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City Council Rebuffs Meeting with Water Directors

By   /   May 29, 2014  /   2 Comments

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Twentynine Palms – The Tuesday, May 27, city council meeting had to be an embarrassment. 



From all available evidence it seems clear that the city council is stonewalling (again) on a request by the water board for a join meeting. The TPWD Board President Sam Moore was summoned to the podium by council Member Jay Corbin.  Moore was put in the hot seat by a Corbin. He (Corbin) demanded to know the cause for a speedy request for a joint meeting.

The council namely nitpicked, stonewalled and danced around meeting with the water board to discuss some sort of joint funding of the fire department. Council Members are very touchy about giving-up tax increment funds it receives from the county or turning lose other funding sources. There is this bandwagon mentality that encourages and supports wasteful spending. 

Last month, Twentynine Palms Fire Chief Jim Thompson told water board directors that Desert Heights taxpayers are funding the downtown Adobe Road fire station to the tune of $165,000 a year the since lack of funds ended staffing for the Lear Avenue fire station last June.

This makes the city council edgy.

City council members are acting in bad faith and stalling on a meeting of the minds with water board members. It appears that the city council has personalized the issue of public safety with some sort of ax to grind with the TPWD Board.

We have a city council that spend the city in the red, plundered  annual surplus of about a million, diverted annual surplus fund back to the council’s use, makes liberal use of slush funds for pet projects  – and the Corbin rakes Water Commissioner  Sam Moore over the coals for alleged overspending in his department?

Classic hypocrisy: POT=KETTLE=BLACK.

According to the Desert Trail, it seems Director Moore requested that Fire Chief Jim Thompson contact City Manager Guzzetta to to set up dates for a joint meeting to discuss the offset of Desert Heights taxpayers of $165,000 . This is making the council members edgy. Seems the Chief is saying the city owes $165K. Could this be one of the issues that got Joe Guzzetta fired?

We already know the city gets something like 26.4 percent of property taxes for public safety, infrastructure and improving the quality of life for the public, and we know the council uses those funds for nonproirty projects.

Meantime, the Desert Trail reports During 2014-15 budget discussions, the council put $161,000 into tourism and marketing, with $120,000 pegged for Internet marketing, $16,000 going to current marketing specialist Vickie Waite and $25,000 set aside for other marketing uses.  

But nothing for public safety in the budget in terms of a fire department facing bankruptcy whiles the public is in harm’s way 24 hours a day — and the TPFD is unable to keep its mutual aid agreement with the Base or County Fire.

The city council has reached a point of “no return” to where it is static and dysfunctional.



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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. Chancey Chambers Chancey Chambers says:

    Mintz and Harris deserve credit for voting against Corbin’s ridiculous motion. I believe these two truly want a meeting where we could openly discuss the community’s fire protection issues. I think Heiser also wants a meeting but misunderstood the intent and context of Corbin’s motion. Why ask questions in order to have a meeting that will answer the very same questions they want answered???? It’s absurd. Besides , the water district cannot force the council to do anything so there is no reason to avoid a meeting. Let’s face it… These “questions” are a trap. I believe any information from the district that is sent back before the council will be piecemealed and nitpicked by Corbin and fallaciously used as an excuse to avoid a meeting. I think he fears a true conversation with the district about fire protection because it may lead to the city taking action he doesn’t want.

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:


      I love your attempt to mend the fence and perhaps garner a third vote from Heiser to move forward by saying she “misunderstood the intent and context of Corbin’s motion.”

      But that is not accurate. She simply did not know what she was doing. She was lost as she has been in the past on matters of great importance but we all have given her room.

      She is “new”, she was “confused”, perhaps she “did not understand or comprehend”.

      Well that might be true and if it is true she needs to either step up to the plate or step down.

      Her errors in understanding what exactly is happening on that dais are deplorable.

      She talks a great game in private over the phone or by text and then loses her mind in the presence of better public speakers and debaters than her.

      She folds, crashes, goes into brain freeze, vapor lock, hell call it what you may but she can not get the deed done in a public forum when the matters count.

      Her voice quivers, she shakes, and she presents an image of meekness as well as weakness when the sharks are in the water.

      Anyways, she does also fail to understand she has failed to be an elected leader of those that voted and supported her. Me being one of the many.

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