Truth on Measure M

We have been inundated with attacks on Social Media and in the comments of this blog. The worst of the attacks we choose to moderate. Since the Measure M supporters keep attacking us and the No on Measure M group we thought it would be fitting to tell you what they are not. Also lets kick this off with one of their statements to us for publishing the No side of this measure:

TheREAL FACTS About Measure M Measure M is a tax increase. The 8% Rialto Utility Users Tax (UUT) was given to the …

You misquoted the article, little nugget

So the people who get these benefits are clearly Yes on Measure M supporters and for good reason. They have a vested interest in Rialto having money since they work here including councilman Scott. Having 100% health coverage means they pay nothing towards their health plan (see video below). The city told the Budget Advisory Committee that city management staff and elected leaders have 100% coverage for LIFE!!!!

So of course the Thompson’s and Councilman Scott want to keep taking your money they need it for all of their perks. This is not to say our staff should not be taken care of in retirement but we are the only Public Agency in the region that offers:

  1. Health Care benefits that are covered 100% for management and elected leaders.
  2. Cover up to a family in retirement for life.

So this means that if you still have dependent kids the city will offer them Health Benefits even if you are retired. Not even Rialto Unified offers this perk to their staff. When you retire from Rialto Unified only the retiree is covered any spouses or kids have to pay for their own benefits.

Another nugget that came out in the comments of our blog is the fact that one approved the council can raise or lower the rate as they see fit. These words are not mine but those of Resident/Budget Advisory Member/City Employee for an outside city Lupe Camacho. Lupe is a great person that seems to be looking for the truth but her affiliation with our least favorite councilman makes it hard to tell who is controlling who.

“My statement never implies that council is “only” able to increase the tax without tax payer input. Let’s be clear. Fact: Our elected governing board would be able to “Increase” or “Decrease” the tax.” Lupe Camacho

Lupe went on to chastise me on how I responded to her comments. I focused on the fact that council can increase the Utility Users Tax and she was upset that I didn’t point out that they could lower it too. From my experience with this council they will never give you back a dime but they may find a way to take your last dime.

“When you choose to omit the fact that our elected board can also select to decrease the tax, you are interjecting your personal opinion and skewing the facts. Although you may have your own valid reasons for believing that, it is your opinion and it should be stated as such.
I personally do not share your point of view on the fact I have stated above and I just want to be clear about it.” Lupe Camacho

Another fun fact is the Yes on Measure M people are stressing out pretty bad since it looks like they are going to loose badly June 5th. They have become so desperate that they are promising to recall dirty elected leaders, a spending over site board and more safety.

  • Promising to recall dirty elected leaders – Love to see who is going to fund that, recalls are not cheap and the yes crowd likes dirty elected leaders.
  • A spending oversight board – Any board would be picked by the same people they are supposed to watch and the current oversight committee has had issues with people shitting down discussion and wants to hear nothing about abuse of spending. Also this isn’t in the ballot measure so the city is bound to nothing.
  • More safety – Even with the Utility Users Tax the city is $150 Million in debt we can’t pay so please show me where this safety is coming from?

Finally the city isn’t telling you that even if Measure M passes there is a Ballot Measure on the November Ballot that will make Measure M a thing of the past the California Two-Thirds Vote for State and Local Revenue Increases Initiative (2018).

“The measure requires tax measures to include a statement of how the revenues can be spent. If the revenue is to be used for general purposes, the law must state that the revenue can be used for “unrestricted general revenue purposes.” These requirements would apply to increases in state and local taxes. In the case of local government taxes, the measure requires that a statement of allowable uses be included in the ballot question presented to voters. Any change to the statement of allowable uses of revenue would have to be passed by two-thirds vote of the electorate in the case of local government taxes, or (3) a two-thirds vote of the electorate in the case of local citizen initiative taxes.” Legislative Analyst’s Office

Every poll put out has Measure M loosing 70-30%

So don’t buy into the last ditch efforts to twist your arm, you are not alone and yes you are taxed to death.

The council choose to play Russian Roulette with finances of the city. City Staff and the budget advisory committee advised the council to remain with the 5 year sunset and the council ignored that recommendation.

The Mayor choose to play chicken with the voters.

http://www.lao.ca.gov/BallotAnalysis/Initiative/2017-050

https://ballotpedia.org/California_Two-Thirds_Vote_for_State_and_Local_Revenue_Increases_Initiative_(2018)

Common Sense Says No To Measure M

TheREAL FACTS About Measure M
  • Measure M is a tax increase. The 8% Rialto Utility Users Tax (UUT) was given to the city council and all they did is abuse the tax and waste time and money. Now to remove any responsibility to the voters they are giving themselves a permanent TAX increase FOREVER!!!!!!!
  • This levy on utility bills provides roughly $14 million in revenue per year. These funds go into the General Fund and are abused by the city. The mayor and council play games with your taxes and name buildings and parks after their political allies. The council needs this money to cover the MILLIONS in Lawsuits that they have single handily brought on Rialto Tax Payers.
  • To scare you into voting for this measure the city is using the old scare tactic of taking away police and fire services. Councilman Ed Scott has been Quoted saying that rialto police the bottom of the barrel.
    • The police never respond to complaints and are causing more problems then they solve. Rialto Police are famous for the drive by they do when they respond to a call. This consists of cruising by the location at 45 MPH. Rialto Fire spends more time outside the city under a mutual aide agreement than they do inside the city. Also they are preparing to stack a Fire Tax on top of this one next year. ALL WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT!
    • Reducing the Public Works Department by 11 positions, will make little change since the city looks horrid as it is so nothing will change.
  • Had it not been for dedicated people like us the Council was HELL bent on charging this tax on all seniors!
  • Rialto Fire charges annual fees to pick you up in an emergency leading to more people avoiding calling for help and risking further injury by waiting or self transport.
  • Rialto charges you a TRASH TAX because BURRTEC trucks are too heavy for Rialto streets but we can’t charge BURRTEC for it because they are political allies of Mayor Robertson.
  • $100,000 a year is paid so that our elected leaders can travel all over the country on your DIME.
  • Even if this measure passes Rialto will still be bankrupt in 4 years. The only difference is you will be stuck with a Utility Users Tax that NEVER ENDS!!!!!
  • The people signed onto this TAX are doing so to keep the flow of your tax money into their pockets. A small handful have been bullied into signing on to this tax. Multiple people have reached out saying that the Mayor said get on board or else.

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Drug Take Back Day 2018

 

In years past Rialto had a location for the drug take back day that was actually in Rialto.

Now that the City Council along with Congress Woman Norma Torres and Congressman Pete Aguilar have destroyed the Rialto Community Coalition there is nobody looking out for drug and alcohol abuse in the city.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Teens will regularly raid family members medicine cabinets and either take the pills themselves or go to parties where kids will SKITTLE. When someone SKITTLES on prescription drugs what they are doing is taking a series of different pills from a bowl or basket without knowing what they are or how they will react together.

The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

Within 10 miles of Rialto you have 2 locations to choose from to dispose of your unwanted to old prescription drugs. To find your location nearest you click here.

Glimmer of Hope in the Midst of Tragedy

Photos by: Horacio Garcia

Follow his work at Instagram.com/horacio_photos

A local photographer captured a bright moment in a horrible situation last Friday as a truck crash in Rialto turns fatal. Photographer Horacio Garcia just happened to be in the area and this is what he said:

I happened to be on the Riverside Avenue overpass overlooking the wreckage when I saw the officer in the distance coming up the eastbound on-ramp with something in his arms and its head bobbing with each step he took. That’s when I saw the dog in his arms. I’m not sure which car the dog came from.

All to often the story of tragedy takes center stage and the small wins within that tragedy seem to go unnoticed. The Rialto Police Officer pictured carrying the dog is Motor Officer Shaun Mooney. Officer Mooney is a great officer and has been working traffic for the last few years. People from the community have had the chance to get to know this officer through his attendance at many local events and police sponsored meetings. It isn’t surprising that Officer Mooney was captured in this moment as this is just the type of Public Servant the community says they know him to be.

The other side of this story that is equally awesome yet not surprising to the community of Rialto is the dedication of the Animal Control Officers in Rialto. These officers never seem to back down from doing their jobs or refuse a request to help out in an area that may not be their area of responsibility. Animal Control Officer Erica Bluff-Hopp responded to the accident scene even though normally Animal Control does not respond to traffic accident especially on the Freeways those areas are normally handled by Local Fire, the CHP and Caltrans but this accident was anything but normal and required all hands on deck.

It is simply amazing to see how our 1st responders jump into action in situations many of us may never know about. Animal Control is not given the credit they deserve many times for advocating and help animals that have no voice and are at the mercy of compassionate human care. This moment in time also speaks to what our police officers do, they are more than simply a person to offer up a consequence for bad choices. They also do things for people that go unseen or unspoken. This dog was taken away from a crazy accident scene and placed in a place of safety, this dogs owners didn’t have to worry about their animal because strangers decided to step up and help this animal and their family.

We found out later that this dogs owners were the people who passed away in the Red car. The two people inside the car passed away and our thoughts and prayers are with the family who we found out has experienced a lot of unexpected loss recently. The upside is that because Officer Mooney and Animal Control Officer Erica Bluff-Hopp this animal survived such a horrible accident and was reunited with family shortly after the accident.

 

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Rialto Mayor & Council Seek Out A Bankrupt Rialto

So let me ask you a question? If you had a choice between a near impossible sale of a tax or a pretty good chance at keeping the current imperfect tax rolling which would you chose? Currently our Utility Users Tax is a 8% tax on your utilities and we give out exemptions to low income people and seniors. Unless we stop city council they will be asking us to vote on a permanent tax and to begin to start charging seniors.

City council seems to think you don’t like having checks and balances in their spending and you trust them that they will do what is right with your money.

What the problem is in Rialto right now is we have been using a Utility Tax to bump up our general fund and provide services. The promise was always that we would wean ourselves off the tax but NOBODY did anything to ever try and meet that goal. Our elected leaders sat back after each renewal and went on about their business and spending your money. Now all of a sudden we need to make this tax permanent?

What they are really doing is setting up the Utility Tax to fail!!!!!!

Tomorrow at the Rialto City Council Meeting at 6pm at city hall our elected leaders are supposed to finally vote on what to do with this whole situation. Now is the time the community needs to come down and tell our Mayor and Council what we think of their plans for us.

Shall the measure extending the existing 8% Utility User Tax
on telephone, cellular, electricity, gas, sewer, water, and cable
television, with no sunset clause, and amending the exemption
for individuals 65 years or older to be applicable only to said
individuals earning less than $100,000 annually per household,
while preserving exemptions for members of very low income
households, as defined by California Health and Safety Code
Section 50105, to raise approximately $14.2 million annually,
to continue basic and essential services for residents, be
adopted?

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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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The Nguyen Family Holds Its 3rd Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive

This past Saturday friends, family, neighbors and some Public Safety Hero’s got together to eat some food, make crafts and most importantly collect toys for kids in need. Tyler and his family hooked up with the Spark of Love Toy Drive effort that was created and ran by local fire agencies and ABC 7 news. Each year Tyler and his family get boxes from station 202 in Rialto and fill them full of new unwrapped toys.

In his 1st annual toy drive the Family collected 70 toys, This year they are on their way to collecting 150 toys 3 boxes full of a little something awesome for local kids.

What we thought made this toy collecting event special is the family turns it into a party where everyone has a good time eating and talking about what has gone on as another year closes and another one opens. Tyler’s entire family his mother, aunts and grandparents all get involved in making this event a success. This family is not new to giving back since they help out at Southern California shelters and soup kitchens as a way of sharing the good blessings their family has had through the year.

One big hit was the rides people at the event got in the Fire Trucks. Kids were smiling from ear to ear as Fire Trucks gave people rides before these men and women could get back to work. The event had Dinner, Dessert and Hot Coco Bar as well as craft table for the kids and some awesome family and friends conversation.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!!

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