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Breaking: 29 Palms City Manager Summarily Discharged!

By   /   May 14, 2014  /   14 Comments

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May 14, 2014. What the heck is going on with this city council? Why was City Manager Joe Guzzetta discharged? 


The one man at city hall that was bringing the city together and restoring confidence with the public was discharged from all duties last night in closed session. It is nether known why he was terminated nor if there is a compensation package. According to a 29 Palms City Press Release today, 29 Palms Finance Officer Ron Peck has been named interim city manger. It was a unanimous vote (5-0) to discharge City Manager Joe Guzzetta. 

It is rumored that Mr. Guzzetta wasn’t going along to get along, that there were differences of opinion of how to move the city forward, and that outside bond council, A. Patrick Munoz, had a big hand in Mr. Guzzetta being summarily discharge from all duties. 

Rotating Mayor, Dan Mintz, reported to the Desert Trail via telephone: “The council decided we needed to go in a new direction,” he said, “We wanted to go in a new direction.”

More information will be published as it comes in. 


City of 29 Palms Press Release, Dated May 14, 2014

On Tuesday evening, May 13th, the city council held closed session for purposes of conducting the city managers’ performance evaluation. After discussing the matter the council decided it wanted to go in a new direction and hence voted to place the city manager on paid administrative leave until May 15 which will be his last day. The city council thanks Mr. Guzzetta for his services and wishes him will in his future endeavors. The council appointed the City’s Financial Director, Ron Peck, to serve as acting city manager while it explores its options, and adjourned to a regular adjourned meeting, May 19th at 5pm at city hall at which time it will discuss the appointment of a intern city manager and possible executing a related agreement.







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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. The thugs on the council have two agendas:

    (1) Do not fund the fire department, and

    (2) duplicating city building and building another unnecessary state-of-the-art performing arts theater (primarily for exclusive use of Theatre 29) — Even though local polls have shown the public is resoundingly opposed to Project Phoenix’s plan to duplicate underutilized city buildings.

    Maybe City Manager Joe Guzzetta understood that public safety (funding the TPDF) is more important that duplicating city buildings for no good cause. Maybe he spoke up. Maybe outside bond attorney, A. Patrick Munoz, induced the council thugs to fire Mr. Guzzetta.

    • michaelv michaelv says:

      I wish Mr. Guzzetta the best moving forward in his life. I am sure that somewhere down the road he will look back and say to himself, whew, I am glad they got me out of that mess.
      The City is shuffling the deck getting the hand they want to deal the cards they want so that there will be no interference with their pet project. Needless to say, in the end, the citizens are the ones that will suffer.

  2. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Why did Z107.7 report this in the early morning and CT wait till the PM to report it? What takes the “Senior Corespondent at Large” so long in posting “breaking” news?

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      Hi Larry,

      Perhaps your position shows your disdain of all that is other than city talking points. If I am wrong please correct me.

      None of the CT individuals were at the meeting nor would any of them stay until almost 11:00 PM to see what the council did or did not do in closed session.

      I became aware of the situation at about 5:00 AM when I checked my phone for any texts.

      Why post a story when I knew full well that Z107.7 would do a fine job of news reporting as they did.

      This is not a news war Larry. Each venue has its own positives and negatives.

      What you should be asking, is with the quote of Danny Mintz that “The council decided we needed to go in a new direction,” and then repeated by the others – what direction are they looking to follow or better put SET?

      If you and others do not know a city manager DOES NOT dictate nor develop DIRECTION then let me provide a civics lesson in the council/city manager form of government. His job is to implement the DIRECTION of the council and he did nothing to affront that direction because as I will point out there was no DIRECTION provided to him by the council!

      The city manager is not the leader, the council is the leader, and the city manager MANGAGES policy to implement that provided DIRECTION by the council.

      Question of the day….

      Where was the DIRECTION of the council over this last year? What vision did they have that they voiced in public?

      How could Mr. Guzzetta implement a “DIRECTION” that he knew nothing about because the council never provided it?

      Other factors are at work here that I can speculate at but prefer not to mention at this time.

      There is a major problem in the government of our city as the recent history, the last 3 years, clearly supports.

      I wish Joe well and I thank him for taking on the dragon of secrecy that WARNE established and was supported by HARRIS, KLINK, CORBIN, and MINTZ.

      Cora was not part of that dark history but I am disappointed at her vote to terminate Joe when she herself failed to provide the DIRECTION in PUBLIC.

      • Two issues: Cora Heiser and Joe Guzzetta:

        Cora was a big trickster. She blew the horn people wanted to hear, then once elected she becomes a bobby head for four council thugs and a troubling outside city bond attorney. The public was tricked and hoodwinked. She packaged herself as something she was not. Cora is a disaster and a naive sycophant in my opinion.

        This city is a sick and 360 degrees away from camelotian.

        I wish Joe Guzzetta the best. Should he sue the city and the thugs on the council, he has my blessing my and support.

    • -Updated comment-

      Hi Larry,

      the Senior Correspondent at Large was terrible sick, nearly comatose, in bed for two days two nights, vomiting, dangerously dehydrated and he thought he was going to die.

      When said correspondent got a call from a source, he promptly investigated it and put up the story along with the city press release (mailed to him by another source). Said correspondent hadn’t eaten for three days or taken liquids for two days, but he blogged the story for Cactus Thorns readers.

      Hey, you ought to give said correspondent a big pat on the back.

      BTW, Larry, its “correspondent” not corespondent.

      BTW, how are those Project Phoenix bonds paying off for you and your investment? Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out who the other bond investors are? But that is not discoverable I am told by an informed source.

      We’ve got some sickos on the city council. I’ll bet my last $20 they are having serial meeting which are illegal. A serial meeting is when they have 2-way communications in any form outside council meetings, one will communicate with another report how the other feels on issues, or meet and confer one-one-one, then pass the work to another council member and so on and so forth.

      The sickest of them all is the city’s legal counsel. This Project Phoenix may continue for 2-3 more years — and another million dollars of taxpayers money paid to, in my opinion, a shyster.

  3. Joe Guzzetta was blindsided by this move, I’m told. Married to a sharp attorney wife, perhaps Joe was asking some very specific questions that may have hit a nerve.

    Unfortunately, it appears the current city attorney has a death grip on this Council. If he advised them to terminate Guzzetta without cause, he will be there to defend them in court on any wrongful termination lawsuit…for a fee, of course.

    Joe had an excellent relationship with businesses and was accessible to the citizens of 29 Palms to discuss their concerns. He could have steered the City out of harm’s way with his unwavering attention to the bottom line and concerns over projected reduced revenues.

    I expect Mr. Peck to be retiring soon. After many years of $1 million extra left-over revenue and currently facing an approximate $700,000 deficit gap, it is too stressful for him and no fun. I was told the draft budget last evening was balanced, although a bit unclear, and the following fiscal year will present financial challenges with revenues trending downward. (Remember the “comic book” budget presented by the ex-City Manager Warne?)

    This might be a stretch…look for Jay Corbin to step in as interim City Manager, why not? However, will he want to be the one holding the bag in this manager revolving door scenario…knowing what he knows?

    This Council isn’t being very transparent about their decisions, in my opinion. We’ll see…..

  4. michaelv michaelv says:

    Wasn’t Mr. Corbin released by the City once before? I don’t think he would actually try for two, Oh wait, I forgot, that was a different council with a backbone.

  5. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Ben You have it misspelled under “About the author”.

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      Hi Larry,

      I noticed that there is no response from you to my post.

      Are you somehow agreeing with my premise that the council does not respond to opinions that are other than what they are proponents of?

  6. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    Sorry for not responding immediately to your question. Had a meeting in Yucca Valley and just got back. The lack of attendance by CT people has been obvious over the last couple of months. Guess CTers get the replay the next day. I don’t agree with your premise.

    • Larry, you too, are a CT blogger and a “CT Person”.

      Why can’t you post a story once in a while. Perhaps a story in which mirrors the council position on what the Sacramento Bee calls city slush funds (city discretionary accounts). Maybe you could bring a smidgen of transparent to this failed council because they are about as transparent as the Great Wall of China, the cold war Berlin Wall or the NSA.

      However, there are a couple of exceptions to this. When Mintz begain his campaign for the council, he used CT to blog his message (which turned out to be largely false propaganda.)

      And CT got Cora elected to the city council. She, too, used CT as a platform and media center to get her messages out to the public. Too bad that like Mintz, ended up as mostly all false propaganda. She sold herself gold and her supporters got sand.

      Since then, the public hasn’t heard a peep from these people.

  7. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Thanks Larry,

    Well lets see you are missing the reply to yesterdays post about “Direction” and well….

    To this post lets see if the council reply’s to my letter to editor online comments and we all know they will not reply here on this forum don’t we.

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