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29 Palms: Taxpayer funds used to promote incumbents and friends

By   /   May 2, 2014  /   Comments Off

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Twentynine Palms, CA – The Process of fair play and substantial justice in 29 Palms has been corrupted for a long while by the city council members. That is to say, wasteful spending and the lack of strict processes in place for nonprofits to receive public funds in an equitable manner does not exist.
Discretionary funds doled out by the city council to community group friends have little oversight and allow council members to promote themselves and their friends.
It’s not surprising that on Monday, April 28, a Riverside Grand Jury investigation issued a report scathing critical of how Riverside County supervisors spend money intended to help nonprofits and community groups. The expenditures allow supervisors to promote themselves using taxpayer dollars, the jury found.
Allegations are leveled at the 29 Palms City Council for spending public funds to help the same nonprofit over and over even though one has been out of compliance with state laws and in bad standing.
The similarities in Twentynine Palms are very similar to and parallel that of the Grand Jury Report. This parallels the lack of strict processes in place for organizations seeking public funds in 29 Palms.
The Grand Jury criticized the five supervisors for not having strict processes in place for applicants seeking Community Improvement Designation funding. And the Grand Jury cited several examples of what it considered to be wasteful use of the funds.
It may also be termed the Good Old Boys Network in 29. Like Riverside County Supervisors’ discretionary funds, the 29 Palms City Council promotes themselves every time it spends money on the same organizations. The recipients of 29’s public funds promote the council’s projects and council self-interest. When the council allocate funds intend to help the same special nonprofits, those same organizations promote the council and their mutually respective projects.
The use of public funds in 29 Palms to assist community groups, the needy, advocacy groups, students and others – especially during the height of the recession when other public funding sources and private donations waned — 29 Palms Council Members’ priorities have corrupted the process of fair play and substantial justice.
In Riverside County, the use of the funds conflicts with state law intended to deny incumbents an advantage, the jury’s report read. The jury said it found “numerous examples where supervisors used public resources to enhance their visibility and name identification with potential voters.”
The same applies to the 29 Palms City Council.
The jury also criticized supervisors for creating holding accounts in the Economic Development Agency to store leftover funds that would otherwise go back into the county’s general fund.The same application applies all the discretionary funds, capital improvements and general fund used for resources to enhance the councils’ visibility and their non-priority projects that benefit the same nonprofits.
In the Riverside Grand Jury report, nonprofit groups that got money were not registered or were suspended by the state attorney general’s office, meaning they could not legally accept funds, the jury reported. In 29 Palms one generously catered to nonprofit (Theatre 29) had also been out of compliance with California law and thus been in bad standing.
Some city councils are set to or already have introduced legislation that would make the distribution of discretionary funds more equitable.Yet, here in 29 Palms,the council uses public and dubious spending to reward friends and promote the councils’ interests.
See also: RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Grand jury says taxpayer funds used to promote incumbents

 

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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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