Ramos Decommissions Peach As Morongo Basin Advisor

(June 3) Third District County Supervisor James Ramos has removed David Peach from his position on the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council.
Municipal Advisory Councils are impaneled in the county’s unincorporated areas. As a collective of local residents, the councils, known as MACs, offer non-binding recommendations to the member of the board of supervisors overseeing that particular jurisdiction.
MAC members are appointed by the supervisor and serve at his discretion.
Peach is an outspoken member of the community who on and in various forums, including blogs, commentaries and letters to press outlets, has proven critical of some of the Morongo Basin’s elected and appointed political leadership, as well as city staff members in Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley.
Peach was appointed to the Morongo Basin MAC last October.
Most recently, Peach offered up criticism of the Hi-Desert Water District’s board of directors. The Hi-Desert Water District is serving in the capacity of the lead agency pursuing the construction of a water treatment system in Yucca Valley. The town of Yucca Valley is under a mandate from the state to undertake that project.
Peach suggested that the Water District board is arranging financing and construction of that project in a way that is showing favoritism to friends and political associates of those board members.
This triggered a backlash from the board members and other local officials and movers and shakers, resulting in Ramos’s decision to remove Peach from the MAC.
Margo Sturges, an activist in the Morongo Basin, lodged a protest over Peach’s removal
“While most of us in the Morongo Basin may not always agree with Mr. Peach, we fully support and defend his rights to express his opinions,” Sturges said. “The fact Mr. Peach is a member of the San Bernardino County Municipal Advisory Council should not disqualify him from voicing his valid concerns and giving up his First Amendment rights.”
Sturges asserted that Peach had provided the community with “honorable service” and had himself been subjected to “a culture of bully tactics taking place in the Morongo Basin, specifically in Yucca Valley…  the tactics of a small group of self-appointed citizen vigilantes conspiring to remove or silence anyone who speaks up or speaks out.”
Sturges suggested that Peach had been maligned by former Yucca Valley Town Manager Mark Nuaimi, former town councilman Isaac Hagerman  Timothy Humphreville, the chairman of the Yucca Valley Planning Commission for having opposed Measure U, a tax proposal the city sought in 2012 and which was defeated by town voters.
Sturges insisted charges that Peach was opposed to the concept of Yucca Valley complying with the state’s mandate that it complete the construction of a water-treatment system in stages beginning in May 2016 were false.
“Mr. Peach has always been in support of protecting the groundwater of the Warren Basin and only questions the process to assign the sewer costs equally among his fellow citizens,” she said.

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