Rialto Police Benefit Association Helps Pay It Forward.

Sgt Royce is more than just a highly decorated employee of Rialto’s Police Department. He is also the current President of the Rialto Police Benefit Association (the police officer union). When we reached out to him to try and secure some way to help a local family in need he said what do you need.

This is nothing new in our experience with the police officers union or Sgt Royce. The Police union routinely looks for ways to help the community through a wide array of channels. Were eternally grateful for the generosity demonstrated to the Rialto Community.

So here is what you do just click this link and safely and securely tell us who you would nominate and why? There are no stipulations we just want to know who you think would like a SURPRISE this year right before the holidays.

We would like to thank the following people this year for helping us give back to you our readers:

Coffee Nuttz

Lou Worthy Realtor 

Rialto Police Benefit Association

Our Secret Santa

The Nguyen Family Holds Its 3rd Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive

This past Saturday friends, family, neighbors and some Public Safety Hero’s got together to eat some food, make crafts and most importantly collect toys for kids in need. Tyler and his family hooked up with the Spark of Love Toy Drive effort that was created and ran by local fire agencies and ABC 7 news. Each year Tyler and his family get boxes from station 202 in Rialto and fill them full of new unwrapped toys.

In his 1st annual toy drive the Family collected 70 toys, This year they are on their way to collecting 150 toys 3 boxes full of a little something awesome for local kids.

What we thought made this toy collecting event special is the family turns it into a party where everyone has a good time eating and talking about what has gone on as another year closes and another one opens. Tyler’s entire family his mother, aunts and grandparents all get involved in making this event a success. This family is not new to giving back since they help out at Southern California shelters and soup kitchens as a way of sharing the good blessings their family has had through the year.

One big hit was the rides people at the event got in the Fire Trucks. Kids were smiling from ear to ear as Fire Trucks gave people rides before these men and women could get back to work. The event had Dinner, Dessert and Hot Coco Bar as well as craft table for the kids and some awesome family and friends conversation.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!!


Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It

For 15 years the city council has been using the Utility Users Tax (UUT) to supplement our cities ability to operate. It didn’t begin this way the 1st time the UUT was put into place as a way to enhance services and provide a bridge to increased tax revenues that would replace the UUT giving the city the ability to allow it to sunset and go away. Well since then some very big things took place making that a hard pill to swallow, here is what has made that impossible:

  • The recession happened – The ever so wise politicians decided that everyone deserved to be able to purchase a home even if they could not afford it. So they created things like State your own income, 4 year interest only loans and allowed people to sell torn up houses for 10 times what they were really worth. Was it any surprise the whole thing fell down around itself and left cities in a very poor place?
  • RDA Money Taken Away – Gov. Brown in all his wisdom decided to take away Redevelopment money away from California cities. This money helped them grow their city and promote why people should spend their tax dollars there verses other cities. This money also made it possible to afford to give developers sweet deals to bring development to local cities.
  • The City’s PERS contract enhancement in 2010 – As a way to entice employees to sign a new employment contract without a raise as a way to say you will have a sweeter retirement later on.
  • Poor investment performance at CALPERS – This has led to the increased PERS cost in the City of Rialto.
  • Retail has come but – The retail stores and shopping are finally coming but not in the numbers that we were told. The new Lewis Shopping Center will bring no more than the new Super Walmart in the south end. Also Mayor Robertson’s warehouses are bringing more problems and not more money. Still many of the warehouses pay tax to cities like Ontario with agreements that cripple small towns like ours.

So last council meeting our city council and mayor were supposed to look at the cities financial future with the community present. According to Mike Story and Robb Steel at the last Budget Finance Committee meeting that city council had the following issues with the Budget Finance Committee’s recommendation:

  • The Budget Advisory Committee didn’t formally recommend what the committee thought city council should do with the cities surplus. Should it remain at 50%?
  • City Council wants to know if the committee would bless spending the cities reserves?
  • City Council doesn’t feel right declaring a state of physical emergency when we have a budget reserve.
  • City Council wants to increase the amount on businesses to as much as 12% and lower it on residents to 6%.
  • City Council no longer believes that Seniors alone should be exempt from paying the tax only low income seniors.

The reason we titled this story “Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It” the popular saying by George Santayana because we find ourselves walking down a similar path. The last time the Utility Users Tax was placed on the ballot for renewal Deborah Robertson was the lone wolf standing in the way. She was throwing a fit and holding her vote hostage until she got what she wanted. This year she is the problem once again but this time it doesn’t seem like public safety is going to blink. You see we have the #1 fire department in the State if not the Country you are more likely to survive a cardiac arrest event here than anywhere else. Also here in Rialto our paramedic program provides an income for the city budget offsetting fire costs, in every other city in the region these services are paid out to minimum wage workers for a private ambulance agency.

Keeping to the topic of public safety lets not forget that it was former police chief Farrar who did the 1st study on the use of body cameras on police officers. That study led to such amazing results that Rialto was one of the 1st agencies in the USA to use body worn cameras department wide. As you can see from the image above officer use of force has dropped as well as citizens complaints of use of force. Also Rialto is one of the few agencies that still has an active Community Policing program and youth intervention programs that are producing results.

Sadly the writting on the wall with everything going on right now is that our city council is playing chicken with our public services and a massive looming debt. Many members of the Budget Advisory Committee see the Mayor and Councils actions as dangerous ways to run a cities finances. One member said that looking at $170 Million pension and health debt over the next 10 years, not moving the Utility User Tax to a vote and even discussing spending reserves is a dangerous course of action. Another member said that council is saying I know I’m get a pay cut next year but I am taking the expensive vacation anyway, this is no way to budget.

So where are things now? Well Council refuses to address the public again with this topic or even the new information on just how bad our budget looks like if we don’t act now. The Budget Advisory Committee on December 18th will hear just what council and the mayor are looking for in regards to spending reserves and playing with the reserve limits. The topic of making seniors pay for the UUT when they have not been required to in the past will also be discussed. The Budget Advisory Committee is a public meeting even though staff refuses to use the cameras in the room and stream the meetings on You Tube the meetings are public. They start at 6 pm and end at 8pm.


Eisenhower High School gets Soled Out for Dunn Elementary Kids

It doesn’t surprise us anymore when we hear about awesome amazing things happening at Eisenhower High School. For those who grew up and attended Eisenhower High School we didn’t have as much to be proud of. Well current Principal Scott Sparks has worked hard to change all of that from community service to classroom education and sports Eisenhower is working hard to produce awesome adults that are guaranteed to make an impact on the world.

Now I can tell you right now that Scott Sparks would tell us that he is only a small part of what has been happening at Eisenhower, and while that may be true he isn’t just sitting back with his feet up. Scott Sparks has worked hard to bring in leadership that shares his vision and work hard to make that vision possible. From staff in the office to ASB and Sports Eisenhower has swallowed up some serious professionals invested in making tomorrow bright for students that want the help.

We didn’t record this video this was taken from Rialto Unified’s Facebook Page. If you would like to be kept in the loop with what is going on in our kids schools go to www.facebook.com/rialtounified

Rialto Now Hosts Christmas Giveaways

Christmas is here and we know that not everyone gets excited about that. Many people in our city and region still struggle every single day but the pressure of the holidays is even worse. Having a family to feed is tough enough without having to worry about Christmas presents and food.

Well have no fear Rialto Now is here to bring a little light to the holidays. Throughout the month of December leading up to Christmas we will be doing a series of giveaways. Some of them you can win something for yourself and others are where you will nominate and get a chance to bless someone else in need.

The 1st giveaway will begin on Wednesday December 6th at 10 am on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/rialtonow

If you would like to participate and provide a giveaway simply email rialtosnow@gmail.com