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The Twentynine Palms City Council met last night and made some swift decisions that will address resident concerns pertaining to both vacation home rentals and redistricting. Reporter Heather Clisby was there …

Last night’s Twentynine Palms City Council meeting began with the approval of a pilot program that aims to address concerns around vacation home rentals. The city will hire Southwest Security to patrol Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. The unarmed patrol would engage directly with residents and guests, write up reports, and citations would be issued the following Monday by city staff for infractions such as loud parties or excessive trash. The patrols begin immediately and will continue until April 30, 2022, when the program will be reviewed. Weekly cost of the patrol would be $616.

Resident Beth Williams addresses the council. Heather Clisby photo.

The council approved the use of the city’s share of the American Rescue Plan funds ($6.2M) for several projects, including the rebuilding of Luckie Park pool (little over $3M), purchase of personal protection equipment (PPE), a technology education program through Copper Mountain College, and to replace revenue lost during the COVID-19 shutdown. City Manager Frank Luckino also took suggestions from council about how to spend the remaining amounts, such as enhancing local parks and contributing to “Hero” pay.

At the urging of an ad hoc committee consisting of Councilmembers Karmolette O’Gilvie and Joel Klink, the council approved a resolution denouncing xenophobia and racial injustice and affirming it as a public health crisis. The issue will be considered an “element” in the cities approach to various issues going forward.

As part of Project Phoenix, the council approved a resolution to acquire a vacant lot at Split Rock and Desert Queen Avenues for use as a transit center. The process still requires negotiating with the property owner before the acquisition is complete.

Finally, the council approved a proposal from PR firm, Tripepi Smith, to conduct a public outreach campaign on the thorny issue of redistricting from 2020 census data. The campaign will include email, video, public announcements and social media.

Members of the Wildcats Touchdown Club receive a check from Councilmember Karmolette O’Gilvie for gathering over 65 bags of trash in the city. Heather Clisby photo.