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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Council Looks To Put Tax Money In Danger To Help Special Interests

Rialto has seen a boom in development this year with the opening of the new Super Walmart development on the south end and the Renaissance development in the north end of town. Each development has come with its own unique set of challenges to reach the point of completion.

The last few developments that have been handled by one developer have seemed to fall short of the promises made and this developer is a close friend and campaign contributor to Councilman Ed Scott.

Fernando Acosta is a business owner and developer who lives here in Rialto. He owns the Popeye’s fast food restaurant on Ayala and Baseline and has been the developer of the In-N-Out Burger restaurant pad and now the area of the Cracker Barrel.

The In-N-Out pad was one that still to this day has issues that the developer and city failed to address:

  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf almost didn’t happen.
  • There was supposed to be a Miguel’s Jr.
  • Other retail uses were planned but never added.
  • Responsibility to clean the lot still resides with the city.

Now Mr. Acosta is the developer of the Cracker Barrel site and has hit a bump in the road and Mr. Acosta is looking for the city to bail him out!

As you can see staff is telling the city council that this is a bad idea and a bad position to be in. Mr. Acosta is more than a year out on completing pad 3, yet he wants the city to put our money in jeopardy. Staff points out multiple times that this is a bad idea and reminds the council that this is General Fund money and that the city has already assisted Mr. Acosta.

To add insult to injury the council directs the City Treasurer to broker a finance deal for Mr. Acosta between the city and Banner Bank. When was the last time the city ever bent over backwards for a resident or business owner in this city when it came to the financial dealing of a new house or business construction?

Councilman Ed Scott claims he doesn’t want to see the project delayed but empty stores still exist across the street in the Renaissance development and that hasn’t hindered anything? There are tons of empty buildings all over Rialto especially on Foothill – one of Rialto’s most heavily traveled routes. Where is the city council jumping to intervene in those situations? Maybe it is because there are no campaign contributions in it for them in those situations?

Another item that should cause great concern to Rialto residents is that Mr. Acosta stands to make a lot of money on this deal. So we’re going to put tax dollars and the city into a risky position so a developer can make a ton of cash? Does that smell to anyone else?

The truth of the matter is that Cracker Barrel is already well under construction and the other tenants are ready to begin construction soon. Mr. Acosta has done this before – promised tenants that never materialize. I looked at his presentation to city council as a bad pitch on Shark Tank. He spoke of offers to fill spaces but never produced any proof, it seemed clear he was pulling a favor from the campaign favor bank!

See video of the full tab below!

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Sean Flynn Offers A New Approach To Creating Change In San Bernardino

We had a chance meet with Sean Flynn a candidate for the 31st Congressional District which stretches from Pomona all the way to Mentone!

This district covers a large portion of Rialto and most of San Bernardino.

The city of San Bernardino has been in trouble ever since the city went through bankruptcy and things have been pretty bleak. Many former San Bernardino residents that have returned for business or visits have described what they see when returning as a gut punch. Public Safety services and General Public services took a hit and still struggle to come back to life as San Bernardino rises from Bankruptcy.

The recent shooting that put 8 people in the hospital including one minor has once again surfaced the talk of what can be done in San Bernardino to deal with crime? The answer currently is to place private security officers at the location of this most recent shooting and argue over how to police a city that seems to be still dealing with the massive collapse of their economy.

The ideas being put forth now are the same old answers that sadly haven’t worked and even though the current congressman feels bad for those effected by this horrible incident he has nothing worthwhile to offer as a solution.

Sean Flynn sat down with us to talk about a lot of what he wants to bring to the District if he is elected to Congress in November. His take on San Bernardino even before this horrible situation is so vital we thought it would be a good idea to put this part out before we release the entire interview.

We thought this idea of taking federal resources and applying them to struggling communities was very innovative and hasn’t been brought forward yet, what do you think?

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