Spelling Out Rialto’s Financial Future Without The Utility Tax

Rialto is in a very critical point in our cities existence and many may be looking to the incoming development as a saving windfall. We are here to tell you that this isn’t the case Rialto is in a tough spot and its going to take everyone doing their jobs to get us through it.

The reason we say everyone doing their jobs is right now some staff and the community are the only ones stepping up to the plate and if the rest of the players don’t figure that out, own their bad and get on board with getting things back on track it is going to spell disaster.

Here are the players as we see it and what they need to do to get things moving the right way:

  1. The Community – This group of people have been doing a lion share of the heavy lifting. Most people believe they have no recourse and they must accept bad leadership and money mismanagement. This is not the case even though we may be on a certain leaders team it never hurts to remind those leaders we support we can no longer give them blanket support for a laundry list of bad calls. You can see how the city council is fracturing as they all split off to their specific groups and ask for help with dealing with the others. When it comes to the Utility Users Tax the community can’t support TAX AND SPEND Liberals in such high majorities when voting and then look at a tax that actually provides us services we all say we want to keep as a bad thing.
  2. The City Council – I have never been a fan of forming a consensus I believe it leads to to many back room deals and excludes the community at large as a few key power groups ideology reigns supreme. Yet on this issue I see it as juvenile to allow the whole city to suffer just to make a political point. I say this because the issue of declaring a financial emergency still hangs in the balance and is holding up Rialto’s ability to see where we are going over the next 10 years. City Council is playing political chicken with our future, information that has come from staff says that City Council is having an issue declaring a state of emergency because we still have a healthy surplus. A surplus that will only afford Rialto a 6 month time frame of stability if the worse was ever to happen. It seems like City Council wants us to be broke and defaulting on loans before we do anything to right our unstable future. I don’t know anyone that would look at their personal or business finances and see a real financial avalanche heading their way and not do anything within reason to stop what seems to be inevitable. One of City Councils epic failures was the 3% at 50 PERS offering. According to sources to help with employee retention Councilman Ed Scott brought this in. Now this program is no longer offered to new employees but employees already in this program have it no matter what.
  3. The Mayor – Mayor Robertson has done a very good job of pushing the blame for failures onto other people or pretending that things are better than they really are. Mayor Robertson is the biggest holdout when it comes to declaring a state of financial emergency in this city and this isn’t the 1st time she has pulled this stunt. Four years ago she pulled the same stunt as she threw a tantrum and asked public safety to make massive concessions like no longer being able to cash out comp, sick, holiday or vacation time, $300 cut in uniform allowance and no raise. Now she is taking things a step further as now Mayor Robertson wants to once again ask Public Safety to forgo a raise, loose all special assignment pay and take everyone back one full step in pay. Remember this is the same Mayor that wanted to give herself a massive raise for a very part time job.
  4. Staff – Staff plays a big role in what is going on here since they seem incapable of giving the Council, Mayor and Community a true and honest look at the consequences of staff recommended actions. Many times staff have fallen on the sword for the Mayor and City Council to shield them from the consequences of their actions. Yes staff works hard and puts in long hours but when they keep the truth from the community or shield the electeds from the consequences of their actions they sully all the hard work they have put in.
  5. City Attorney – Some day we will have a city attorney that doesn’t rip us off (Jimmy Gutierrez) and we will have one that has the testicle fortitude to stand in the gap and advocate for the community rather than cover up for the Council and Mayor. In one case the city has spent $720,000 already in defending the city in a legal case that could have been fixed had someone stopped everyone’s egos. Also the City Attorney needs to remind the Mayor that giving away buildings to friends and political allies is a slippery slope to gifting of public funds. We are not saying this is the case but a property on Riverside Ave in Downtown seems to have changed ownership without any other public consideration and it has a lot of people scratching their heads.

 

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What is going on at West Valley Water???

Let me first off say that if you are a customer of West Valley Water you have to be concerned with your water provider being able to provide you with clean drinking water. Why would I say this? The entire time Clifford Young has been a Director of West Valley Water he has used West Valley funds to investigate and sue people who refuse to fall in line with his rule. Here is a short and not complete list of people he has spent rate payers money eithier investigating or suing since 2014:

  • Butch Ariza – Former West Valley Water GM and Candidate for the board Clifford used rate payer money to investigate if Mr. Ariza was legally allowed to run for the elected seat. Normally this is left to the Registrar of Voters but since Mr. Young hated Mr. Ariza he took matters into his own hands.

  • Board Member Alan Dyer – Mr. Dyer is another person that refused to go along with Clifford Young and his antics so he too was investigated with rate payer money on the validity of his residence. Now you may say this was more appropriate but no. When local Rialto City Council member Deborah Robertson investigated the validity of her fellow Council member Ed Palmer’s residence she sued him personally no taxpayer money was used.
  • Redwing and Sherill – Since this company was not connected to Mr. Young and his closest campaign contributors money and time was wasted looking over a long series of paid and unpaid bills.

  • The entire 2017 Executive Board – Given no public explanation even though the board members have publicly asked for one Dr. Clifford Young,Sr. has refused to justify yet another misuse of public funds as he descends onto another personal witch hunt.

The main constant here is that all of these Investigations or Suits have amounted to NOTHING!!!! Dr. Clifford Young,Sr. has not produced one shred of public evidence that these actions were warranted and no actions have come from the misuse of public funds. Normally when money is spent from the public funds there is some report able action that comes along even if it is a net loss something is brought forward. Not in the world of Mr. Young he uses the public’s funds at his own desire with no public accountability.
Here are a few more times where Mr. Young has repeatably taken liberties with the public’s funds:
  • Sources report that Mr. Young has all of his fellow directors book hotel stay’s and conference registrations with his personal credit card so that he can stack up extra cash back bonus points. Then he and the other directors are reimbursed from the Water District leaving Mr. Young with a windfall of cash back points. You may say who cares they don’t go to that many things right? WRONG they pad their pockets by attending meaningless meetings and functions so that they can earn more money. They are paid a fixed amount per event they attend on behalf of the Water District no matter how long they stay. Instead of using a district credit card to pay for expenses, Young uses his personal credit card for such expenses so he could earn credit rewards and Marriott points. It led to former district CFO Suzanne Cook being fired after bringing the matter to Young’s attention. Cook sued the district in July, and the case is still pending, court records show. (Sun)
  • Clifford Young is now on his fourth General Manager and Third Legal Counsel Firm in the four years since he has been a Director with West Valley Water. Let me tell you these contracts are not cheap to begin with and the clauses for removing them before their contract is up isn’t cheap either.
  • Since Mr. Young has been on the board he has not only raised Directors ability to make more money but has further limited the communities ability to interact with the Water Board click here to read more.
  • Lawsuits Clifford Young and West Valley Water currently find themselves up against the future liability of workplace harassment lawsuits as spelled out by Hardy Brown Senior (click here)
  • Six figure no-bid contracts are awarded to friends of the board.
  • Young routinely forced staff to hire colleagues from his former job at CSUSB, including paying one a salary of $260,000 a year with no job description.
  • Young regularly expensed alcohol and charged it to the agency & regularly expensed meals for his wife and charged the agency against policy. (click here)

What we found alarming when we first began reporting on West Valley Water and the mess that resides in the Elected body was the strong desire to control the release of information about what is going on there. Board Director Greg Young once tried to have Joise Gonzales the local Board Supervisor to silence us (see here) add to that the constant threats by Clifford Young to Sue Us for slander (never happened) there is a strong move to silence the media going on here and now we see why.

For the longest time Clifford Young was able to keep under the radar of bigger media sources (even though we tried hard to nudge them into looking into West Valley’s actions). Well with the recent elections where Clifford Young was able to fully secure 4 out of 5 board seats on the West Valley Board and has his eye on getting Mr. Olinger out of the Board in the coming election to secure complete control he forgot that his friend and now board director Mike Taylor has already secured a steady stream of media attention with his actions in Baldwin Park. Mr Young also lost sight of Mr Taylors bad deeds seeping into Rialto:

  1. When Baldwin Park rehired Michael Taylor as its police chief, the city included a provision in his contract that makes him exceedingly difficult to fire. Taylor can only be terminated from his $234,000-a-year job, according to the agreement, if he commits a felony. Baldwin Park leaders also prohibited themselves from giving Taylor annual performance evaluations. The agreement allows the council to place Taylor on administrative leave — but with pay. The contract term is only for one year. But if the council doesn’t renew it, Taylor gets a severance package worth three months’ salary.
  2. Taylor was recently elected board member at West Valley Water District in Rialto, about 39 miles from Baldwin Park, soon after returning as police chief. One of Taylor’s first actions as a new director on Dec. 7 was to vote for a new attorney to serve the district: Robert Tafoya, the Baldwin Park city attorney who weeks earlier presented the chief’s employment contract to that city’s council for approval.
  3. Taylor has taken money from a drug operation in Baldwin Park where he is the police chief to fund his campaign for West Valley Water Board. Taylor who received help from local republican and tea party groups on his campaign are the same groups who claim to be against drug legalization in California.
  4. Taylor is also accused of moving money around as a way to cover the origins of said money. In another story by the legal lens businesses that are known for using campaign contributions as a way to secure favorable contrasts within the city of Baldwin Park are now spending money here in the West Valley Water Races.
  5. A person of interest in the character assassination of Kareem Gongora when Kareem was running for special election for Fontana Unified School Board is the listed Treasurer for Mike Taylor. The same campaign that shifted money around and took drug money to win a campaign.
  6. Board President Clifford Young has misappropriated public funds and routinely engages in unfair hiring practices, with no regard to staff concerns and district policies and procedures. (Sun)
  7. Young, according to a memo, demanded the district hire people that he worked with at Cal State San Bernardino or had personal affiliations with. (Sun)
  8. Young awarded no-bid contracts to friends, including political lobbyist William Lowery and public relations expert Patrick O’Reilly. Additionally, Young received more than $42,000 in reimbursement for travel, meals and incidentals and more than $43,000 in director fees. He does not provide line item receipts to “ensure that the district is not paying for prohibited expenses such as alcohol,” (Sun)

So Rialto you have one question to ask yourselves. Why do we keep accepting this type of behavior and failed leadership? Don’t the people of West Valley Water deserve better? Where is the DA’s of Riverside, San Bernardino and LA Counties at? Are they going to allow failed leadership to break the rules with ZERO accountability?

 

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Assembly Woman Reyes Gas Tax Set To Hit the Pockets of Poor People in the 47th District

So as California Democrats wage war on Donald Trump and gas powered cars they seem to forget who they promised to protect, the poor and the little guy. The party that claims to be for the little guy has a bill that promises to stick it to you every single day.

Earlier this year actually all in one week a bill was drafted that would raise gas prices and vehicle regisration was pushed through the State Assembly and Senate then the Gov. jumped up and signed it right away. This tax like so many others was sold as the savior to our states broken roads yet all it was nothing more than yet another way for Democrats to pad their pockets and payoff campaign contributors. The bill was co-authored by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) and Assembly Member Jim L. Frazier Jr. (D-Discovery Bay) so you may be asking why would we lay this on Assembly Member Eloise Reyes front step? Well there are plenty of reasons:

  1. For eight years former Assembly Member Cheryl Brown refused to vote for a bill that spent money on things other than roads even though the tax led people to believe that was the purpose.
  2. Former Assembly Member Cheryl Brown saw that a tax like this hurt the hard working people of her district.
  3. Former Assembly Member Cheryl Brown knew that there would be effects that people would not realize until it was too late. One of those would be the increased cost of delivering goods to stores.
  4. Eloise Reyes told people who worked on her campaign that she voted yes on this bill because the Gov. threatened to take away future money if she didn’t.
  5. One of the largest reasons for this tax is the assault of any car in California. Democrats are working hard to force you out of your car and into mass transit. They are creating yet another class war where poor and middle class wont have access to cars but the rich elite will.

Under Senate Bill No. 1, the gasoline tax will increase by 12 cents, from 18 cents to 30 cents per gallon, the excise tax on diesel fuel will rise 20 cents, to 36 cents per gallon; the sales tax on diesel will also go up by 4 percent, to 9.75 percent.

As part of the legislation, motorists will also have to pay an annual vehicle fee, though that doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2018. The fees range from $25 for cars worth less than $5,000 to $175 for those valued at more than $60,000.

Additionally, a $100 annual fee on electric vehicles will be imposed on owners in lieu of gas taxes beginning on July 1, 2020.

Earlier this month in Riverside, Gov. Jerry Brown, at lectern, speaks in favor of the gas tax increase with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), left of Brown, and state Senate leader Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), right of Brown. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

None of this money will go to expanding any freeways, 40 percent will go to mass transit (Gov. Brown’s Bullet Train to Nowhere) and parks (not transportation related). Millions of dollars in tax money did go out in the form of payoffs to legislators to buy their votes some as close as Riverside County. So local Assembly members are so poor at their job and weak under pressure that they blindly vote or allow themselves to be bullied by Gov. Brown.

Isn’t it time we have someone represent us that will stand in the GAP for us and not cower at Gov. Brown?

Make sure you fill up your gas tank before Novemeber 1st because after that the cost of taking kids to school, going to work, running errands and visiting family will cost you more and more.

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West Valley Water Board Race Nasty As Ever

It seems as though nothing has changed when it comes to providing clean drinking water to 11 cities in 2 counties.

You may remember a few years ago when we covered corruption and misuse of funds on the West Valley Water District Board of Directors. Then Councilman Shawn O’Connell a resident of the water district called out blatant areas where funds were being misused, board members were being bullies and political lines were being drawn in the sand. It became so bad that groups that previously supported Councilman O’Connell threatened to pull their support of him if he didn’t stop his questions of board member Clifford Young.

Now Clifford Young is running for re-election and he is looking to buy residents votes, spreading lies about other candidates and turing on those who once supported him.

One Candidate and the former General Manager of West Valley Water posted this on his social media page earlier this week:

I’d like to respond to some of the attacks that have come out recently against Linda Gonzalez and myself. They are lies, plain and simple.

I’m proud of my 35 years of management of the district. During my time as manager we built two water treatment plants. We kept the water supply safe, despite the discovery of perchlorate pollution. Rates may have gone up in 2013 but that was because we refused to raise rates at all during the economic recession following 2009, and despite the rate increases our district’s water rates are lower than both Rialto and Fontana’s water rates. If the district had been mismanaged for 35 years, we wouldn’t be able to say any of that.

Regarding the claims made about Linda Gonzalez, I’ll just say this. I can provide anyone with records of Freedom of Information Act requests made to the district which show that in the last three years Linda Gonzalez has been paid $34,000 for her work on the board. In that same time Clifford Young was paid $97,000 for carrying out the same job. He did this by going to as many “business” lunches and trips as possible and by gaming the system to get extra perks.

So who is really trying to take all the money they can from the district? Butch Arizia.

Mr. Arizia is right he did an excellent job as the General Manager for West Valley Water. Not only did the Water District not steal millions from rate payers like Rialto Water did to clean up Perchlorate from the ground water. Rialto Water charged the residents Millions to clean up the water then spent over 50 million (Tax Money)on attorneys to sue the people responsible then settled for pennies on the dollar. Mr. Arizia also kept West Vally water from making a monumental mistake that would have done extreme damage to West Valley Water. When the Rialto City Council was forced to remove American Water as the preferred company to handle the selling off of a utility the council went to West Valley and more importantly Butch Arizia to see if West Valley wanted to step in. Butch Arizia took one look at the contract and knew it was a poorly put together plan that made delivering on the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) impossible. He was right because Rialto Water customers still have water that is hard to drink, skyrocketing water rates and none of the Capital Projects completed and many are way behind schedule over 5 years later.

Another former General Manager from West Valley Water who worked under the regime of Clifford Young left and when we bumped into him he was beyond happy to be out of West Valley Water and out from under certain people’s thumbs.

One of our favorite stories we wrote on Clifford Young was when new board members were sworn in and Clifford Young took this opportunity to change the rules of open meetings making it harder for the public to address their elected officials. Another one we enjoyed was when Clifford Young ripped into water employees.

Some people are claiming that Clifford Young is buying votes with his latest campaign ad (see below).

If purchasing your vote isn’t bad remember Clifford Young is the person most responsible for giving support to Rafael Trujillio the Councilman from Rialto that worked behind the scenes to turn Rialto into a sanctuary city putting millions of dollars in Federal grants in jeopardy.

Cities that west valley water works in are:

CITY OF BLOOMINGTON, CITY OF COLTON, CITY OF FONTANA, CITY OF GRAND TERRACE, CITY OF HIGHGROVE, CITY OF JURUPA VALLEY, CITY OF MUSCOY, CITY OF RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CITY OF RIALTO, CITY OF RIVERSIDE & CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO

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Over $71 Thousand Donated to Fontana School Board Candidate

A collection of campaign contributions have come in for Fontana School Board member Mars Serna. Over $71 Thousand in campaign contributions have come in for a special election against one other person community advocate Kareem Gongora.

Now we all know that elections need money and normally the people giving money want something in return. So what do the people donating to Mars Serna’s campaign want? Well let’s look at who is donating:

  • Burrtec Waste Industries $20,000
  • Phil Cothran $4,579.38
  • Clifford Young Sr. $1,000
  • Constance Young $5,000
  • Academics in Art Charter $40,000
  • South Highland Management $500

Now what would a trash provider get out of donating to a small school board seat? Maybe a sweet deal on a contract? Even bigger than that is the $40 thousand dollars coming from a Charter School in Orange County believe us when we tell you this money does not come without massive strings attached.

This election is a special election that once the election is over and the winner is sworn in they will have less than a year until their seat is up for re-election. The real story here is a power grab by Warehouse Warren (aka Fontana Mayor Aquenetta Warren) she has two votes that will do her bidding on the School Board and since her third puppet is now on Fontana City Council she needs another one. Her pick is Mars Serna.

Speaking to Kareem Gongora the other candidate in this election isn’t taking donations like these he is relying on family, friends and the community to send him to the Fontana Board not large corporations and Charter Schools.

We have asked Mars Serna to sit down with us and he refuses so I guess he would rather leave us to make up our own minds about these dirty campaign contributions.

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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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Poll Question on Warehouses?

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