The Twentynine Palms City Council met last night to reauthorize the existing tourism fee and wrestle with an important election matter. Reporter Heather Clisby was there…

Last night, the Twentynine Palms City Council gathered to address several items. The Council approved the implementation of SB 743, a state bill aimed reducing greenhouse gases using updated measuring tools that are less car-centric and more focused on citizen health.

Councilmember Karmolette O’Gilvie makes a point. Heather Clisby photo

To help fund the budget for the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID), the Council reauthorized a 1.5 percent fee to be implemented by hotels, motels and short-term rentals. The fee is in addition to the city’s 9% transient occupancy tax.

Twentynine Palms Event Planner Christina Benton gave an update on this year’s Pioneer Days, which will be held mostly online due to COVID-19. This year’s theme is “Rediscovering Our Pioneer Past” and KTLA News Anchor Frank Buckley, a graduate of Twentynine Palms High School, will be the grand marshal.

Twentynine Palms Event Planner Christina Benton tackles a very unique Pioneer Days 2020. Heather Clisby photo

The evening’s deepest discussion focused on the upcoming election for District 1. Councilmember Steven Bilderain is running for re-election unopposed and the council considered skipping that election, saving city funds (approximately $12,000) and officially appointing Bilderain to the position. Resident Jim Krushat and others made a case to keep the election to avoid any perception of write-in candidates being shut out. Councilmember Bilderain himself made the motion to move forward with the election and the council approved.

Jim Krushat addresses the Council. Heather Clisby photo

The TBID sub-committee, comprised of Mayor Joel Klink and Bilderain, appointed Maria Quinteros to the TBID Advisory Board. Quinteros is the general manager of the Holiday Inn Express in Twentynine Palms.

The next meeting of the Twentynine Palms City Council will be held on Wednesday, September 16.

Karen Harper, a resident of Yucca Valley and a landlord in Twentynine Palms, makes an inquiry to the Council. Heahter Clisby photo

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