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ON THE AGENDA: 8/29/23 PLANNING COMMISSION AND HOMELESS COMMITTEE MEETING
Agenda items from the cancelled 8/15 meeting postponed again; a report on housing the unsheltered during Hurricane Hilary, and Homeless Committee Study Session to be held.
On Tuesday, August 15, residents were notified that the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for that evening was cancelled due to a lack of a quorum, meaning that fewer than three of the five Planning Commissioners were able to meet. The agenda items from that meeting, which the Desert Trumpet previewed here, will be addressed at the September 19 Planning Commission meeting per Community Development Director Keith Gardner.
The Homeless Committee will hold a study session Tuesday night at 5pm. No list of meeting topics was included with the meeting’s “agenda”, nor is it likely that the Committee’s session be livestreamed. You are welcome to attend and voice your opinions, however.
Discussion on Housing for the Unsheltered During Hurricane Hilary from the August 22 City Council Meeting
Topics the Homeless Committee might consider during its study session include housing during climate emergencies, like the recent flooding and wind associated with Hurricane Hilary.
During the City Council meeting, Astrid Johnson of ARCH acknowledged the successful community effort to support the homeless during the storm. Jane DeFalco said that 59 people from throughout the Morongo Basin were housed at the Motel Six over the weekend. This included four former military families without housing, seniors with dementia, and eight young children as well as men and women who camp in one of the city’s washes.
These individuals were found throughout the Morongo Basin, with 44 of 59 people coming from Twentynine Palms. Local restaurants and caterers provided food, including Wing N It and Little Ceasar’s Pizza.
Speakers were grateful for the support given by the City and volunteers during the storm, but longer-term solutions will need to be explored by the Homeless Committee and implemented by the City Council.
Are Committee Agendas Meeting Brown Act Requirements?
We’ve said it before, but the Desert Trumpet would like to repeat the point that advisory committees engage with important topics in our City and are subject to the same Brown Act regulations as City Council and Planning Commission.
The attached discussion of the Brown Act suggests that the City is required to adequately describe all items of business and attach supporting documents distributed to Committee members to the agenda. Or are Committee members heading into these meetings without any advance preparation? The lack of these attachments is as likely a sign of overworked staff as it is a lack of transparency. However, that most Committee meetings fail to be live-streamed and archived remains a serious—although easily rectified—breach of City transparency.
Committee Meetings Are Open to Public Comment
We recommend reading the entire agenda, such as it is, which can be found on the City’s website. The livestream of the meeting is available the day of the meeting at the same link, if it happens.
You have an opportunity to comment on agenda items and planning issues important to you at every Planning Commission and Homeless Committee meeting. Please use the opportunity to question your Commission and Commitee members on the issues affecting our City.
To comment, pick up a green form at the desk, fill it out, and hand it to the Clerk who is usually sitting on at the desk at the front of room on the right side. The public can also send comments via email to Planning Commission members and the Community Development Director and request that comments be read at the meeting.
Desert Trumpet writer Kat Talley-Jones is a member of the Public Arts Advisory Committee, which is a part of the City of Twentynine Palms.
The Desert Trumpet is looking for writers! If you are interested helping us cover Twentynine Palms, send us an email! email@example.com.
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