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Distinguishing Morongo Basin MAC Council from the 29 Palms City Council

By   /   June 10, 2014  /   Comments Off

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Updated June 11 @ 7:38 a.m.: 

This story will connect with what distinguished good local government from bad local government. It will also review a report concerning Desert Heights issues and how MAC might best represent that community. 



I attended the June 9th Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) Meeting in Joshua Tree. MAC is a recent advisory council established by Third District County Supervisor James Ramos. Our local MAC committee is dedicated to good government, transparency, and are highly respectful of government codes that regulate them.  What an eye opener. MAC is a breath of fresh air. They listen to the public, they engage them and ask questions from the public and answer their questions.

Conversely, the 29 Palms Council is dedicated to themselves, their local cronies and, of course, their respective large egos. The 29 Palms council fear the public; they loath transparency; they have misled the public and published press releases with disinformation. As well, the council has sat in closed meetings during illegal discussions regarding compensation of city managers.

All the while, legal council for the city, Patrick Munoz, must have been snoozing or he just thought he could pull it off without any repercussions from the public. The 29 council have plundered public funds like no other council in the city’s history with no accountability to the public and pushed the public aside without remorse.  Now, the council is planning the largest make-over of the downtown area, including duplicating city buildings for no articulate purpose largely for the benefit cronies — all without public input, public hearing or workshops in a multi-million 

MAC gets a resounding five stars for good government; the city council gets scorn because they have degraded public office they hold and have done more harm to the city than they have done good.

The council is an embarrassment to the democratic process. When you see the 29 council in action, they may as well have duct tape taped over their mouths. Bond attorney Patrick Munoz has made goats of these failed elected officials.

While MAC is a forum where America politics shines, the city council is flock of muted goats that have degrade local politics and local government. 



The community of Desert Heights is located in the unincorporated area NW of the city of 29 Palms. At issue for this community and MAC (as stated on the MAC Agenda) is that how MAC might best represent interests unique to that community, if any, and possibly make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. Unlike all the other diverse communities in the Morongo Basin — from Wonder Valley to east and Landers to the west – Desert Heights has no representative on MAC. It has no voice whatsoever. 

During the MAC meeting, Mary Reeves — a Desert Heights resident, 29 Palms C.E.R.T.(Community Emergency Response Team) Coordinate and involved citizen — presented a report on Desert Heights as requested by MAC members. She informed MAC that the area is 32 square miles in size running from Morongo Rd. west past Lear Av. from Amboy Rd. North to MCAGCC. She reported that Desert Heights independent folks that want to be left alone. Residents that spoke during comments strongly appealed for a representation on MAC.

It was reported by a Yucca Mesa community leader that Desert Heights is much like Yucca Mesa in terms size and number of residents and voters, said a Yucca Mesa spokesperson from the Mesa.

The bottom line is that Desert Heights has the same concerns and problems as any other area in the Basin. Hopefully, Desert Heights will get a representative on MAC. There is no reason to not have a representative; there is every reason to have a representative.

Desert Heights simply just does not have a voice in this County, or the Morongo Basin. It pays taxes but has no representation. It is completely disenfranchised. It’s fire station 422 was closed, and no body cares in practice about this community.  



TPFD Chief Thompson provided a history of how the water department came about to having charge of the fire department. He said this came about BEFORE the city was a city. Chief Thompson described the funding complications and structure of funding. The TPFD gets absolutely NO portion of the general tax. The city usurps these funds for non-priority project that hold no value to the residents. 



MAC is made up of nine appointed members from all the respective communities in the Morongo Basin but for Desert Heights. Mac is an advisory council to Supervisor James Ramos and the supervisors. You might say it is the eyes and ears of San Bernardino County Supervisors, namely Third District Supervisor Ramos.

Other than occasional policing services, Desert Heights taxes are sucked out of the community with no benefits or returns to the community. According to Fire Chief Thompson $164,000 of Desert Heights special fire taxes in way or another make their way back to the city of 29 [to be plundered on pet projects].

MAC (thus far) has demonstrated it is an example of good leadership, while Twentynine Palms is a classic example of poor leadership with elected officials that has done little for the public or taxpayers the last four years.  

Attend a MAC meeting and wake-up your senses to good government. 


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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.

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