Final Rialto Candidate Forum Today

The final candidate forum of the 2014 election year is today and will only highlight two of the may areas up for grabs on November 4th. The two areas that will be covered are City Council ( two seats open out of four candidates ) and Rialto Unified School Board ( two seats open with six people for the seats ). One interesting portion of this event is it appears Ed Scott will poke his head out and finally speak publicly on the race which he has primarily done through private fundraisers and mailers & signs. It will be nice to see a majority of the candidates out together and we can hear their view points at the same time. The event is at the Rialto Senior Center on South Riverside Ave. See flyer below for more info.

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Municiple Bonds Become Volitile, What Does This Mean For Rialto?

“A decision by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRKB +0.28% to end a large wager on the municipal-bond market is deepening questions from some investors about the risks of buying debt issued by cities, states and other public entities.”

“Some investors said the decision to end the bet indicates that one of the world’s savviest investors has doubts about the state of municipal finances“.

Read more of the Wall Street Journal article at the link below:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443855804577601413630604118.html

So what I find funny in a scary way about all this is Rialto/RUA is looking to take out a $177 Million loan with $27.4 Million in existing debt. I was told that the overall rate is going to be between 7.25% & 7.5%. Yet the bulk ($144 Million) we will be paying 4.33% to 4.83% so the rates average out to be so expensive once we tack on existing debt. Why is that?

First of all because California has borrowed itself into a hole. That’s why governor Brown & a ton of other people have qualified tax measures for the November ballot. They have borrowed us into a massive hole and wont stop spending to save this state.

Second cities, school districts, counties and the state have been using bonds as a dirty band aide for their budget woes. Bonds were seen as good long term investments because municipalities made sure money was there for the bond payments to keep AA & AAA bond ratings or good credit scores. Now they just don’t have the money so they are defaulting on payments or just faulting altogether with Bankruptcy.

I have said time and time again, this deal isn’t good for the RESIDENTS in RIALTO! Yes the infrastructure needs to be upgraded but Rialto and the RESIDENTS are not in the position take on such massive debt while reaching into the pockets of struggling families. Do you know how we are going to pay the interest on this debt; we are borrowing money to pay the first three years. So that means we are borrowing more money than needed to pay interest on debt we cannot afford.

I have heard that this deal is worth $1 Billion to the parties involved. We need to stop this deal in its tracks, hold on and once our economy is back on track look into moving forward. Rialto will be $5 Million in the hole this year. Meaning we are using our reserves for what we can’t get out of our unions in the way of contract negotiations.

The amount of money we are in the hole ($5 Million) is the same amount that staff said was nessicary to bring all the county areas up to city code ($5 Million) since the city and the mangers of the Lytle Creek Development were strong armed by Josie Gonzales and the rest of the Board of Supervisors on the county board. They said if we wanted to annex the county areas in the proposed Lytle Creek Development we must also annex the areas already within our city limits. So when Ed Scott tells you that the water deal isn’t part of the Lytle Creek Development what are we supposed to think with this info. Looks like $5 Million is coming from the borrowed money to fund yet another project.

Warren Buffets recent actions means he dosent trust municipalities ability to re-pay the loans!!!! Said Ric Edelman of Edelman Finacial Services (see the podcast link below, fast forward to the last 7 minutes).

http://www.ricedelman.com/cs/radio_show/past_shows?id=1837

I have been told that this deal is also nessicary for attracting new development. What I find funny is In & Out is good to go for next year and Wal-Mart has won its lawsuits and plans to move forward with plans to re-locate to the empty lot on the corner of San Bernardino and Riverside Avenues (I don’t like this store). So why do we need 30 million dollars? To pay off the back room deals that Ed Scott and Ed Palmer have made with the Lewis builders (Target Developers) and Ron Pharrise the principle owner of the Lytle Creek Development. So once they have wasted the 30 Million dollars then what? Our CURRENT city government is so horrible at attracting real development that the community actually wants.

For example I have heard numerous council members say in reference to In & Out “we need more than another fast food place” or “we have enough burger joints”. We have too many crappy stupid chain fast food burger joints that hire the worst employees, pay the lowest wages and offer horrible customer service. On top of all that they offer a un healthy over processed food option.

In & Out is the best burger option in the State. They offer fresh quality food at a reasonable price. They also are and employer that looks for the best expects the best and pays a very fair wage. They are always clean, polite and productive. The next best option is Bakers but for some reason they are always right smack in the middle of the worst part of the city.

People in Rialto do you want to see this deal drag this city into ruin? How much more money do you want to give these defunct local legislators? Stop the back room deals and call them on this failed deal, also let’s vote for major change in November.

Below is a list of people tied to or working on this Water Deal call and email them and let them know what you think of their deal even if you already called or emailed do it again they have yet to get the message:

All Council Members can be reached at 909-820-2525 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            909-820-2525     end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Grace Vargas vargasg@rialtoca.gov

Ed Scott

scotte@rialtoca.gov

Joe Baca Jr

bacaj@rialtoca.gov

Ed Palmer

palmere@rialtoca.gov

Deborah Robertson

robertsond@rialtoca.gov

Contact Anthony W. Araiza General Manager

administration@wvwd.org
Table Rock Finacial:
Megan – 415-497-2320 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            415-497-2320     end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Lynn Smull – 510-326-3209 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            510-326-3209     end_of_the_skype_highlighting

855 W. Base Line Road P.O. Box 920 Rialto, CA  92377 Ph: (909) 875-1804 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (909) 875-1804     end_of_the_skype_highlighting ext. 703 Fx: (909) 875-7284

Update and comentary on prop 218 count

Let me preface this article with a little piece of info. When your asking someone to invest in your company or idea you give a portion or percentage over to them for a certain dollar amount.
City Council and Staff along with the RUA valued the water and waste water at 30 million dollars of which they are cashing out in total. American Water is valuing the water and waste water systems at 130 million dollars, with a 3 million dollar reduction each year we honor the contract. So when the contract is so bad we just can’t stomach their lack of service and customer service people working in call centers in India we have to pay them at their valuation. So a city with no money as it is we will be stuck with this crappy bad deal. The city has already begun to sell your services down the drain. Street sweepers that under sold a contract to get the work to come back later for more money. Graffiti removal services where the owner actually said who cares if the tags stay up another day or two if it saves the city money.
Remove these people this november and send a message that we demand to be heard and represented.
RIALTO – A big question surrounding Rialto’s controversial 30-year contract with American Water Works Co. Inc. will be answered Tuesday.That’s when officials from the City Clerk’s office will count Proposition 218 protest ballots starting at 1 p.m.

Proposition 218 requires cities to have a vote of potentially affected residents when a rate hike is proposed.

In the case of Rialto’s proposed water rate hikes, a large number of ballots came into the city within the last 30 minutes of the deadline on June 12, Mayor Pro Tem Ed Scott said Friday.

That prompted the City Council to defer a vote on the final procedure to institute a series of rate hikes that would mean a 114.5-percent increase in water and wastewater

A wheel line irrigation system operates in an agriculture area near the offices of Pacific Gas and Electric Company in Hinkley. (Gabriel Luis Acosta/Staff Photographer)

rates by 2016.

The rate hikes are part of a plan to outsource the management of Rialto’s water and wastewater systems to American Water.

The matter will be taken up again at a City Council meeting on June 26.

While the vote tally could end the deal, that result is unlikely, election observers say, as more than half of the Rialto property owners and renters who are ratepayers – plus one – would have filed a protest.

But there’s another issue looming that could derail the water agreement and rate hikes.

On May 12, members of the Utility Workers of America turned in petitions with more than 6,400 signatures seeking to put the council’s water rate decisions to a vote, which could be held in November or at another time selected by the council.

Only about 3,800 signatures are needed to take the council’s action to voters.

The city hired the county’s elections office to validate the signatures.

Scott said he has not heard the result, but that too would come out on the council meeting of June 26.

Not only do signatures need to be valid, but the process to collect the signatures needs to be valid, Scott said.

Joe Baca Jr., who was the lone dissenter in the rate hike vote, said most Rialto residents understand that rates need to increase to pay for water system upgrades, just not so rapidly.

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Update on the American Water Petitions and Prop 218 Protest Letters

Dear friends and neighbors:

As you know, we are fighting the American Water privatization deal in Rialto in two different ways:  first, the petition we recently filed to require the City to place the American Water contract up for a vote of the people; and second, the Prop 218 process for Rialto property owners to block the rate hikes the City is trying to impose in order to pay for this misguided scheme.

I am writing to alert you to developments on both fronts.

Concerning the voter petition, the San Bernardino Sun reported today that the City has forwarded our petitions to the County of San Bernardino to certify whether we have submitted enough signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot.  The County says that process will take about two weeks.

We expect the County to confirm that we have submitted more than enough votes to place this critical decision before the voters of Rialto.  You can read the Sun’s article at the following link:

http://www.sbsun.com/ci_20648408/county-elections-staff-verifying-signatures-rialto-petition-vote

Concerning the Prop 218 process, we mailed protest cards today to all Rialto property owners.  These cards provide property owners with a convenient way to tell the City that the people of Rialto reject these unfair rate hikes.  We also included a postage-prepaid envelope to make it easy for impacted property owners to return the protest cards.

Under Proposition 218, if a majority of impacted property owners file protests with the City, the City cannot impose these rate hikes!

If you are property owner in Rialto – or a renter who is responsible for paying the water or sewer bill – we encourage you to return the protest card as soon as you receive it.  If you receive a mailing from SOS Rialto Water, please open it immediately; sign the enclosed protest card; and return it to us in the postage-prepaid envelope.

We will deliver every protest card we receive to the City Clerk’s office before the June 12 deadline.

Please remember – Rialto property owners can block these unfair rate hikes, but only if a sufficient number of protests are filed with the City by June 12.  Please return your protest card to SOS Rialto Water immediately.

Thank you again for your support in blocking these unfair rate hikes.

Sincerely,

Mark Brooks

SOS Rialto Water and Utility Workers Union of America

Won this (Water) Battle, Yet Still forging on the War Front

Below is the form email that went out from SOS Water, the organization that is spearheading the drive to allow City of Rialto Voters to vote on the decision to outsource our water and waste water systems. I hope this push proves a few things to the city council and mayor of Rialto:

  • Simple transperity isn’t enough when it comes to our water and a 30 year contract – Besides people who either work for the city, sit on a city commission/board or belong to a group or organization that is owned by the city government no one things that the information meetings were informative, they were more confusing. No other proposals were shown, staff presenting the information came off cocky and rude & people were left with more questions than answers.
  • When the people (Rialto Residents) speak listen – 80+ people signed up to speak on the impending vote on water services & the city council choose to instead listen to Union reps, possible future business owners, labor lobbies & inappropriate city mouth pieces (Ref June Hayes calling one of the speakers a card carving communist). When Rialto business owners and residents filled 4 rooms and spoke their piece and you still chose to ignore it, you work for us remember that.
  • For years this city government has made a choice to ignore the water system, now when RDA funds are gone we make a made dash for the first person willing to pay us off. How is this fair to the city? Why should the residents pay for your lack of leadership. It was best said today as Governor Brown was making his latest pitch for higher taxes he ask a reporter if she didn’t like his plan what did she think he should do and she said “THATS YOUR JOB”. IF the city water is in such disrepair then let’s get to work fixing it. Start off by using the 30 million dollars the Utility owes you and let’s get to work. Then lets talk about slow graduated increases that will hurt less over time to obtain the remainder of the money and finish the work. By the councils own admission this alone will bring business here that was avoiding us because of our water systems age and disrepair. I don’t agree that is why they are avoiding us but that’s for another post.
  • SOS is comprised from people out-of-state that have seen American Water at work and know first hand what type of service they provide. This doesnt bother me one bit because without the hard work and passion of the people of Rialto their efforts would have died out eons ago.

Dear friends and neighbors:

On Saturday, May 12, we filed our petition with the City Clerk with substantially more than enough signatures to place the water privatization scheme before the voters of Rialto.  Under California law, this means that the City will be required to present this critical issue to a vote of the people.

We needed 10% of the registered voters of Rialto to qualify for the ballot – or just over 3,600 signatures.  Instead, we turned in more than 6,400 signatures!

The people of Rialto really came through to let City Council know that the voters of Rialto deserve to have the final say on this misguided 30-year privatization scheme.

The next step is that the City will review our petition to verify that we have submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures.  After that, this issue should be presented to a public ballot sometime over the next few months.  We will need to re-double our efforts to make certain this water privatization contract is defeated at the ballot box.

In addition, in the next few days we will be sending Prop 218 protest cards to all Rialto property owner who are affected by the huge rate hikes that the City Council is trying to push through to finance this deal.  If a majority of property owners protest these rate hikes, then the City cannot impose the rate increases and the entire water privatization scheme fails.

We will keep you posted on both of these efforts as we move forward.

Congratulations again for all of your hard work and for standing up for the future of Rialto.

Mark Brooks

SOS Rialto Water

P.S.  I am posting below a link to the news story in the Sunday’s San Bernardino Sun concerning our success in getting the petition filed, and another link to a guest editorial from SOS Rialto Water members that was printed in the Sun on May 9.

http://www.sbsun.com/ci_20612243/more-than-6-000-rialto-residents-sign-petition

http://www.sbsun.com/pointofview/ci_20585383/rialto-voters-deserve-say-american-water-deal

 

Signature Collectors be proud Final signature count is……

Josef Britt
We the People have spoken. The final count is into the Rialto City Clerks Office.The Referendum Petition that we fought so hard for, 3 weeks of door to door asking all Rialto Voters to please sign and you did. We were hoping for min of 3500 and topping out 5000 for padding and our numbers are 6418, You did it. We the People of Rialto have spoken. Here’s a camera shot of the receipt I took in front of the Clerks office 5:00pm. Now let’s start to rebuild Rialto to the Jewel that it should be. Rialto you did it. Thanks! Joe Britt

Why Can’t Rialto Vote on Who runs the Water & Waste Water Systems?

Ok everyone we have recived the phone calls from both sides and with an issue like this in these economic times it can be hard to decifer the honesty and mistruths in both messages.

On one hand you have SOS Save our Water with a petition drive to undo the decision by the City Council and Mayor to sell off our water and waste water systems to American Water. The only Council Member to vote against this twice was Joe Baca Jr. who is running for Assembly.

I spoke to somone down at the city and this is the best I can decifer from both messages.

SOS Save Our Water (AKA AFL-CIO) – The union that represents the water workers dosen’t like this deal. So what they are doing is they have begun over the last couple weeks began circulating a petition to put on the ballot for the voters to decide on wheather they want American Water to actually take ownership of our systems. It does not effect water rates increasing, it just reverses councils decision. In my opinion this is a bad deal with the wrong company. Its just a last ditch effort to sell or water off for 30 YEARS for a small one time payment of 30 million dollers.

 

 

 

 

 

City of Rialto, Edward J Carrillo, Scott Beard, Midge Zupanic, Mayor Grace Vargas, Bill Perez & Randall Lewis – This group has Robo Called, wrote in the voice of the people and mailed out letters. They want you to believe that without American Water no upgrades will ever be done and the city will crumble around itself. Ok maybe the city falling apart was my adding of dramatics but not without a little help from the city goverment. There are other companies out there with better deals for residents, its the 30 million doller pay back that has council salivating. They keep calling the 30 million dollers Redevelopment money, they had better be careful lest the state takes ownership of that money as well. If all else fails let the current employees do their job and slowly upgrade our systems. What your telling us is the people the city employed to do the job can’t meaning you don’t know how to hire the right people. Also I really dont understand how a private company can get better deals on materials and supplies but a City can’t. Cities have resources like legislators, County Supervisors and others that can help them get those great prices on supplies. Hey if Lewis Comercial Properties want to build here so bad why can’t they or Ron Pharris help the city barter for reasonable prices. With the right protection and projects Rialto is a reat place to bring your business because so many of us shop well outside our community for entertainment and day to day needs.

City office said if you don’t like the American Water Deal feel free to sign the Petition, But if you want to battle the water rates only then you must mail or walk in a letter of protest with the following information.

Name, Adress or APN & Signature. These three things must be on your letter I am signing the petition and sending out a letter and I suggest that the rest of the city does the same.

If you want to sign a petition you can go to:

379 W Valley Blvd

Rialto Ca 92376

Or if you have peitions that need to be turned in also go to the Valley Location.

If you dont want to leave your home feel free to respond to this post or email rialtonw@aol.com with your address and we will come to you with a petition to sign. Or you can go to Fresh And Easy above the 210, Walmart on Riverside or call petition cordinator Mark (615) 419-2932.

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