OPINION-Having given the boot to three Town/City Managers during the past 16 months, how does this reflect on this rural high desert region called the Morongo Basin? While there were abundant reasons for cutting loose City Manager Richard Warne out of Twentynine Palms and even more reasons for the disastrous unpopular immoral Town Manager/politician Mark Nuaimi out of Yucca Valley, there seems to be a lack of cause for dismissal for the recent firing of Twentynine Palms City Manager Joe Guzzetta.
A greater concern is the appearance his abrupt head chop came without any warning or probation period if there were any issues about his performance. All council members emerged from the Closed Session with the same talking points…”we decided to go in a different direction.” Unfortunately, the compassion meter reading of their Press Release measured near zilch.
What about the sleaze factor in the timing? The council members sat on the dais working through the budget…line by line earlier in the meeting knowing what they had planned ahead for their closed session. Was this arranged by some pea-brain to strike on the eve of Guzzetta’s 37th wedding anniversary with his wife sitting in the audience? (Ooooh…Karma isn’t going to like that.)
The current ongoing comments continue to reflect what a good guy he was and what a stunning surprise this is about his sudden departure. Seeming like an obituary for someone still very much alive, …there is no one saying “Good Riddance to Joe.”
The “departure” of Twentynine Palms City Manager Richard Warne was clouded, to say the least, as to whether or not he was fired or retired. Either way, he walked off with a rich severance package to send him off on his way. He quickly changed gears from “Retirement Mode” to actively seeking employment in nearby Mohave County. Warne was one of the top three finalist in seeking another city manager position until Cactus Thorns got wind of that information. The handwriting was on the wall as Cactus Thorns revealed his previous mess he was involved in before & after being hired by Twentynine Palms. Warne promptly withdrew his application from the City of Kingman, Arizona perhaps due to leaving out those pesky details.
On August 20, 2013, Yucca Valley Town Manager Mark Nuaimi was nearing his final hours at the council meeting to fire him. Outside in the courtyard, he asked Dan O’Brien Publisher of Cactus Thorns attending his very first Yucca Valley Council meeting, whether or not he would be tracked down like Warne. The very last words Nuaimi heard as he rushed out of the Yucca Valley Council meeting was, “I’ll see you in Hell!” from a usually mild-mannered citizen of Colton. Nuaimi nearly bankrupted the City of Colton financially and deflated the morale of the community with his divisive tactics and brought this same “Sim Card” to Yucca Valley creating havoc during his tenure.
Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce
Not waiting for the body to turn cold, I am told the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce quickly sent out an email blast asking, “Have any suggestions regarding our next City Manager?” They want to hear from their members and have posted the date and time for the council meeting on Monday, May 19th at 5 pm.
Interim City Manager Matt McCleary?
It appears the council has someone lined up waiting in the wings to appoint to the position in their closed session and when they return out of the closed session, will discuss the “Possible Adoption of an Agreement for Interim City Manager.” Here is the agenda>LINK
Looks like “the fix was in” to appoint Matt McCleary to the position with the blessing of the city attorney and some back room serial meetings…”off the record.”
So, what about Joe? For now, I’m going to call it a “Blessing in Disguise.”
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