Rialto Residents Brace for Another Gas Price Increase Yet Again

Because we are gluttons for punishment in California and especially in Rialto our fearless leaders are dropping yet another gas tax on people who buy gas in California. Rialto residents get additionally taxed because Rialto residents have to pay for damage that Burttec has caused to our streets.

California is poised to charge the highest taxes and fees on gas in the COUNTRY once the 5.6 cent tax increase goes into effect on July 1st. What is scary is that State leaders say they will still be BILLIONS of $$$$ short of what is needed to fix California roads. They are still trying to fix what is already there still they have no plans on how to increase lanes yet they keep increasing the population. These taxes are part of the SB1 bill that state Demoncrats approved in 2017 and California Voters failed to pass a proposition that would have killed SB1 and the pending tax increases.

Even with the increased taxes the state claims they will be $78 Billion short of what is needed to bring California Roads and Bridges into GOOD repair. Why are all these taxes not enough? Here are some glaring reasons:

  • More than 60% of the money from SB1 wont ever go to fund a single road repair project, this money is going to mass transit, failed high speed rail and bike lanes.
  • Caltrans is a drain on society, they work slow and have thousands of engineers that sit around. They agency is full of fraud, bribery, favoritism, bid rigging, and  spending work time to derail a citizen proposition.
  • California leaders have been robbing the road fund for years only to now say we don’t have enough.
  • Funding health care, drivers licenses, food stamps, public education and so much more for illegal aliens.
  • They even go so far as to give themselves yet another raise!
  • Don’t forget the massive looming deficit coming for the State in the Retirement System PERS!

So it looks like California and Rialto are in for more and more increases in taxes until they start speaking louder from the ballot box!

Click here to see how Rialto residents are paying for road services they will never get!

All Residents Pay A Unpopular Fee, but Not All Benefit From It

On May 28th we learned something about our least favorite fee in the city that should have your blood boiling. For the last 4 to 5 year you have been paying and ever increasing tax on your monthly trash bill. This TAX was added to deal with Rialto’s streets that are deteriorating much faster than Rialto officials can keep up at least that is what we were told.

On May 28th we found out that streets that are in poor repair will not be fixed with the Trash Fund money, only newer streets will get any work done from the Trash Tax. There is a promise that they will seek out a way to do something for those residents but they say that as we head for Bankruptcy!

Activists told the city council and the residents that the city would find ways of putting this money back into their own pockets and moving street maintenance money around to other pet projects. The last honest Councilman caught his colleagues playing games with this money shortly after it was approved.

Councilman O’Connell was interviewed by Sun reporter Leslie Parrilla and said:

“We gave the impression that we were going to use that money to help improve the roads,” O’Connell said.

The increased rates for the city’s solid waste collection, recycling and disposal service rates were passed to help maintain Rialto’s deteriorating roads. But after the fees started being collected, the roughly $1.2 million normally budgeted annually for road improvements dropped to $600,000 this year, instead of increasing with money from the new fee.

“It seemed to me the citizens got it right when they said, ‘be careful, they’re going to take advantage of it,’ ” by moving money around, O’Connell said.

The plan was to decrease the Trash Tax and fix the roads with Measure U. Well a year later Councilman O’Connell passed away unexpectedly and since then here are all the things Measure U is targeted to cover:

  • Millions in behind street maintenance.
  • Reduce the now PERMANENT Utility Users Tax by 25%.
  • Cover our $150 Million Dollars of Unfunded Liabilities.
  • Provide for more cops.
  • Provide more money for Recreation Programs.

The only problem with these promises is that even with best case scenario is that the tax would bring in $15 Million a year. As of today there is less than $10 Million in an escrow account while the tank farms sue us. It looks so grim that the Mayor and Ed Scott are publicly talking about settling for way less than expected just to get something.

While that goes on Burrtec spends thousands of dollars on campaigns for elected officials that act as rubber stamps for their programs and agendas. While Burrtec is holding a fundraising party for the Mayor they got:

  • Rialto residents to pay for the damage thier trucks do to the road.
  • A 10 year contract that never expires because it renews for another 10 years each year and we have to give them 10 years notice if we want out of the contract.
  • They got $1.3 Million back in their pockets that was supposed to go to create a community garden for the North End of the city.
  • We now are forced to pay burrtec through our property tax bills so we can’t see the many times they raise our rates.

So the only question is, are you mad yet? Don’t forget gas goes up 5.6 cents a gallon on Monday July 1st for more on that story click here!

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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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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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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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Assembly Member Eloise Reyes Staff Labeled as Out of Control

Eloise Reyes has been your assembly member for about two years now and nothing has changed, right?

Wrong. She has made this area more divisive and polarized than ever before. One major change may not look so bad on the surface, but it is now affecting Moreno Valley.

Under former Assembly Member Cheryl Brown Rialto had a strong young man acting as our liaison with the Assembly Member’s office. I can tell you as someone who had issues with connecting to the Unemployment Office Cheryl Brown’s staff helped a lot more than the current staff. Before Eloise won the election we had Josue Castillo as our Rialto liaison. Josue lived in Rialto and really made you feel like they cared, even if you were not aligned politically.

Now we have Daniel Peeden, a progressive Democrat who gives you the feeling he is trying to intimidate you rather than help you. He spends his time pushing a very strong progressive agenda and it doesn’t feel like he cares who the Assembly Member cuts down or steps on along the way. If you’re not a progressive you have no worth to him. He spends his time attacking our County Supervisor Josie Gonzales (a Democrat) on warehouse projects in the Bloomington Area, yet has given a pass to the City of Rialto as they dump warehouses right on top of long established neighborhoods and eating up prime real estate in Rialto.

This has been going on for 2 years and it is getting old, but this isn’t the reason we penned this post. This isn’t a political attack on Eloise to unseat her because she is running unopposed.

This post exists to call attention to Public Officials being held accountable for acting like children and feeding an angry mob.

Daniel is a twin (Darrell Peeden); his twin was seeking an open seat on the Moreno Valley Unified School Board. Darrell and Daniel Peeden posed with another person with an F Trump sign! Now we can love or hate the president if we want, but if you A) represent a community on behalf of an Assembly Member maybe you should have a little more tact on how you publicly share your disdain, and B) if you’re running for school board maybe you shouldn’t be using profanity publicly because you’re representing Students, Parents and Staff. You are supposed to be an example to them.

Why is Eloise Reyes getting attached to this post? She condones this behavior and celebrates it. As you see in the photo below her staff are given kudos for working hard on ignoring constituents that don’t align with her politically and shoving through a very progressive plan of action. Remember that this seat has been Democrat forever but never with a person or staff so dedicated to whipping the assembly district into a frenzy.

Reports are that no call from the assembly member has gone out to remove this photo from social media and Darrell Peeden was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Moreno Valley Unified School District without an election of THE PEOPLE!

Normal everyday people are already so full of hate, shouldn’t our elected officials and their staff be required to use just a little bit of thought when creating social content?

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