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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Local IE Activists Support Victims Of International Crime

Local activists that are spending their time and energy to hold the line on corruption and abuse of tax dollars stood behind Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump representing the adults and children that have been killed by people who were allowed to enter this country illegally. See the video shot by Grindall below:

Make sure you notice that Mr Trump or his security detail never shut down any recording or request for a photo.

We were in Ontario California at the Double Tree Hotel looking to cover the Candidates looking for your vote here in Rialto for Congress, Senate and Assembly. These people were speaking to the voting members of the San Bernardino County Republican Party Central Committee to endorse them in their prospective races. Ben Lopez listed as the groups Treasurer/Parliamentarian took it upon himself to shut down us and another attendee in recording the candidates not the unorganized fashion they ran their meetings. See the video we took of this very action:

We have slammed Democrats for this very thing after shutting down our camera we stated that nowhere was there a posting that recording wasn’t allowed Ben Lopez barked its in our bylaws. Well as a guest reporter we found it difficult to know the rules of a group we just found tonight. What is funny is someone sent us a photo that was taken from the stage while we were recording, a news camera right over our shoulder and others on cell phones for nearly a half hour while Rafael Cruz addressed the same meeting.

Rafael Cruz CrowdWhats funny is the Mission of the group and their actions don’t match up. See their Mission Satement taken from their Facebook Page and we will let you decide:

The Republican Party of San Bernardino County is a year-round campaign organization, charged with electing Republicans to every office throughout San Bernardino county. We maintain a permanent headquarters, and execute programs designed to register more Republicans, recruit volunteers, train candidates, endorse Republicans for local office, and turn out the Republican vote come election time.

How can you get Republicans elected in a heavy Democrat environment without showing off why the Republican choice is better?

If you would like to reach Mr. Ben Lopez and ask him what they are hiding in their meetings you can reach him at  lopezben76@gmail.com

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West Valley Water District Cuts Rates & Approves Rebates

WEST VALLEY

In a post to the Bloomington MAC Facebook Group newly elected Board Member Gregory Young announced that the board had voted to reduce rate payers rates and rebate the money they saw as excessive. Here is his statement:

“I am pleased to introduce my new after meeting report on what actions were taken this evening. I will be doing this for every meeting I am at in the future. The big news from tonight’s meeting is that we voted unanimously to rescind the scheduled rate increases for 2016 and 2017. Having run to repeal these increases, I am so pleased to have fulfilled my promise to you to stop these increases. Additionally, we also voted unanimously to rebate back to you the increases from 2015. A big night for you the ratepayers of the district!”

According to Director Young we found out the following:

“The total amount to be refunded is ruffly $3 million.”

“The rebate will come in the form of a check that should be mailed out sometime after March 1st.”

“The exact amounts will vary as will the exact time people will receive it.”

We also asked about people who payed for water in West Valley Water District in 2015 and have moved if they would see a refund?

“In terms of those who may have moved, staff is working on addressing that situation. Obviously, most people who move don’t tell us where they go so that makes it difficult to provide the rebate to the appropriate party. The public affairs committee will be looking into the whole process in the coming months.”

As we watched the many City of Rialto rebate programs avoid looking to include people who paid and struggled avoid looking to repay everyone it is nice to see West Valley Water working to repay those who may have moved.

Moves like this bring up more questions because of the rules on raising water rates under prop 218. Prop 218 is used as a way to limit rate increases that are not needed to provide utility service. So why were the rate increases approved? Why were the necessary?

According to sources the Water District operates with a $25 million surplus in the bank but really only $15 million cushion for unknown expenses. If we had a major earthquake or if a Natural Gas well started spewing toxic gasses into the air driving people from their homes and businesses waiting on the Federal Government isn’t going to work in the short term. So having a buffer to work from is vital.

Previous board members looked at the Bond Rate Governance and the fact that homes were going empty at alarming rates during the housing crisis they decided that a rate increase was needed to make sure the District could continue to provide water services to its customers. Some on the inside at the time say that previous board members may have gone a little bit overboard but their overall intention was to make sure the Water District remains solvent.

Clearly this is a win for rate payers that paid some of the highest water rates in the area but what is unclear is where this leaves the district with a emergency fund in which to provide for residents water needs in the midst of a crisis.

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Rafael Trujillo Exits Stage Left But May Be Waiting In The Wings

Rafael Trujillo is a name you may know but may not be able to remember where from. Prior to September his greatest claim to fame would be a former aide to numerous State and Federal elected officials and a member of the Rialto Parks and Recreation Committee. He has tried to run for every local office that is available to him and has always fallen short. He has even used political favors to try and get appointed to Rialto City Council but not even that worked.

It wasn’t until a seat came open on the West Valley Water Board that Rafael found his way in. This September Rafael was appointed as a Director of the water board. He still had to cross a hurdle that he has yet to successfully win an election where the people had to choose him. He failed to win one of three seats on the water board even though he worked hard to tarnish the reputation of the only incumbent seeking re-election Alan Dyer.

At the November 5th meeting Rafael hinted at the future for him even though he had already lost the election? What pray tell can be his future when he lost the election?

On top of all this Rafael was given a glowing recommendation of his time on the board three whole months. Below is Rafael’s speech after he was given his Resolution for his three months as a water board director.

Here are our problems with this:

  • Two board members left with this election Betty Gosney and Rafael Trujillo. The resolutions were done on different meetings Mrs. Gosney the outgoing President and 13 year veteran did not get her resolution and was called a racist. Rafael Trujillo revived his with a unanimous vote for only three months of service.
  • When President Clifford Young gave Rafael Trujillo his award Mr. Young gave Rafael time to speak yet he didn’t limit him to the same three minutes that he limited all other speakers to.
  • Rafael refers to issues he was passionate about but fails to remember his passionate issues when accepting his public resolution.
  • The West Valley Water Board continues its witch hunt on Mr. Dyer and if they find enough dirt to remove him from his seat you can guarantee that Rafael will be there waiting in the wings.
  • Are there people on the board feeding Rafael information from closed session meetings? Everything having to do with the Boards illegal informant is done in closed session and Rafael seems to be well versed in what has been going on.

We write all of this not because we dislike Mr. Trujillo or to cause him grief we simply want to get our elected officials to work on the peoples behalf not their own.

West Valley Water Board Swears In New Members & Changes Rules

On Thursday December 3rd West Valley Water District ushers in a lot of change. With the coming changes the cloud of controversy that hangs over the sitting board remains.

The first order of business will be to administer the oath of office for the three board members that were elected in November. The three people include Greg Young, Alan Dyer and Donald Olinger. Greg Young was one of the three people that current Vice President of the West Valley Water Board was supporting which lays a layer of uncertainty over his seat on the Board. One of the people Greg Young replaced (Rafael Trujillo) appeared follow Clifford Young’s lead even when it led to potentially violating the Brown Act as well as possibly misappropriating funds and hiding information that the public inside closed session that should have been heard before the public. Alan Dyer the only sitting incumbent won re-election but not without being under extreme scrutiny by Clifford Young, Linda Gonzalez and the private counsel that is being paid public funds to investigate Mr. Dyers residency and secretly report back to the Water Board in closed session. Don Olinger is a common name in the city of Rialto as a former teacher, school board member and a former West Valley Water Board Director. Given the latest antics that the current board has underwent Mr Olinger has his work cut out for him.

The next major item on the board agenda is a change from the Roberts Rules of Order to the Rosenberg Rules of Order. Now you may say who cares what system they use. Well I would caution you to hold that thought it was Clifford Young who asked for this change and as he stated in the first meeting of November he is not at all happy with the increase of public participation that his actions have garnered lately. If you look below we copied some of the areas of the Rosenburg’s Rules of Order sections for you and the one that stood out the most was “a five-member body with a few members of the public in attendance” Clifford Young wants to use a system that works with low public participation.

If one is chairing or running a parliament, then Robert’s Rules of Order is a dandy and quite useful handbook for procedure in that complex setting. On the other hand, if one is running a meeting of say, a five-member body with a few members of the public in attendance, a simplified version of the rules of parliamentary procedure is in order.

Below it talks about these 21st Century rules have found a welcoming audience. How is this possible if its used to lower public attendance? We see the writting on the wall and more public elected boards will be doing what they can to get better control of what the public is ALLOWED to participate in.

These rules have been simplified for the smaller bodies we chair or in which we participate, slimmed down for the 21st Century, yet retaining the basic tenets of order to which we have grown accustomed. Interestingly enough, Rosenberg’s Rules has found a welcoming audience.

Finally this is the best part for Mr. Clifford Young he wants to be able to silence people that speak against him and his tactics.

The chair should always ensure that debate and discussion of an agenda item focuses on the item and the policy in question, not the personalities of the members of the body. Debate on policy is healthy, debate on personalities is not. The chair has the right to cut off discussion that is too personal, is too loud, or is too crude

It is unfair to ask someone to bottle up their passion for a given issue but when it comes to elected power and water issues nobody seems to want to play fair lately.

Join us:

WEST VALLEY WATER DISTRICT

855 West Base Line Road, Rialto, CA

BOARD MEETING AGENDA

Thursday, December 3, 2015 – 6:00 p.m.

West Valley Water Board Directors Not Prepared At Regularly Scheduled Meeting

On November 5th 2015 the West Valley Water Board held their regular meeting with their new 6pm. Even though the meeting time had changed the way the board acts towards vendors, staff, media and rate payers has not changed. Our staff was not in attendance mostly due to schedule conflicts and partly was we didn’t want to poke the tiger too much. The meeting from what we heard was well attended when compared to past meetings yet Vice President Young and Director Gonzales were upset to the point of bringing it up multiple times that we were not in attendance. The early part of the meeting things seemed a little tense.

Board Vice President Young, Gonzales & Trujillo were not prepared for this meeting. Time and time again they were asking to have business items tabled many into the last meeting of 2015 which was six weeks from the date of the last meeting of the 2015 year. At one point Board Director Linda Gonzales states that she works 8-5 and doesn’t have time to look over her board packet material?????? When did it become the rate payers responsibility to make sure you had enough time to do your job? Why did you run for a Civil Service position if your not prepared to put in the work? Director Gonzales didn’t have time to read her board packet but she had time to hobnob with various elected officials and complain about her dislike of the food they provided her.

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Join Paul Chabot for Coffee & Conversation November 19th

Join Paul Chabot for Coffee & Conversation November 19th

Second was they spend so much time fighting former General Managers and politicking from the dais that they are not paying bills in a timely fashion leaving space and bills unpaid which is beyond unfair. If you have a dispute over the costs have the client come to a meeting and ask your questions and them come to a majority consensus and pay what the vendor has coming to them. Vivian Moreno a Riverside Based activist asks the board why they act like the West Valley Water District doesn’t know what they are paying. Both President Gosney and General Manager spoke up after Mrs. Moreno asked them why they didn’t know what they were paying. President Gosney said that each bill came with a list of items for which the total bill represented.

The boards lack of direction and the constant fighting with vendors and ratepayers seems to be blowing up in their faces. It has already cost ratepayers a board director as President Gosney decided not to seek another term as a water board director. Vice President Young has asked that the 15 percent rate increases that are scheduled to be on the next two years be added to the last meeting of 2015.

Stay tuned for more on this as the saga seems far from over………………..

 

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West Valley Water Board Vice President Young Lashes Out At Board CFO

On November 5th 2015 the West Valley Water Board held their regular meeting with their new six o’clock time. It became clear as the Board of Directors moved through the meeting that this was not going to be a nice evening. Apparently Vice President Young felt he was not getting the information that he requested in a timely fashion. According to his statements he has been denied the right to obtain needed information on a regular basis so he decided to have an emotional breakdown at a public meeting.

Vice President Clifford Young took the opportunity to rip into the West Valley Water Board CFO Rachelle Clayton in the meeting accusing her of withholding information and bringing her near tears. His rant spilled over onto other staff members as he asked for a performance review of General Manager Tom Crowley on the December 17th Closed session agenda. Vice President Young has caused many staff to play musical chairs with their work positions in an effort to remain off of Vice President Young’s radar those have said that are close to the West Valley Water District

 

Vice President Young is upset with people questioning his tactics and is taking it out on staff, rate payers and vendors for the District……

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