Yucca Valley Recall

Welcome!


October 15, 2014: Tim Humphreville Re-Ignites Recall Campaign
Unable to let 2700 sleeping dogs lie, Planning Commissioner Tim Humphreville re-awakened the 2700 registered Yucca Valley voters who signed the recall petitions for Councilmembers George Huntington and Robert Lombardo when he attacked recall proponent Ron Cohen in a typically incoherent a HDS letter. Humphreville was apparently unaware that these voters are still waiting for justice to be served--that they had their voices denied through the unequal application of the law by the County of San Bernardino. Humphreville was also unaware that the most common question asked by recall petition signers was "Where is the petition to recall Merl Abel?" That petition is now here--these 2700 voters will show Nuami-protege Merl Abel the door on November 4...

A Time for Action

Cities and towns throughout California have been plagued by elected leaders and municipal staff who serve their own concerns and special interests rather than the people. The City of Bell received national attention after a special election with poor voter turnout resulted in the reclassification of Bell as a charter city, enabling exorbitant municipal salaries. Closer to home, the City of San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy after poor fiscal management left it a billion dollars in debt.    

It won't happen here. Yucca Valley is fortunate to have informed and engaged residents. And Yuccans are becoming increasingly aware of how the town is being misled and mismanaged. Please join us in "Taking Yucca Back."

Resources
The Fullerton Recall shows how concerned citizens were able to lead a successful recall against three council members based on their
failure to lead.

The Fresno County Clerk/Registrar of Voters have made available Understanding the Recall Process for helping citizens initiate and implement recalls of local officers.

Finally, Rachel Weinstein's "You're Fired... An Analysis of Local Recall Elections in California" is must reading for Yuccan reformists!

 

Photo by Sharon Gilbert


Donations


Please help "Take Yucca Back" by mailing a check made payable to the Morongo Basin Property Association at PO Box 1411, Yucca Valley, CA  92286-1411 or use the PayPal link above. Donations of $100 or more must include the contributor's name, address, occupation, and employer. This information will be included when the PAC makes its required financial reports.

Get Involved!


 
Contact Information

Let us know if you'd like to help. Your will be contacted with more information about assisting with the recall effort. Your email address will not be shared with anyone else. Media Requests: Please email ron@deenron.com with all inquiries.

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Updates

October 15, 2014: Tim Humphreville Re-Ignites Recall Campaign
Unable to let 2700 sleeping dogs lie, Planning Commissioner Tim Humphreville re-awakened the 2700 registered Yucca Valley voters who signed the recall petitions for Councilmembers George Huntington and Robert Lombardo when he attacked recall proponent Ron Cohen in a typically incoherent a HDS letter. Humphreville was apparently unaware that these voters are still waiting for justice to be served--that they had their voices denied through the unequal application of the law by the County of San Bernardino. Humphreville was also unaware that the most common question asked by recall petition signers was "Where is the petition to recall Merl Abel?" That petition is now here--these 2700 voters will show Nuami-protege Merl Abel the door on November 4...


May 26, 2014: Recall Looms Over 2014 Yucca Valley Town Council Election  
In the spring of 2013, recall candidates George Huntington and Robert Lombardo both had more than 3 years left in their terms--and thus were the obvious targets for removal. The other council members in question, Dawn Rowe and Merl Abel, had terms that expired this November and were not slated for recall. Council Member Dawn Rowe has since indicated that she will not pursue re-election. Merl Abel appears, at this time, to be seeking re-election and will be held to account for the same charges as the recall targets.

Immediately after the Register of Voters (ROV) announced the results of the recall in Oct 2013, they were contacted over the more than 400 signatures deemed "invalid". YVR reviewed every single signature with the ROV over a period of two weeks.  The results were very disturbing.  For example: they eliminated the handicapped because the petition workers had filled out their names and addresses for them (the voters signatures were verified as good); they eliminated voters who had moved within Yucca Valley and did not take into account where they lived when they had signed the petitions; they eliminated many newly registered voters (over 1000 through YVR efforts) who lived in unrecorded addresses; they even eliminated voter signatures just for minor misspellings! The number of signatures that actually failed to match the records was less than 25! The recall petitions were held to a much higher level of scrutiny than other voter initiatives and may present an egregious case of voter disenfranchisement.

During discussions with the  Register of Voters, it became clear that the only method of restitution and resolution would be in the courts--an expensive but perhaps worthwhile proposition.  YVR is still evaluating whether to pursue this avenue.

October 13, 2013: Council Member George Huntington Sought "Favor" from Town Manager Mark Nuaimi; Later Voted to Award Nuaimi $175,000 Severance Gift
 
A public records request dated 9/16/13 yielded a number of communications between former Town Manager Mark Nuaimi and Council Members Huntington and Lombardo, the targets of the Yucca Valley Recall. In one highly incriminating email (included below), Council Member George Huntington requests a "favor" from Town Manager Mark Nuaimi, in particular assistance in answering the recall charges leveled against him. However, on August 20, 2013, before Council Members Huntington and Lombardo went into closed session with the rest of the council to discuss and vote on Mr. Nuaimi's severance, a public comment was made asking Council Members Huntington and Lombardo to recuse themselves from the matter if in fact they had any assistance from Mr. Nuaimi with their anti-recall campaigns. Neither did so. The conflict of interest suggested by the recently discovered email may qualify as a "gift of public funds," punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. YVR is seeking more specifics on Council Member Huntington's request and Mr. Nuaimi's response.  October 9, 2013: Town of Yucca Valley Releases Signature Counts YVR was disappointed but not shocked that the number of verified signatures was less than the 2461 required to initiate recall ballots for Council Members Huntington and Lombardo. Roughly 450 signatures were not counted on each of the recall petitions. YVR's signature screening and verification process was thorough and painstaking. A request for a review of the invalidated signatures has already been initiated. YVR expects the final accounting will be in its favor.  


September 13, 2013: Submitted Recall Petitions Each Contain 2720 Signatures--10.5% More than Required
Yucca Valley Recall lead proponent Ron Cohen submitted petitions each containing approximately 2720 signatures for the recall of Council Members George Huntington and Robert Lombardo today. The petitions were accepted by the Yucca Valley Town Clerk and will be forwarded to the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters (ROV). The ROV has 30 business days to verify the signatures. If at least 2461 signatures (25% of the registered voters in Yucca Valley) are verified for a petition--that petition will generate a recall election for the corresponding council member.

YVR thanks the many volunteers, contributors, and petition signers who made this remarkable day possible. This is a victory for the people and democracy. A better Yucca is in the works! 

August 29, 2013: YVR Enters Final Ten Days of Signature Gathering!
Yucca Valley Recall will be collecting signatures for ten more days before turning boxloads of petitions over to Deputy Town Clerk Lesley Copeland. Yucca Valley residents have just a little over a week to be part of local history and to kick-start the restoration of the town. Recall proponents will be gathering signatures and donations at WalMart this holiday weekend. Look for us there! 

Yucca Valley Recall is also holding a Recall Rally this Monday (September 2, 2013) from 11 am - 1 pm at the corner of Highways 62 & 247. Please join us to show your support for cleaning up the town and beginning an open, equitable, and prosperous future for Yucca Valley. Recall proponents will also have petitions available at the Recall Rally for those who still want to be a part of this historic action!

If you are unable to make it to either of our petition locations this weekend, simply contact us using the form above and we'll come to you!


August 20, 2013: YVR Seeks to Preserve Taxpayer Money; Demands Termination with Cause
Press release from recall proponents separates Town Manager dismissal from recall charges and seeks termination with cause and without cost to taxpayers. 




August 19, 2013: New Toxic Element--Nuaimium--Discovered; Local Pols Facing Contamination  
Yucca Valley Town Manager Mark Nuaimi's pending firing received front-page coverage in the print edition of the San Bernardino County Sun. (A link to the web edition can be found here.) The Sun writes that Nuaimi "has fostered a reputation for being arrogant and opinionated." Meanwhile, Mark Gutglueck of the subscription-only Sentinel reports that "the long-festering discontent with Nuaimi metastasized" and details the growing resentment against all four of the council members who approved his raise (Abel, Huntington, Lombardo, and Rowe). (Reprint of Sentinel article is available here.) Original posts and comments on other blogs were almost universally celebratory about the news of Nuaimi's downfall--though opposition to a severance package has been intense, with increasing numbers of Yucca Valley residents now entering the fray and vowing to hold the Town Council accountable if they authorize any undeserved payout. Links between Nuaimi and Congressman Paul Cook are once again being questioned as some bloggers seek to reveal what is going on behind the curtains.

With Nuami's sacking on the imminent horizon, recall proponents were challenged with handling the large number of petition signers at their recently established table outside of the new Yucca Valley WalMart. At other signature gathering locations, recall proponents were met with high fives, hugs, and tears of joy. In addition, recall proponents collected more cash donations and the visitor counter on this page surpassed 5000! 

YVR again thanks the fiercely independent and determined people of Yucca Valley who have demanded better municipal government.

August 16, 2013: Amidst Lack of Oversight, Town Seeks a $170,000 Nuaimi Severance without Explaining "Dispute"

A recently released agenda for Tuesday night's Town Council meeting includes a proposed severance agreement between the Town of Yucca Valley and Town Manager, Mark Nuaimi. The cost to the town will be $126,000 in salary plus the cost of Mr. Nuaimi's health benefits for one year, for a total buyout cost of approximately $170,000--the figure mentioned by Stan Zarakov in this recent Hi-Desert Star editorial. Council Member George Huntington, however, had just days before cited the cost of Mr. Nuaimi's buyout at $300,000. There is no knowledge as to whether Council Member Huntington was intentionally inflating the figure or was misinformed. There is also no knowledge as to whether Council Member Huntington's statements about the Town's employment relationship with Mr. Nuaimi adversely impacted the Town's negotiations with Mr. Nuaimi. It does appear, however, that the Town presented Mr. Nuaimi with a basis for dismissal for cause. This matter is merely referred to as the "Dispute" and outlined below:

2.4 Notwithstanding the foregoing, the EMPLOYEE has become the focal point of a political divide in the community. There exists a bona fide dispute of fact as to whether the TOWN has any basis to claim that the EMPLOYEE ever conducted himself within the defined parameters set forth in Section 3.4 of his CONTRACT (the "Dispute").
 
Additionally, on June 8, 2013, recall proponent Ron Cohen provided the Town Council with a list of actions committed by Mr. Nuaimi that
constituted "willful misconduct." Given the failure of the Town Council to effectively direct and supervise Mr. Nuami--thus costing the taxpayers of the Town approximately $170,000 in payouts if the severance agreement is approved--Yucca Valley Recall is continuing to seek the recall of Council Members Huntington and Lombardo, as well as the defeat of Council Members Abel and Rowe in 2014 if they choose to seek re-election.  

August 14, 2013: Mark Nuaimi Put on Admin Leave Pending Release; Recall Continues Unabated
Recall proponents have doubled-down on their efforts in the midst of the Yucca Valley Town Council's 5-0 vote to put Town Manager Mark Nuaimi on administrative leave pending further deliberation about his conduct and contract. On Saturday, Council Members Huntington and Lombardo revealed that Mr. Nuaimi was provided a three-year contract despite known behavioral issues. In reaction to this evening's news about Mr. Nuami's administrative leave and release considerations, Yucca Valley taxpayers immediately became further enraged. There appears to be no sensible reason why four members of the council (Huntington, Lombardo, Rowe, and Abel) approved a three-year contract for an employee who had known interpersonal deficiencies. These taxpayers are concerned that the Town will end up footing a severance bill because of the Council's inconceivable incompetence. Demands for the recall to expand to the other two Council Members who approved Nuaimi's three-year contract (Rowe and Abel) have been heard, but will most likely be diverted to the 2014 election, which is less than 15 months away.  

August 12, 2013: Recall Movement Swells in Response to Council Members' Statements
The small hi-desert hamlet of Yucca Valley is literally abuzz this morning as the consequences of statements made by Council Members Huntington and Lombardo during Saturday's Morongo Basin Democratic Club meeting are being realized. Both recall proponents and opponents have expressed utter dismay at the insensitivity displayed by Council Member Lombardo when he was replying to a question about socio-economic disparities in Yucca Valley. Not only were Lombardo's comments, such as "If you're poor, it's your fault," in universally poor taste, they demonstrated that the Council Member has absolutely no knowledge of structural poverty and the lives of real people. Numerous residents of Yucca Valley have extreme difficulty meeting their basic daily needs for many reasons beyond their control, such as they were disabled serving their country and now have to live on meager government benefits, or they were struck with a debilitating illness, or they incurred exorbitant medical bills because of an injury, or the industry they worked for was outsourced, or they took a risk during the real estate boom and lost every penny. George Huntington echoed Lombardo's sentiments, saying that the government should have absolutely no role in assisting anyone. Say goodbye to your Social Security folks. Say goodbye to Medicare. Say goodbye to homeowner tax credits. Say goodbye  to all that folks. George Huntington thinks you should be on your own.

Also creating a stir are the duo's comments regarding personnel issues with Mark Nuaimi. Countless observers on either side of the recall issue hit their palms to their heads and said, "What the hell were they thinking?" Apparently Council Members George Huntington and Robert Lombardo have no clue about the sensitivity of the matters they were discussing. These are "closed session" items. By discussing the specifics of Mark Nuaimi's performance review and then openly considering if it might be time for Mr. Nuaimi's dismissal, the two Council Members put themselves--and the Town of Yucca Valley--in the path of a possible lawsuit. It's most likely been a very hectic morning for Yucca Valley Town Attorney, Lona Laymon.

And while all of the above has been stirring, news of Saturday's events has brought new volunteers and cash donations to Yucca Valley Recall. Things have reached the tipping point. Still, Yucca Valley Recall needs approximately $1500 to cover the operational costs of the final weeks of the signature gathering phase. Contributions of even $10 or $20 are greatly appreciated. Contribution information is provided above.

August 10, 2013: Lombardo Booed Again; Mark Nuaimi on Improvement Plan--Job May Be on the Line... 
Council Members Huntington and Lombardo, appearing before the Morongo Basin Democratic Club this morning in an effort to present their side of the recall, found themselves in ever-deepening muck. Robert Lombardo's troubles began soon after he commenced speaking, when he suggested that the Club members were not very fond of capitalism. This remark elicited loud groans from the audience, some of whom are business owners. Later, when responding to a resident who asked a question about socio-economic disparity in Yucca Valley, Mr. Lombardo stated that "if someone was poor it was their own fault" and that they should "get an education and pull themselves up." This remark drew not only groans, but loud boos--something the council member is already very familiar with. Audience questions then turned to the two council members' seemingly unfaltering defense of the extremely disrespectful and divisive Yucca Valley Town Manager, Mark Nuaimi. Council Members Huntington and Lombardo acknowledged that Mark Nuaimi had "flaws" and "personality defects," but claimed that they needed his "expertise" regardless. After further audience pressure about Mark Nuaimi's conduct, Council Members Huntington and Lombardo revealed that the Council had been working with Mark Nuaimi on his behavioral issues, and that they felt he was "imperfect" but "making improvement." The next audience member to question the council members indicated that he was appalled that the Town was earmarking over $300,000 a year for a civic manager who needed remediation with interpersonal skills. The next audience member asked the key question of the meeting: If Mark Nuaimi's professional DEFICIENCIES were known beforehand, why did the Council vote to give him a THREE year contract with a RAISE? In response to the increasingly angry comments, Council Member Huntington stated that he was unaware that there was so much dissatisfaction with Yucca Valley Town Manager Mark Nuaimi and that Mark Naumi's dismissal was something that would be "considered." Council Member Robert Lombardo concurred with the sentiment indicating that he would consider "all options."   
  

August 3, 2013: San Diego Taking Cues from Yucca Valley!
A representative from the movement seeking to recall the mayor of San Diego stopped by the YVR table at the Highway 62/Route 247 intersection to speak to recall proponent Ed Montgomery and take pictures of the recall signs. The mayor of San Diego is under heavy pressure to resign in the wake of numerous allegations of sexual harassment. Like YVR, the San Diego recall movement is made up of a coalition of progressive Democrats and reform-minded Republicans. Clearly, the message is that elected officials who make bad decisions, whether fiscal or interpersonal, face judgment by the electorate.  

July 29, 2013: Glossy Anti-Recall Flyer Sends Residents to Recall Website and Tables!
In a shining example of the law of unintended effects, a high-priced glossy flyer (see below) mailed to Yucca Valley residents by the Old Guard exponentially increased traffic to this website! YuccaValleyRecall.com was averaging about 225 requests per day; on Friday, July 26, the day the flyer arrived in most mailboxes, our page requests swelled to over 700 per day. In addition, numerous residents who were unaware of the recall effort learned about it from the flyer and then came by YVR's three signature stations to sign! The slick anti-recall flyers, estimated to cost over $5000 to design and mail, haven't passed the smell test of Yucca Valley residents, who see them as evidence of big-money, outside interests interfering with the town's political process. YVR was unsure how to reach those residents who did not yet know about the recall. Thanks for the assistance, Mark! 

July 22, 2013: YVR Breaks the 1000 Signature Mark; Town Manager's Exorbitant Salary Fuels Drive
Recall proponents broke through the one thousand signature barrier this weekend. Recent signers have cited the town manager's excessive compensation as the prime motivator behind their participation. Both Council Members Huntington and Lombardo approved a raise for the Yucca Valley Town Manager that brought his total compensation to over $300, 000. (Council Members Abel and Rowe also approved Mark Nuaimi's raise, which will certainly be an issue for each of them, should they choose to seek re-election in 2014.) One signer, a senior-citizen, thought that the town manager's salary was obscenely out of proportion to her own $868 monthly income. Sources indicate that the Yucca Valley Town Council selected Mark Nuaimi from a pool of 88 applicants and that the Council willingly met his salary demands. Why was Mark Nuaimi hired, given his high price tag, remote residence, and polarizing personality? Sources also indicate that Mark Nuami's selection was based on his association with now-Congressman Paul Cook. Congressman Cook's office claims that it did not endorse or recommend Mark Nuami for the town manager position. 


July 17, 2013: YVR Registers New Voters; Old Guard Circles Wagons
Recall proponents have been registering dozens of new voters who are eager to sign the recall petition, but have not previously registered to vote. Many of these new voters were frustrated with government at large, but now see a chance to make a difference. Not only do these new registrants hope to vote in the recall, they want to take part in Yucca Valley's direction and growth. Meanwhile, Hi-Desert Star editorials from two Hi-Desert Water District board members either seek to recast history or merely hurl personal insults at the recall proponents. The letters are embarrassing to both the board members, Sarann Graham and Sheldon Hough respectively, especially when the board will need to create community consensus around the awaited sewer assessment. It's obvious to even the Old Guard that Yucca Valley is undergoing a major political change that involves a number of new and talented activist; the defensive reaction is human, but futile...

July 15, 2013: Signature Gathering on Track
Despite the blistering hi-desert heat, recall proponents have been working furiously to gather the needed 2500 signatures to place the question on the ballot. Collection is on-track and gaining momentum. Recall proponents will have petitions available at both Stater Bros markets tomorrow and on the corner of Highways 62 & 247 on Wednesday. If you can't make it out, use the contact form above--and we'll bring the petitions to you! 

July 5, 2013: Recall Fever Grows!

Recall proponents have been bolstered by unsolicited offers of help. In particular, YVR is receiving strategic expertise, signage, and signature gathering help. The motivator? "The YVTC cut valued community services and then gave the town manager a raise." That's the bottom line, folks. While all the other charges against Councilmembers Huntington and Lombardo have merit, the one that gets people calling for action is the budget bait and switch. Town Manager Mark Nuaimi took the residents of Yucca Valley for a ride--and Huntington and Lombardo just watched (so did Abel and Rowe, but they can be made to answer for their actions in just 16 short months). Recall petitions will be available this Saturday at the corner of 62 and 247 from 9 am to 4 pm. Show your independence this holiday weekend and be sure to sign!

June 28, 2013: Sullivan Agrees with Recall Points on "Up Close"
Armed with facts and feedback from Yucca Valley residents, recall leader Ron Cohen decimated Joseph Sullivan, who is the current chair of a committee to stymie the recall of Yucca Valley Council Members Huntington and Lombardo, during a debate on today's "Up Close" show. In particular, Mr Sullivan readily agreed with the recall proponents' following points:
  • The recall proponents have the legal right to seek a recall based on their claims.
  • The recall proponents provide evidence on their website for a charge: Councilmember Huntington improperly used his position to seek contributions from entities doing business with the town as a means to further Measure U. (Ed.--All other proof of charges in available in the minutes of town council meetings.
  • Not only is the Yucca Valley Town Manager's compensation too high (>$300,000/yr), but the salaries of his peers throughout San Bernardino County are also highly inflated.
  • Wasteful town spending should be identified and eliminated (although Mr. Sullivan did not specify specific items).
Ron Cohen demonstrated a superior command of the town budget as well as the concerns of everyday residents. In a nutshell: "The town council is NOT listening to the residents!" Full audio file of the 6/28 "Up Close" show available here on the Z107.7 FM website.

June 27, 2013: Z107.7 FM "Up Close" Features Recall Initiative 
Local mainstream media, which had a clear bias in favor of Measure U (the Hi-Desert Star endorsed Measure U and published a highly inappropriate personal attack on a recall proponent), is increasingly being viewed as a less-than-objective source about the recall initiative. Tomorrow, Z107.7 FM will give equal time to the recall proponents in a debate between Ron Cohen, recall leader, and a representative of the opposition. Gary Daigneault, the host of Up Close, supported Measure U but also criticized the Yucca Valley Town Council when they cut town services and community programs to punish the townspeople for not voting for the tax measure. The cuts to town services and community programs were also seen as a means to set the stage for a future tax measure. Listen in tomorrow and let us know: Was the Up Close show without bias?  (Use the contact form above.) 

June 25, 2013: YVR Releases Restoration Plan

As part of its Recall & Restore campaign, YVR has released a carefully crafted Restoration Plan that outlines the main objectives of the recall initiative. Based on input from Yucca Valley residents--and not out-of-town developers and consultants--the Restoration Plan presents a roadmap for reclaiming the town's administration and making it more responsive to the residents. Chief among the objectives is to establish a number of voting districts for Yucca Valley to ensure fair representation and equitable distribution of services.

June 13, 2013: Game On! Yucca Valley Town Clerk Approves Recall Petitions
Yesterday, after weeks of intense scrutiny and requests for modifications, Lesley Copeland approved the petitions that Yucca Valley Recall will use to gather the signatures required to enact a recall election for Council Members George Huntington and Robert Lombardo. (The review process was initially begun by Jamie Anderson, now retired.) At this point, the two council members can not resign their positions, but must face the recall process. Yucca Valley Recall has a well-organized ground game for reaching each and every voting resident in town. If you're eager to get your name on the parchment, please use the contact form above and we'll arrange to get your signatures.



May 28, 2013: YVR Launches Recall & Restore Campaign

YVR launched an attention-getting public awareness campaign called "Recall & Restore" this Memorial Day weekend. The campaign highlights the recall charges against Council Members Huntington and Lombardo and identifies what will be returned to Yucca Valley once they are deposed and replaced. The campaign features the "Recall & Restore" slogan and a blue liberty star with red trim. A large white "R" signifies both "Recall" and "Restore."
  

May 27, 2013: YVR Website Surpasses Magic Number of 2,350

Sometime this Memorial Day weekend, www.YuccaValleyRecall.com exceeded 2,350 hits. That number is significant because that is the estimated number of signatures needed to be collected on petitions in order to force a recall elections for Council Members Huntington and Lombardo. At the same time, a devastating article hit in the IE Weekly chronicling the rise of the recall movement and the leadership failures of Nuaimi's "minions." YVR expects the recall petitions to be approved by the Yucca Valley Town Clerk within the next few days. Council Members Huntington and Lombardo have until that time to decide whether they want to resign or face an all-out onslaught on their council records and associations. 
May 20, 2013: Town Clerk Requests Petition Modifications
In a letter dated May 16, 2013, Yucca Valley Town Clerk Jamie Anderson requested modifications to the petitions submitted by recall proponents. The modifications focus on heading and other general formatting particulars such as font size. Also requested is the removal of one recall signature, which was only now communicated as ineligible. YVR is making the requested modifications and will submit the revised petitions with hopes of no further delays in the approval process.
May 19, 2013: Mayor Abel Isn't Getting the Message
After recall target Council Member George Huntington participated in a budget review session held by a group of citizens last week, he demonstrated increased concern for the Town's financial dealings--first by voting against proceeding with Town Manager Mark Nauimi's sequel to Measure U and then by arguing for a citizen committee to continue financial oversight responsibilities. Mayor Abel, who was appointed to the town council in a move generally acknowledged to have been orchestrated by Mark Nuaimi, spoke out against the citizen committee, asserting staff would only be bothered with "unhappy citizens." The citizens committee has identified nearly $100,000 in near term savings--savings that could have prevented this spring's devastating cuts to community services. Dissatisfaction with Abel has been growing, with citizens referring to the Mayor as "arrogant," dismissive," and "oblivious to what is happening."  Residents are becoming increasing convinced that Abel is beholden to Mark Nuaimi--and at a time most others are putting distance between themselves and the extremely divisive town manager.  
May 16, 2013: Town Manager Refuses Concerned Citizens' Request 
This Monday, Yucca Valley town staff, including Town Manager Mark Nuaimi and Director of Administrative Services Curtis Yakimow, met with a group of concerned citizens to review the proposed town budget by each charge category. The group of concerned citizens, led by Ron Cohen, identified nearly one hundred thousand dollars of cost savings that the town never bothered to consider before cutting valued community programs and services this year. In the process, it was clearly established that this spring's "budget crisis" was fabricated and meant to send a signal to voters that they will lose what they value most if they do not comply with the town's revenue demands--such as Measure U. More information about the budget details is provided in this HDS editorial by Lori Herbel. Staff did offer to "follow up" on some of the group's suggestions--but Town Manager Mark Nuaimi refused to allow Mr. Cohen to present an unrestricted summary of the budget review at tonight's Town Council meeting. (In a May 14 email, Mr. Nuaimi now claims that it is the Town Council not he who adds items to the agenda.) A special town council meeting is being held at the inconvenient hour of 4:00 today for further public input on the budget. Working people need not attend--as per the meeting's timing. 
May 13, 2013: Recall Moves Two More Steps Forward

On Saturday, the Notices of Intention to Circulate a Recall Petition for both Council Members Huntington and Lombardo appeared in Yucca Valley's local newspaper, The High Desert Star. Today, proof of that publication and copies of the actual petitions to be used were delivered to the Yucca Valley Town Clerk, Jamie Anderson. Ms. Anderson will have ten days to review the petitions for compliance with the Election Code. During that time, either one or both of the targeted council members could resign in lieu of facing the recall. 
May 12, 2013: Yucca Valley Recall Makes State and National News
Last week, a variety of news sources picked up the story of "Take Yucca Back" after a Tuesday press release announced that YVR's Notices of Intent to a Circulate Recall Petition were verified by the ROV. Local coverage included a piece in the San Bernardino Sun, which was also run in the distant San Jose Mercury News. In addition, a national outlet, Examiner.com, provided coverage of the citizen-led effort, as well as an insightful analysis of the events leading up to the recall. In the wake of the big news day, YVR received countless offers of time, resources, and money for "Taking Yucca Back!"
May 7, 2013: Now He Wants to Talk...
Council Member George Huntington's Answer to the Notice of Intent to Circulate a Recall Petition has been made available to YVR and is provided below. After nearly five years of yawns and eye rolls while residents voiced their concerns from the lectern, Council Member Huntington suddenly wants to discuss the issues. Students of rhetoric may recognize what follows as an appeal to pity. 



May 6, 2013: Lombardo Provides Response
Council Member Robert Lombardo's Answer to the Notice of Intention to Circulate a Recall Petition is provided below. While Council Member Lombardo displays some previously undemonstrated contrition, he fails to address any of the specific charges in the Notice of Intention to Circulate a Recall Petition. In addition, an elected official does not have to commit "criminal" actions to be the subject of a recall (See FAQ page). Whether or not Council Member Lombardo's actions were "egregious" is a matter that should be left to the judgement of the voters. Council Member Huntington has not provided an Answer to the Notice of Intention to Circulate a Recall Petition as of this time.  



May 2, 2013: BREAKING: YVR Informed Both Notices Verified!

This afternoon, recall proponents were advised that the both their Intention to Circulate a Recall Petition notices were verified. The notices must adhere to very strict requirements and the voter signatures must match the voter rolls exactly. The verification of the notices is a huge milestone for YVR and attests to the seriousness and professionalism of the recall proponents. 
May 2, 2013: Hi Desert Star Agrees with Recall Points
In an editorial posted yesterday evening, the Hi Desert Star agrees with recall charges, but--perplexingly--does not get behind the effort to Take Yucca Back. The editorial, written in a manner that illuminates the paper's embroilment in local machinations, leaves the Hi Desert Star's role as an objective source of news in question. Yucca Valley Recall encourages the Hi Desert Star to further examine the recall charges and fulfill its responsibility to investigative reporting. 
April 30, 2013: Notice Served to Lombardo
Council Member Robert Lombardo was served a Notice of Intention to Circulate a Recall Petition during Public Comments at tonight's Yucca Valley Town Council meeting. The originals will be filed with the Yucca Valley Town Clerk tomorrow.
April 30, 2013: Notice Served to Huntington
At 8:50 this morning, Council Member George Huntington was served a Notice of Intention to Circulate a Recall Petition while in the driveway of his Yucca Valley home. Soon after, the originals of the same were filed with the Yucca Valley Town Clerk.

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