Tonight Rialto’s Budget Advisory Groups Looks To Make A Very Important Recommendation To City Council

One of the major issues hanging over Rialto’s future is the Utility Users Tax (UUT). Since 2003 the UUT has provided additional money to the cities finances and allowed Rialto to maintain growth and remain solvent unlike neighbors like San Bernardino and Colton.

The budget finance committee was formed via a action from city council. Each elected member of the council and mayor picked two people to represent the city as solutions were looked into on how to deal with budget problems that seemed to have been hidden from public view, a consequence of not controlling our elected officials and the old game of kicking the unpopular decisions down the road.

The budget finance committee has one 2 hour meeting to send a recommendation to city council on what the committee thinks needs to be done in regards to the UUT. The scary part is that there seems to be no consensus on where to go from here. Add to that our state legislators are burying the fine people of California in tax after tax nobody is in the mood for more taxes.

The only problem is are you ready for Rialto to become as unsafe as San Bernardino? Rialto is able to boast that you are more likely to survive a cardiac event if you live in Rialto than anywhere else in the Nation because of the technology existing in Rialto Ambulences. Rialto was the 1st department in California to go full body worn cameras.

Here is what Rialto has to look forward to according to data presented to the Budget Committee:

Public Works
Elimination – $1.5 Million
• Personnel – $880K • Approximately 11 positions
• Eliminate OT for Special Projects/Events
• Services & Supplies – $670K • Reduce frequency of street & sidewalk
maintenance
• Reduce weed abatement, graffiti & trash
clean-up
• Reduce park maintenance
• Reduce facilities maintenance to safety and
asset protection
• Reduce fleet maintenance to “run to fail”
approach.

Fire
Elimination – $3.6 Million
• Personnel – $3M • Approximately 23 positions
• One Ambulance, Fire Engine and Station
Unstaffed
• Reduce Administrative Staffing
• Services & Supplies – $600K
• Program Eliminations
• Arson Investigations, SWAT Medic, Explorer
Post
• Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survival and Fire
Containment rates will drop
approximately 40%.

Police
Elimination – $5.6 Million
• Personnel – $4.2M
• Approximately 36 positions
• 20 Sworn, 15 Non-Sworn, 10 Part-Time
• Elimination of Programs – $1.4M
• K-9, SWAT, SCAT, Traffic, SRO, Community
Liaison, all Task Force Positions
• Loss of Grants will increase cost of
reductions to City ($950K).
• Outsource Animal Control & Jail services
• Fleet “run as close to fail” approach
• Change from proactive to reactive
enforcement.

These are just the big three and still don’t represent cuts to smaller departments. So the purpose of this article is to ask you. Given this information would you support the UUT again?

Changes coming to Rialto Police Department Leadership

Information sent to us today indicates that changes to the top leadership rolls will be coming to Rialto Police Department.

As of October 1st former Police Chief Mark Kling will come on as a “Consultant” to help transition current Police Chief Deanda into “Retirement”. Police Chief Deanda should be well versed in the retirement process as he regularly tells the story of how he was needed so much in the city of Rialto that he was asked to return to work three times after filing for retirement.

In the communication from City Administrator Mike Story he laid out the struggles a quick departure like this will bring “As the city administrator, I must ensure there is a smooth transition of leadership and place leading up to and after chief Deanda retirement. Ideally, organisations have about 1 year to plan the transition of executive leadership. Chief Deanda will be retiring from public service and three short months on December 28th 2017 there for once Chief Deanda submitted and I accepted his notice of retirement, plans for executive leadership transitioning were set into motion. As an organization, filling the position of a retiring police chief is Paramount to community safety, department operations, and intergovernmental Affairs across departments so there are minimal service interruptions”.

Earlier today the Chief was witnessed briefing his command staff on the coming changes in his Department. Those pictured with the Chief at Mimi’s in North Fontana were Captain Andy Karol, Lt Robert Smith, Lt Dean Hardin and Paul Stella. Staff could overheard the chief talking about the memo from Mike Story and the impending changes.

Nobody will ever know the true story on why we have such a quick departure since past leadership has made sure a replacement was already on the ground before major changes took place. For example:

  • When Chief Kling left he had vetted and prepared Captain Tony Farrar for the promotion.
  • Fire Chief Matt Fratus knew he was not going to work forever so he hired Sean Grayson our current Fire Chief to eventually replace him.
  • When Police Chief Tony Farrar was on his way out he secured the promotion and placement of Chief Deanda.
  • Even City Administrator Mike Story announced months ago of his coming retirement at the end of this year.

So when something is outside the ordinary you have to ask yourself what is the real story? What we do know is that the city has found itself under more legal action brought by staff that claim they were fired, discriminated or retaliated against without merit and some of those cases have began to settle out of court. The latest claim was made know yesterday September 26th 2017 when a $125,000 claim was filed claiming misconduct by a former employee of MHM & Associates.

Answers that will need to be answered are:

  • How much is the city going to pay 2 police chief’s?
  • Will Deanda’s removal begin to bring the lawsuits to a close?
  • How do you attract a quality Police Chief in a Financially Strapped city like Rialto?

There are more questions than answers.

Today we got some of the answers from City Administrator Mike Story who said that Mark Kling will be working on a $15,000 dollar contract for three months to help during this transition. Mark Kling is one of the brighter spots in Rialto Police Department history as he led the Police Department out of the scandals of the past and the poor public trust of the police department. City Administrator Mike Story said that this money came out of the city administration budget already earmarked for consulting.

We will update as more information comes in.

Have a story you think people should know about? Email Rialtosnow@gmail.com

Keep up to date via social media by following #rialtonowcovers

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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 Mayor and Council Pay Off More Political Favors With Tax Dollars

Rialto Mayor is looking to give $100,000 contract to her friend Luvina Beckley who is the CEO of MHM & Associates to run and facilitate the State’s Prop 47 Grant. Besides being highly inappropriate given the relationship they share. It’s also odd that the Mayor is giving Luvina Beckley access to run a state grant because Luvina Beckley has been disbarred from having anything to do with Federal Grants for three years. In a letter from the National Corporation for Community Service spells out why Luvina Beckley is being disbarred.

“Accordingly based upon the reason set out in the August 19th 2016 notice of proposed debarment which is hereby Incorporated by reference and further discussed above I hereby confirm my earlier decision to debar you for a period of three years this department is based on the determination that you.

Violated the terms of a public agreement or transaction so serious as to affect the Integrity of a corporation program.

Engaged in inappropriate activity that was so serious and compelling a nature that it affects your present responsibility to engage in transactions with the federal government.

This department is effective for the following cover transactions as specified in 2 CFR part 180.

Procurement contacts that are subject to Federal acquisition regulations 48 CFR chapter 1 and non procurement transactions including but not limited to Grants Cooperative agreements scholarships fellowships contracts of assistance loans loan guarantees subsidies insurances payments for specify uses and donation agreements.”

The tab item reads as you can see below:

TAB 4 17-669 Request City Council to Adopt Resolution No. 7172 Accepting the Board of State and Community Corrections, California Proposition 47
Program Grant Award in the amount of $996,975 and Authorize a 3 year Contract with M.H.M. and Associates in the amount $99,000 for
program monitoring, report writing, compliance, project data collection and program recommendations.

Luvina Beckley who has been not only a close person friend of Mayor Robertson but also a political ally of the Mayor and Council members had been working on Federal Grants over the past 3 years. Before his passing Councilman Shawn O’Connell grew uneasy of the way MHM & Associates were handling grants on the cities behalf but lacked any support from his fellow council members to bring things under control. Now we are allowing a person to handle a State Grant when they have been barred from handling Federal Grants.

As this grant was being written various local organizations were asked if they would be able to offer supports to provide services to the grant program. Some that offered letters of support or programs to make the grant possible are becoming concerned as they learn about the grant manager and the problems that have existed with the Federal Grant Disbarment.

The people making this decision tonight are:

Deborah Robertson Mayor – drobertson@rialtoca.gov

Ed Scott Mayor Pro Tem – edscott@rialtoca.gov

Joe Baca Jr Councilman – jbaca@rialtoca.gov

Rafael Trujillo Councilman – rtrujillo@rialtoca.gov

Andy Carrizales Councilman – acarrizales@rialtoca.gov

City Administrator Mike Story Final Parting Words

Dear Mayor Robertson and City Council,

It has been my privilege to serve the City of Rialto for the past 32 years. Since 1985
when I started working for Rialto as a Planner, then as a Director, in that time I believe
we have accomplished some extraordinary things together. I can say without
hesitation that serving as your City Administrator has been the highlight of my
professional life. Thank you Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and City Council Members for the
honor and privilege you have given me to serve our community.
Rialto, too, has meant so much to me and my family. Janet and I moved here in 1981,
and we could not have found a better community in which to raise our children and
grandchildren. Rialto has been and will forever be our home.
So, after a 41 year career of working in city government for the cities of San Dimas,
Duarte, Fontana and Rialto, the time has come to move on to the next stage of our
family’s lives, and therefore this is my formal notice to the Rialto City Council that I
intend to retire from active service on December 23, 2017.

I wanted you to know well in advance in order to ensure a smooth transition. I am also
happy to offer any help in recruiting and/or working with the next City Administrator –
again to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.
Again, I would like to thank you, the Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem, Council Members,
Department Heads, City employees and the community for all of your support all these
years, and I look forward to accomplishing more over these next six months. We’ve
got an amazing staff at City Hall, and I am confident that greater things are yet to
come, and greater things are still to be done in Rialto.

Sincerely,

Mike Story
City Administrator
City of Rialto

Story by David Phillips

Mike Story was one of the more honorable men to hold the position of City Administrator. Unlike many of his colleagues in other cities he worked hard to make local government work for the taxpayers. Mike is a man of strong character and a man of God. He has been a role model and second father to many youth growing up in Rialto. I was one of those youth and I can tell you that Mike has been someone I look up to. One of legacy setting items Mike Story will leave the city of Rialto with is his dedication to education of the Public Administration process. Mike created and ran the Institute of Progress which gave people a first hand look at the who, what where and why of the operations of local government.

Mike is also one of the few public employees in the nation that worked tirelessly to lead with his actions and not just words. When the city was in serious trouble in regards to the budget he was the 1st person to take massive pay and benefit cuts to show that he was not going to ask anyone to do something he wouldn’t 1st do. His integrity shows out in the words of former Police Chief Tony Farrar.

We also can’t forget the man who wore integrity like a God given tattoo Former Councilman Shawn O’Connell. I can remember many conversations with Councilman O’Connell where had it not been for an ethical leader like Mike Story Councilman O’Connell would not have had the impact he had for the city of Rialto.

History will remember those who stood in the gap for strangers with no care for the personal cost. History will remember you Mr. Story have a great retirement.

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The worlds longest pizza record is now in the USA cooked in Fontana

When someone says hey lets make the longest pizza ever made, get it qualified by the Guinness Book of World Records and steal the record from the birthplace of pizza Southern California makes sense. The weather here is almost always sunny and warm and we rarely to we see a rain cloud. Then you need a location right? Most would say do it at the Rose Bowl, Colosseum or even Dodger stadium right? Nope when the Carson, Ca based company who first dreamed up this idea thought of a location the Inland Empire was their choice smack dab at the Auto Club Speedway home of California NASCAR Racing.

The old record was held by Italy with a length of 6,082 ft in 2016 when the owner of Italforni USA saw that the record was outside of the US he said this record needs to be brought here. The old record was 6,082 feet in Italy the plans were to mash that record by thousands of feet but a few mishaps in the pizza making process left the US team to beat the old record by 251 feet.

The day didn’t go off without a hitch or two. The first problem was when they lost time and feet to the pizza bunching up inside the ovens and burning up. The second problem came when the scaffold got caught under the rolling oven and stopped the progress. Both times the team overcame each obstacle and regrouped. Part of this 24 hour process was Fontana Pizza Restaurant Owner Jose Torres of My NY Pizza. Jose can be seen below helping the group repair a broken part of the pizza cooking process.

What didn’t end up qualifying for a world record for the simple fact that there was not a category for it was the massive curving scaffold that went for 1.3 miles. At Pac scaffold a scaffolding supplier supplied the miles of equipment for the event and multiple scaffold installation companies from the Inland Empire built the massive cooking surface for the world record pizza.

The new record pizza was done with 8007 lbs of dough, 3602 lbs of cheese and 5604 lbs of sauce. To top that off the Italforni USA employee Elmer thought up and was the lead person behind the design of this massive 3 oven rolling cooking contraption. Jason form PizzaOvens.com told us that for the event that they had twelve one hundred gallon propane tanks to heat these ovens at 900 degrees for over 20 hours.

 

Public Safety takes a Break from Regular Duties to Attend Mayors Jazz Festival

So it appears that police from three different cities will be hanging around Jerry Eves Park in North Rialto. Mayor Robertson has brought back her failure of a Jazz Fest event once again to the city of Rialto. This time instead of just wasting our resources three cities are wasting valuable public safety resources on yet another failed event.

Whoever the Mayor has running her ticket sales they should have learned from the last failed event that dropping ticket prices at the last minute tells people WE CAN’T SELL THESE TICKETS. Normally you give early birds a great price then the general admission price kicks in, but Mayor Robertson not having a business bone in her body just can’t seem to learn how to course correct for the life of her. As you can see the price never went back up it stayed at the $45 price event at the day of the event.

Like it or not our Mayor has once again took it upon herself to spend YOUR tax dollars on a PRIVATE event without any outside oversight, here is a list of what DA Ramos and his staff are refusing to look into:

  • City Commissioners say that Pam Kennedy the Main office Manager was passing out a stack of what looked to be at least 200 tickets out to city staff and commissioners. Who paid for these tickets?
  • Police from Rialto, Fontana and San Bernardino are being used to “Police” the event. Watching Mayor Aquenetta Warrens FB live videos the police are partying right along side the event guests.
  • Nobody else has ever been allowed to completely shut down a public park EVER!!!! Let alone break park rules allowing Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana to be consumed in public park property.
  • Leveraging against local vendors forcing them to purchase large ticket purchases to keep getting lucrative contracts with the City of Rialto. Burrtec, Rialto Water Services LLC, Rialto’s Grant Writers and many more are constantly used to try and make these events successful.
  • Giving preferential treatment to one ride sharing company over others. Mayor Robertson not only excluded Uber drivers from working the event, some drivers have been told to remove their Uber sicker if they drive for both Uber and Lyft. Lyft is the only company allowed to work the event.    

There is nothing wrong with helping a non profit.

There is nothing wrong with helping kids.

There is A LOT wrong with making special rules for yourself, allowing people to speed and drive drunk. There is also something wrong with not following the rules laid out for our PUBLIC parks. Some of the most restrictive rules the mayor supported herself. There are people every weekend using our parks and they get into trouble if they drive cars onto the grass, bring alcohol into the park, smoke tobacco or marijuana in our parks or restrict others from using a PUBLIC PARK.

If people that were previously cited for breaking these rules were smart they would get their citations reversed off of the cities double standard when it comes to enforcing their own municipal code.

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