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Are workshops, public hearing and citizen input healthy or not?

By   /   May 26, 2014  /   1 Comment

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Twentynine Palms – Should the public have a voice through workshops, public hearings or through the democratic voting process before possibly spending millions of taxpayers’ money to revamp the downtown area with a second community building, or another city-owned performing arts theater that it does not need?

If you said no to public input – it’s not for the public to decide — you may be a 29 Palms City Council Member, a ranking staff member or the city’s self-serving, haughty and narcissistic city bond attorney, A. Patrick MunozBelieve it, taxpayers are going to get screwed again if the phoenix project moves forward without deferring to the people that live here, the public. 

If you said yes to public input  and workshops, you are likely a red-blooded American and freedom-loving taxpayers who continues to believe in the democratic process.

The city needs a clear vision before moving forward on revamping the downtown area and altering the cityscape. This may be accomplished after the 2014 elections with new faces seated on the dais. Our present council is stagnated, mired in egos and confused and bedazzled by the bad legal advice of bond counsel.

The public may find that both a replicated playhouse and/or community building are unpurposed and unpopular? Polls taken by Cactus Thorns and the Desert Trail show — by more than a resounding eighty percent — people are not behind another theaters or a second community center. They surely understand that the community center at Luckie Park is underutilized. 

This council and former council member John Cole clearly by-passed (and ignored) the public on the Bond / Project Phoenix miscarriages. The was still is a con game. It’s not okay pull the rug out from workshops and public input on how taxpayers’ spend public funds or to deny them a say-so in replicating city buildings.

It council does so because then can. 

The city needs to think long and hard and provide a robust debate before it invests significant resources into a project that, thus far, has not provide one iota of evidence of economic benefit to the city.

The time is now for a genuine public discussions and workshops prior to any more money spent in terms of resurrecting an unpopular project that the public has demonstrated it does not want.

Revamping the downtown area to eliminate real blight is one thing. However, constructing another community building —  or playhouse for the nearly exclusive use of some overzealous local thespians — is preposterous. The money can be better utilized on the much neglected downtown infrastructure.

Ring the bells of democracy and involve the public with the process, beginning with workshops and public hearings. 

At issue: At this juncture we have a complete absence of public input. To use an overworked cliché, “it’s a no-brainer.” What is this council afraid of? Do they fear the general public?

Either the city is democratic in nature, or it is a fascist in practice. 



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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 Comment

  1. michaelv michaelv says:

    Well Branson, i would think that the Council would welcome input from the people who voted them in to begin with. The city I live in right now has three citizen workgroups for the following areas of concern: Parking within the downtown area, additional bike lanes to connect with established lanes, and the big one, a group discussing the enforcement of numerous city codes. These workshops are then followed by open Council meetings where the results are given to the council and then open for public input.
    There is no procrastination, dates are set, meetings are scheduled and posted on the city website and printed in the local paper. Several council meetings have been moved to the fire house to have more room for citizens. It happens in cities all over except where the council thinks they know everything and know what is good for the city without any input from the people who live there. The future of 29 is presently in the hands of 5 people. Here’s hoping

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