Yucca Valley: Up to the challenge - Hi-Desert Star: Letters To Editor

Yucca Valley: Up to the challenge

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Posted: Saturday, July 28, 2012 5:30 am

With the city of San Bernardino declaring bankruptcy and other California communities teetering on the brink of similar fiscal emergencies, financial challenges surround us. Cities and towns throughout California are working hard to survive the Great Recession and state laws that take funds away from our local communities. In Yucca Valley, declining revenues and state actions have forced us to cut millions in spending, impacting our ability to provide the local community services that you value.

The town is committed to the proper management of taxpayer funds and has made the tough choices necessary during the economic recession. The organization downsized from 52 to 41 full-time employees. The remaining town employees made sacrifices to help balance the town’s budget, learning to do more with less, and accepting a series of pension reforms that resulted in considerable savings in recent budgets and will assist us in controlling costs into the future. These efforts have resulted in balanced budgets throughout the Great Recession.

However, significant challenges remain. Yucca Valley faces a $14 million deficit in road maintenance that was inherited from the county when the town incorporated. Contract public safety costs continue to rise. Fuel is more expensive. The cost of doing business continues to rise — all at a time when property values (and property taxes to the town) continue to diminish.

Without additional funds, we cannot maintain services at the levels necessary for our community. Town-provided services — such as maintaining and repairing existing streets and alleys and public safety — are all central to preserving our community’s small-town character and local way of life. They are also important to protecting local property values.

The town of Yucca Valley recently circulated a survey to engage residents and obtain feedback on these issues. We received extensive input from residents about the services important to them including:

•    Lowering the costs for the state mandated sewer improvements;

•    Improving and protecting local property values;

•    Maintaining and repairing existing neighborhood streets and alleys;

•    Maintaining local control of local funds to address community priorities;

•    Preserving our small town atmosphere and sense of community;

•    Maintaining local paramedic/firefighter services.

Unfortunately, the state continues to pass laws that take local funds away from Yucca Valley — threatening our ability to address your local priorities. Without additional locally-controlled revenues, the Town of Yucca Valley cannot adequately or effectively address these service needs.

One of the options being considered is a local revenue measure (a 1-cent sales tax) to give our community the resources it needs to meet the challenges it faces. A local revenue measure would give Yucca Valley control of our destiny by providing Yucca Valley local control over local funds, for our needs — funds that would be protected by law from Sacramento.

We are grateful for all the feedback we have received from the community and will continue to provide updates as we propose local solutions and options to address our community’s challenges. For more information, please visit www.yucca-valley.org.

© 2015 Hi-Desert Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • CurtDuffy posted at 8:47 pm on Tue, Jul 31, 2012.

    CurtDuffy Posts: 108

    The Scapegoat Song

    If revenues are in decline,
    Blame the state.
    If expenses are out of line,
    Blame the state.
    If your town is in the lurch,
    And you’re beholden to the church,
    Blame the state!

    If your roads are showing age,
    Blame the state.
    If the children are drinking sewage,
    Blame the state.
    If you have a master plan,
    And it needs a boogie man,
    Blame the state!

    If the council’s in turmoil,
    Blame the state.
    If your staff is less than loyal,
    Blame the state.
    If you’re really going gaga,
    And can’t move to Nevada,
    Blame the state!

  • don krouse posted at 4:49 pm on Tue, Jul 31, 2012.

    don krouse Posts: 158

    The reason there is so little money available for supporting local projects and services is tied completely to the collapse of our economy. If people were working, paying taxes, saving for retirement or college, spending on goods, we would also have more people buying homes, thus increasing the property tax base, paying income taxes and the public coffers would have greater bounty.

    We have followed an economic philosophy for thirty years that was championed by wealthy elites who craved more. The supply side economics model has been a failure and that means that the Republican strategy is a failure for all except those who had much and got more. Let the wealthy pretend they create jobs and then acknowledge, if you believe that lie, that you are taking psychedelic drugs or watching wacko news nonstop. Let the bankers regulate themselves, as we have, and we get all the mess of their big bonuses for complete failure of purpose.

    It does not take a genius to figure out that if jobs are sent overseas, wages are slashed after destroying unions, unemployment rises, and we pay more for goods to increase profits and executive salaries, we could not pay for safety services let alone the other necessities of a civilization.

    Stop blaming State government. The state is only reacting to economic conditions that are dire. Start considering who takes away the jobs, thus reducing the tax base and the only reasonable conclusion is that the flaw is in accepting this new age of Republican radicalism for the wealthy. Republicans do not even want to assure that seniors are secure anymore.

  • Desertben posted at 3:23 pm on Sun, Jul 29, 2012.

    Desertben Posts: 426

    Wow, Dave, is he that much of a crook? If so, he is merely following the pattern that our economic system encourages.

    My goodness Tom, I don’t know if you are kidding or not, but
    “I bet if found some new authorities we' d also find lots of lost money.”

    seems to imply that we never learn. That is what we need alright, more of the same ol’BS.

    Well CurtDuffy,

    “No taxation without (district) representation”
    Seems I’ve come across that phrase before somewhere.

    It follows that a sales tax would be highlighted, since it cost the poor much more than the rich.

  • CurtDuffy posted at 7:40 pm on Sat, Jul 28, 2012.

    CurtDuffy Posts: 108

    The current Yucca Valley Town Council represents only one fifth of the town's populace--that of Sky Harbor. That leaves 80% of he town having to vote for a tax increase for which they ostensibly have no representation.

    Based on current funding trends, there's little doubt that most of the town's portion of new revenues will go to improvements in Sky Harbor. While the portion of the revenues that are slated for the wastewater treatment system are sorely needed, the HDWD would be better off not becoming involved with Mr. Nuami.


  • damndawgers posted at 4:04 pm on Sat, Jul 28, 2012.

    damndawgers Posts: 529

    DITTO DAVE N TOM, I must agree with the both of you for sure. By the way, have you seen how they are fixing our streets, what a joke? I'm not sure i'd even consider it a band-aid. So just where are these improvements they brag about happening? Must be up by the joshua Springs Church area i presume. [cool] Also i was just wondering about the west end of town, it's starting to make sense as to why everything down here is shut down.If they build the 1200 houses and 120 room hospitality hotel etc. HHhhmmnnn I just wonder??? I'd almost bet ole' Mark Nuaimi had something to do with it, Of course my opinion only! Yo Dave, that was saying it just as it is, was and probably will be till he's voted out or just asked to leave!. Tarred and feathered wouldn't be a bad idea, hhmmmnnn.
    respectfully, damndawgers.[offtopic]

  • tomloret posted at 10:07 am on Sat, Jul 28, 2012.

    tomloret Posts: 411

    "Cooperating with the authorities could substantially reduce the penalties and our expenses."... I thought that cooperating with the authorities is what put us in this mess...

    Otherwise, very well said...yeah...that darn state government...what we need is more republican led super-majorities, more corporations and developers in charge and less oversight and accountability. Now, that's earning some dollars, Nuaimi style.

    I bet if found some new authorities we' d also find lots of lost money.

  • Dave Peach posted at 8:31 am on Sat, Jul 28, 2012.

    Dave Peach Posts: 2998

    Mark Nuaimi has cost the town government eleven full time jobs and many more throughout the basin by remaining most loyal to a developer who he also remains indebted to, and is attempting to repay out of our pockets.

    After blaming the state government for taking local funds, the deadbeat thief jacked up CalTrans for the money required to build sidewalks. Nuaimi and Sarann Graham recently went to Sacramento and came back with a million dollars that remains elusive.

    Yucca Valley is in dire need of more revenue. More so, a trustworthy town manager. Allowing Nuaimi to place his grubby paws on anymore than he has already wasted or given away would be similarly a case of 'bad management'.

    Nuaimi has been willing to inundate other blog sites with unintelligible malarkey. And he obviously monitors this site. Facing someone who is experienced at deciphering and translating the fine print, or who is anxious for explanations regarding Nuaimi's political and personal history remains beyond Nuaimi's capacity for audacity.

    Make my day. Conversely, get lost. Better yet, confess and face the consequences. Cooperating with the authorities could substantially reduce the penalties and our expenses.


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