City of Rialto Chooses New City Manager After 2 Year Search

Photo from the OC register

Since December 2017 Rialto has been without a permanent City Administrator. There have been three men to fill the top seat on a temporary basis as the Rialto City Council made poor choices that have moved us closer and closer to financial disaster.

First to fill the seat was Assistant City Administrator Robb Steel he lasted for a short stint prior to looking to take a step back into his old role. Then the City Council brought back  Ahmad Ansari, a former public works director and city engineer, as interim city administrator. The most recent person to fill the interim chair is Rialto Fire Chief Sean Grayson.

The spot at City Administrator isn’t the only position to sit without a permanent place holder over the last few years. As the city ignores the looming reality of the unfunded pension liabilities and private vendettas are allowed to hurt employees from bad leaders the city has struggled with attracting new talent. This has shown in the length of time it took to fill this position as well as Police Chief and the fact that is took two years to find a finance director. There have also been jobs in public works and code enforcement that the city offered employment to people and those people turned the city down!

One thing that all Rialto residents and business owners should pay close attention to is the cost of this salary. The article we wrote in the Rialto Record December of 2018 still rings true today. Rialto is spending money it doesn’t have and next years budget which starts in one month is going to be a HOT mess. Your Rialto City Council have spent MILLIONS on raises for employees that we can’t afford.

I say all this to show you how little your city council cares about the taxpayers!

Rod Foster worked as the city manager for the city of Colton, not really the beacon of innovation and clearly not a city to model after. Mr Foster then followed Eileen Gomez to the city of Laguna Niguel. Rod Foster spent ruffly four years at the city of Laguna Niguel and left at the same time as his assistant city administrator. Now Rod Foster may be a very nice man nothing here is to say he isn’t, the problem is can Rialto afford a City Administrtor at the tune of a quarter of a million dollars a year? Rod Foster the new city administrator and Mark Kling the Chief of Police make half a million dollars in Salary alone!!!!

Now you would think that there was a lot of discussion on this appointment and the other top candidates names were presented right? Nope they acted like this effort was a simple, everyday line item and passed this without any explanation or discussion. After the quick motion and second then the comments came. Mayor Robertson spoke about some special trip to Mommie Helens Bakery and her sole reason for picking Rod Foster was his sweet tooth! Ed Scott even more childishly asked Rod Foster to protect him from the many people that Ed Scott has upset over the years, maybe if Ed Scott doesn’t sue Rod Foster he may protect him!

In Rod Fosters defense community members like Gary Grossich and Eileen Gomez have nothing but positive things to say about Rod Foster. These are marks in his favor but why would someone like Rod Foster want to come to Rialto?

To make matters worse Rialto still has no plan on how to deal with $150 Million in unfunded liabilities!! They are still waiting for magic money to fall from the sky! Mark my words bankruptcy or insane tax increases are right around the corner!

Here is what the contract says on the Agenda:

The following provides a summary of key provisions of the proposed employment agreement with Mr. Foster:

 

•                     Salary:  Annual salary would be $240,000 annually.

 

•                     At-will nature of employment: The position of city administrator is an at-will position serving at the pleasure of the City Council.

 

•                     Term: A term of 5 years, which can be extended by the parties for 1 year following a positive performance evaluation.

 

•                     Severance: If Mr. Foster is terminated without cause, then he will be entitled to severance as follows:

 

0-6 months with City                                          monthly salary times 18

6-24 months with City                                          monthly salary times 12

After 24 months with City                                          monthly salary times 6

 

If terminated for cause, Mr. Foster would not be entitled to payment of any severance.

 

•                     Benefits:

 

o                     The benefits would generally consistent with those of the City’s department heads, except as specified in the employment agreement.

 

o                     Vacation leave: Provided 120 hours up front. Thereafter, accrual would be at the rate of 6.15 hours per pay period.

 

o                     Sick leave:  Provided 120 hours up front. Thereafter, accrual would be at the rate of 10 hours per month.

 

o                     Administrative leave: 140 hours per year.

 

o                     Deferred compensation: $750 per month.

 

o                     Vehicle: Provided a City-vehicle for business and incidental personal use.

 

o                     Educational incentive: 7.5% of regular base salary based on master’s degree (same as provided to eligible City department heads).

 

o                     CalPERS: Mr. Foster would be enrolled in the City’s 2% at 62 retirement plan consistent with the requirements of state retirement law for “new” CalPERS members. The employee contribution under this plan is presently 8%.

 

o                     Health insurance coverage and retiree health: Same as for department heads.

 

o                     Relocation reimbursement: Up to $8,500 if Mr. Foster moves to San Bernardino County and within 25 miles of City Hall within 2 years.

 

o                     Life insurance: Benefit amount equivalent to 2x amount provided to department heads.

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Two Dead Bodies Found in Rialto Neighborhood

Photo of crime scene at Sycamore and Jackson Streets from Loud Labs IE

RIALTO (LoudLabs News)

On Saturday morning, April 27, 2019, the Rialto Police Department along with the City of Rialto Fire Department responded to reports of a two people down. The incident was reported around 6:19am in the 100 block of E. Jackson Street.

When Officers arrived they located two males, down in the front yards of two different addresses, roughly 200 feet apart. Both victims were pronounced deceased at the scene. Homicide Detectives as well as the Coroner’s Office were just arriving at the scene around 8:30am.

Police investigators working the crime scene where 2 dead bodies were found on the corner of Sycamore and Jackson Streets photo from Loud Labs IE

Details surrounding the two deaths are limited as Police will only say they are conducting a death investigation. No further information was immediately available.

Why are murders and deaths on the rise in Rialto?

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City of Rialto Website Goes Down

In the age of technology where we get all of our information it hurts when a website goes down, but outside of the Covered California website most of the time government websites are pretty bullet proof. Well since this morning the Rialto City website had a blue screen advertising other websites and stating that the City of Rialto’s domain had expired!!!

We called down to city hall to find out it wasn’t until an employee went onto the website that anyone was aware! This begs to question is the cities website domain available for purchase? We were curious so we went over to square space to find out. This is what we found:

So the cities domain name is good for now but this still means that if you need to access any information or phone numbers for the city you are at a loss and have to go down to an already understaffed city hall!!! We reached out to Mayor Robertson who said at the time we reached out that she was just made aware of the situation. City staffer Angela said that IT has been notified but gave no ETA for when the website would be back up!

If you are having website issues don’t let your website get pulled down and loose valuable time and money have our friends over at Mass Atom Studios help you with your website needs!

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Rialto City Hall Hemorrhages High Ranking Staff

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

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

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

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

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

Feeding America Riverside / San Bernardino To Open Kid’s Market at Local Corona School 3/27

Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino (FARSB) announced it will begin providing a free farmer’s style monthly Kid’s Market (KM) starting Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at Norco-Corona Unified School District’s Parkridge Elementary School at 750 Corona Ave., in Corona.

 

FARSB and local leaders will kick-off the new program with a ribbon cutting ceremony, open to community members with proper identification, at the school starting at 10:15 a.m. The ceremony will be immediately followed by a food distribution where each child will take home an average of 10-15 pounds of nutrient-rich product, including fresh produce.

Each KM provides fresh fruits and vegetables supplemented with other healthy shelf stable foods to at-risk children and their families who might not otherwise be able to afford such nutritious foods. Students receive a bag filled with locally grown produce and other food products once per month on a day that school is in session for the academic school year.

Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino has collaborated with school administrative staff and teachers to promote the upcoming distribution to children and their parents and assist support the school as they recruit and manage volunteers (often school staff, older students and family members of students).

“There is great news,” said FARSB Director of Philanthropy Lori Butler. “One in five children is food insecure in the Inland Empire, whereas, just last year that figure was one in four children at risk of going hungry every day. These Kid’s Markets are designed to impact our communities and see that more children and families are being fed that might otherwise fall through the cracks.”

An additional Kid’s Market was opened by FARSB last week at E. Neal Roberts Elementary School in San Bernardino.

“While tens of thousands of families, including those served by FARSB’s more than 400 community partners in the Inland Empire, are receiving meals through our regular distribution programs, many of the poorest and hungriest children slip through the cracks. The KM program targets children by working at public schools where we find the highest percentage of children receiving free/reduced-price meals during the school week,” said Vanessa Mercado, Director of Programs at FARSB.

“By focusing our attention on how access to healthy foods affects educational outcomes, we are creating a holistic approach in supporting our community’s kids. Hunger causes a myriad of problems for students like missing class, inhibited cognitive and developmental growth and even poor academic performance. The Kid’s Market is a program that addresses these issues and removes one of the main hurdles to academic success for our Inland Empire kids, regular access to nutritional food,” added Mercado.

To RSVP for the ribbon cutting or for more information please contact Vanesa Mercado: vmercado@feedingamericaie.org.

 

About Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino

Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino began in 1980 as Survive Food Bank in response to the increasing concern about the dual problems of hunger and food waste in the Inland Empire. Today, FARSB is the primary source of food for over 400 local nonprofit organizations, distributing over 2 million pounds of food monthly to emergency food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, high-need elementary schools, halfway houses, senior centers, residential treatment centers, shelters for the abused, after school programs and group homes. More than 100,000 men, women and children,  rely on the food bank’s distribution center each month to make ends meet.

Rialto City Council Member Threatens Legal Action Against Interm City Administrator and City Attorney

On March 12th 2019 the Rialto City Council held yet another episode of As Rialto Turns. Apparently Iterm City Manager Shaun Grayson and City Attorney Fred Galante gave Councilman Ed Scott a recommendation that he abstain from TAB 1 on the city council agenda because the tab item touched on his area of residence.

This enraged Councilman Ed Scott as he is not accustomed to being told what to do. What is funny is this was only a recommendation it was not an order, but Ed Scott took it as he was being forced to abstain. Mr Scott brought up the reason as to why he would not be involved in this tab item but wouldn’t go into detail about why he believed this was taking place short of claiming it was political and was clear in the staff report.

What was even more surprising was how quickly Ed Scott shut down City Attorney Fred Galante’s attempt to explain his recommendation and adding “I don’t care to hear your reason” as the city attorney tried to explain his actions. What is funny when Councilman Ed Scott is being sued our money and attorneys are fine to give him legal advise as long as he agrees with it.

To add insult to injury Ed Scott voted NO on every other single tab item outside on the tab item presented by Rialto Fire (the union that paid to get him re elected). We are not sure why Ed Scott decided to try and derail over 6 million in much needed infrastructure projects even a $49,000 item for Emergency Slope Repairs at the Rialto Waste Water Treatment Plant. So Ed Scott was mad at the City Attorney and Interm City Administrator but shouldn’t he be able to grow up and at least vote for emergency repairs to our Waste Water Treatment Plant!!!

Look to our next story as we outline how staff are fleeing Rialto City Hall in droves and what this says about Rialto’s future!

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New Fire Prevention Specialist Richard Boltinghouse Joins Rialto Fire

Richard Boltinghouse joins the Rialto Fire Department Family from the City of Chino Hills where he served as the Emergency Services Coordinator. He was responsible for development of their Emergency Operation Plans, Hazard Mitigation Plan, and training for city staff for ICS/NIMS/SEMS.

Prior to working for the City of Chino Hills, Richard worked for the City of Corona Fire Department where he had almost seven years of combined employment and volunteer service. At Chino Hills, he served as an Emergency Management and CERT Technician. Richard currently resides in the City of Corona with his wife Christina and their 5-year-old daughter Faithlyn.

Richard has a bachelor’s degree in fire and emergency management from Kaplan University and a master’s degree in public administration from Cal Baptist University according to his Linkden profile.

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