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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California Recreational Marijuana Law Threatens Inland Empire Youth & Tramples on the Rights of Drug Free People

Since 1996 California has been slowly pushing harmful drugs into local communities. Not even the extremely liberal Obama administration would do anything to legalize Marijuana Federally, all the liberals did was stop enforcing Federal Drug and Immigration Laws.

Another issue is Pot Heads desire to smoke Marijuana doesn’t just effect them. Even before the 1st of the year Marijuana users have openly smoled this harmful drug without any fear of punishment. Shopping centers and neighborhoods have stuck of Marijuana’s awful smell. Shopping on Christmas Eve at the Food 4 Less in Rialto on Foothill we witnessed a male smoking Marijuana and driving, when we called dispatch we were told its not a crime and were hung up on. A few days later we were near the Del Taco on South Riverside Ave and a mother with a small child exhalled her Marijuana smoke into our window. The question is where does Marijuana users rights begin and others end? Is their right to get high more important than others right to not be exposed to such a harmful substance?

“If anyone gets hit by an Camary L.P. 3BIM196 let me know we can sue Rialto Police since dispatch told me it’s not illegal to drive a car and smoke weed and hung up on me”

Rialto is not immune to the problems that come with Marijuana use in California. Here is a brief list of some of the things Marijuana Legalization has brought to Rialto and the surrounding communities:

  • Back in August 2015 at an Area Command Meeting for Area’s 1&2 in the city of Rialto Officer Nick Partcher part of Rialto Police SCAT team the team responsible for gang, alcohol & drug enforcement said that Marijuana use is now just as big a problem with local youth as Alcohol use. That year youth Marijuana use exceeded both Alcohol and Tobacco use combined. (Rialto Now)
  • Back in May 2011 a home selling Marijuana turned shootout left two people dead in Rialto. The incident unfolded on the 900 block of North Beechwood Avenue at about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday. (ABC7)
  • Downey Police Officer Shot Three Times During Undercover Operation in San Bernardino. (KTLA)
  • Only On 2: Investigation Reveals Medical Marijuana Is Getting Into School Kids’ Hands. (CBS2)
  • SAN BERNARDINO >> SWAT officers served a high risk search warrant Friday at a medical marijuana dispensary where they found cocaine and a gun, police said. (SB Sun)
  • A 23-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with a February robbery attemptand shootout that left a security guard dead at a marijuana dispensary on the boarder of Rialto & San Bernardino, authorities announced Monday. (KTLA)
  • The pedestrian killed after being hit by a pickup has been identified as a 90-year-old Moreno Valley resident, the Riverside County Sheriff/Coroner’s office reported Sunday, Dec. 31 whose driver may have been under the influence of drugs. (PE)
  • Fontana Mayor Celebrates Drug Filled Rave As Three People Die, (Rialto Now)
  • December 2015 Amazon temp agency could not fill all of the jobs they had do to people not being able to pass a simple drug test. Over 60 percent of those who failed did so because they could not put their bong away. Even being given multiple chances to return and try again they could not pass the test.

In a message from the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy to local prevention providers. This data and reports further confirm what prevention providers have been warning ever since the lie of Medical Marijuana began to take shape youth use is on the way up. One area where prevention providers have been looking to get to is kids in Elementary and they have been getting resistance due to the thought that these kids are to young to be involved in drug use. This study show a major increase in drug use among youth 12 and older meaning kids in 6th grade are being introduced to drugs.

Another thing that the data shows is a driving force behind an increase in youth use is the widespread use in adults. This matches what the Rialto Community Coalition found in February during their Strategic Planning Session was that one of the biggest reasons youth use drugs especially Marijuana is because  of the lax attitude from adults. The investigative reports from David Goldstein on medical marijuana dispensary’s acting as a hub to get Marijuana to youth should be an eye opening period for parents. Now people can have plants on their property and can have an ounce on their person without getting into trouble.

One of the areas where prescription drug use has taken over our communities and youth is the raiding of Senior Citizens medicine cabinets. What scares regular non drug using people is the fact that seniors are re-living the 60’s and linning up to buy Pot. If they couldn’t be trusted to keep prescription drugs away from others what makes us think they will protect their Weed from young people? The Press Enterprise wrote a glowing article about people lining up to fry their brains and here is a list of the elderly:

  1. Craig Reinarman, a 69-year-old.
  2. Jeff Deakin, 66.
  3. 72-year-old Cathedral City resident who was among 13 people lined up at West Coast Cannabis Club in Riverside County before 6 a.m. The man, who declined to give his name, bought raw flower and five pre-rolls for $1 each in his first purchase at a marijuana store. He said he planned to smoke while watching bowl games during the day.
  4. Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo.
  5. A 55-year-old Oakland man who would identify himself only as Big Jon, said he retired Dec. 31 and was finally free from the requirements of a commercial Class A driving license. “It’s been 32 years,” Big Jon said, adding that he’d been hearing about edibles and other products he’d like to try.
  6. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin.
  7. Carol Wyatt of West Oakland and Carlos Hooks.
  8. Rome VanBergen, 57.
  9. Santa Ana Councilman Jose Solorio.
  10. Toby and Shara Edwards came from Florida to get high. Residents of Pensacola, Florida – “2,000 miles and 40 years away from California,” Toby Edwards joked – they bought $85 worth of cannabis-infused candies, topical lotions and pre-rolled cigarettes. “It’s completely illegal (in Florida),” he said. “The penalties are so severe you can lose your job. They can seize your property. It just isn’t worth it. This is so different.”
  11. Santa Cruz resident Tree Island, 69.
  12. Miguel Vargas of San Jose.
  13. Rigoberto Espinoza, 28.

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, who represents much of the East Bay, including Oakland and Berkeley, spent much of her morning between Berkeley Patients Group and Harborside in Oakland. “To me this is huge,” she said. “I want responsible use, but I also want use that is legal for everybody and equitable.” Recreational legalization, she hopes, will “finally put an end” to the criminalization of marijuana, which, she said, disproportionately affected black and brown Californians. Wow how are Liberals not the racist ones?

Another issue is the prevalence of youth using vaping products that people still try to push off as safe for youth use. As you see in the text below from the Press Enterprise article now our youth have a modern way to kill their brain cells.

By mid-morning, vapor pens and edible products were among the most popular items at the shop, with a number of Baby Boomers who smoked marijuana years ago interested in trying cannabis in new forms.

To add to an already troubling problem is the fear that Mayor Robertson is setting Rialto up to have Marijuana dumped on our poor city. As it sits now Marijuana shops are illegal in the city limits. Where we see trouble is the Mayors out right refusal to vote to put the Utility Tax on an April Ballot. Also the mayors appointee to the Budget Advisory Committee said at one meeting lets find the crappy part of Rialto and turn that into our Marijuana Zone!!!!

Only question is who gets to choose where the crappy part of town is?

The bottom line is that Rialto is in a serious mess. We have the following hurdles:

  1. No Police Cheif
  2. Officers leaving the city in massive numbers
  3. only 4 officers on patrol at any given tim
  4. No City Administrator
  5. $160 Million in unfunded liabilities
  6. Utility Tax Ending in June
  7. Out of control leaders with only their own best interest in mind

The Question remains when will we say enough is enough!!!!!!

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Rialto Budget Hinges On City Council & Mayor Doing Their Jobs

Years of bad choices, out of control litigation and overbearing pension costs have put Rialto in a very uneasy place when it comes to being able to pay its financial obligations. One of the most pressing matters in regards to the cities budget is the upcoming expiration of the cities Utility Users Tax that accounts for about a third of the cities budget. If the Utility Users Tax is not continued for another five years Rialto will find itself unable to meet its obligations and our reserves will be depleted in 2 years. (see image below)

You may ask yourself what is fueling this budget busting trend? Employee Pensions are killing our city the same way they killed cities like San Bernardino. Rialto has not fully paid their PERS obligations hoping that PERS investments will preform better than expected and bail us out. Well they have not done that and now the city finds itself $130 Million in debt to PERS. Rialto’s pension payment will increase by $1.5 Million each year for the next 10 years!!!!!

Rialto not only did not pay what they knew they had to pay but sources close to major bargaining units and City Hall itself say that payments were regularly late under the watch of former Finance Director George Harris. Mr. Harris no longer works for the city of Rialto and the circumstances surrounding his forced departure remain a mystery filled with rumors and speculation.

The chart above shows how expensive each residential unit is in Rialto Vrs the amount of money that is brought in by these units and where a lion share of the money comes from. As you can see the single largest amount of revenue is from the Utility Users Tax. The chart above also spells out that each residential unit costs the city $800 Thousand more than they bring into the city.

 

As you can see keeping the Utility Users Tax gives us the funds necessary to find better solutions to our pension obligations all the way to 2024! Nobody likes taxes and we all know that we live in the most heavily taxed state in the country but, many look at reduced police and fire services as a bad trade off for continuing to pay what we already have been paying.

What does need to change in the minds of many is the reckless disregard for the citizens money. Some on council and in City Hall have been putting this city under a financial obligation that we should have never been in. They have been unable to properly administer workmans comp and that has cost us millions, they have gone on personal which hunts after people that they think are plotting against them and are costing us millions and they have refused to control high ranking employees and have allowed them to put the city under a horrible financial obligation and have chased employees out in droves.

Tonight city Council and the Mayor will once again be asked to:

  • Declare a State of Financial Emergency.
  • Putt the Utility Users Tax on the ballot for April.
  • Keep the Utility Users Tax at it’s current rate and term.

They were unwilling to do this earlier this year with the same information meaning they didn’t seem to care if we found ourselves in financial ruin.

So the question is where do you want to see Rialto in the next 5 to 10 years?

 

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Rialto Top Officials Skip Out On Fallen Officer Remembrance Event’s

On Wednesday October 18th a Memorial and Remembrance Luncheon was held for fallen Rialto Police Officer Sergio Carrera Jr. who lost his life in the line of duty 10 years ago. Both the Graveside Memorial and Remembrance Luncheon were put on and put together with the hard work and support of Rialto Police Benefit Association without the police union this event would have never happened. Source tell us that if the Rialto Police Benefit Association had not stepped up nothing would have been done to honor this 10 year anniversary.

Those in attendance said that the event was a great way to remember a great officer who was taken away from his family and co-workers too soon. You may remember we called out the Mayor for not attending another event to honor Rialto’s fallen officers and Mayor Robertson got very upset with us and even Ed Scott barked at us for even suggesting that the Mayor and her council don’t support our fallen officers. Well actions speak louder than words and sources tell us that the council’s lack of actions speak louder than any words they may speak.

On October 19th sources close to the event reported that not one of the cities elected leaders even stopped by to say hello to the family or even give their condolences. Sources tell us that Captain Andy Karol from the command staff attended the Remembrance Luncheon on behalf of the Department. Also officers who stopped by the Luncheon that was in the city limits to remember their fellow fallen officer were scolded for doing so.

We reached out to those on Council and got a response from Councilman Andy Carrizales:

 “The Carrera family and our police officers were on my mind yet I was unable to attend due to being out of town”
When we asked Councilman Carrizales his thoughts on nobody from the city showing up to either event all he said was “wow”.

This is one of the many reasons local election advocates urge the community to look for sincere elected officials that will take these moments to show care and concern about their communities needs. As a son of a Military and Law Enforcement professional I can tell you that the pain of losing a loved one in the line of duty is a fear I am glad my family never had to endure.

 

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Rialto Relay for Life event kicks off tomorrow with a Celebrity Guest

Below is a list of events and some of the awesome things in store for tomorrow. The local celebrity that can be seen in Rialto regularly showing off what is cool to do and see right here in our little town is pretty popular. The exact time for the local celebrity arrival with his ever so popular live video stream that is seen by hundreds of thousands of Facebook users hasn’t been announced but as soon as we find out you will know so stay tuned/

Join Joel Greene as he helps to kick off the Rialto Relay for Life event. This year the Rialto event is looking to raise $30 Thousand to combat cancer. If you would like to help them hit that mark you can donate any amount by clicking here.

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort because they believe it’s time to take action against cancer.

Join us at these events to bring communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.

Time: 9:00am

We’ll kick off the event by celebrating everyone who’s been affected by cancer. Whether someone’s been diagnosed for 10 days or been cancer-free for 10 years, they gather together for the crowd to cheer them on.

Survivors & Caregiver Lap

Time: 9:30am

Survivors define courage and inspire those facing a cancer diagnosis. Their strength is honored with each step they take around the first lap. If you know anyone who’s overcome cancer, invite them to join.

Caring for others is such a selfless act, which is why we honor caregivers with a lap. They often walk with the person they’ve supported.

Fight Back Ceremony

Time: 10:00am

Have you ever wanted to see a cement truck up close? Climb inside a cherry picker? Explorer a firetruck? Join us for a second annual Touch-A-Truck event.

Kids Corner sponsored by Target with games, crafts and activities for kids of all ages.

Be your own builder. Join us for a kids workshop sponsored by the Home Depot where kids can use tools to build their own creations.

Time: 4:00 pm

We will talk about what we can do beyond the event to fight back against this horrible disease.

Time: 9:00 pm

Each Luminaria bag represents a loved one lost to cancer, brings support to those affected by it, and honors survivors. This powerful moment gives people the opportunity to grieve but also offers hope and comfort.

Closing Ceremony

Time: 10:30 pm

We celebrate all that we’ve accomplished together and remember those we’ve lost. Together, we commit to take action and help end the pain and suffering of cancer.

Free & Accepted Masons of California Make a Massive Donation to Rialto Literacy

Raising A Reader (RAR) is an early literacy and family engagement program for children ages 0-8 that helps families develop book-sharing routines with their child.

The Video above shows David Phillips owner of Rialto Now with the Grand Master of Free & Accepted Masons of California, John Heisner along with Victor Key of I.E. Lodge 306 at Dunn Elementary School in Rialto, discussing the Raising a Reader program and how CA Masons helped contribute $85,000 to this literacy program.

Fontana business man Lou Worthy who is also a Free Mason had this to say about the Raising a Reader program, “For those not in attendance, the mother of one of the kindergarten students (see video below) participating in this program shared an amazingly heart warming story of how her kids LOVE to read to Grandpa and there was not a dry eye in the auditorium during her heartfelt and tear producing Thank You to CA Masons for helping bring this program to her school.

Schools up and down the state of CA participate in this program. This program brings literacy to young students in the early stages of their Elementary School Education. Providing books and special Raising a Reader red book bags students are given another example of the importance of reading in their lives. As of now the program is only in a few schools but Superintendent Dr. Avila pledged to make that program a district wide initiative.

To learn more about this program:

Raising A Reader National Office
Sobrato Center for Nonprofits — Redwood Shores
330 Twin Dolphin Dr., Suite 147, Redwood City, CA 94065
T 650.489.0550 | F 650.489.0551 | http://www.raisingareader.org

Rialto is Set to Put on the Ritz once again this weekend.

Rialto Unified School District response to the lack of funding for Art Programs is set to once again take the stage. The 13th Annual Puttin’ on the Ritz Fine Arts Gala Fundraiser is this Saturday at Carter High School and once again the ever popular and energetic Jimbo from KCAL 96.7 FM Radio will be the night’s EMCEE.

The Puttin’ on the Ritz Fine Arts Gala Fundraiser has raised over $450,000 dollars for Rialto Arts Programs and has even paid for schools to be exposed to art like field trips to see popular plays. This is made possible by ticket sales but it is also made possible by the highly coveted Silent Auction for the awesome gift baskets that are donated to help raise funds.

Sad to say last year was my first time at the Puttin’ on the Ritz Fine Arts Gala Fundraiser and I was blown away by the talent Rialto students posses. If you miss it this year please follow us as we will be doing a lot of posting and streaming of this wonderful content.

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