Rialto Scrubs City Council Meeting Videos

There once was a time where the public had honest leadership that wanted them to be a part of the process of a prospering Rialto. Apparently those days are far behind the residents of Rialto.

Rialto moved their council meeting to YouTube to give the people a better opportunity to engage with council meetings. People could watch meetings live and make comments or watch the meetings on replay after the meeting was over. As we were cruising YouTube for some information on a new story we were surprised to find that City Council Meetings are no longer broadcast to YouTube and the old council meetings have been removed.

With a laundry list of people looking to replace your city council and mayor the question is will Rialto stand for once again being left in the dark?

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Rialto Continues Downward Spiral

As the Calendar moved to October 1st Rialto proved that things are not well for the Inland Empire city. Reports came from those close to city hall that city manager Rod Foster has decided to retire from his job in Rialto with just being on the job for a little over one year.

The tension was there since the city manager became aware of possible conflict of interest issues with CDBG funds given to the mayors daughters organization. City Manager Rod Foster said the special audit, which will be conducted by the Riverside accounting firm Teaman, Ramirez & Smith, will examine federal grant funding received by all community-based organizations and nonprofits, not just Bethune Center.

Tensions have continued as Rod Foster has worked to try and deal with the $150 million in unfunded liabilities that Rialto is obligated to pay, as well as balance a budget that was on the brink of bankruptcy. Constant battling with the Mayor and trying to right the financial ship of the city while reports come out that Mayor Robertson has been fighting Rod Foster for trying to make things right. Another part to the frustration of the City Manager is the backlash the audits findings caused.

According to those close to city hall the audit of the Bethune Center-NCNW has been a source of concern for the City Manager. Supporters from that community have made it hard for him to do his job and that coupled with the barriers from elected officials his health has begun to deteriorate.

Rialto now is a city run by an all interim cast, Not one single department head is run someone looking to work long term leading Rialto:

  • City Administrator is now interim Stephan Erlandson
  • Public Works interim director Michael Tahan (Former developer and Fontana Councilman)
  • City Engineer interim Savat Khamphou
  • City Attorney interim Eric Vail
  • Community Services interim Sean Grayson
  • Rialto Fire acting Brian Park
  • Community Development acting Manager Karen Peterson
  • Building & Safety interim Justin Edson

The question is why can’t we keep good people and why are the elected officials driving away all of the talented people here? 

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Rialto Mayor Robertson Ignores Constituent Over Minority Arrest Stats

In what is going to be the last meeting for the Rialto City Council until after the November 3rd Election the public comment section was rocked with comments from a Rialto resident seeking help and answers.

Mr. Simmons shows up to address the political members of our community after being ignored by the mayor and even blocked from joining her virtual townhall. This coupled with many other developments over the last 3 years are a direct result of why the mayor has 2 people challenging her for her job as mayor.

One of the most troubling things that residents heard in this communication from Mr. Simmons is that we are still using money as a way to deter people from seeking public records. In this digital day and age one would think that the need to charge people hundreds of dollars for public records would be a thing of the past. Earlier this summer the mayor had BLM ask for her resignation and people that support her say she stands for her community. So now we have to ask, who is her community? BLM wanted her to resign so they are not showing much faith in her. Mr. Simmons is being ignored and locked out of her virtual townhall so he must not be a part of her community. Add to that her complete distain for anyone who even questions her motives, her habitual lies and playing favorites with tax dollars WHO IS IN HER COMMUNITY?

The fact of the matter is that Mr. Simmons who we have reached out to but not spoken to yet is simply asking for questions and is seeking to create some sort of civilian oversight. The fact that the mayor who does not know how to spin another angry minority group in her favor is why Mr. Simmons is being ignored and left out in the cold.

 

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Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson Fails To Get SB County Democrat Endorsement

So if 2020 can’t get any crazier hold on to your seats because this is a big election year. Mayor Robertson has been Mayor since 2012 and received the local Democrat nomination in both 2012 and 2016. This year is different because according to sources inside the local party she has been given a vote of no confidence leaving her to fend off two strong challengers in this years election.

Mayor Robertson is up against Former Councilman Ed Palmer and Local public advocate Lupe Camacho. In 2016 Mayor Robertson only had to fend off one challenger and that race was overshadowed by the death of Councilman Shawn O’Connell. This year the Mayor has to fend off Councilman Ed Palmer and new to the Rialto stage Lupe Camacho. Lupe Camacho isn’t some know nothing candidate she has spent the last 2-3 years holding Rialto officials and staff feet to the fire when it came to public works projects and new development. Lupe a knowledgeable former public works employee from Chino has never back down from a fight and knows how things are supposed to be done and where the money is normally hidden.

The SBC Sentinel wrote that Mayor Robertson failed to get the nomination by the County Democrat Committee because:

Robertson faces allegations backed by an investigation for conflict of interest involving a city contract awarded to a nonprofit organization headed by her daughter. She has been dogged as well as a consequence of her support of embattled West Valley Water District Board Member Channing Hawkins.

It is cute that other publications are finally covering SOME of the mayors major public flaws but we have been here telling our readers the same thing and many called us crazy. Well let’s look back at the Mayors history of abusing her power and misusing public funds:

Not getting your parties nomination after getting it regularly is a big problem for the Mayor. The choice is yours who are you voting for in November?

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Coronavirus Effects Rialto Economy

The Rialto City Council scheduled an emergency meeting to address the Corona Virus outbreak. The enacted an emergency declaration that gave the City Manager supreme powers over events, staffing and public safety. City Manager Rod Foster took this meeting to remind us that even though he works here he is not effected by the decisions made in the city of Rialto as he lives in a wealthy area of Orange County.

Some say that the action is premature given that the school district is on spring break and that there are no confirmed cases in Rialto or San Bernardino County. Others say that we must be early to keep the citizens safe. Councilman Ed Scott (who will comment some inappropriate comments on this post) spoke about being one of the people that is a high risk for having an extreme reaction to this virus given his advanced age and long list of medial conditions. Ed Scott spoke to racial profiling as his wife who is Asian decent were verbally attacked and berated at San Manuel Casino because this Corona Virus originated from China. It was sad to hear that still we are so ignorant because these type of things must stop.

Councilman Ed Scott and Councilman Joe Baca Jr. spoke about the threat to seniors and how we would handle our senior center operations. Councilman Joe Baca Jr. asked that city facilities be deep cleaned and that the senior center would take priority. Councilman Ed Scott said that the City of Fontana told him that they were restricting their senior center to only seniors. That is interesting because that building is a public building and is a community center as well. Many of the people who use that facility rely on the computers and other facilities to function in a tech world.

Clearly this outbreak has made us forget the poor and disadvantaged. Mayor Robertson also pointed out that 80% of the management staff are coming from a county that has had a large number of Corona Virus cases in Orange County. Maybe we should have thought about that when choosing people who live nowhere near Rialto. The reason this is an issue is when it comes to asking people to telecommute what happens if your Director of Emergency Services gets stuck over an hour an way?

The council called for Social Distancing in light of the virus outbreak and were unaware on how we could do this without hurting our new and “vibrant” economy. Rialto Flooring posted a video this morning the day after this meeting of a very empty downtown which they said was extremely rare. The mayor suggested that people utilize the delivery services or ordering out.

Ex-Rialto police officer sentenced to 2 years in prison for having unregistered firearms, silencers

A Corona lawyer and former Rialto police officer was sentenced Thursday to two years in federal prison after unregistered weapons and bomb-making materials were found in his possession.

Sergio Lopez de Tirado, 44, was sentenced for possessing unregistered firearms, silencers and a hand grenade that were found inside his truck during a law enforcement stop, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

He plead guilty in April 2019 to one count of possession of unregistered firearms and a destructive device.

Law enforcement officials found Lopez de Tirado asleep and apparently intoxicated in the passenger seat of a pickup truck that was parked with its door open, blocking a Norco driveway, on Dec. 21, 2018.

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Lori Daybell Mother of Missing Children Has Roots in Rialto

Lori Daybell the mother who is accused of refusing to inform Idaho authorities on the location of her adoped son JJ and daughter Tylee has roots here in the city of Rialto. Lori Daybell (maiden name Cox) grew up in Rialto and graduated from Eisenhower High School. One of Lori Daybells old high school freinds and fellow cheer team member says that the Lori she new and the Lori now are two totally different people.

Lori was known as the fun loving blonde bombshell that loved to have fun with her friends, got good grades and was the FLYER on the cheer team (the person that the team would throw up in the air). According to friends on the cheer team Lori was a fun loving person that just wanted to hang out with her friends and wasn’t very interested in boys until her Senior year. Lori came from a very large Mormon family and her family never came to her cheer events which friends say didn’t bother her much at all. Lori’s path was directed by her faith and her plans were to go to BYU and to do mission work for the Later Day Saints church after high school common to most Mormon kids.

It was after high school that something went terribly wrong in Lori’s life. She married a non Mormon man right after high school and that was a marriage that didn’t last long and that husband is all but a secret as even larger news organizations have not been able to identify that man. What is known is that Lori’s wild behavior is that multiple marriages, lies, death and now the disappearance of her two youngest children now lay in her wake. A reporter spoke to Lori’s first son Colby about his mother Lori, missing siblings and his dead step father and uncle.

Colby told the reporter that his mother just showed up one day at his place of work with his two step siblings and said I found a new job we are moving, little did Colby know that would be the last time he would see his siblings before they went missing. Colby said that he learned about his moms new marriage, place of residence and disappearance of his siblings through the media.

Lori isn’t the only one in Cox family to go off the deep end in this story or in life in general. Lori’s brother Alex Cox tazzed Lori’s Texas husband and threatened to kill him and shot and killed Lori’s husband in Arizona. Alex Cox passed away a few months after killing Charles Vallow in 2019. Lori Daybell is being investigated for a string of deaths that lay in her wake as well as the disappearance of her two younger kids. Lori had a court date in Idaho where her bail was reduced from 5 million to just 1 million. Recent reports show that Lori only needs $150 thousand at most to bail out. She will need to wear an ankle monitor and remain in the Rexburg Idaho area.

Lori’s children, Tylee and JJ, have been missing for more than five months. JJ was last seen on Sept. 23 in Rexburg and Tylee was last seen Sept. 8 in Yellowstone National Park. The FBI is asking anyone with photos of that day to turn them over to FBI officials so they can try and track where the family may have been seen in the park.

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Two Council Members Enter Runoff For 5th District seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rialto Councilman Joe Baca Jr and Fontana Councilman Jesse Armendarez have finished in the top two spots in the Election to replace termed out Supervisor Josie Gonzalez. In the presidential primary election on March 3, Baca Jr. received 12,442 votes (39.38 percent of the total) and Armendarez gained 8,624 votes (27.30 percent), according to final unofficial results released by the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office.

This election had four people running for the newly open seat. Business Owner Nadia Renner & Colton School Board Member Dan Flores both finished at the bottom of the race. Since nobody obtained more than 50% of the total vote the top two vote getters will be in a runoff in the November Presidential Election. One interesting portion of this race was how people decided how and when to enter the race.

Dan Flores more than just a School Board Member for the Colton Joint School District he was Supervisor Josie Gonzalez Chief of Staff. Dan Flores was seen as the heir to the throne when it came to the 5th Supervisors Seat. Dan spent the longest building his campaign and seemed to have support from many areas across the district, that was until the filling period loomed in the distance. Councilman Joe Baca Jr has been seeking an exit to teaching and being a Council Member on the Rialto City Council and it seems he found his out. Even though Rialto seems to be booming with economic activity, there are a lot of looming issues that the current council has been ignoring or kicking down the road. Councilman Jesse Armendez is an entirely different situation because he only got into local politics to be a paid puppet for Fontana Mayor Aquenetta Warren. Fontana Mayor Warren has spent the last six years buying elections and putting people on boards so she can feed contracts to her donors and control elected bodies.

Most people we spoke to thought both Councilmen were grasping at straws entering this race. Joe Baca Sr has done much damage to the Baca dynasty name and Joe Baca Jr seems like a vanilla local elected official looking for new power and a bigger paycheck. Jesse Armendarez looked even worse, with very little elected experience and little to no name recognition outside of the Fontana political structure. Yet both Councilmen used some divisive tactics to overcome the other two running for Supervisor to. Joe Baca Jr used his ability to fund raise from local and regional Democrats as well as using his name recognition to overcome his opponents. Jesse Armendez tactics were business as usual for an Aquentta Warren Campaign. Using the force behind the Inland Empire Business Alliance coupled with some lies in the campaign Jesse finished in the top two.

Jesse Armendez worked to lure in Democrats that were undecided between the two Democrats in the race coupled with his lack of name recognition by putting out different mailers. If you were registered Democrat you got a flyer that said Jesse was a Democrat, Republicans got a mailer labeling him as a Republican. Jesse’s PAC’s also spent money sending out lies in mailers that Dan Flores a long time Democrat was a Trump Republican. Donald Trump should make sure he creates space between himself and Mayor Warren since she seems quick to use Trump hate to derail campaigns. This Campaign came down to Moderate Democrats vrs Progressive Democrats. Political power houses like Congress Woman Norma Torres and Congress Man Pete Aguilar supported Dan Flores.

 

 

After the election turmoil remains high for West Valley Water

After the dust settled after the most recent West Valley Water Board elections the turmoil has yet to settle. Many were surprised to see the current board that was left virtually in tact except for the election of new comer Channing Hawkins and that this board relinquished the seat of President to the newly elected Board Member Hawkins. So have said that this seems to be a trap to set Board Member Hawkins up to fail. We have reached out multiple times to speak with Board President Hawkins about this but have failed to speak to him.

West Valley Water District board member Channing Hawkins reaches after being voted in as President of the West Valley Water District, during a board meeting in Rialto, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (Photo by John Valenzuela, Contributing Photographer)

Whatever the case Board Member Hawkins is the dully chosen Board President and seems to be on a course to make changes within the structure of the Water District. The most notable change is the live streaming of board meetings via Facebook Live and then posting a video recording to the Water Districts newly created YouTube channel. The recent implementation of these two sources have removed a large barrier between the Water Board and the Rate Payers as many people work long hours and have family obligations that make it difficult to show up to regular meetings let alone all the special meeting West Valley has had lately. Now rate payers can remain informed on what is going on without having to disrupt their already busy lives.

About the time that Board President Hawkins took the position of Board President many of the Water District Managers took that opportunity to deliver a letter of no confidence in West Valley Water GM Clarence Mansfield. The letter from the West Valley Managers demanded that he be fired because of poor leadership and alleged cronyism. This letter was put out suspiciously close to a SCNG investigation into a laundry list of problems since Mansfield was hired, they also pointed out his salary of $225k dollars as well.

As someone that has been covering this Water District long before the Southern California News Group. There have been problems for 6 to 8 years with West Valley Water Board where former Board President but still a current Board Member has been running the Water District into the ground and has been using questionable hiring practices since he sat on the Water Board. Another thing is I know Mr Mansfield and I haven’t spoken to him recently I can tell you he has learned the hard way to try and get his job done without running directly afoul of the elected people over him. He was railroaded at LA DWP years ago when questioned certain internal practices, then was made the scapegoat for the laundry list of failures in the sale of the City of Rialto’s Water and Waste Water to Veollia where he was the first GM to tackle that project. Now he is the GM for a Water District that was upside down in questionable behavior for years before he got there.

Board President Hawkins seems genuine in his interest to be transparent holding Facebook Lives to go over the agenda with constituents prior to meetings and there doesn’t appear to be any visible bias in the decisions he has led the district to make. Quite the opposite the oldest and most long standing Board Members have openly attacked Board President Hawkins for some of the preliminary moves he has taken.

Only time will tell what these changes will bring about and what if anything will change with the General Manager job for this struggling water agency.

Click here to read about Martin Piñon as Interim Human Resources and Risk Manager

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West Valley Water District Looks To Yet Another Consultant To Solve Internal Problems

On February 4th 2020 West Valley Water put out a press release on the hiring of yet another upper level manager and consultant to fix the laundry list of problems West Valley Water District has faced. The newest person that has claimed they will do what nobody else has been able to do is Martin Piñon who will be acting as the Interim Human Resources and Risk Manager. According to the press release, In addition to implementing best practices and standards for human resources, Piñon will manage the District’s personnel activities including salary and benefits administration, workers’ compensation, risk management, safety, training, employee relations, recruitment and selection. Pinion will also ensure that the District is in compliance with employment laws and work with management to correct employee deficiencies, apply disciplinary actions, address grievances and follow-up with complaints and inquiries.

Among his long list of experience and education the notable piece is that he has a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University San Bernardino. Now your asking yourself why is that the portion of Mr. Piñon you focus on? Well for years Board Member Clifford Young a fixture at Cal State San Bernardino appeared to be using his influence over the hiring process to gift high level positions to people he favored from said college.

Piñon said about his appointment “It’s not rocket science,” said Piñon. “We’re going to turn it all around.”

Board President Hawkins said that Piñon’s hiring was directly tied to his appointment as board president and the district’s “renewed, collective commitment to ratepayers.

All matters regarding employment have been taken off GM Clarence Mansfield’s plate and the recommendations from Piñon will fall to the 2 member committie of President Hawkins and Vice President Crowther. The hiring of additional staff isn’t over as Mr. Piñon has already stated that Legal Counsel and an additional HR firm will need to be hired to fix what is broken. Another very expense and time consuming item on Mr. Piñon’s agenda is a comp and class study to look at pay and wages.

Now we don’t know Mr Piñon and we hope he can accomplish everything he said he can, but knowing the track record of West Valley water over the last 8-10 years this just looks like more of the same and more wasted money being spent!

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