Rialto City Hall Hemorrhages High Ranking Staff

In a sign of what is going on under the surface of Rialto City Hall another high ranking longtime employee of the City of Rialto’s management team has left the city of Rialto. Human Resources and Risk Management Director Lucy Garcia has left the city of Rialto for another unknown agency. For the last year and a half the city has lost seven main leadership positions and has only managed to fill one of them. We learned late last month that Development Director and Assistant City Administrator Robb Steel will be leaving this August.

To make matters worse is the City is on its 3rd Interm City Administrator, the people that the city has offered code enforcement and city engineering jobs to turned them down and nobody wants to be our police chief so we brought back Kling who is on a mission to destroy the relationship between the community and the police. Nobody wants to work here and we should strongly question anyone who chooses to except a job here.

Sources inside city hall say that Lucy Garcia left because she was being asked to withhold information from employees and do things that were not ethical. The information coming out of city hall isn’t surprising to me since I watched Lucy get attacked by the city council over giving the Budget Advisory Committee the information we asked for and not holding things back.

I will point out once more there is no plan for dealing with our $150 Million in Unfunded Liabilities and they just keep adding more and more public safety positions. Just in the last Council Meeting in March the Police and Fire Departments have added staff that were frozen over future cost concerns. Now Rialto has a new police captain we can’t afford and the fire department is adding a Deputy Chief to the payroll.

Never in my life have I looked at such a blatant disregard for financial ethics and common sense.

Rialto City Council Doubles Down With $2.5 Million Dollar Employee Raises

The Rialto City Council prepares to pay off more election day favors tonight as the Fire Union receives a $2.5 Million Dollar increase the city can’t afford. I respect our public safety officials but running for political office in this city and taking the Rialto Fire Union meeting was a big mistake. I learned that the only way a person gets the nod or financial support of any union in this city is by vowing blind devotion to whatever that union wants no matter if we can afford it or not.

These are costs we can’t afford, Rialto is the only public agency that has failed to address the $150 Million Dollars in unfunded liability the city of Rialto faces. They report the number being only $126 Million but that is because the other $24 Million is unfunded liabilities to the cities Retiree Medical Benefit Fund. You may be asking yourself how did they address the $24 Million in unfunded liabilities to the cities Retiree Medical Benefit Fund? They are simply ignoring it!!!

Yes this is how your elected officials deal with major problems they just ignore it and go on spending taxpayer money like nothing is going on!

To those of you that think I am wrong to say our elected officials are bought and paid by the unions, all you have to do is look at the juvenile way Councilman Ed Scott dealt with being given a professional opinion. Ed Scott voted against emergency repairs to the waste water treatment plant, voted against much needed infrastructure repairs but voted yes on the tab item presented by the Rialto Fire Union!

In the agenda for tonight’s meeting staff says that the $2.5 Million cost for this public union pay off is factored into the budget. So why would I say that this is a misleading statement? Well what the staff report fails to mention is that the way we afford this union pay off is by illegally dipping into the cities reserve fund.

“The City Council adopted the FY18-19 Budget with anticipated adjustments. Hence, the proposed compensation increases for FY 18-19 have been absorbed in the current Fiscal Year Budget. Future enhancements will need to be incorporated into future fiscal year budgets.”

The future enhancements referenced in the staff report are:

  • A change from the cities own ordnance that dictates that the city hold 50% of operation costs in a reserve account.
  • Additional taxes on homeowners for a fire district tax.
  • Additional taxes on Hotels.
  • Additional Sales & Gas Tax.

Another strange thing is that the cities Fire Chief was moved into the place of Iterm City Administrator before this contract was put in place is now the one responsible for signing off on its validity.

For City Council Meeting [March 26, 2019]

TO:                                           Honorable Mayor and City Council

APPROVAL:                      Sean Grayson, Interim City Administrator

FROM:                      Lucy M. Garcia, Director of Human Resources & Risk Management

Another glaring point in this agreement is the additional money that the city is dumping into the fire station and union staff. Right now the city offsets the costs of the cities fitness center and pool by paying for each and every employee to have access to the cities gym and workout facilities. Now the city is spending $79,000 this year alone on what the city already provides?

Medical Assessments and Fitness Equipment:  To address safety, the parties agree to new annual health assessments and fitness equipment at the fire stations.  Costs:  $79,000 initially (including $54,000 in medical assessment costs and $25,000 in fitness equipment costs). Equipment maintenance costs and other annual testing will ensue thereafter.

What is worse is there is zero accountability that the Fire Staff will actually use said equipment and there are heavy maintenance and replacement costs that this contract fails to address and ignores.

To add insult to injury the Rialto City Council hidden in the Consent Calendar is an increase in the rate of pay for all Commissioners in the city of Rialto….. No Wait that is a pay increase for the only commission that is paid the planning commission! Once again people who said they would volunteer their time are being paid and now they are receiving a raise we can’t afford. Still to this day there is no plan for how to deal with the $150 Million Dollar Unfunded Liabilities.

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As Homelessness Becomes A Bigger Problem Mayor Wants To Attract More Homeless

After a November 15th NEIGHBORHOOD & HOUSING PRESERVATION & BEAUTIFICATION COMMISSION meeting the City Council is set to:

Request City Council to Review and Provide Direction regarding the Site Selection Process for a proposed transitional housing project with the Time for Change Foundation in accordance with the Predevelopment Services Agreement.

The first time this project was brought before the public by councilman Rafael Trujillo the founder of Time for Change Foundation Kim Carter not only ripped into our council for asking questions about the project but lifted off into a name calling rant, but not before placing children right up front as props to witness everything.

The next time this project would come before the public was at the November 15th NEIGHBORHOOD & HOUSING PRESERVATION & BEAUTIFICATION COMMISSION meeting. As this meeting was advertised there were two sites mentioned the original site on palm and an additional site on Linden Ave just north of Foothill. Once the meeting began over 14 sites were introduced leading many to believe that the city did not honestly advertise this meeting and the proposed sites. This meeting Founder Kim Carter did not attend and there were many details of the project that were left without answers. Time for Change Executive Director Vannessa Perez did her best to answer as many questions as possible.

In this meeting there was an important issue that was brought to light about this project and it’s size. Development Services staff member Gina Gibson stated that this project would require a lot size of at least 1 acre. This was important because the highly contested open lot being considered was under the 1 acre size virtually taking it out of play. The lot on Palm Ave is desirable to both Kim Cater and her friend Mayor Deborah Robertson is because the cities housing authority owns this land. The goal of both Mrs Carter and Mayor Deborah Robertson is to gift more than $1 Million in land over to a Non Profit organization that openly admitted to engaging in seating and unseating elected officials. The city only owns 2 land parcels and the other one is right across the street from city hall.

The big issues people had and still have with this is the placement of a homeless womans shelter in already established neighborhoods coupled with the city gifting an additional million dollars plus to a political friend. Mrs Carter has operated one shelter in San Bernardino for a few years and has shown success, but there are some stark differences between projects:

  • The San Bernardino Shelter is a fraction of the size of the one that is being proposed in Rialto.
  • San Bernardino and Rialto are very, very different cities with very different struggles and people in the community don’t want to become San Bernardino.
  • The long proposed favored site is zoned for cottage commercial.
  • No community input has been allowed to see if this is what Rialto wants.

The Palm Ave site is zoned cottage commercial this area was meant to house people who run a business and live at the same site. This is not only a historic portion of the city but as traditional jobs become more scarce and people go into working for themselves this area could serve as a shot in the arm to the Rialto business community. If you look at the homeless debate in the Orange County Area cities have opposed placing homeless centers in their city, shouldn’t Rialto residents have the same voice and option? Also can the founder of Time for Change come to the community and answer questions without name calling, threats and anger?

This Tuesday February 26th at 6 pm this item will be on the city council agenda and if residents don’t come out and speak up they may find themselves with yet another problem created by gifting of taxpayer funds to pay off political debts.

 

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Rialto Leadership Lacks The Ability To Lead ALL of Rialto

With homeless population increasing every single day and the core of the city falling into disrepair many of the regular unconnected people in Rialto are asking if our leaders still have what it takes to lead all of Rialto. There is development happening in the North and South ends of the city but as you move closer to the city center the decay becomes quite evident. This question isn’t just something whispered about in quite circles but people are asking it out loud in public forums and there really isn’t any answer to the questions.

At the Rialto Unified School Safety Seminar the question was asked multiple times about what the city and schools are doing to deal with homelessness and the crime and consequences that come with them. Rialto Police Lt. Cameron Nelson said that the police departments hands are tied by new public camping laws (nobody ever references a specific law). The problem has become so bad that parks and schools are now dealing with homeless living in the or near them. One are that was brought up at the school safety seminar was the walking trail behind Rialto Middle School and Warner Elementary School. Both of these schools have access gates that open up into this trail. This BLOGGER brought up many concerns with this trail and having access gates to the schools. The powers that be said I was crazy and just trying to get in the way of progress. Now we have unstable people living where kids walk to school and have access to the schools. Does a child have to be hurt or go missing before anyone listens?

When it comes to what our leaders it seems that most of them are ok with Rialto becoming an homeless magnet. Mayor Deborah Robertson seems on a fast track to begin opening housing shelters in Rialto. When new laws are thrown in the public’s faces as the reason that more isn’t being done to fix the problem I wonder what benefit we get from the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of $$$$$ we spend on lobbyists and having our elected officials travel with our tax dollars to Washington and Sacramento.

Some if the worst areas of our city are the main corridors that people travel every single day! Areas like Route 66 that are full of shuttered businesses, graffiti and homeless are far from the beacons of progress and prosperity that our leaders preach about.

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Rialto High School Cheer Wins CIF Division

Our Rialto kids are amazing!!!!!

Rialto High School continues to find success in their Cheer program as they finished in 1st place at the CIF Division Competition this past weekend. This is the 1st year that the CIF has recognized Cheer as an actual sport. It all began with the C.H.E.E.R.S Act AB 949 sponsored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher that made Cheer an actual sport (this writer had no idea it wasn’t until a few days ago). The Bill was signed into law by Jerry Brown in 2015. With Jerry Brown’s signature applied this began a clock on the CIF to develop a program for a new sport that had existed since 1898.

In a press release from the assembly woman Lorena Gonzalez:

Assembly Bill 949, known as the California High Schools Expanding Equality Respect and Safety (C.H.E.E.R.S.) Act, requires the California Department of Education to develop guidelines, procedures, and safety standards with the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) for high school cheerleading no later than July 1, 2017. To date, high school cheerleading has not enjoyed its own competition system like other high school sports and cheer athletes and their teams are forced to rely on private businesses to run competitions, which can be prohibitively expensive for the athletes and their families.

Rialto High Cheer Team with Coach and Cheer Adviser show off the new plaque and varsity patches.

With this being the 1st year of CIF sanctioned competition there was a race to be the first one to claim the honors of being #1. Rialto High School Placing 1st in the 4A Division isn’t that big of a surprise as they have been crushing it at the State & National USA cheer competitions for the last few years. In 2016 the team took 1st place in both State and Nationals and the following 2 years have either won state and or finished in the top three every year according to cheer adviser Valarie Campa.

Cheer is unlike other sports as the cheer squad is active all year long. “Cheer has always been a four-season sport for those teams that compete said Coach Kristy Streff. “We begin working with the team in April, attend camp and practice in summer, have football in fall, basketball in winter, and tryouts and competitions in spring”

“We as a team and school were very excited to participate in the inaugural CIF cheer season and are so proud to bring the first ever CIF-SS title to the city of Rialto.” Kristy Streff-cheer coach

This isn’t the end for Rialto High Cheer. The team will compete this Saturday at the OC Fair and Event Center for the State Championship.

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Election Rules Changed To Favor Incumbents & Silence Latina Challenger

Rialto may seem like a Left leaning city but when it comes to politics, but all sides come out to make sure that honest hardworking voices are silenced.

After the 2016 election where nine different people all were seeking to occupy one of the two vacant city council seats Ed Scott wanted to make sure that the playing field was leveled when he ran for re-election. A city ordnance was put into place banning regular people from being able to promote their intentions of seeking public office. Everyone forgot about the 2017 ordnance and apparently the City Clerks office and Police department were unaware.

On Tuesday August 7th Mayor ProTem Ed Scott witnessed Ana Gonzalez who was seeking to occupy one of the two seats up for re-election with a campaign booth at the cities annual National Night Out witnesses said he came unglued. Mayor ProTem Ed Scott apparently directed Intern Chief of Police Mark Kling to kick Ana Gonzalez out of the event. What happened next was mind blowing the Chief of Police went over to remove Mrs Gonzalez’s booth from the event!

Now the Police Chief doesn’t respond to calls for service, he doesn’t go out on patrol and most chiefs delegate enforcement duties on other officers in their department. Well in this case when Ed Scott says jump the Chief jumps! Witnesses said that the Chief went over to Mrs. Gonzalez and forced her to remove anything about her campaign or leave. When we reached out to Chief Kling this was his response”

I understand that the City accepted the application from Ms. Ana Gonzales to have a booth at this year’s National Night Out in August, without recognizing that campaigning activities would be conducted or in violation of the City’s enacted policy from 2017. When the application was accepted PD staff did not notice the description of informational postcards about her political campaign. PD staff did recognize that she would also give candy and school supplies to children visiting her booth. No other council candidate was allowed to distribute campaign literature from a booth at the event, pursuant to Resolution 7084. 
 
Nevertheless, at the event, when Rialto Police Department staff members learned of the activities being conducted at Ms. Gonzales’ booth in violation of the city’s policy, Ms. Gonzales was asked to cease passing out campaign literature, but she was encouraged to continue passing out candy and school supplies to children attending the city sponsored event. At no time was Ms. Gonzales asked to leave the event.

Nobody stopped Ed Scott or councilman Joe Baca Jr. from addressing the public or having city resources taking photos of them at the event but the Latina Woman running to oppose them she was shutdown?

The question is why such an ordinance even exists and why both city staff and police staff are not aware of a city ordinance?

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City Council Seeks Input On Dumping Woman’s Shelter into Two Neighborhoods

The city of Rialto after a heated and contentious city council tab item on September 11th 2018 is finally giving Rialto Residents what they deserve, a right to voice their concerns on the proposed project.

The City of Rialto’s Neighborhood, Housing Preservation, and Beautification Commission is hosting a workshop to consider a transitional housing facility proposed by the Time For Change Foundation (“TFCF”). The meeting is on Thursday, November 15, beginning at 6:00 p.m in the Rialto City Hall City Council Chambers, 150 S. Palm Ave. Rialto

The City and TFCF considered several sites in Rialto, but narrowed the choice to two locations:

(1) a 1 acre site at the northwest corner of Olive Avenue and Rialto Avenue owned by the Rialto Housing Authority/Rialto Successor Agency

(2) a 2.2 acre site at 475 N. Linden Avenue, just north of Foothill Boulevard owned by a private party.

The City would appreciate your input on any aspect of the project proposal. The City Council will ultimately decide the project location and characteristics after taking public input.

Both proposed sites have created concern in the minds of residents. The original site is in a downtown area zoned for cottage commercial and is not a desirable addition to the current residents in the area. The 2nd and most recent proposed site is even worse. The 2nd area is an area already dealing with large amounts of crime from other multi family dwellings and has multiple homes that are used as group homes where homeless and mentally ill people roam the streets and harass residents and in some cases have defecated on homeowners lawns. The community on Linden is a older neighborhood and nobody wants to see more transitional housing dumped there.

Even though everyone keeps calling the work being done here a feasibility study the mayor has been jumping into every picture she can and is doing her best to push this facility on Rialto.

Residents with questions or concerns should email jdutrey@rialtoca.gov or call (909) 820-8014

 

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