MORONGO BASIN BIG MAC SWORN IN, LIPSITZ NAMED CHAIRMAN

MORONGO BASIN BIG MAC SWORN IN, LIPSITZ NAMED CHAIRMAN

An enthusiastic group of citizens gathered in the lobby of the County Services Building in Joshua Tree to take the first bite of the Big MAC – as we just have to refer to the new Municipal Advisory Committee for the unincorporated areas of the Morongo Basin. Dan Stork adds the special sauce…

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Supervisor Ramos poses with his appointees to the Morongo Basin regional MAC: Max Rossi (Wonder Valley), Larry Parrott (Flamingo Heights), Elizabeth Karman (Yucca Mesa), David Peach (downtown Joshua Tree), Supervisor James Ramos, Mark Lundquist (east Joshua Tree), Mike Lipsitz (Landers), Jack Dugan (Pioneertown), Gayl Swarat (Morongo Valley), Mary Helen Tuttle (Copper Mountain Mesa — not shown)

The Municipal Advisory Committee for the unincorporated areas of the Morongo Basin was sworn in by Third District Supervisor James Ramos in Joshua Tree on Monday. Ramos stressed the value of addressing Basin issues on a regional basis. “The reasons for the big vision, for the regional MAC, is to really create that unified voice for issues that are drastically facing the whole region, from energy to water issues, certainly tourism, and solar constraints that we’re facing now.” As the first order of business, the MAC elected its officers—Chairman, Mike Lipsitz of Landers; Vice-Chair, Gayl Swarat of Morongo Valley; and Secretary, Max Rossi of Wonder Valley. The other six members are Jack Dugan (Pioneertown), Elizabeth Karman (Yucca Mesa), Larry Parrott (Flamingo Heights), David Peach and Mark Lundquist (for Joshua Tree), and Mary Helen Tuttle (Copper Mountain Mesa, and who was absent on a personal matter). A regular meeting schedule is yet to be announced. Following the meeting, we asked the members for their individual top priorities. Although not a unanimous choice, a recurrent theme was environmental quality. Mike Lipsitz linked this to a process already in progress: “I think right now, what affects most of the Basin and should probably be of primary concern is DRECP, that’s the location of the solar and wind renewable energy projects.”

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