After the election turmoil remains high for West Valley Water

After the dust settled after the most recent West Valley Water Board elections the turmoil has yet to settle. Many were surprised to see the current board that was left virtually in tact except for the election of new comer Channing Hawkins and that this board relinquished the seat of President to the newly elected Board Member Hawkins. So have said that this seems to be a trap to set Board Member Hawkins up to fail. We have reached out multiple times to speak with Board President Hawkins about this but have failed to speak to him.

West Valley Water District board member Channing Hawkins reaches after being voted in as President of the West Valley Water District, during a board meeting in Rialto, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (Photo by John Valenzuela, Contributing Photographer)

Whatever the case Board Member Hawkins is the dully chosen Board President and seems to be on a course to make changes within the structure of the Water District. The most notable change is the live streaming of board meetings via Facebook Live and then posting a video recording to the Water Districts newly created YouTube channel. The recent implementation of these two sources have removed a large barrier between the Water Board and the Rate Payers as many people work long hours and have family obligations that make it difficult to show up to regular meetings let alone all the special meeting West Valley has had lately. Now rate payers can remain informed on what is going on without having to disrupt their already busy lives.

About the time that Board President Hawkins took the position of Board President many of the Water District Managers took that opportunity to deliver a letter of no confidence in West Valley Water GM Clarence Mansfield. The letter from the West Valley Managers demanded that he be fired because of poor leadership and alleged cronyism. This letter was put out suspiciously close to a SCNG investigation into a laundry list of problems since Mansfield was hired, they also pointed out his salary of $225k dollars as well.

As someone that has been covering this Water District long before the Southern California News Group. There have been problems for 6 to 8 years with West Valley Water Board where former Board President but still a current Board Member has been running the Water District into the ground and has been using questionable hiring practices since he sat on the Water Board. Another thing is I know Mr Mansfield and I haven’t spoken to him recently I can tell you he has learned the hard way to try and get his job done without running directly afoul of the elected people over him. He was railroaded at LA DWP years ago when questioned certain internal practices, then was made the scapegoat for the laundry list of failures in the sale of the City of Rialto’s Water and Waste Water to Veollia where he was the first GM to tackle that project. Now he is the GM for a Water District that was upside down in questionable behavior for years before he got there.

Board President Hawkins seems genuine in his interest to be transparent holding Facebook Lives to go over the agenda with constituents prior to meetings and there doesn’t appear to be any visible bias in the decisions he has led the district to make. Quite the opposite the oldest and most long standing Board Members have openly attacked Board President Hawkins for some of the preliminary moves he has taken.

Only time will tell what these changes will bring about and what if anything will change with the General Manager job for this struggling water agency.

Click here to read about Martin Piñon as Interim Human Resources and Risk Manager

Image

West Valley Water District Looks To Yet Another Consultant To Solve Internal Problems

On February 4th 2020 West Valley Water put out a press release on the hiring of yet another upper level manager and consultant to fix the laundry list of problems West Valley Water District has faced. The newest person that has claimed they will do what nobody else has been able to do is Martin Piñon who will be acting as the Interim Human Resources and Risk Manager. According to the press release, In addition to implementing best practices and standards for human resources, Piñon will manage the District’s personnel activities including salary and benefits administration, workers’ compensation, risk management, safety, training, employee relations, recruitment and selection. Pinion will also ensure that the District is in compliance with employment laws and work with management to correct employee deficiencies, apply disciplinary actions, address grievances and follow-up with complaints and inquiries.

Among his long list of experience and education the notable piece is that he has a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University San Bernardino. Now your asking yourself why is that the portion of Mr. Piñon you focus on? Well for years Board Member Clifford Young a fixture at Cal State San Bernardino appeared to be using his influence over the hiring process to gift high level positions to people he favored from said college.

Piñon said about his appointment “It’s not rocket science,” said Piñon. “We’re going to turn it all around.”

Board President Hawkins said that Piñon’s hiring was directly tied to his appointment as board president and the district’s “renewed, collective commitment to ratepayers.

All matters regarding employment have been taken off GM Clarence Mansfield’s plate and the recommendations from Piñon will fall to the 2 member committie of President Hawkins and Vice President Crowther. The hiring of additional staff isn’t over as Mr. Piñon has already stated that Legal Counsel and an additional HR firm will need to be hired to fix what is broken. Another very expense and time consuming item on Mr. Piñon’s agenda is a comp and class study to look at pay and wages.

Now we don’t know Mr Piñon and we hope he can accomplish everything he said he can, but knowing the track record of West Valley water over the last 8-10 years this just looks like more of the same and more wasted money being spent!

Image

Will Socialism Save Rialto?

Many of your local, state and federal leaders are leading the charge to throw the Rialto region into the arms of socialist leaders. Leading the charge is 47th Assembly District Woman Eloise Reyes. Eloise and her team of mini socialists are flooding the district pleading with young people to push the socialism king Bernie Sanders into the presidential race. Bernie Sanders is trying to sell his dream of fairness and equality with Free Education and Medicare for all to the masses.

The Washington Examiner posted and article about the woes of Medicare for all in Canada. The Canadian system is what Bernie Sanders has in mind for the United States Medicare for all. In the Canadian system people can not pay to have private insurance that would provide them quicker access to specialists and procedures. This is what Bernie Sanders plan has in mind for Americans as well.

In the Washington Examiner article “as a result, everyone must wait their turn for care paid for by the public system. Last year, Canadians faced a median wait of nearly 21 weeks to receive specialist treatment after getting referred by a general practitioner. Certain procedures come with longer waits. End-to-end, patients waited a median of 39 weeks for orthopedic surgery in 2019.”

Everyone remembers the train wreck Obama Care created with overcrowded hospitals and waiting rooms, a California website that took years to get off the ground and a lie of if you like your doctor and your plan you can keep them. After watching that hot mess of a health care fiasco Millennials claim to be craving more inept government control led by our failing leaders.

 

Former Officer Glen Anderson Gets Case Heard On Appeal

On November 6th former officer Glen Anderson took his lawsuit over wrongful termination to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Officer Glen Anderson’s case was dismissed on summary judgement and his legal team is seeking an appeal of that ruling to send his case before a jury.

Officer Anderson’s attorney does his best to nail down that the career of Officer Anderson was ended because the text he sent to James Freeman was then forwarded to Councilman Ed Scott. He works to show that all of the other cases leveled at Officer Anderson were because they could not legally fire Officer Anderson over the text messages alone.

The attorney for the City of Rialto claim that the claim that Officer Anderson was fired over a text message was false. The attorney for the city of Rialto states that nobody fired officer Anderson over Free Speech issues.

The text in question was sent to Political Consultant James Freeman who then in error sent that text message to Councilman Ed Scott. Once Councilman Ed Scott found out that Officer Glen Anderson was texting out the council he became irate. When speaking to Councilman O’Connell and former Councilman Ed Palmer at the time of the investigations there was a clear message that Officer Anderson needed to be dealt with over that text message.

We found the words of the Attorney for the city of Rialto puzzling because he claims that neither the Chief or Mike Story the City Manager had any knowledge of the K9 yard or its construction. The K9 yard was well known throughout the department and the community. The only way Chief Farrar or Deanda could claim not knowing about the K9 yard would be because they are lying or ignorant! City Administrator Mike Story sent years back where the K9 yard used to be located as he was on a mission to build Councilman Joe Baca Jr the 2nd most expensive park in the city Bud Bender park.

No matter if the 9th circuit allows this case go to a jury the people of Rialto should question the leadership of city hall and of the police department. Even no the current leadership of the police department allow people who broke more rules and laws continue to work and hold high ranking jobs within the Rialto Police Department still. The only difference between Glen Anderson and other officers is that the other officers protect Ed Scott and don’t hold him accountable. Remember this all started with a text message sent to Councilman Ed Scott!

Colton Joint Unified School District to appoint a new Superintendent

The Colton Joint Unified School District’s Board of Education today announced that it has begun the process to appoint a new Superintendent to replace long-time CJUSD leader Jerry Almendarez.


Almendarez, Superintendent of CJUSD the past nine years, accepted a position this week as the new superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified School District. He will begin his new duties Jan 1 and will remain Superintendent of CJUSD until then.


Almendarez became superintendent of CJUSD in November 2010. Focuses of his leadership include community involvement, collaboration, and seeking innovative ways to inspire student achievement and engagement. In addition to moving forward with an appointment process, the CJUSD Board also has a scheduled special meeting on Dec. 9 to discuss its goals, which set the district’s direction and priorities and are part of the superintendent’s evaluation process.


“We wish Superintendent Almendarez the very best and congratulate the Santa Ana school district on an excellent selection,” CJUSD Board President Joanne Thoring-Ojeda said. “We are also excited about continuing the outstanding work in our district to prepare all of our students for successful lives and to do that in the best, most effective ways possible.”


In 2013, Almendarez formed CJUSD’s Community Cabinet as part of his Purposeful Community project to bring the business, government, non-profit and educational communities together to work toward common goals such as preparing students for the workforce. Currently in its seventh year, the initiative pulls hundreds of members from a wide cross section of the community, informing them about district programs and engaging them in activities directly with students.


He co-presented this month at the EdSurge Fusion conference on the topic of “applying learning science to real classes and empowering students and educators,” along with a CJUSD principal and representatives from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning. In July, as part of the fourth cohort of TED-ED Innovative Educators, he delivered a talk on the topic, “Educational Inequities – identifying inequities within your own district and determining how to address them.”


“This was an extremely difficult decision,” Almendarez said. “CJUSD is more than the place where I work. It is home. My friends and colleagues here shaped my learning and growth as a professional. Our students and community inspire me to want to try my best to play a part in their success. And I know they will continue to thrive.”


Almendarez began his career in the Colton Joint Unified School District as a math teacher. Before becoming superintendent, he served as assistant superintendent of Human Resources and as director of Human Resources. Prior to that time he was a principal at Colton High School and an assistant principal. He also served as an adjunct professor for Azusa Pacific University and the University of Redlands, teaching courses in educational leadership for educators seeking their master’s degrees and/or administrative credentials. He represents East Valley superintendents on the San Bernardino County District Advocates for Better Schools (SANDABS) Executive Committee. Almendarez is also a product of the Colton Joint Unified School District. He received his K-12 education there, graduating from Colton High.


Read his personal message here: https://www.colton.k12.ca.us/Page/4866

Former West Valley Board President Betty Gosney Runs To Take Back Her Seat

Well Rialto it is that time again time to VOTE! Now we all thought we had a break from this since everyone keeps talking about 2020 and the big presidential race. Sorry some agencies out there still run their elections on off years.

Today we come to you with one of our Q&A segments on someone looking for your vote. This election is for West Valley Water District and its boundaries are all over the place landing in both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. There are two other seats up for election on November 5th with regards to West Valley Water. The 1st seat that is currently held by Director Kyle Crowther who is the Vice President on the board is up against two seasoned challengers. Former Board President Betty Gosney and Former Director Linda Gonzalez are running against Mr. Crowther.

This Q&A is simply a way for you to learn something you may not know about candidates seeking your vote. No matter who you choose please get out and cast your vote.

  1. Why do you feel qualified to sit on the West Valley Water Board?

I was a board member with West Valley water District for 13 years president of the board for two years I left there at the end of my term for health reason

  1. Are you aware of the boards changes to the open meeting laws over the last few years? How do you feel about those changes?

I am aware of most of the changes made by the board.  I don’t feel that they were in the interest of the District but the interest of the board at the time I don’t feel it was a good decision.

  1. What is your purpose for running for West Valley Water Board?

I would like to get back on this board.  A board that is a fair Board that does it’s job as it should be done not to micromanage.Not for self service.

  1. What is your political party affiliation?

This is a nonpartisan election. Political affiliation has no business as a board member for West Valley water District a board member should be open minded and fair to all.

  1. Have you taken any monetary or non-monetary support from large interest groups like unions or environmental groups? If not have you seeked out money or support and been denied?

I have never been denied money or support I’ve never ask I’ve never taken any monetary or non-monetary support from any group or any person nor any union or environmental groups I’ve never seeked  out money or support I have always been honest and work the best I could for what I thought was right in all things that I do.

  1. Are you being funded or supported by any current West Valley Water Board Members?

No I am not being funded by any current or past west valley water board member.

  1. What is your take on the corruption rumors floating around for the last 8 years?

I am only aware of corruption and or rumors in the past four years.

  1. Can you promise no new rate increases?

No I cannot promise no new rate increases, as rates were increased in 2013 due to a large increase in electric, gas,  which is needed to deliver water to our rate payers. Because of the raised  infrastructure all cost for the water  District had been raised we had no choice but to keep up with our expenses and as always cost to go up as does income.

  1. Do you support working to create a live broadcast of Board meetings and using a system to archive recorded meetings? Why?

Not sure about live Broadcast however not against it And yes meetings need to be recorded and saved. I do wish some of my past meetings were recorded.

  1. Do you support creating rules that bar board members from using West Valley staff and Water District marking materials in future election advertising?

No board member should ever use the staff district materials for any future elections or for any personal use.

  1. Any words you would like the Rialto Now readers to know about you?

 I feel I am an honest and fair person I’ve lived 74 years raised six boys have eight grand kids and 9 great grand kids they are my life.  I have spent several of my years working towards the betterment of my Surrounding areas. I have been on the Bloomington MAC for 20 some years still working towards the betterment of the county areas.

I encourage any ratepayer to email me at Gosneyb@gmail.com

Image

Meet Channing Hawkins A Candidate for West Valley Water District

Well Rialto it is that time again time to VOTE! Now we all thought we had a break from this since everyone keeps talking about 2020 and the big presidential race. Sorry some agencies out there still run their elections on off years.

Today we come to you with one of our Q&A segments on someone looking for your vote. This election is for West Valley Water District and its boundaries are all over the place landing in both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Channing Hawkins is running for seat #4 which covers the communities of Fontana and Rialto.

This Q&A is simply a way for you to learn something you may not know about candidates seeking your vote. No matter who you choose please get out and cast your vote.

  1. Why do you feel qualified to sit on the West Valley Water Board?

In regard to my background, I am a graduate of Howard University
undergraduate school and Law School. While in law school I learned about public
policy and the law-making process. I have worked for a local Congressman and
Assemblymember, where I focused on constituent services and local
government. My first encounter with our local water issues began in 2005, when I
worked with federal and state agencies to help remediate the perchlorate
problem in our local water system. Since then, I have worked largely as an
advocate for civil rights, particularly for seniors and other vulnerable populations.
In my current job, I monitor county, city and water district budgets. I strategize on
long- term planning and negotiate contractual agreements on behalf of their
workforce. Therefore, I am familiar with budgeting, operations and long-term
planning in public agencies like West Valley Water District. I understand the need
of competent and forward-thinking leaders in government, who are willing to
learn and adapt to the challenges faced in delivering a quality public resource. I
am also experienced in addressing and adapting to technological changes.

  1. Are you aware of the boards changes to the open meeting laws over the last few years? How do you feel about those changes?

Unfortunately, West Valley does not operate in a manner that allows for input
from its ratepayers. Water is our most critical public resource and I am dedicated
to ensuring the affordability, safety and reliability of our local water system.
However, the biggest issue facing West Valley Water District is corruption,
unnecessary lawsuits and kickback schemes. I have spoken with a number of
rate payers who believe enough is enough. Ratepayers know they are not
receiving the quality of water or service they deserve. If elected, I plan to make
West Valley Water District more transparent, accountable and provide local
employment opportunities.

  1. What is your purpose for running for West Valley Water Board?

I am a Rialto resident who has a family that is served by West Valley Water
District. My kids literally brush their teeth and bathe in the water daily. My
concern for our district starts with my family and other families like mine, who rely
on the water to be safe, affordable and reliable.

  1. What is your political party affiliation?

This is a nonpartisan election. I will work with Republicans, Democrats, decline to
state, or anyone other party affiliation, as long as they are committed to
affordable, reliable and sustainable water.

  1. Have you taken any monetary or non-monetary support from large interest groups like unions or environmental groups? If not have you seeked out money or support and been denied?

The average donation for my campaign has been just over $75.00. Most of my
support has been from small business owners, attorneys, sole proprietors and a
few labor organizations.  I have not accepted any  money from current West
Valley Board Members or consultants.

  1. Are you being funded or supported by any current West Valley Water Board Members?

No. Unlike my opponent, who has received over 95% of his support from current
board members or consultants. I have refused endorsement or support from any
of the current board members.

  1. What is your take on the corruption rumors floating around for the last 8 years?

West Valley Water District ratepayers know that we deserve better. It is time to
put an end to the corruption, unnecessary lawsuits, financial mismanagement,
and shady hiring practices.  It is ridiculous that they spend over nearly $130
million a year with little to show for it. If elected, I plan to make the West Valley
more transparent, accountable and provide local employment opportunities.

  1. Can you promise no new rate increases?

I will not raise rates. I believe all budget matters should have hearing in local
community’s local communities, so ratepayers can have input on the budget and
help to set priorities for the district

  1. Do you support working to create a live broadcast of Board meetings and using a system to archive recorded meetings? Why?

Yes. My two biggest concerns regarding West Valley Water District are transparency and
accountability.  By live streaming and televising the meetings ratepayers like you can
have access to the meetings. I believe we should have budget hearings in the local
communities, so ratepayers can have input on the budget and help to set priorities for
the district. I also believe we should have an email alert system, so ratepayers like you
know when there is an issue with our system. I also believe in accountability at West
Valley Water District. We need to implement fair and open hiring practices, create new

financial controls and change board policy regarding contracting.  There has been zero
action by any of the board members to make West Valley more transparent or
accountable.

  1. Do you support creating rules that bar board members from using West Valley staff and Water District marking materials in future election advertising?

Absolutely.

  1. Any words you would like the Rialto Now readers to know about you?

Ratepayers are tired of the corruption and mismanagement at West Valley Water
District. We can't expect different results with any of the current
board members. Ratepayers need someone who will clean up the mess. The
power is in your hands to make a change at West Valley this November
5th. Vote Channing Hawkins for change.

I encourage any ratepayer to call me at directly at (909) 265-4418 or email channinghawkins2019@gmail.com. For more information www.channinghawkins.com.

Previous Older Entries