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Grand Jury Report: Cal City remains in crisis mode

Situation is much the same as previous grand jury reports, including financial crisis, dysfunction and mistrust
Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 07, 2024
  • California City issues contributing to its dire financial outlook include: loss of revenue due to the expiration of Public Safety Tax (June 30) and failure of Measure 'A' Special Parcel Tax; issues related to potential and ongoing litigation against the city, according to grand jury report.
  • There is instability because of frequent turnover at the city manager position in Cal City, grand jury report finds.


“A city in trouble, a city in ongoing crises...”

That's the title of a grand jury report released on Thursday... focused on issues in the high desert town of California City.

Terms like "financial crisis... leadership concerns... dysfunction and mistrust were used in four previous reports.

This latest stated that quote: “the situation is much the same today.”

A collection of pictures of the recent Cal City, City Managers

Some of the findings included: frequent turnover at the city manager position...

a dire financial outlook and high cost spending for litigation against the city.

Cal City mayor Kelly Kulikoff spoke with 23ABC on Wednesday... reacting to the failure of Measure ‘A’... the special parcel tax on Tuesday’s ballot.

This comes as a previous public safety tax is set to expire on June 30th.

Kulikoff says numerous cost-cutting efforts will be needed without the tax.

“It’s not like a process that just happened 3 or 6 months ago. We’re looking at something that's been going on for a long time. In Cal City, a lot of times we’re slow to move anything forward. And that contributed to our downfall. It’s not just simple numbers. 'We messed up yesterday.' We messed up a long time ago. California City has been on a bad track," Kulikoff said.

The grand jury report also identifies the closing of the Cal City Correctional Facility... and failure to collect outstanding cannabis industry fees and taxes... as other reasons for their financial problems.

The report summarized that the issues need to be addressed as soon as possible to... "mitigate the financial burden on city operations and on the citizens."

I'm Steve Virgen, your Cal City neighborhood reporter.

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