(OPINION) Yucca Valley, Ca.,- After trying to obtain documents through PRR, Public Records Requests from the Town confirming the amount of TOT bed tax paid by each hotel/motel in Yucca Valley and was informed the information was “confidential,” I knew I had to re-phrase my inquiry.
The “Nuaimi stench” still lingers…
This is exactly the sort of crap the fired ex-manager/politician, Mark Nuaimi, used in order to keep the citizens in the dark lacking any transparency. Nuaimi was fired and given the boot on August 20, 2013, um, “Golden Boot” by Mayor Merl Abel to the tune of $126,666 of public funds when he was entitled to receive ZERO. After Abel discovered the lamb’s wool was pulled over his eyes revealing this wolf he held up in high esteem at the pulpit during the Measure U campaign was actually De-flowering the integrity of one of the “flock,” Abel declared he would NOT seek re-election. Merl Abel lied and went back on his word recently declaring his candidacy for town council.
A revision to my previous Request…
I re-submitted a vague request about an unnamed hotel with exact specific information citing a $179,000-$200,000 range of back TOT owed. I was tipping my hand that I already knew the answer but was seeking the documents through a PRR. When Staff replied to this new re-worded request to deny me once again, this time it was copied to the Town Attorney…Bingo! There was my confirmation…sort of.
We live in an age of electronic search engines with public information available at the click of a mouse. After a review of a certain Yucca Valley hotel’s parcel # called a “Property Profile,” it was discovered the original owner let this hotel go back to the lender in foreclosure. Get this, his son purchased back the same property from the bank using a different holding company…AT THE SAME ADDRESS of the original owner! Say what??
A troubled Hotel for many years…
Sources close to this unfolding situation who wish to remain anonymous, have reported utility shut-offs and water meters sealed for non-payment of utility bills on several occasions. A large consumer of water, this hotel has installed a package treatment plant and will not be subject to ANY sewer assessment or sewer operation fees.
How can any hotel get so far behind?…
The ex-Town Manager Mark Nuaimi was employed by the Town of Yucca Valley driving in from his home in Fontana…not necessarily a daily commute, as we are now finding out. It seems Nuaimi was working pretty hot n’ heavy for over a year on his General Fund tax, Measure U, the defeated tax of 1% for 30 years that could NOT be designated. It appears during the 3 years of Nuaimi’s tenure as Town Manager, he looked the other way…why?
Was this Nuaimi’s LoveNest in Yucca Valley?
When a Chamber President cooed at the council meetings to praise “Mark for working so hard on Measure U all throughout the night,” we now know, there was a hidden meaning to that praise…all caught on DVD, I might add.
Let’s see…Nuaimi was being paid close to $300,000 per year including benefits and he couldn’t pay for his own clean linens? I am waiting to find out the room number for a future post. In the end, the Town of Yucca Valley got stiffed for approximately $200,000 of TOT bed taxes. I’m guessing there will be a lien placed on the property for the back taxes…just don’t stick that in the “reserve fund” under accounts receivables. As far as receiving any payments…take a number.
Is the City of Twentynine Palms next?…
The original owner also owns three hotel establishments in the City of 29 Palms. In fact, he used his Yucca Valley hotel letterhead to write in support of the 29 Palms Vacation Home Rentals while he was trying to bootleg a kitchen into one of his hotels without any permits or inspections. The 29Palms Planning Commission slapped his little wrist and gave him a waiver on parking spaces and the letter of intention so he could obtain a liquor license at his new restaurant using his bootlegged kitchen. This isn’t the first time or the last time he has remodeled without pulling the proper permits on other projects.
To be continued…
Recall Councilman Merl Abel? Was the “Gift of Public Funds” used as hush money? Abel can’t be trusted with the Town’s finances and makes bad decisions…he should just step down…now. (See my next post on recovering and enforcement of TOT, bed tax revenues.)
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