Sun Editorial Staff:
The problems with Rialto and its budget are as follows.
- We refuse to make the right cuts, the needed cuts. We have attacked employee units that actually work for Rialto and ones that the community needs to function as a city. The city has sold off our water and waste water systems, attacked our fire and police & shut down city offices so much it virtually impossible to get anything done in a timely fashion. They changed graffiti contractors leaving residents in the lurch and at the mercy of resident gangs allowing them to re root in Rialto and add their tags to our walls and electric boxes. City hall refuses to tell the residents what our Mayor, City Clerk, City Attorney and other dept heads make. Our new mayor has already failed to reach out and be open with the public there are rumors swirling that she has ordered new paint and carpet for her office and is asking the city to waste tax dollars on sending her to Washington DC for a Mayors conference and to attend President Obama’s second swearing in, REALLY.
- The city became extremely way to comfortable with RDA funding which led to lazy council members ignoring the ugly business culture that is Rialto. We attract 99 cent stores, Walgreens, smoke shops, liquor stores, indoor swap meets and cash for gold businesses. It was an act of God to get our In&Out moving forward which according to In&Out is still in limbo. Fresh and Easy opened here but the latest word is that the company is abandoning the store concept which means yet another empty store front coming our way.
- Wasting time on failed projects that have further damaged our city:
- The city allowed Ron Phariss and his Lytle Creek Project to take up valuable council time, run our golf course and country club into ruin and create a riff between residents of the city and county areas. If Ron Phariss wants to build his development he needs to get going or get out.
- Wal-Mart claims they want a super center here in Rialto but they refuse to show the people of Rialto that they can operate a clean professional retail business in the Inland Empire. Wal-Mart hires lazy sloppy security for their parking lots and their staff remains rude and not helpful. Why would we welcome the super center if they can’t even offer Rialto residents a quality retail establishment at their current location? Also what happens to the old store once the super center is open, one more ugly vacant building for the homeless to destroy and gangs to tag up.
- The corner of Cactus and Foothill we have yet another gas station/carwash opening up even though there is a vacant falling apart carwash just east of this location. Where was the city leadership allowing another business to fall apart and become an ugly scar on our city and approve the same business to make a similar mistake just down the street?
Current council members and Mayor Robertson need to show us they are serious about working for the community and not just their own personal agendas. Joe Baca Jr. needs to focus on all areas of the cities not just parks. Mayor Robertson needs to figure out what she is doing and get back out into the community like she did when running for Mayor. She played a lot of us for fools by allowing us to think we would have an open line of communication with our Mayor if she was elected. Lets all hope that Councilman Elect Shawn O’Connell has the mental stamina to work in this council and see some positive forward progress. He is a man of strong character and has shown he wants to know and do the WILL OF THE PEOPLE. He has offered his home phone number 909-429-1138 his email address Shawn4Rialto@hotmail.com and he is even learning to use twitter to reach out to residents in every way possible Twitter.com/Shawn4Rialto. We must extend the Utility Users Tax in March, bring in new business to rialto, finish off half done projects and better utilize people in the community that have a desire to help make Rialto a better place to live.
The SB SUn article is below:
Editorial: Rialto must fight financial crisis by taking action
OUR VIEW: Talks to rein in costs in Rialto need to give way to action, and the sooner the better.
It’s been almost three years since the Rialto City Council was warned that the city was facing its own serious financial crisis, potentially on par with the disaster that led to San Bernardino’s bankruptcy.
But rather than begin an aggressive campaign to trim costs and address a current $7.6 million budget deficit, the city seems more focused on convincing voters to approve extending a utility user tax set to expire in June.
Meanwhile, the city continues to spend its reserves to maintain services at current levels.
That sounds all too much like the scenario that played out in San Bernardino, where city officials depleted reserves and began borrowing from restricted funds to keep up with costs rather than make necessary cuts.
The situation in Rialto is dire – with its reserves expected to drop to $7 million by July, the budget stands to take an $11 million hit next year if voters reject the utility users tax during a special election in March.
Extending the utility tax in Rialto, keep in mind, won’t resolve the city’s ongoing structural deficit, the result of a sluggish economy and escalating personnel costs. The utility tax is a stop-gap that for now prevents the city from digging a deeper hole.
To be fair, Rialto has found some ways to cut costs, such as leaving vacancies unfilled and partnering with nearby
police agencies on some special services such as SWAT and helicopter patrols.
Such cost-savings measures have not been enough to balance the city’s books, however. And, if voters refuse to continue paying an 8 percent tax on their utility bills, the city’s General Fund will take a huge hit. The $11 million in revenue generated by the tax accounts for 22 percent of the General Fund, the city says.
Leaders at City Hall have said they expect to begin negotiating with labor groups to further reduce personnel costs, and there is some talk about restructuring the organization.
Those talks need to give way to action, and the sooner the better.
Those who live and work in Rialto need look no further than nearby San Bernardino for a cautionary tale about leaders who wait too long to take action. Residents who will be asked to continue paying an 8 percent tax on their utility bills deserve to know how the city is going to cut costs before handing over anymore of their own money.