To the Editor: Tribe v. Ridgecrest litigation

We recently attended this month’s Ridgecrest City Council meeting. It can be plainly seen that the city is going to fight the litigation brought on by the Timbisha Tribe, which is all “hush-hush.” I suspect it’s a lawsuit brought by the tribe to have the casino built on the property that was agreed by the previous council that signed the municipal services agreement —for the sum of $50 million!

I suspect City Attorney Keith Lemieux talked the councilmembers into this, and got a majority vote, probably by the three members who voted against the casino in the last few months. They are going to retain a special attorney to represent the city. Does anyone know how much this is going to cost the city — with attorney fees, travel, lodging, etc.? I am sure this ligation will be way out of town.

Now think of this: the Timbisha Shoshone tribe took on the U.S. Department of the Interior — and won! Do you think the city of Ridgecrest will win this litigation? I think not, and its going to cost this city a lot of dollars. The only ones winning here are the city attorney, as all funds are taken from the general fund.

Now, I ask the City Council this: Why is it put in the hands of three members of the council to decide the casino issue when you can simply put it to the vote of the people of Ridgecrest whether they want the casino?

I read just recently in the News Review that a construction owner, Chuck Roulund, argued against the lighting district fees demanded by the city. These districts are nothing more then a money grab by the city and I agree with him. These fees should be collected after the homes are built … again the city is not working with the contractor but fighting them for more money up front, where the city should be working with all contractors and welcome them to build, not fight them.

Now onto the Oasis project, to be built on South China Lake Boulevard. Another paper said that construction will start in three years. Why can the city not fast track this and other building projects in the city, rather then be against this growth? Because you want money up front.

I just read in out-of-town paper that there is going to be another casino built in Tehachapi to the tune of 700 million dollars. and that includes lots of jobs, etc. Hello, Ridgecrest City Hall and the council?

I suspect that there is a major stronghold on this city to stop growth. It all starts right at the top of City Hall and filters down.

Patrick Hannan

Story First Published: 2019-08-02