Tonight Rialto’s Budget Advisory Groups Looks To Make A Very Important Recommendation To City Council

One of the major issues hanging over Rialto’s future is the Utility Users Tax (UUT). Since 2003 the UUT has provided additional money to the cities finances and allowed Rialto to maintain growth and remain solvent unlike neighbors like San Bernardino and Colton.

The budget finance committee was formed via a action from city council. Each elected member of the council and mayor picked two people to represent the city as solutions were looked into on how to deal with budget problems that seemed to have been hidden from public view, a consequence of not controlling our elected officials and the old game of kicking the unpopular decisions down the road.

The budget finance committee has one 2 hour meeting to send a recommendation to city council on what the committee thinks needs to be done in regards to the UUT. The scary part is that there seems to be no consensus on where to go from here. Add to that our state legislators are burying the fine people of California in tax after tax nobody is in the mood for more taxes.

The only problem is are you ready for Rialto to become as unsafe as San Bernardino? Rialto is able to boast that you are more likely to survive a cardiac event if you live in Rialto than anywhere else in the Nation because of the technology existing in Rialto Ambulences. Rialto was the 1st department in California to go full body worn cameras.

Here is what Rialto has to look forward to according to data presented to the Budget Committee:

Public Works
Elimination – $1.5 Million
• Personnel – $880K • Approximately 11 positions
• Eliminate OT for Special Projects/Events
• Services & Supplies – $670K • Reduce frequency of street & sidewalk
maintenance
• Reduce weed abatement, graffiti & trash
clean-up
• Reduce park maintenance
• Reduce facilities maintenance to safety and
asset protection
• Reduce fleet maintenance to “run to fail”
approach.

Fire
Elimination – $3.6 Million
• Personnel – $3M • Approximately 23 positions
• One Ambulance, Fire Engine and Station
Unstaffed
• Reduce Administrative Staffing
• Services & Supplies – $600K
• Program Eliminations
• Arson Investigations, SWAT Medic, Explorer
Post
• Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survival and Fire
Containment rates will drop
approximately 40%.

Police
Elimination – $5.6 Million
• Personnel – $4.2M
• Approximately 36 positions
• 20 Sworn, 15 Non-Sworn, 10 Part-Time
• Elimination of Programs – $1.4M
• K-9, SWAT, SCAT, Traffic, SRO, Community
Liaison, all Task Force Positions
• Loss of Grants will increase cost of
reductions to City ($950K).
• Outsource Animal Control & Jail services
• Fleet “run as close to fail” approach
• Change from proactive to reactive
enforcement.

These are just the big three and still don’t represent cuts to smaller departments. So the purpose of this article is to ask you. Given this information would you support the UUT again?

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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Changes coming to Rialto Police Department Leadership

Information sent to us today indicates that changes to the top leadership rolls will be coming to Rialto Police Department.

As of October 1st former Police Chief Mark Kling will come on as a “Consultant” to help transition current Police Chief Deanda into “Retirement”. Police Chief Deanda should be well versed in the retirement process as he regularly tells the story of how he was needed so much in the city of Rialto that he was asked to return to work three times after filing for retirement.

In the communication from City Administrator Mike Story he laid out the struggles a quick departure like this will bring “As the city administrator, I must ensure there is a smooth transition of leadership and place leading up to and after chief Deanda retirement. Ideally, organisations have about 1 year to plan the transition of executive leadership. Chief Deanda will be retiring from public service and three short months on December 28th 2017 there for once Chief Deanda submitted and I accepted his notice of retirement, plans for executive leadership transitioning were set into motion. As an organization, filling the position of a retiring police chief is Paramount to community safety, department operations, and intergovernmental Affairs across departments so there are minimal service interruptions”.

Earlier today the Chief was witnessed briefing his command staff on the coming changes in his Department. Those pictured with the Chief at Mimi’s in North Fontana were Captain Andy Karol, Lt Robert Smith, Lt Dean Hardin and Paul Stella. Staff could overheard the chief talking about the memo from Mike Story and the impending changes.

Nobody will ever know the true story on why we have such a quick departure since past leadership has made sure a replacement was already on the ground before major changes took place. For example:

  • When Chief Kling left he had vetted and prepared Captain Tony Farrar for the promotion.
  • Fire Chief Matt Fratus knew he was not going to work forever so he hired Sean Grayson our current Fire Chief to eventually replace him.
  • When Police Chief Tony Farrar was on his way out he secured the promotion and placement of Chief Deanda.
  • Even City Administrator Mike Story announced months ago of his coming retirement at the end of this year.

So when something is outside the ordinary you have to ask yourself what is the real story? What we do know is that the city has found itself under more legal action brought by staff that claim they were fired, discriminated or retaliated against without merit and some of those cases have began to settle out of court. The latest claim was made know yesterday September 26th 2017 when a $125,000 claim was filed claiming misconduct by a former employee of MHM & Associates.

Answers that will need to be answered are:

  • How much is the city going to pay 2 police chief’s?
  • Will Deanda’s removal begin to bring the lawsuits to a close?
  • How do you attract a quality Police Chief in a Financially Strapped city like Rialto?

There are more questions than answers.

Today we got some of the answers from City Administrator Mike Story who said that Mark Kling will be working on a $15,000 dollar contract for three months to help during this transition. Mark Kling is one of the brighter spots in Rialto Police Department history as he led the Police Department out of the scandals of the past and the poor public trust of the police department. City Administrator Mike Story said that this money came out of the city administration budget already earmarked for consulting.

We will update as more information comes in.

Have a story you think people should know about? Email Rialtosnow@gmail.com

Keep up to date via social media by following #rialtonowcovers

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Police Chief Deanda Named in $110 Thousand Claim against the City of Rialto

There are three people and organizations that keep circulating through the Rialto News cycle (that is if any news outlet covered Rialto). Rialto Police Chief Deanda, Rialto Mayor Robertson and MHM & Associates. As you may already know MHM CEO Luvina Beckley a close personal friend of the Mayors was found to have been Federally Disbarred from working on Federal Grants for the next two years. We found out later that this also puts into jeopardy her ability to work on any State Grants as well. As hard as Mayor Robertson tried to get Luvina Beckley to keep her $100,000 dollar contract to manage the cities Prop 47 grant program in the end the city choose to find another grant program facilitator.

In a claim letter attached to tonight’s city council agenda Rialto Police Chief has put the city in yet another financial loss due to poor decision making and may have bought himself a criminal charge. Here is a short list of the litigation Chief Deanda is responsible for dragging the city into:

 

  • Officer Brayshaw – Discrimination Lawsuit settled out of court amount unknown.
  • K9 Officer Anderson – Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Multi Million Dollar Suit
  • Officer Jones – Wrongful Termination Lawsuit amount unknown.

It seems as though Chief Deanda seems to have forgotten the rules when running a persons name through criminal databases. His running Annette Kelly-Whittle’s name through public databases was only the tip of the iceberg. According to the complaint Chief Deanda was speaking negatively in regards to Mrs Whittle’s employment with MHM and her ability to work on Police grants. According to the complaint Chief Deanda spoke negatively to Mrs Whittle’s Probation Officer, BSS Program director and other people.

In regards to the possibility of criminal charges being filled it is a Misdemeanor to run someone for personal in the way the complaint claims.

This item is hidden inside the consent calendar so lets see if it is pulled for discussion. Sources close to the department have came in with new information on this claim from Mrs Whittle. According to sources close to Rialto Police the information in question came up as Mrs Whittle changed residences and that action alone creates a notification to be sent to Police and probation. What is still unclear is the issue of Police Chief Deanda had issues with Mrs Whittle working on grants for Rialto Police.

Sources close to former Councilman O’Connell said that prior to his passing he was concerned about the way MHM was handling Police Department Grants yet he failed to go into detail over what exactly he was concerned about.

We will update as more information comes in.

Have a story you think people should know about? Email Rialtosnow@gmail.com

Keep up to date via social media by following #rialtonowcovers

 

 

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San Bernardino Unified Still Struggles With Weapons On Campus

Last year San Bernardino Unified was rocked with a school shooting that left 3 people dead one of the dead a student along with another student injured by gunfire. Ever since the shooting last year San Bernardino Unified spoke about strict standards for dealing with access to school campuses and weapons being allowed on campus. So one would think that staff who were deeply effected by the loss of a student and colleague would understand how important keeping weapons off campus would be right?

Some staff at Paakuma School say that yesterday reports of a physical fight between two staff members led San Bernardino School Police to find a weapon in the car of one parties vehicle. The letter from school principal Victoria Morales seems to offer a different story, one that has a gun but omits the employee fight.

Angelic Davis posted the post above on Next Door that confirms the same story that the School Principal put in the letter. We reached out to the Principal as asked in the letter and we were directed to the District Communications office where after getting hung up on twice we were finally able to leave a message.

What is odd here is that arrest records are not confidential when a crime is committed at a school yet the District is circling its wagons around this situation and controlling the conversation. San Bernardino Unified is already coming under attack as their move from citations to peer court is blowing up in their faces as the program is not providing the results.

At 4pm Tuesday we found out that Anita Rene Scott a Counselor at the school was arrested for bringing a loaded gun onto school grounds. Linda Bardere the district spokeswoman said ” It was locked in the employee’s personal car, which was in the parking lot on school propoerty. At no time was the weapon brought out or shown”. District officials said that another employee shared information that Anita Rene Scott claimed to have a firearm in her car. Anita Rene Scott posted $25,000 bail Tuesday and was placed on administrative leave.

We will keep you up to date as more information comes in.

To provide tips or have an event highlighted on our media email rialtosnow@gmail.com

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Councilman Rafael Trujillo looks to get North End residents excited about a new discount market.

On August 3rd Councilman Rafael Trujillo posted a post about checking out one of the newest stores to be brought to Rialto’s last chance to finally bring something that residents want.

“My wife, Mirella, and I were checking out the market set to open as part of the Renaissance Marketplace in 2018. Any feedback?”

I’m not sure he was really prepared for the feedback he got. Residents in Rialto are TIRED of all of the discount markets being dumped in our area. We asked on our page if Rialto needed another discount market let alone one in the North End Development.

Julie said “No, have enough of those …. Drive down Baseline between Sycamore and Willow and there are a couple of hole in the wall dollar type shops, a Dollar Tree, a 99 cent store, Big Lots, Walmart (grocery), Stater Bros (grocery), Superior (grocery), Family Dollar, Walgreens, CVS, DD;s Discounts, Fallas, and Save and Tell…. if we want discount stores we can go there, can we maybe get a Hobby/craft store? How about an Ulta or Sephora? How about a Bath and Body works? See’s candies? Some kind of Family type entertainment? Hot Topic, Forever 21 ?? we really do not need another outlet type store, grocery or otherwise”.

You can’t help but agree with Julie or the throngs of other people chiming in on the Councilman’s post. Jason said this about the Councilman’s post It makes me sad to see that you as a councilman believe this to be a good option for Rialto. We need to make our city better and stop bringing in trash stores. Looking at the images you showed how is anyone supposed to be excited for a store that sells discounted garbage items that are of poor quality?” Families are spending real money that isn’t being captured here because our city seems to think were nothing more than a bunch of poor people looking to search through cheap 2nd class items. Families have commented that they spend $160 to $200 a month on stores that offer better quality and fresher options. That is $2400 of tax money going out the window with each families year fresh food bills.

Now you may say hey your being to hard on Grocery Outlet, I’m sure they offer great products…. right? Actually to offer such cheap prices and not take coupons they are selling some interesting stuff:

  • Grocery Outlet doesn’t accept manufacturer coupons, because their prices are already low. When a grocery producer has excess inventory or the packaging—not the actual product—is damaged, discount grocers like Grocery Outlet buy these products for pennies on the dollar.
  • Unlike traditional grocery stores that stock the same items weekly, discount stores stock items depending on what they get in (mostly overstock from other stores). So when you see something you like, stock up and stock up fast, because it might not be there tomorrow.
  • Often, when bigger stores pass overstocked products to grocery outlets, items are close to the expiration date. Knowing what “Sell By,” “Best if Used By,” and “Use By” dates mean will help you determine whether you can use a product before the quality starts to deteriorate.
  • Frozen foods are great deals at discount grocery stores, because they can live past their purchase dates as long as they’ve been kept frozen. YUCK
  • According to the USDA, cans with small dents are safe to eat. So if you see cans with small dents and banged-up boxes, it doesn’t mean the food is bad; it just means traditional stores can’t sell them.

  • Specialize in cut-rate food and household goods not “good enough” for your average supermarket.

To make matters worse is the following tid bits the City Planners are hoping you don’t notice:

  • In the next year at least 3 more discount stores will pop up around Rialto. These stores include Aldi, Five Below and now Grocery Outlet.
  • Still to this day the old Fresh & Easy building and the old ralphs in the North End of the city sit empty.
  • Plans are to bring ANOTHER fitness center to the old Ralphs building.

Were not sure about you but sooner or later Rialto residents need to hold their city planners feet to the fire and stop the flood of discount stores.

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Rialto Mayor and Council Pay Off More Political Favors With Tax Dollars

Rialto Mayor is looking to give $100,000 contract to her friend Luvina Beckley who is the CEO of MHM & Associates to run and facilitate the State’s Prop 47 Grant. Besides being highly inappropriate given the relationship they share. It’s also odd that the Mayor is giving Luvina Beckley access to run a state grant because Luvina Beckley has been disbarred from having anything to do with Federal Grants for three years. In a letter from the National Corporation for Community Service spells out why Luvina Beckley is being disbarred.

“Accordingly based upon the reason set out in the August 19th 2016 notice of proposed debarment which is hereby Incorporated by reference and further discussed above I hereby confirm my earlier decision to debar you for a period of three years this department is based on the determination that you.

Violated the terms of a public agreement or transaction so serious as to affect the Integrity of a corporation program.

Engaged in inappropriate activity that was so serious and compelling a nature that it affects your present responsibility to engage in transactions with the federal government.

This department is effective for the following cover transactions as specified in 2 CFR part 180.

Procurement contacts that are subject to Federal acquisition regulations 48 CFR chapter 1 and non procurement transactions including but not limited to Grants Cooperative agreements scholarships fellowships contracts of assistance loans loan guarantees subsidies insurances payments for specify uses and donation agreements.”

The tab item reads as you can see below:

TAB 4 17-669 Request City Council to Adopt Resolution No. 7172 Accepting the Board of State and Community Corrections, California Proposition 47
Program Grant Award in the amount of $996,975 and Authorize a 3 year Contract with M.H.M. and Associates in the amount $99,000 for
program monitoring, report writing, compliance, project data collection and program recommendations.

Luvina Beckley who has been not only a close person friend of Mayor Robertson but also a political ally of the Mayor and Council members had been working on Federal Grants over the past 3 years. Before his passing Councilman Shawn O’Connell grew uneasy of the way MHM & Associates were handling grants on the cities behalf but lacked any support from his fellow council members to bring things under control. Now we are allowing a person to handle a State Grant when they have been barred from handling Federal Grants.

As this grant was being written various local organizations were asked if they would be able to offer supports to provide services to the grant program. Some that offered letters of support or programs to make the grant possible are becoming concerned as they learn about the grant manager and the problems that have existed with the Federal Grant Disbarment.

The people making this decision tonight are:

Deborah Robertson Mayor – drobertson@rialtoca.gov

Ed Scott Mayor Pro Tem – edscott@rialtoca.gov

Joe Baca Jr Councilman – jbaca@rialtoca.gov

Rafael Trujillo Councilman – rtrujillo@rialtoca.gov

Andy Carrizales Councilman – acarrizales@rialtoca.gov

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