Rialto Unified School District Hears Parents Concerns and Responds With Help

Dollahan Elementary gets a RUSD Public safety Officer

Dollahan Elementary gets a RUSD Public safety Officer

Parents at the local school of Dollahan Elementary watched school drop off and pick up times become a major issue. The issues were wide spread out on the street Etiwanda Ave, in the City Park that is in front of the school (Flores Park) and inside the enclosed oddly shaped parking lot. We have covered numerous stories of issues that almost led to dire consequences and we fielded a lot of calls from the city, school district and police.

Well the school district has had the appropriate reaction to our pleading for more safety at this Elementary school. Monday September 28th Rialto Unified School District Public Safety Department has had a Public Safety Officer on site keeping things safer inside of the school parking lot. You may ask what has changed by adding a Public Safety Officer? Well here are the changes:

  1. No longer do parents double and triple park bringing the traffic flow to a dead stop.
  2. The angry pushy bus drivers no longer come into the parking lot blaring their horns.
  3. Areas that are labeled for buses or Day Care Vans no longer have parents parking there.
  4. Staff and District vehicles are no longer driving on the side walks while kids are preparing to leave for the day.
  5. Parents and children are now safer inside the parking lot.

What hasn’t changed is the total disregard for parking rules in Flores Park and traffic on Etiwanda Ave where the issue of angry parents and fighting over traffic supremacy and the ZERO enforcement of traffic by the city or police. Parents still speed up and down local neighborhood streets, road rage controls Etiwanda Ave, the crossing guard is nearly taken out on a daily basis and the city should remove all of the red curb paint and handicap markings because nobody pays any attention to them and Rialto PD seems to have an issue enforcing the CVC code.

One of the latest issues that sits solely on the shoulders of the city is the sidewalks. When Marcus Fuller was the Public Works Director residents complained about the 1000’s of lifted sidewalks in the Flores Park Area. Mr. Fuller’s remedy was to grind some of those sidewalks and the others they used black asphalt to create ramps. So like everything else Mr. Fuller did in Rialto it was a halfway attempt to fix a problem and now things are worse than before. Here is why:

  1. When the asphalt was laid down it was allowed to spill over and damage residents lawns and properties.
  2. The asphalt didn’t fuse together correctly so it has began to fall apart and denigrate.
  3. Since parents that don’t want to fight the traffic that the police can’t get under control they walk their kids and there has been a recent spike in people falling and injuring themselves.
  4. With speeding up and down residential streets at an uncontrolled high, the neighborhood street that should be a safe place for kids to ride bikes and skateboards isn’t an option so the kids have been pushed onto sidewalks. The pitted and uneaven sidewalks have left local children with an increase in injuries.

Calls and conversations with the new Public Works Director Robert Eisenbeisz have left us with no solutions. The only thing Mr. Eisenbeisz has said is that “IF” measure “I” money comes in from SANBAG then we can look at Etiwanda Ave.

Normally this is where I would tell people to speak up and demand action but that doesn’t work anymore. If your not in the political favor of Mayor Robertson or the “Liberal Park Councilman” Joe Baca Jr. or the “Pay For Me To Travel One More Time Councilman” Ed Scott your not getting ANYTHING!!!! The city leadership doesn’t seem to care about the community, the brown act or just being transparent. The city and the many departments don’t do anything all they do is point the finger at someone else.

So what is ironic about this is the School District is the only party here that had an appropriate response to issues within their sphere of influence and a level of appreciation goes out to the Public Safety Department for their quick and timely response.

Image

Does Rialto need five Mc Donalds?

As the construction of yet another Mc Donald’s fast food restaurant nears completion on the corner of Cedar & Foothill in Rialto we ponder the Question does Rialto need five Mc Donald’s? Now I know what your going to say Rialto doesn’t have five Mc Donald’s and I am here to tell you soon we will. Below is a map:

Mc Donalds Map

The red dots are the three that come up when you Google Mc Donald’s in Rialto. Baseline, Foothill & Riverside Ave all have Mc Donald’s but there is also one inside of the Walmart across the street from the Riverside Ave location so that makes four. Number five is part of multiple deals to further burden the North West Corner of Cedar & Foothill. One of our readers posted this photo saying “Do we really need another Mc Donald’s in Rialto #healthyrialto

mcdonlads five

The multiple deals that happened to further burden the poor people of Rialto was put under the heading were trying to make things safer for Rialto. Later they admitted that it had little to do with safety and a lot to do with TAXES……. When a local community member from Flores Park Neighborhood Watch asked why this development was getting a new stoplight and cement median extension the council responded Neighborhood Watch Groups don’t make money Gas Stations & Mc Donald’s do!

Tonight the Planning Commission is going to show this off as a win during their annual report, is this a win in your eyes?

Veolia Water Workshop Round 2

CIP

On our city council update we left you hanging because TAB 7 was pushed off until the next council meeting so that it could be addressed at the Water Workshop tonight. Veolia apparently took on a contract they can’t deliver.

 

TAB 7 from the last council meeting is Veolia was required to provide 4000 meters at a cost of $460,000 water meters, but because they failed to check the contract they only want to provide 1600 meters at a cost of $390.000 why can Veolia pick and choose what part of the contract they can follow? Do the residents have the option of when to pay their bills?

 

What is this contract and what is this workshop for tonight? Veolia agreed to take over water and waste water services for the next 30 years and were tasked with conducting a major infrastructure overhaul of the city’s water delivery system and waste water removal system. They have already and will continue to levy major rate increases on Rialto Water customers and they have paid $40 million dollars to the city of Rialto for this utility take over. What they did is take your money and make excuses for being behind by 1-2 years on many projects because they claim that American Water (the cities first choice for a water servicer) wrote a bad contract that can’t be delivered on the originally agreed terms.

 

Veolia isn’t new to Rialto they have been around working with our waste water services for years. So they can’t claim ignorance to how Rialto is structured or set up. There are two major issues with the delay one is Rialto Water Services customers are already one full year into a four year rate increase schedule. Two if this process is delayed too long the interest rates on the loan that was taken out to make the capital improvements will eat into the money needed to afford these projects. Back in June at the first workshop Veolia upper management was asked by Councilman O’Connell in the meeting if they would cover this gap if the situation arose and they said NO.

 

Back at the first Water Workshop in June the city council found out that Veolia has been hiding behind a lame excuse of we didn’t write this contract. The community’s response to that is you signed it before reading it? What Veolia saw was an opportunity to take the rate payers for a ride and leave us with no other recourse. This contract was written in a way that city hall has thrown its hands in the air saying were stuck!!!!!!!

 

Anyone watching the news and all the problems with Los Angeles’s DWP is having with blown water lines knows that’s not where we want to be. The problem is everyone is acting like they are powerless to make Veolia do their job. Ironically a week after the first water workshop in June the city experienced a sewer back up that spilled into the streets. What is more irritating is that the Capital Improvement Projects not being completed and the massive rate increases is not the end of the problems with Veolia. Here is a short list:

  • Water meters are not being read they are being estimated. This means you are not likely to see any change in your water bill even though you’re cutting back on water usage.
  • Horrible customer service. Veolia doesn’t seem to have a customer service supervisor Monday thru Friday because when they mess up your bill you have to wait weeks to receive a call back if you receive one at all.
  • Lagging on processing payments. Veolia is slow to check the collection bin at the city of Rialto Civic Center and processes payments very slowly; you will get a late fee.
  • Horrible water pressure. Since Veolia has taken over Rialto Water Services customers have noticed a major drop in water pressure.

 

Now is the time to get involved and engage. This is an election year and was in the thick of it. Now is the time to demand action and we have some resources for you.

 

You can Send us a Letter to the Editor to be published here to rialtonow@gmail.com

 

You can email Leslie Parrilla with the San Bernardino Sun at leslie.parrilla@langnews.com

 

Contact Councilmember O’Connell shawn4rialto@hotmail.com

 

Contact Councilmember Hitrz danslmc@hotmail.com

 

Results from the Veolia Workshop

So on Monday June 16th the City Council held a workshop to get a report of the first year of the water services contract with Veolia Water Services acting as Rialto Water Services. From the sounds of it this was something that Veolia did not want to publicized because on almost every account they are behind on the infrastructure improvements six months to one and a half years. Ullico is in charge of tracking and auditing the progress Veolia has made in the first year of the 30 year contract.

Marcus Fuller the Department Head from Public Works and Ullico worked very hard to turn a bad report into a better one but the city council, Mayor & Mayor Pro Tem all saw through the smoke and mirrors. Below you will see some of the slides Ullico presented to city council last week:

Here you will see that Veolia is one year five months behind on roughly 2 million dollars worth of improvements, eight months behind schedule on 3.6 million dollars worth of improvements & five months behind on 876 thousand dollars worth of improvements. Now Ullico wants you to give Veolia a break as they want to drag their feet and “get comfortable” with the contract they took on after American Water was kicked out of the deal by Rialto Residents and the Union that represented the water employees.

 

Embedded image permalink

One major issue with giving them months and months to go over this infrastructure agreement is the 41 million will soon begin to be eaten up when interest rates increase. This means their will be less money to complete the long list of projects Former Mayor Grace Vargas, Former Councilman Ed Scott, Current Mayor Deborah Robertson and Current Mayor Pro Tem Ed Palmer all said were so vital to Rialto moving forward as a progressive city. Council Members told us these upgrades would be vital to major projects like the proposed Super Walmart & the Target Shopping Center that no longer has a Target store (Target has backed out). So what happens if Super Walmart goes in and the sewer system isn’t able to handle the bump in use? There was talk of the sewers backing up and spilling out into the streets.

Councilman O’Connell asked the VP of Veolia if the interest rates caused the money to be used up prior to completion of the listed projects would Veolia see those projects to completion. The VP of Veolia said no.

So Veolia can drag their feet and tie up these projects in paperwork and read tape while the clock ticks and you continue to pay massive increases to your rates with NO CHANGE. Even their field techs, people that live and work in this city are blown away and say that Veolia is doing nothing!!!!

The end result was a motion to have Marcus Fuller, Public Works Director meet with Rialto Water Services and Veolia to get a expedited time frame of when we can see projects beginning the construction phase. Marcus Fuller will report the outcomes in 90 days from the meeting date.

We have reached out to Veolia VP Lanita McCauley Bates and Rialto Veolia Manager Michael Greene when they respond we will update with their comments.

City Council Meeting Tonight

City_of_Rialto_Seal_rdax_175x173

Tonight is the City of Rialto’s Council Meeting. Below I have highlighted some of the items that will be on the Agenda Tonight.

We have 3 proclomations ranging from Public Safety to Earth Day.

PRESENTATIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS

Proclamation – National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.

Proclamation – Jazz Appreciation Month.

Proclamation – Earth Day.

This is on the Consent Calendar under Miscellaneous:

D.3 is spending another $5 Thousand to use full time referees verses part time referees becuase of a shortage of the part time staff. With unemployment still at all time highs why are we finding it hard to pay part time refs? Are we looking at all or are we simply taking the easy way out? www.facebook.com/InlandEmpireJobSeekers has about 10 job fairs listed in the Inland Empire I’m sure Rialto can find some part time refs there.

D.3

Request City Council to increase KCALS Officials Purchase Order 2013-0212

amount from $14,900.00 to $20,400.00 for KCALS Officials.

Looks like we will see some more work on how Elected Officals are paid for travel that always sounds good.

D.8

Request City Council to adopt Resolution No. 6247 revising Policy on

Reimbursement of Expenses of Elected Officials.

Now onto the Tab Items:

Rialto Fire

Tab 2 is a Grant that will allow us better staffing within our Fire Department. I am extremly happy with the Public Safety effort in Rialto to protect us while finding other sources of paying for that safety.

TAB 2

Request City Council to adopt Resolution No. 6240, 6241, and 6242,

Ratifying Acceptance of the FY 2012 Staffing for Adequate Fire and

Emergency Response (S.A.F.E. R.) grant from the Department of Homeland

Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the

amount of $2,856,816.

http://www.ci.rialto.ca.us/documents/downloads/Regulare_Meeting_Agenda_4-9-2013.pdf

I think its vital that we show up to every single council meeting we possibly can. I have been MIA for the last 2 months but I try to watch them at home or on the internet. We must watch what is said and done becuase in the end we are the ones paying for the councils desicions.

in&out

One thing that I saw last meeting (via the Web) was how grossly we under estimated the costs of the In & Out Project. That project is now going to cost the city another $$600K+ because they under estimated the cost of the freeway sign and forgot to add in the cost of the Rod Iron Fence and Under Water Catch Basin for the project.

I want an In & Out but not at the cost of the taxpayers. I wish the city would have went to the leaders at the City of Highland Ca and learned how to build a In & Out without draining tax dollars.

Deborah Robertson & the Utility Users Tax

RPBA

So on Tuesdays Council Meeting we had some serious shenanigans going on.

Pshing our police into the brink of disaster

Pushing our police into the brink of disaster

Council Woman Robertson had made statements prior to Tuesdays meeting that she was demanding that Rialto PD pay their full 9% pension costs or she would be the one to vote no on placing the extension of the UUT on the march ballot. So what did the Police do? They did what was in the best interest of the citizens and agreed to pay their full pensions.

So since she got what she wanted the she voted yes, right? Nope she clearly wanted more. She still voted no citing that she wants the police to do more.

After her no vote the council went straight into another closed session. While in the closed session Rialto Police Benefit Association President Richard Royce debunked the notion the police offer was anything more than their way of helping the city and Community and had no conditions as stated by George Harris with city staff. When asked what more does she want Royce said he had no idea.

Our police have given massive concessions over the years from loosing uniform allowances, cost if living, pay reduction and now paying their full retirement.

So after closed session they decided to go with our wishy washy city attorney Jimmy Gutierrez new interpretation of the law regarding just when this vote must happen. For the longest time they have said this vote must be done by the end of November. Jimmy stated that it’s his offices interpretation that they have until December 8th. Why it changed is indicative of what we saw Tuesday.

First off we saw council woman Robertson and city attorney Gutierrez having a dozen side conversations.

Second we saw council woman Robertson bring up the opportunity to delay this vote prior to rejecting it with her no vote.

So now they postponed the vote or finalizing the vote till Monday it leads us to ask what more does she want? Whatever it was she got it and its big, so big no one will speak if it. Not even off record!

The good part is in a message from Deborah Robertson she has been satisfied with the pound of flesh and blood she let from our police to vote with the fellow council members on Monday.

Here is what she said to me:

The changes have already been resolved. RPBA met with me and we appear to be good on my end and they indicated they are good as well. It was a good meeting!

These are 2 text messages she sent to me.

Everyone watch this council meeting Monday and let’s see if she finally lets the residents have a say.

Also check back Wednesday to hear how Deborah Robertson and George Harris plan to raise your trash bill……..

 

Power Point Slides from the UUT Workshop

Previous Older Entries