Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson seems to really enjoy two things Jazz and Using Public Money. As spelled out in yesterdays article former councilman Shawn O’Connell laid out in a letter the series of issues that followed. Let us be clear were not against live music or raising money for non profits that do good work. What does drive us crazy is when an elected official uses their power to get privileges that would never be afforded to any other group or citizen. We have laid out what about this event is driving us insane:
- Using city offices and time to sell tickets for a private event.
- Using massive amounts of public safety resources, promising to pay for the services used and never fulfilling that promise.
- Shutting down a Park where youth sports happen knowing full well that sports field space is seriously limited.
- Using elected power to hang banners off of Outfield netting for free freeway ad access.
- Bringing massive amounts of alcohol into a park in a community full of kids knowing that people will be driving through those neighborhoods under the influence.
I have a lot of experience running events in this city. When the Rialto Community Coalition wanted to hold a Sober Skater event at a local park they were forced to change venues. They were also told that they could not block access to the community at large while running their event. The event was free and for a great cause to give kids something to do while on spring break that channeled their energy into something positive. Even though the event was free and open to everyone the cities special events committee stuck their noses into the event and almost shut it down.
Now Mayor Robertson has joined forces with Fontana Mayor Aquenetta Warren the Mayor currently fighting a recall attempt over her actions in bullying the community. These two are lumping in Mayors from Colton and San Bernardino into this event. To top it all off even though the three other cities have established concert venues that could accommodate the Jazz Fest these mayors are shutting down the largest park in Rialto that is 90 percent Soccer use exclusive.
The fact that yet another group of sports players will be kicked off of their fields (on a Sunday) when they are the busiest proves a lack of concern and care for Rialto Youth sports. Also this park is the same park that held this years 4th of July Festival and the parking lot was so inadequate that people were parking on dirt fields all over the place making traffic a NIGHTMARE. This year will be extra horrible as Ayala Drive is under a major construction and widening project and with normal daily traffic is a struggle. Add to the already difficult nature of this area’s traffic the burden of a concert and you must wonder why?
The Rialto Record had to print a correction to a story they wrote on the Jazz Fest because they called it a city event in the article and it clearly wasn’t:
An article published in the April 16 edition of The Rialto Record incorrectly said the upcoming Rialto Drop In Jazz Festival is presented by Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson and the City Council. The information about the April 25 event was obtained from the event website, www.rialtojazzfest.com. The information was published in error and should state the jazz festival is not affiliated with the City of Rialto and is a private event presented by Deborah Robertson, who happens to be the city mayor, in partnership with the Rialto Youth Collaborative.
Add to all of this the non profit that Mayor Robertson has pegged to be the victim of this years Jazz Fest is Athletes for Life run by Greg Bell. Now wait where have we seen that name before? That’s right in the letter from former Councilman Shawn O’Connell:
“It was later learned that Mayor Robertson diverted at least $10,000 from the Jazz Festival to another foundation she is on with Greg Bell. Mike Story got involved and had the money returned.”
Just to prove that Greg Bell is tied to the Athletes for Life foundation we went to their website and found our proof:
“Athletes for Life™ has been providing guidance and leadership programs to youth since 1989. AFL was founded by former NFL running back, Greg Bell, who spent his childhood rising above the negative peer pressures of his neighborhood. He became a world-class athlete at the University of Notre Dame and went on to enjoy a productive eight-year career in the NFL.”