missed though he has made mistakes. Cora Heiser and Joel Klink’s seats are not up for election.

Council Members Jim Harris and Dan Mintz are in their twilight months as councilmen. Their terms end after the 2014 elections. Though they haven’t taken-out papers seeking another four years, it’s speculated they will.

This council flunks the test on how to manage the city’s budget. They have been miserable failures in that regard. This council really needs to just do its job responsibly. In some countries they would be jailed.

The council needs refresher training in ethics and on how to manage the budget?

In particular, Mintz needs to be singled out for the refresher course on ethics training. He skipped ethic training at taxpayers’ expense a couple of months presented by the League of California Cities in Sacramento. Taxpayers sent him and Jay Corbin to Sacramento for a three day seminar. The third day was highlighted with ethics training. Seems Mintz had more importation things to do while in Sacramento on the third day; he was a no-show .

Therefore, it stands to reason that Mintz has a deficit or a gap in ethics. He (and Harris) already have two Brown Act violations to their legacy.

closed door

Both Mintz and Harris are part of the circle of crones and power brokers of private and public officials that make up the local oligarchy responsible for the city debt and fiscal crises –as well, for shutting the door to public input on Project Phoenix (PP) and the massive efforts to clone city playhouses and community centers.

The city council’s misbehavior of squandering windfalls that come along occasionally, squandering extra discretionary spending, creating deficits and a situation dealing with deficits if or when revenues return to normal later, is unfathomable. They willingly pass their overspending problems and fire department issues along to the next council.

Further, extreme measures of spending more money than coming in this year resulted in the absence of the annual the $600,000 to $1,000,000. As well, the conversion of annual reserve funds into hands of council member for pet projects with no tangible benefit to the public. This is unconscionable.

The council’s conduct is unfathomable. Even now they are wringing their hands speculating old RDA money may be returned to the city as a result of litigation. That may or may not come to pass. But what is certain is that under the old RDA the public was completely shut out of the decision-making process. The council surely took advantage of that. That those rules no longer apply.

The public must be involved should PP funds become available. They must decide if they want dual playhouses and communities centers. Even so, Harris has advocated he is not interest in public input or a vote: Jim Harris: “About Project Phoenix… I’m looking forward to us going ahead with it… .”

Mintz, too, will move forward without public input on their dual playhouse or clone community center. He’s hid the ball about a meeting he had with water district officials, he lied to Ms. A Fleck about not violating the Brown Act. And will push very hard to exclude the public on playhouse and community center issues — just like he did prior to the RDA having a stake driven through its cold and abandon heart.

It is hard to imagine anyone interested in good local government being against public input, and letting the public decide the faith of spending unimaginable sums of public funds on sweetheart deals for theater people and cronies.

This is what the 2014 elections are all about: The city council abuseing their entrusted powers of the electorate. In the elections there ought to be a vote on playhouse and community centers that simply are not needed. 

Op-Ed

 

 

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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.

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