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

Rialto Relay for Life event kicks off tomorrow with a Celebrity Guest

Below is a list of events and some of the awesome things in store for tomorrow. The local celebrity that can be seen in Rialto regularly showing off what is cool to do and see right here in our little town is pretty popular. The exact time for the local celebrity arrival with his ever so popular live video stream that is seen by hundreds of thousands of Facebook users hasn’t been announced but as soon as we find out you will know so stay tuned/

Join Joel Greene as he helps to kick off the Rialto Relay for Life event. This year the Rialto event is looking to raise $30 Thousand to combat cancer. If you would like to help them hit that mark you can donate any amount by clicking here.

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort because they believe it’s time to take action against cancer.

Join us at these events to bring communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.

Time: 9:00am

We’ll kick off the event by celebrating everyone who’s been affected by cancer. Whether someone’s been diagnosed for 10 days or been cancer-free for 10 years, they gather together for the crowd to cheer them on.

Survivors & Caregiver Lap

Time: 9:30am

Survivors define courage and inspire those facing a cancer diagnosis. Their strength is honored with each step they take around the first lap. If you know anyone who’s overcome cancer, invite them to join.

Caring for others is such a selfless act, which is why we honor caregivers with a lap. They often walk with the person they’ve supported.

Fight Back Ceremony

Time: 10:00am

Have you ever wanted to see a cement truck up close? Climb inside a cherry picker? Explorer a firetruck? Join us for a second annual Touch-A-Truck event.

Kids Corner sponsored by Target with games, crafts and activities for kids of all ages.

Be your own builder. Join us for a kids workshop sponsored by the Home Depot where kids can use tools to build their own creations.

Time: 4:00 pm

We will talk about what we can do beyond the event to fight back against this horrible disease.

Time: 9:00 pm

Each Luminaria bag represents a loved one lost to cancer, brings support to those affected by it, and honors survivors. This powerful moment gives people the opportunity to grieve but also offers hope and comfort.

Closing Ceremony

Time: 10:30 pm

We celebrate all that we’ve accomplished together and remember those we’ve lost. Together, we commit to take action and help end the pain and suffering of cancer.

Rialto PD Effort to remove Synthetic Drugs From Local Smoke Shop Shelves

Local Store shelf where Synthetic drugs are sold

Local Store shelf where Synthetic drugs are sold

More “SPICE” examples showing the cartoon characters used and bright colored packaging.

After too many close calls with our teens and young adults finding themselves being hospitalized. Rialto Unified Staff, Flores Park Neighborhood Watch, Councilman Shawn O’Connell, Community members and Rialto Police Department partnered together to eliminate the ease of access to Synthetic drugs known under the names “SPICE” or “BATH SALTS” on shelves of local liquor stores and smoke shops.

These drugs are marketed in packaging using cartoon characters and bright colors.

 

Picture of actual "SPICE"

Picture of actual “SPICE”

More “SPICE” examples showing the cartoon caractars used and bright colored packaging.
More "SPICE" examples showing the cartoon characters used and bright colored packaging.

More “SPICE” examples showing the cartoon characters used and bright colored packaging.

They also reach out by claiming to be manmade Marijuana, but this is far from the truth the chemicals used to create the drug are unregulated and much worse than the very harmful and dangerous Marijuana.

People using this drug for the first time find themselves with symptoms like those in a heart attack patient and find themselves going into cardiac arrest.

Please join us tomorrow Tuesday January 8th at 6:00pm at City Hall city council meeting for the Spice Update – RPD Community Liaison Officer – Cameron Nelson

 

Press Release From Rialto PD on Synthetic Drug Actions

Press Release From Rialto PD on Synthetic Drug Actions

Perchlorate Settlement News

In response to this article below by Ryan Hagen I reached out to now former Councilman Ed Scott that has been the lead person for Rialto on the perchlorate cleanup settlements. Here is his email statement on this issue:

The settlement announced by the US EPA is important for several reasons not discussed in the Sun Newspaper. The 50 million announced is just part of the overall settlement. This settlement will bring 4.7 million directly to Rialto along with the $500,000 in the PSI settlement and end the appeals against the County. Rialto settlement bring another 4 million In total this brings 9.2 million dollars which will used by Rialto to refund perchlorate surcharges to Rialto’s water users who have been bay the surcharge for the last 10 years. For my household for example this would mean up to an $879.00 refund to my family. Additionally with this settlement in December the City Council will be able to end the perchlorate surcharge on your water bill.

More importantly this will bring a clean up of our water basin to be paid for by responsible parties. The combination of the County clean up system and the Emhart system will cost the parties over 110 million dollars.

This is a huge victory for Rialto and its residents as the council member who has dedicated a great deal of my time on these settlements I thank the Council for having the faith in me to accomplish these settlements. Their persistence and courage is something the residents should be proud of.

As I say good bye to the City Council and its residents I Am proud to be able to say we are done with the perchlorate litigation.

Ed Scott

Mayor Pro Tem

What came out in the Sun Newspaper today has the possibility to be troubling due to the current fears over revenues in a city struggling to remain afloat. Here are the apparent comments from city staff according to the SUN:

According to city documents, the elimination of the surcharge will reduce the scheduled Jan. 1 monthly water rate from $46.59 to $35.54, for the “typical single family residence.”

The surcharge elimination will cut revenues by roughly $892,000 for the remainder of fiscal 2012-13, according to city staff.

Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/ci_22160115/rialto-new-city-council-ready-roll-perchlorate-surcharge#ixzz2Eg3hJGKz

Whatever the case NOW is the time to get involved in the issues plaguing our city, the time of sitting idly by not getting involved are gone. If Rialto is REALLY your home and you want to see it succeed YOU must get involved. There are many ways to get involved if you don’t know how contact us here by emailing rialtonw@aol.com and we will help you plug in.

 

EPA, companies reach agreement over contaminated water at Rialto Superfund site

Ryan Hagen, Staff Writersbsun.com

Posted:   12/05/2012 12:23:18 PM PST

RIALTO – Nine companies and the Defense Department have agreed to pay about $50million to clean 160 acres of contaminated water, a milestone in a lawsuit with decades-long roots.The Environmental Protection Agency, one of the parties in the suit to clean the B.F. Goodrich Superfund Site, announced Wednesday that it had made an agreement with Emhart Industries, Pyro Spectaculars and others it considers responsible for perchlorate and trichloroethylene that caused the closure of drinking wells in Rialto and Colton.

“We now have a commitment from companies to fund the cleanup and the companies – the parties – rather than the residents of Rialto or Colton or the federal government are paying for cleanup work at the site,” said Wayne Praskins, the EPA’s project manager for the site. “It also helps ensure a safe, dependable supply of drinking water for residents in the area.”

The agreement, filed Tuesday, gives responsibility for the first portion of cleanup to Emhart Industries, which bought a company that reportedly released perchlorate – a chemical that may disrupt the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones needed for normal growth – as it manufactured flares and other pyrotechnics during the 1950s at the Rialto site.

Emhart and other settling parties – the Defense Department and more than six companies – will pay whatever that costs, estimated at $43million. Rialto and Colton will split $8million, with Rialto getting slightly more, according to attorney Danielle Sakai of Best Best & Krieger in Riverside, who represents Colton in the suit.

That will cover 30 years of designing, building and operating groundwater wells, treatment systems and other equipment that will first stop the spread of perchlorate and trichloroethylene – TCE, an industrial cleaning solvent that may damage the nervous system, liver and lungs if ingested or breathed, according to the agreement.

“The cleanup will probably continue for decades because the science of groundwater is once pollutants get into the groundwater, it takes a long time to get them out,” Praskins said. “Once the cleanup facilities are built and start operating, at that point we will have stopped any further spread.

“That’s our short-term goal. The goal is to clean it up to the point that water can be used at some point in the future without having to clean it further.”

Rialto and Colton, which had sued the companies in 2004, joined the agreement and called it a large victory that would lead to others.

“This is a long, hard fight that was all about getting clean drinking water for Colton residents,” said Sakai. “This is something that has been going on for a long time, and we’re pleased that we’re working our way toward a resolution.”

The agreement follows another in March that requires payment of a combined $4.3million to the EPA by Pyro Spectaculars Inc. and other companies.

The EPA initially listed five parties – Emhart, PSI, Ken Thompson Inc., Chung Ming Wong and B.F. Goodrich – as responsible for decades of potentially hazardous waste dumped at the site when it made it eligible for federal funding by adding it to the EPA National Priorities List in 2009.

B.F. Goodrich is the largest company that still has not made an agreement, but negotiations are in the “details” phase and should be finalized within months, Praskins said.

ryan.hagen@inlandnewspapers.com, 909-386-3916, @sbcitynow

Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/ci_22130014/more-than-50-million-settlement-reached-contamination-superfun.html#ixzz2EIrqAg6x

RIALTO AIRPORT: Move to San Bernardino advances or miss-use of Water Sale Money

Below you will find a story from the Press Enterprise Newspaper. The articles purpose is to highlight the work moving forward at the San Bernardino Airport with the closing of the Rialto Airport. We were told that the $30 Million the city would secure by selling off our water for 30 years and raising our rates over four years by more than 100% was going to go to allow the city to afford the types of upgrades necessary when your developing land where there isn’t drainage, adequate streets for expected traffic along with street lights and signals. Reading below at first sight you think your reading about the continued relocation of the airport to move forward with its closure, but that’s not the case to those of us who still fight against this evil deal.

The following was never made clear to the public:

  1. Anything about the bulk of land sales going to the San Bernardino Airport for relocation costs.
  2. That now that the land is worthless and not desired by anyone, the city made another bad deal on our behalf to give away the supposed Capital Development money obtained from the bad water deal.

What makes the water deal and now the Airport Closure stink are:

  1. Closing of the Airport puts our own Helicopter program in jeopardy. We will have to take our own helicopter to another Airport creating an unnecessary delay in response time (which newspaper article will we find tells us where our helicopter will be based since the city hates telling the community what they are doing).
  2. $30 Million isn’t allot of money when it comes to large development. If a BULK of the money must go to San Bernardino what money is left for all the BUSINESS they think they can attract to come to RIALTO?
  3. Why wont the city tell us all the people connected to the city who will make millions at Rialto Rate Payers Expense.
  4. The statement from Councilman and Mayor Candidate ED SCOTT that the settlement money from the perchlorate cases wont be enough to repay Rialto businesses who paid perchlorate fees for years right along with Rialto residents. So Ed Scott wants us to promote him to Mayor and trust him with the responsibility of attracting new business to the city. He has his hands super dirty in being on the committee that hired failed Superior for graffiti removal services, being a council member that still likes and wants American Water as the servicer of Rialto’s failed water deal and calls the police and makes false accusations against Rialto Residents because he doesn’t like what they say.
  5. Target, Super Wal-Mart and In & Out are the three projects on tap for the $30 million, if we have to give most of that money to San Bernardino how will any of these projects happen?

Read the article below, then email your council members and city administrator and ask them to finally be honest with us!!!!!

 

Little activity goes on at Rialto Airport these days. The last few tenants could find a new home at San Bernardino International Airport.

Seven years after an act of Congress ordered Rialto Municipal Airport closed, the effort to shift tenants to San Bernardino International Airport took a small step on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

The San Bernardino International Airport Authority awarded contracts worth up to $1.8 million combined for the design of hangars that will serve private pilots and the San Bernardino County sheriff’s aviation operation.

TR Design Group, a Riverside-based company that built a city call center at Riverside Municipal Airport as well as structures near March Air Reserve Base, was awarded up to $902,720 to develop plans, including architectural and engineering, for the sheriff’s hangar.

An $868,500 contract went to Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. for design work and oversight of the eventual construction of amenities for private pilots and their planes that would be relocated from Rialto to San Bernardino’s 32-acre site.

Funding will come from the authority’s related Inland Valley Development Agency. The agency has so far received approval from the state’s Department of Finance to use bond revenue for the new hangars and amenities. State law dissolved redevelopment agencies earlier this year and forced them to seek approval from the finance department when they want to spend property tax revenue on unfinished redevelopment projects.

The IVDA has estimated it could cost $9.55 million to build the sheriff’s hangar, according to the list of financial obligations approved by the state. The general aviation improvements could cost nearly $7 million.

In 2005, Congress made the rare move to close Rialto Airport because the city — the airport’s owner — wanted to see the land developed with homes, retail and other improvements. A large portion of the money earned from selling the land was supposed to have gone to the San Bernardino airport to create space for the tenants forced to move. But the economy soured, land values plummeted, and no land was sold or developed. Tenants still pay rent month-to-month at Rialto Airport, where weeds are visible sprouting from the runway.

Recently, the city of Rialto approved a complicated deal to contract out its water management in order to earn money to reimburse San Bernardino airport for a portion of the costs.

Rialto Airport, which has been further tangled in uncertainty because of the dissolution of the city’s redevelopment agency, is expected to close by 2014, said Chad Merrill, project manager for the IVDA and San Bernardino airport.

Municiple Bonds Become Volitile, What Does This Mean For Rialto?

“A decision by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRKB +0.28% to end a large wager on the municipal-bond market is deepening questions from some investors about the risks of buying debt issued by cities, states and other public entities.”

“Some investors said the decision to end the bet indicates that one of the world’s savviest investors has doubts about the state of municipal finances“.

Read more of the Wall Street Journal article at the link below:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443855804577601413630604118.html

So what I find funny in a scary way about all this is Rialto/RUA is looking to take out a $177 Million loan with $27.4 Million in existing debt. I was told that the overall rate is going to be between 7.25% & 7.5%. Yet the bulk ($144 Million) we will be paying 4.33% to 4.83% so the rates average out to be so expensive once we tack on existing debt. Why is that?

First of all because California has borrowed itself into a hole. That’s why governor Brown & a ton of other people have qualified tax measures for the November ballot. They have borrowed us into a massive hole and wont stop spending to save this state.

Second cities, school districts, counties and the state have been using bonds as a dirty band aide for their budget woes. Bonds were seen as good long term investments because municipalities made sure money was there for the bond payments to keep AA & AAA bond ratings or good credit scores. Now they just don’t have the money so they are defaulting on payments or just faulting altogether with Bankruptcy.

I have said time and time again, this deal isn’t good for the RESIDENTS in RIALTO! Yes the infrastructure needs to be upgraded but Rialto and the RESIDENTS are not in the position take on such massive debt while reaching into the pockets of struggling families. Do you know how we are going to pay the interest on this debt; we are borrowing money to pay the first three years. So that means we are borrowing more money than needed to pay interest on debt we cannot afford.

I have heard that this deal is worth $1 Billion to the parties involved. We need to stop this deal in its tracks, hold on and once our economy is back on track look into moving forward. Rialto will be $5 Million in the hole this year. Meaning we are using our reserves for what we can’t get out of our unions in the way of contract negotiations.

The amount of money we are in the hole ($5 Million) is the same amount that staff said was nessicary to bring all the county areas up to city code ($5 Million) since the city and the mangers of the Lytle Creek Development were strong armed by Josie Gonzales and the rest of the Board of Supervisors on the county board. They said if we wanted to annex the county areas in the proposed Lytle Creek Development we must also annex the areas already within our city limits. So when Ed Scott tells you that the water deal isn’t part of the Lytle Creek Development what are we supposed to think with this info. Looks like $5 Million is coming from the borrowed money to fund yet another project.

Warren Buffets recent actions means he dosent trust municipalities ability to re-pay the loans!!!! Said Ric Edelman of Edelman Finacial Services (see the podcast link below, fast forward to the last 7 minutes).

http://www.ricedelman.com/cs/radio_show/past_shows?id=1837

I have been told that this deal is also nessicary for attracting new development. What I find funny is In & Out is good to go for next year and Wal-Mart has won its lawsuits and plans to move forward with plans to re-locate to the empty lot on the corner of San Bernardino and Riverside Avenues (I don’t like this store). So why do we need 30 million dollars? To pay off the back room deals that Ed Scott and Ed Palmer have made with the Lewis builders (Target Developers) and Ron Pharrise the principle owner of the Lytle Creek Development. So once they have wasted the 30 Million dollars then what? Our CURRENT city government is so horrible at attracting real development that the community actually wants.

For example I have heard numerous council members say in reference to In & Out “we need more than another fast food place” or “we have enough burger joints”. We have too many crappy stupid chain fast food burger joints that hire the worst employees, pay the lowest wages and offer horrible customer service. On top of all that they offer a un healthy over processed food option.

In & Out is the best burger option in the State. They offer fresh quality food at a reasonable price. They also are and employer that looks for the best expects the best and pays a very fair wage. They are always clean, polite and productive. The next best option is Bakers but for some reason they are always right smack in the middle of the worst part of the city.

People in Rialto do you want to see this deal drag this city into ruin? How much more money do you want to give these defunct local legislators? Stop the back room deals and call them on this failed deal, also let’s vote for major change in November.

Below is a list of people tied to or working on this Water Deal call and email them and let them know what you think of their deal even if you already called or emailed do it again they have yet to get the message:

All Council Members can be reached at 909-820-2525 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            909-820-2525     end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Grace Vargas vargasg@rialtoca.gov

Ed Scott

scotte@rialtoca.gov

Joe Baca Jr

bacaj@rialtoca.gov

Ed Palmer

palmere@rialtoca.gov

Deborah Robertson

robertsond@rialtoca.gov

Contact Anthony W. Araiza General Manager

administration@wvwd.org
Table Rock Finacial:
Megan – 415-497-2320 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            415-497-2320     end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Lynn Smull – 510-326-3209 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            510-326-3209     end_of_the_skype_highlighting

855 W. Base Line Road P.O. Box 920 Rialto, CA  92377 Ph: (909) 875-1804 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (909) 875-1804     end_of_the_skype_highlighting ext. 703 Fx: (909) 875-7284

The Cloak of Secrecy – Rialto’s Water Deal

I have sat down with both Ed Scott and Deborah Robertson.

One thing that is the same with both candidates running for mayor of Rialto is both are scrambling to try and show you they are pealing the back the cloak slowly.

Ed Scott wants you to come sit down with him and listen to his side of the story and take it as gospel. He doesn’t like it when you try and fact check his statements and hear about it from the horses mouth. Let me prove this point so that Ed doesn’t threaten to sue me again.

When he was discussing my conversation with Butch Ariza the GM of West Valley Water District. Ed Scott eluded to the fact that Mr. Ariza didn’t have direct answers on some topics not because he had yet to come across that issue but because he didn’t know me and was holding information back.

What I find funny is my father-in-law and Mr. Ariza both are members of the local HOG (Harley Owners Group), My Neighborhood Watch Group butts up to West Valleys back yard and I have worked with his staff on eliminating graffiti in the wash area along Cactus Ave.

I have found West Valley Water to be easy to deal with and I was wondering why they were overlooked in the first place as the person to run our water system since they already work in Rialto. From what I heard they wanted nothing to do with what amounts to a 30 million dollar payoff to the city council.

Ed Scott also doesn’t like my questions for Table Rock the company brokering the deal and handling the negotiations. He said “Do you know how hard it is to be in the middle of negotiations and have some random person calling asking questions that’s not even connected to the deal”. I’m sorry I thought as a rate payer I had the right to know what was going on with this deal?

Question: Do you think you should know more about this deal?

On thing that bothers me and no one can give me an answer is why if American Water really is out of the deal and Table Rock now has control or Rialto Water Services why doesn’t the SEC the Federal Securities Exchange Commission only has American Water listed as a subsidiary of Rialto Water Services:

Rialto Water Services, Inc.   Corporation   Delaware   100% held through American Water (USA)   General partner of Rialto Water Services, L.P. Percentage will fall below 50% if transaction completed as a concession. 
Rialto Water Services, L.P.   Limited Partnership   Delaware   100% held through American Water (USA) and Rialto Water Services, Inc.   Rialto concession bid. Percentage will fall below 50% if transaction completed as a concession.

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1410636/000119312511047938/dex211.htm

All of my meetings were not a total loss; I have been told I can have a copy of the entire water concession agreement. My hope is that I can download it to a zip drive and save myself the hassle and cost of printing.

So here we are again more questions than answers. Let’s keep telling those council members that they must show us their cards and involve the public.

City Council Has Some Explaining to do Over the Water Deal

I want to begin this post by telling you that people in council think you’re in love with the water deal since they moved from American Water to more local control. They claim that I am the only one upset and asking questions on all the money changing hands and the great secrecy that has gone into drafting this deal. I would invite everyone to email and call their council and Mayor and tell them good or bad what you think of this deal and whether you believe there needs to be more transparency. I will include the contact info for everyone in city government so that you may more easily reach them.
I was contacted a couple of weeks by someone telling me that American Water is still in the deal with the city of Rialto. This person thought it might be something worth looking into, so I did. What I found wasn’t where my caller expected me to end up but I find it all the more interesting.
It appears that Rialto Water Services (RWS) and American Water are in the same region and RWS was formed about the time American Water began its move on the city’s water system. Although from all my research and digging, so far it looks like American Water is out of the deal, but what I did find stinks from where I sit.
I called American Water and spoke to Maureen Duffy Vice President, Corporate Communications and External Affairs she said that American Water had been removed and she couldn’t speak to any ensuing penalties from this action. Which is funny because we heard there were penalties even if the community voted against the rate increases with prop 218 vote.
Officials from West Valley Water District (WVWD) are not jumping at the chance to take the contract because of all the financial implications that reside there. No one wants to take on this deal that is full of bad looks and dirty dealings. After some digging we find why WVWD is leery.
I placed a call to West Valley Water District and spoke to Mr. Ariza their General Manager:
West Valley Water District is looking to operate the city’s water department. The person controlling the financial side of the deal is Table Rock Financial based out of San Francisco. The total deal is now a 170 million dollar loan, up from 130 million dollars. Who has heard what the 30 million dollars is purposed for? According to Mr. Ariza the 30 million dollars is needed to service the debt on the 170 million dollar loan the city is taking out with Goldman Sachs. So instead of it being a way to replace the loss of our RDA and attract new business to Rialto, here is what it is going for:
  1. Service the Debt on 170 Million Dollar loan.
  2. Give the city a way to have money on deck in a capital     improvement fund so they can further pay for development costs that should     be the responsibility of the developer.
  3. Ed Scott made a point to ask     staff if the Lytle Creek Development was in any way involved in the     necessity of the water deal, staff said NO. So explain who is going to pay     the 5 million dollars in needed improvements to existing county properties     within the city when we have no more money to give? Maybe the 30 million     payoff in the water deal? Ron Pharrise and the city both have a strong     vested interest in this deal happening because the county won’t allow     Rialto to annex the county parts of Lytle Creek to the city without taking     over the rest of the County areas in the city. City staff estimated that     this would cost in the realm of 5 million.
  4. Rialto paid 40-50 million     fighting the perchlorate cloud contaminate in our water. No more talks     have happened on where the settlement is or who is going to get it.
Also the way Mr. Ariza said it breaks down is:
  1. 40 million for the     infrastructure upgrades to water and waste water.
  2. 30 million for RDA funds/capital improvement funds.
That leaves 100 million dollars left over where is that going? There is a company called Table Rock financial that is BROKERING the deal, their company web site is super basic, they operate out of San Francisco and no one answers their phones and there is no voice mail. I was able to get someone on city staff to give me the lead negotiators cell phone number Lynn Smull. Mr. Smull took one call that lasted less than a minute. He told me to text him my info and he would reach me the following day, when he didn’t call I texted again. He said he was busy in negotiations and his staff would call me. I have yet to receive a call.
Mr. Ariza has concerns on how the city council has operated through the entire process. He and his board are taking such a long time to even give the city the thumbs up on the deal because they are combing over the 161 page concession agreement. Mr. Ariza said he is doing his due diligence to protect existing WVWD customers and rate payers and to make sure this agreement won’t force them to raise existing rates. Mr. Ariza said he would be treating the water deal with Rialto as a sub-section of WVWD because they will only be operating the system not have overall control. Normally one would be happy about this except the people who waited this long to get things in order are the same ones with the control.
I always liked the idea of WVWD running the water here, heck the first time I had to pay my bill in person I went there to find out that a city of our size is so split. After talking with Mr. Ariza I was more at ease with the idea of working with him and his people on our utility. He was very personable and hid nothing. He offered to sit down with me and take my calls anytime. He even alluded to the fact that if we did things right in reference to the upgrades the fourth year of 25% rate increase may be much lower. I called both GM’s of EVWD & WVWD both were very nice and told me everything they knew and if they didn’t have direct knowledge they pointed me in the right direction.
I met with Councilman Ed Scott & Ed Palmer today and in reference to the water deal they said:
They told me some things I will believe until I get my own copy of the water deal. They said the 30 million will go into a capital improvement fund not the general fund. They disputed that the 30 million was going to be used to service the loan debt. I don’t believe this one because at this point we will be in deficit spending next year. The way it was explained by them and verified by someone I trust is you must have half your total budget in reserves so if we spend 10 million annually we must have 5 million in reserves. Rialto will be in what’s referred to as deficit spending by 5 million which means our reserves will go 5 million dollars below half the cities operating budget. How can we afford to service a new debt if we can’t pay our bills as they stand today?
I have yet to get in contact with Table Rock, Deborah Robertson or  George Harris. Updates will be comming.

*************** Sources of Reference*********************************

All Council Members can be reached at 909-820-2525

Grace Vargas
vargasg@rialtoca.gov

Ed Scott

scotte@rialtoca.gov

Joe Baca Jr

bacaj@rialtoca.gov

Ed Palmer

palmere@rialtoca.gov

Deborah Robertson

robertsond@rialtoca.gov

Contact Anthony W. Araiza General Manager

administration@wvwd.org
Table Rock Finacial:
Megan – 415-497-2320
Lynn Smull – 510-326-3209

855 W. Base Line Road P.O. Box 920 Rialto, CA  92377
Ph: (909) 875-1804 ext. 703 Fx: (909) 875-7284

http://www.rialtowaterfacts.com/Websites/rialtowaterfacts/files/Content/1964907/WaterAndWastewater_FAQs.pdf

American Water Corporate Offices 1025 Laurel Oak Road Voorhees, NJ 08043 856.346.8200

Or is it:

Rialto Water Services L P (856) 359-0965 Mt Laurel, NJ

Business Information:

Street Address: 330 Fellowship Road

City: Mt Laurel
State: NJ
Zip Code: 08054
License Number: 948662
License Held: General Engineering Contractor
License Status: Active As Of 1/20/2010 Update
Date License Issued: June 12th, 2010
Years in business: 2
Bond Company: Travelers Casualty And Surety Company Of America
Bond Number: 105448107
San Bernardino and Riverside Counties B.C.T.C
William Perez, Executive Secretary, EW
1074 East La Cadena Drive, Suite 15
Riverside, CA 92507
Office: (951) 684-1040
Fax: (951) 684-6410
Email: btcbill@sbcglobal.net

Water Debate Update

Rialto Now readers we have some news on the front lines of our water debate. Yes the city made a horrible decision to not place the American Water sell off on the November Ballot, it seems if these reports are true they are finally listening, but why now? Well Councilman Ed Palmer is running for re-election on a failed platform of being there for the community & calling the city on wasteful spending that lasted a little more than a year and died. Reports are that Councilman Ed Scott isn’t seeking another term as Councilman and is seeking the job of Mayor as current Mayor Vargas is ending her time as mayor. As well as Councilwoman Deborah Robertson is also taking another stab at Mayor but her seat on council isn’t up for grabs this go around.

So with Deborah Robertson was absent and the city decided to change its course on the outsource water agreement and the 2 possibilities are Veolia North American who currently works with our waste water systems and East Valley Water District (EVWD) that currently services the top portion of the city’s water services and has worked on removing perchlorate groundwater plume.

What is important now is to continue the pressure and make sure we know about any concession agreement from here on out, we are allowed to ask questions for clarity and that the City Council stops referring to any balloon payment from any other outside companies as Redevelopment money. I have had personal conversations with people inside the state controllers office that such money may fall into the states preview to take since all RDS’s departments are no to be eliminated. Call it what it is money the RUA has owed the general fund for years………….

Ed Scott said that the thing holding up our In & Out project was the state finishing up with old RDA projects. He later said he didn’t know why things were taking so long and blamed the City Staff for not keeping Council informed of time lines and issues.

Were looking for Honest hard-working people to fill Council seats, if the news is difficult give it to use straight and allow us the community to see where we can help make the hard choices for our community together. Also we need Council Members that let us know we are heard, listen to us and don’t bark at us when you don’t like what we say.

American Water is out as operator for Rialto

Jim Steinberg, Staff Writersbsun.com

Posted:   07/10/2012 10:33:57 PM PDT

The yearlong suspense over whether New Jersey-based American Water Works Co. Inc. will manage Rialto’s water and wastewater system is over – it will not.”My gosh this is wonderful. I hated those people (American Water). I don’t feel comfortable with a company on the Stock Exchange,” said Toni Volinski, a longtime Rialto resident, who has been opposed to the American Water deal from the get-go.

“We wouldn’t have a lot of control – and that frightened me,” she said.

The financial backer of the 30-year concession agreement that made American Water the manager of Rialto’s water and wastewater department has removed American Water as the operator, Peter Luchetti, authorized officer of Rialto Water Services LP, wrote Mike Story, Rialto’s city administrator.

Leading the list of potential replacement operators, Luchetti wrote, is Veolia North American, which has managed Rialto’s wastewater treatment plant for years and nearby West Valley Water District, which has been a long-time partner with Rialto in the cleanup effort for a large perchlorate groundwater plume.

At its June 26 meeting, the council voted 4-1 to approve a rate increase that would propel water and sewer rates 114.8 percent by 2016.

Mayor Pro Tem Ed Scott, in an interview Tuesday, said he and councilman Ed Palmer, who led a subcommittee to evaluate water service alternatives for Rialto, had told Rialto Water Services that a substitute for American Water was needed.

Scott said a well-organized resistance to American Water necessitated the action to find another company to manage Rialto’s water operations.

Scott was referring to the campaigns organized by the the Utility Workers Union of America. “Replacement of American Water would be excellent news and a victory for Rialto ratepayers,” Mark Brooks, a union spokesman, said.

The Utility Workers Union has several contract issues with American Water across the country.

This is the Letter From Mark Brooks & Stop Rialto Water Rate Hikes.

Dear Rialto friends and neighbors:

I am writing to let you know about a potential huge victory for ratepayers in Rialto!

Although this may seem like a “good news/bad news” story, in our view Rialto citizens are on the verge of overturning the City Council’s very bad decision to contract out the City’s water system to for-profit American Water Company.

But first the bad news: 

Last week four members of the City Council decided not to place our referendum challenging the Concession Agreement for the water and wastewater system on the ballot for a public vote.*  A majority of the City Council – everyone EXCEPT Council Member Baca – made this absurd decision, even though the County and the City have both certified the fact that we submitted far more than enough signatures from Rialto voters to place this issue on the ballot.

We believe the City’s excuse for not placing this issue on the ballot – that we supposedly failed to attach the entire 1,600 page Concession Agreement to our voter petitions – is completely bogus.  There is nothing in California law that would require us to do this.  In addition, even if the City Council thought it had any grounds to refuse to place this issue on the ballot, the City is ignoring the long-standing California procedure that is required to ignore a valid referendum petition submitted by the voters.

We believe the four members of the City Council who made this decision are engaged in a desperate attempt to prevent Rialto voters from passing judgment on the proposed Concession Agreement.

And now for the good news:

We have received reports that the City may replace American Water as the proposed operator for Rialto’s water system under the Concession Agreement!

If the City indeed makes this decision, this will be a huge victory for Rialto ratepayers.  The City’s own reports have consistently shown that for-profit American Water’s participation in this deal is one of the important reasons for the proposed water rate hikes.

What’s more, we understand that neighboring West Valley Water District might be a “preferred” replacement to operate the City’s water system.

Although the UWUA has never taken any position on who should operate the City’s water system (other than the City itself), in our view this would be good news for Rialto.  West Valley is a neighboring public water system – rather than an out-of-state corporation like American Water – and already provides water services to roughly half the City of Rialto.   Moreover, we believe American Water has a demonstrated track record of hostility toward the rights of utility workers.

So what about the referendum petition?

Unfortunately, the City Council’s decision not to place the referendum on the ballot probably means that someone would have to incur considerable legal expenses to sue the City to overturn this misguided decision.  The UWUA is not in a position to incur these significant expenses at this time.

Even so, you should know that any Rialto voter who signed the petition against the City Council’s decision may have the right to sue.  Obviously this would be a big undertaking.  Moreover, we believe any Rialto voter or group interested in pursuing that fight should act immediately!  We may be able to refer any Rialto group or voter interested in pursuing this further to appropriate attorneys.

Celebrate the victory!

There can be no doubt that – if indeed he City reverses its decision to contract out Rialto’s water system to American Water – this victory will be a direct result of your many efforts over the past year to oppose the Council’s misguided decisions!

In our view, any decision to replace American Water as the operator of the Rialto water system would be a huge victory – for ratepayers and for workers.  As we have said many times before, any deal to contract out the City’s water system to American Water would be a bad deal for Rialto ratepayers.

Thank you for your many efforts in this struggle.  We will continue to keep you informed.

Sincerely,

Mark Brooks

Utility Workers Union of America/SOS Rialto Water

* Please note that Council Member Joe Baca, Jr. voted AGAINST the City Council’s decision not to place our referendum on the ballot.   To his credit, Council Member Baca has consistently opposed the Rialto Council’s misguided decisions concerning this entire issue.  In our view, Council Member Baca has shown real integrity throughout this debate over the future of Rialto’s public water system.

Councils Final Word on Petition Signatures

Hello everyone and good morning.

I am sorry I missed this meeting & that this council refuses to listen to the community. It seems that the only people they listen to are people who live outside of the city of Rialto as they did last night in reference to the Lytle Creek Development Project.

But that isn’t what were speaking on in this post, now its over the signatures collected in protest to the council’s decision to outsource our water to embattled American Water company.

The city attorney Jimmy Gutierrez (Mr I get DUI’s) he didn’t like the way the signatures were gathered and told the city clerk who informed council that they would not be putting the issue on the Ballot in November. It will never go before the people.

(The petitions, gathered by the Utility Workers Union of America, did not include a copy of the concession agreement, Rialto City Attorney Jimmy Gutierrez said in an interview.) From SBSUN.com

This council and Mayor do not care what you think or say unless forced to listen (IE the outsourcing the PD issue).

What is the disconnect with this council and listening to the residents. Ed Scott barks at residents from the dias like a junk yard dog (someone running for Mayor) Ed palmer just ignores you altogether, but at least Councilwoman Robertson will return a call as she did last night when I first got word of this horrible decision with the promise of another meeting in the next 2 weeks lets see if it happens.

Long Story short you have no say in the American Water Deal and we all will suffer for the next 30 Years because this city will never be able to afford to leave this contract ever.

We all must attend, watch council meetings and also call these people and make them finally listen to the people.

—————————————————————————————————-

Advertisement

—————————————————–

City of Rialto approves water rate increases, denies petition

Posted:   06/27/2012 12:07:27 AM PDT

RIALTO – The Rialto City Council on Tuesday voted to end the contentious issue of a whooping rate increase by voting 4-1 for its approval.The issue, and a related agreement to outsource the city’s water and sewer operations to New Jersey-based American Water Works Co. Inc., have been a boiling point for many residents for over a year.

The council’s action will propel water and sewer rates 114.8 percent by 2016.

Because the city of Rialto hasn’t increased rates for years, many residents recognize that rates need to go up, but think the increase should be spread out over more years.

Only Councilman Joe Baca Jr. opposed the rate increase.

As part of the meeting, the council decided not to schedule a referendum during the Nov. 6 general election on that outsourcing agreement – even though the city was presented with more than enough valid signatures to make that happen.

The petitions, gathered by the Utility Workers Union of America, did not include a copy of the concession agreement, Rialto City Attorney Jimmy Gutierrez said in an interview.

Under a provision of the election code, which Gutierrez said was written to encompass city ordinances, a copy of the ordinance must accompany the petitions “so that people know what they are signing.”

In those situations where there are other documents, courts have ruled that they too must be included, he said.

“You got to give all the information to the public,” Gutierrez said.

With the petitions circulated by the union, a copy of the city council resolution on the concession agreement was the only document included, he said. “How’s the public going to know what it’s signing without a copy of the concession agreement,” he said.

When asked how a document spanning hundreds and hundreds of pages, as is the case of the concession agreement, could be part of a petition being passed from one person to the next, Gutierrez said, “yeah, but that’s what the law says.”

Later he said that at least a summary of the agreement should have been included along with the petitions.

Contacted late Tuesday night, Utility Workers spokesman Mark Brooks said that the union’s legal team would need to evaluate the city’s position.

The union submitted 6,379 signatures and of those, 1,545 were declared invalid during a certification process conducted by the county Elections Bureau. That left 4,834 valid signatures – well above the amount needed to put the issue before voters.

During the council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Ed Scott said that work is underway with city staff to modify the concession agreement in a way that will be “to everybody’s liking.”

He provided no details.

After the vote, resident Frank Gonzalez said, “I don’t agree with the results (of the Proposition 218 vote) but the citizens had a chance…I would like to work with you, even though I don’t agree with you.”

City Council’s vote on the rate increase was delayed to await the results of a Proposition 218 protest vote where a majority of the ratepayers – plus one – must file a written objection to the action.

The final tally for the water rate increase protest vote was 4,345, where 5,701 were required to block it. The sewer rate increases were opposed by 6,883, where 10,387 were needed to block it, Gutierrez said.

Councilman Ed Palmer accused the union’s Prop 218 campaign of producing many invalid and fraudulent votes.

“Thank goodness the vote wasn’t close, because the union would have forced us to physically account for very vote, a process that would have cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.

Palmer noted that his own signature was forged and sent into the city clerk’s office as a protest vote.

The Utility Workers union has several contract issues with American Water across the country and has opposed the company’s business expansion into Rialto.

Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/ci_20947976/city-rialto-approves-water-rate-increases-denies-petition#ixzz1z0aeFlVg

Previous Older Entries