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.

West Valley Water Hires More Of Mike Taylor’s Friends From Baldwin Park

Water Board Director Mike Taylor who has been accused of stacking West Valley Water with all of his dirty friends from Baldwin Park. Since the last election where Clifford Young gained near full control of all board members there has been a push to get rid of people who refuse to get in line with an out of control and abusive Board of Directors.

Prior to hiring the political friends of Board Member Mike Taylor Board Member Clifford Young hired his own friends from Cal State San Bernardino. So when we found out that more Baldwin Park Council Members & Former Cal State San Bernardino employees.

A Press Release that Board Member Greg Young posted under the guise of “transparency” is full of admissions of continued favoritism and abuse of normal hiring practices.

“West Valley Water District (WVWD), after a thorough public search that resulted in 25 applicants and multiple interviews, is pleased to announce the appointments of an Assistant General Manager and Chief Financial Officer, who were approved by the Board of Directors on March 29.”

West Valley Water may have taken applications for these positions but sources close to the main office know what it takes to get a job at West Valley and it isn’t fair and open to everyone. The path to obtaining a job is a long list of who you know, can you do as your told without question and do I owe you a favor. What people should know is that in its self is not enough to keep you employed you must go along with the will of Clifford Young no matter what.

“Ricardo Pacheco was named WVWD’s Assistant General Manager. He will oversee external affairs and begins work at the District in the first week of April.”

“In a whistleblower lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court this week, plaintiff David Salcedo alleges he was subject to harassment and retaliation during his brief tenure as chief. He said he was eventually fired when he refused to do favors for Councilman Ricardo Pacheco and complained about the requests.” LA Times Sept 2017

“Salcedo says he refused a request from Councilman Pacheco in March to fix a ticket. According to the suit, the councilman was incensed and eventually hung up on the chief while discussing the issue on the telephone. The lawsuit also claims Pacheco requested other favors, such as towing a truck that was legally parked, posting no-parking signs in violation of city laws and sending a patrol car to investigate a vacant house on the elected official’s street.” LA Times Sept 2017

Richard Pacheco was named Assistant Manager for West Valley Water the same person you see referenced above supporting Police Cheif/West Valley Water Board Member Mike Taylor’s never before seen no fire contract. This isn’t the 1st person Mike Taylor has brought from Baldwin Park he also brought Baldwin Park City Attorney  Robert Tafoya who wrote Mike Taylor’s bullet proof employment contract with the city of Baldwin Park.

Clifford Young has Mike Taylor run – Mike Taylor wins and gives Clifford access to his vote.

Robert Tafoya writes Mike Taylor a bullet proof contract – Mike Taylor walks Robert Tafoya into West Valley Water.

Looks like the path to employment at West Valley Water is like entering a crime family. It is less about what you can do for the Water District and more about what you can do for the Board of Directors.

 

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:

West Valley Water District (WVWD), after a thorough public search that resulted in 25 applicants and multiple interviews, is pleased to announce the appointments of an Assistant General Manager and Chief Financial Officer, who were approved by the Board of Directors on March 29.

Ricardo Pacheco, who works as a project manager for Caltrans and ITT Corp., was named WVWD’s Assistant General Manager. He will oversee external affairs and begins work at the District in the first week of April.

Pacheco holds an engineering degree from California State University, Los Angeles. He has worked as Director of Public Works for the city of South Gate, Calif., an associate engineer for Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and a project manager for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Pacheco is in his fifth term as a councilman in Baldwin Park, where he has been instrumental in drawing redevelopment to the city.

Naisha Davis was appointed as the District’s Chief Financial Officer. She is a Certified Public Accountant, holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, San Bernardino, and is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Rialto.

For the last nine years, Davis has served as the accounting manager for Lifestream Blood Bank, where she oversaw an $80 million budget and all financial operations, including annual budget preparation, forecasting and cost control. She previously worked as the accounting and human resources manager at Caseworx Inc. in Redlands, Calif.

“Both of our new managers bring with them a depth of experience in their respective fields that will be a valuable asset to West Valley Water District,” General Manager Robert Christman said. “With Ricardo Pacheco’s knowledge of engineering and local government and Naisha Davis’ work in the non-profit sector, they round out a talented team that will contribute to the continued success of the District.”

The appointees were selected from field of applicants after the job openings were posted and advertised. The successful candidates were interviewed and vetted by a Board committee to ensure their competence and ability to support WVWD’s mission and values.

Are the West Valley Water Board Members Getting Paid Too Much?

As Rialto area tax payers are going to be asked to tax the living HELL out of themselves in June we thought is was time to once again start to air the dirty laundry of local officials. We also would like to remind you that each time these people ran for office they SAID they were running for the people  to have a transparent voice yet all they seem to be doing at West Valley Water is getting fat off of the ratepayers.

West Valley Water District Received my freedom of information act documents concerning amounts paid to board members for the months of January and February 2018.

January           February

Kyle Crowther      1176.00            1470.00

Michael Taylor    1470.00          1470.00

Greg Young          1323.00           1470.00

Don Olinger          588.00             735.00

Clifford Young    1470.00           1470.00

Total                     5439.00           6615.00

This of course is only for meetings they attended, in addition Clifford Young get 530 + each month for Long Term Care with Cal Pers which brings his monthly amount to $2000, Mr. Olinger gets closer to what board members have received in past years and in fact if a board member went over $5000 in a year they had to justify the exceeded amount.

Good thing WV has 34 million in the bank.

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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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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Comic Con Comes to the Inland Empire

 

For tickets to the Ontario event go to http://vor.us/99c4c

COMIC CON REVOLUTION COMES TO

THE ONTARIO CONVENTION CENTER

 

Ontario and the Inland Empire Get Their Very Own Comic Con at

The Ontario Convention Center in Ontario California Saturday May 13, 2017

 

Ontario, California March 8, 2017 – The Ontario Convention Center located at 2000 E Convention Center Way, Ontario, California will be the home of Comic Con Revolution.  The Inaugural 1-day event at the Ontario Convention Center will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017.  The show brings Heroes, Villains, Princesses, Pirates, Aliens and so much more to the Inland Empire.

Comic Con Revolution is an event for long time comic collectors as well as first timers and families who want to experience the excitement.  Hardcore fans will recognize many of the names on the guest list while families and first time comic convention attendees will quickly see what makes these events so much fun.

Attending comic cons can be expensive – we want to make it affordable.  Comic Con Revolution offers a variety of pricing options so that the entire family can enjoy the experience.  Adult tickets are $25, teen tickets (13-17 years-old) are $15 and kids 12 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.  One adult ticket allows for up to two free children’s ticket.

For tickets to the Ontario event go to http://vor.us/99c4c

“We are very excited to bring an authentic comic con experience to the City of Ontario and the Inland Empire community as a whole,“ said Atomic Crush Events co-founder Mike Scigliano.  He added, “The team behind Comic Con Revolution is working overtime to bring you an amazing experience.  Come join the revolution!”

“We are thrilled to welcome Atomic Crush Events to the Ontario Convention Center” said Michael Krouse, President and CEO, of Ontario Convention Center.   “Finally our very own Comic Con!  We know visitors to this event will be in for a treat with the planned program, exhibitors, and camaraderie of fellow collectors.”

Comic Con Revolution, a family friendly environment, will feature a full day of programming and events which includes panels featuring screenwriter Doug Jung who wrote the scripts for movies including Star Trek Beyond.  Other panels include creating comics, creator & comic spotlights, cosplay panels, kid’s panels, and capped off with a Cosplay Contest.  Our show floor will feature exhibitors & vendors who sell movie memorabilia, toys, t-shirts as well as full guest list of top industry talent.

For tickets to the Ontario event go to http://vor.us/99c4c

Guests currently scheduled to appear include Karl Altstaetter (Mirror), Tim Bradstreet (Marvel Comics Covers), Sandy King Carpenter (Producer Ghosts of Mars, Vampires), Matthew Clark (Injustice: Ground Zero), Mike Collins (ABC’s of Halloween), Neo Edmund (Clan of the Vein), Joshua Hale Fialkov (The Life After), Derek Fridolfs (Li’l Gothams), Joel Gomez (La Muerta), Steven Gordon (X-Men Evolution Animated Series), Travis Hanson (Life of the Party), Ray-Anthony Height (Midnight Tiger), Doug Jung (Screenwriter Star Trek Beyond, God Particle, Scalped), Scott Koblish (Deadpool), Mike Kunkel (Herobear), Hope Larson (Batgirl), Livesay (Dr. Strange), Scott Lobdell (Red Hood & the Outlaws), Pamela Lovas (Regular Show), Raychul Moore (Cosplayer & Gamer), Todd Nauck (Spider-Man), Whilce Portacio (Comic Legend), Livio Ramondelli (Transformers), Paolo Rivera (Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953), Patrick Scullin (Super Siblings), Beth Sotelo (Grump), Cat Staggs (Wonder Woman), Art Thibert (Superman), Gus Vazquez (Big Hero Six),  Vivid Vidka (Cosplayer), Dave Wagner (Dot Problems) and Tommy Walker (Actor on Netflix’s Daredevil) .  Additional announcements will be made as guests continue to confirm and support the show.

For tickets to the Ontario event go to http://vor.us/99c4c

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Appointments Open for West Valley Water District

west-valley

So what happens when a local governing body is so fractured that no more than two people can agree with each other? Another governing body has to do your work for you.

There are few governing, publicly elected bodies like West Valley Water District that cover Rialto, Colton, Fontana, Bloomington and other unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, and a portion of Jurupa Valley in Riverside County. West Valley Water fly’s under the radar of rate payers because until recently who cared about your water board right? Until the hyper controlling measures that state and local water agencies laid out on ratepayers nobody really took the time to watch what their water board is doing.

West Valley Water Board members Clifford Young, Linda Gonzles and Greg Young worked hard over the last two years to kick certain board members off the board, bring in new blood that wont question bad spending habits and fight to keep certain people from ever sitting on the board EVER…..

Well with twice appointed never elected board member Rafael Trujillo moving over to Rialto City Council there is once again a vacant seat. Normally the board has a politically charged person waiting in the wings but partisan politics coupled with a lack of ability to collectively agree on a person now has taken this choice out of their hands. The names that were floated around being considered were former Rilato Councilman Ed Palmer, Former Fontana Planning Commissioner Phil Cothran and Activist Irma Flores were just a few of the names that were talked about.

The community was ready to charge the doors of West Valley Water district if Phil Cothran was appointed to the water board. He is coming off a fresh election where he has been accused of trying to takeover the Fontana Woman’s Club, stories of failing to report campaign donations that Phil Cothran took from Young Homes prior to voting yes on their projects and running a local PAC that derailed some very good peoples chances of winning an elected seat. Apparently Ed Palmer who was supported by Clifford Young was not what Greg Young was looking for in a fellow board member. Greg Young didn’t want Ed Palmer’s drama from the recent election where he challenged current Mayor Deborah Robertson for her Mayor seat.

So since West Valley Water is punting this decision it is now up to the San Bernardino County Supervisors to make the appointment. The Board of Supervisors created a special advisory committee consisting of Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford and Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales to interview the applicants and recommend an appointment to the full Board of Supervisors.

What is funny is that West Valley may have a Board member that they fought long and hard against two years ago wasting thousands of dollars and wasting rate payer time advocating for their choice in the election.

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