The City of Twentynine Palms held its biennial strategic planning workshops over the weekend and from the Friday night and Saturday morning sessions, city staff, city council, and members of the public created a list of city priorities for the next two years. Reporter Heather Clisby has details…
Led by Twentynine Palms City Manager Frank Luckino, the biennial strategic planning meetings took place over the weekend in council chambers at City Hall. Held on Friday evening and Saturday morning, the informal brainstorming sessions were open to the public, albeit online, and featured guest speakers.
Friday night’s session included reports from Erin Adams, the director of Government and External Affairs at the Marine base, Copper Mountain College President Daren Otten, and Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent David Smith.
Both sessions began with resident complaints about off-road vehicles disturbing quiet neighborhoods accompanied by aggressive behavior with little to no response from law enforcement. As a result, the issue became a city priority.
Luckino, Mayor Daniel Mintz and the entire City Council focused on “quality of life” for city residents, what that truly meant, and how best to improve and preserve that. An ongoing list of the city’s strengths and weaknesses were discussed and key categories emerged: Infrastructure, economic development, quality of life, public safety, policy, services, human resources and technology. All councilmembers were given ‘votes’ to determine the highest priorities resulting in this list, in no particular order:
• Vacation rentals
• Off-road enforcement
• COVID-19 issues
• Bike paths
• Updating infrastructure and facilities
• Luckie Park pool upgrade
• Staff training
• Remove dilapidated structures
• Recognize and add diversity events
• Healthcare District collaboration
• Veteran services
Financing was discussed as the next two-year budget begins July 1. The city has $6.9 million in the bank and, excluding the $1.3 million set aside for firefighter pensions, has $5.6 million in reserves to tackle these priorities.
At the close of Saturday’s exercise, Councilmember Steven Bilderain (who attended by phone) stated, “Now, it’s action time.”