Big Checks Written to Pay off One Union for Pushing Permanent Tax on Residents

The city is super proud of themselves for taking the last bit of control away from the voters on getting spending in this city under control. As they were preparing for the June 5th vote the city was working out a lucrative payoff program for the Police Department.

“On May 31, 2018, the parties reached an oral tentative agreement on the terms for a successor MOU, the deal points of which are set forth below and affirmed by the execution of this formal written Tentative Agreement by the parties’ labor representatives.” (Police Union Agreement)

Let us tell you why we believe that this agreement is a slap in the face to the people who live in Rialto. Let us go over a few key points before we move on:

  • We are not against the Police getting paid for the job they do.
  • We realize that the Police were working on a contract that was two years old.

What happened is that the city of Rialto approved an 8% back pay lump sum check for Rialto Police Officers and Management for two years, then a 8% pay increase for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. There are two big problems with this move:

  • The city has no extra money – for the last 5 years we have been basically cash balanced meaning we can pay our current bills but if the car breaks down we are screwed. Our budget has zero room for any sizable hit to it.
  • The Vote to make the Utility Tax Permanent was only an increase in the respect that it is here forever. The only way the city can make more money on it is by increasing the rate above 8%.
  • The city is $150 Million in debt to PERS and Retiree Health Benefits and there is ZERO plan on how to pay those costs.

Another problem with this raise is the fact that as our population is increasing our police force is shrinking. Nobody inside city hall seems concerned with the fact that Rialto Police Department is less likely to be able to handle this city with less and less staff. Not to mention popular shopping and dinning centers that are coming on board. How is Rialto going to handle the influx when staffing levels continue to drop?

Members of the Rialto Budget Advisory Committee wanted to add staff positions to the department while giving a 1.5 percent pay increase to the Police. The community members saw that just throwing money at the problem wouldn’t solve the issue of the public’s ability to feel safe. Chairman Stacey Augustine said as a manager of a major plant in Rialto he learned that simply giving employees more money would not change everything that was wrong in a workplace. Members Joe Rayden and Michelle Sanchez were concerned that the additional funds were not spent on hiring new officers.

Rialto Police have had a lot of recent turnover. The turnovers have applied pressure to the city to make a move to make employees happy and pay them back for pressuring community members into backing the permanent Utility Users Tax. Was this turnover simply about making less money or are there deeper roots? We do know that for the last two years the following has happened:

  • Police Chief Randy Deanda ripped apart a happy and functioning police department.
  • Officers were targeted for removal just because the current political power players didn’t like them.
  • Money was spent on personal witch hunts.
  • Police management staff have abused travel spending and lied to justify travel.
  • A long standing non profit that supported the police department with providing vital funds for specialized departments is still barred from doing their work.
  • Officers, Cpls, Sgt’s and Lt’s all have left the city for other departments.
  • Outside of pay the latest class and comp study showed Rialto Police Officers making at or above the median for other agencies of similar size..

If money was the sole issue why is the Dispatch Supervisor and a veteran officer still leaving after this deal was approved? Also one prominent Sgt recently made his intentions of an early retirement known, if he kept working he would make more in retirement than he will now? So if it is just money why is he leaving?

The problem is that Rialto is not learning from any past mistakes:

  • You can’t promise what you don’t have.
  • You can’t spend what isn’t coming in.
  • You can’t depend on the leadership of intern staff in high level positions in difficult years.

Rialto has spent money or promised to spend money they do not have over and over again. They added $2 million to redeveloping Frisbee park, They have locked Rialto into an agreement to build a 22 acre park in the new Renaissance area with no funds for that park, handed over hundreds of thousands of dollars to the police with this new raise (regular officer alone will make an extra $6 thousand a year with the new raise) and still funnel money to special interests and development buddies that dump money into their campaigns.

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Travel and Transparency Remain Out of Control in Rialto

Rialto Police Department wants you to believe that they are concerned with providing money to keep your Police Department fully staffed. They went as far as to scare local residents into voting for a permanent tax this month to keep police services at their current levels.

This blogger would like to remind you of the following:

  • We have harped on out of control spending on travel.
  • We have told you that there is Zero transparency in the City of Rialto.
  • Outside of this blog NOBODY is reporting on or writing about Rialto.

At the June 12th city council meeting the city council approved

Request City Council to Approve a Travel and Training Request for
Lieutenant Dean Hardin to attend Senior Management Institute for Police
(SMIP) of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in the Estimated
Amount of $10,405.60, Budgeted in the Proposed Fiscal Year 2018/19
Budget.

As you can see from the photo above the estimate that Rialto Police Department submitted was from April 30th yet they are barley bringing this item forward on June 12th? The date of travel is July 7th, not sure about you but airline rates get more expensive as you wait to book your flight closer to the departure date. Don’t worry being frugal with tax dollars is a thing of the past now.

Literature that looks like it was copied on a machine from the 80’s state this is a training for Chief’s of Police. Are we spending over $15K to give a Lt. andance training so he can qualify for a promotion? Shouldn’t that be the burden of the employee not the Tax Payers?

“Chiefs must find new ways to address these issues and deliver a wide’r scope of services, often with fewer resources.”

Also this was stuck on the consent calendar meaning their was no discussion and very little input on why this travel expense was relevant in the 1st place. This must be why people like to work in Rialto they get to travel for FREE on your tax dollars.

Are you done wasting tax money on wasteful spending?

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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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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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Internal Affairs Investigation Ruins K9 Partner “Jordy’s” Career

Initial reports are that the city has paid over $6000 in boarding fees for former officer Glen Andersons partner Jordy. He was kept at Adlerhorst in Jurupa for ten months at $25.00 per day. This poor hardworking police dog is one of the greatest victims of whatever the Police Chief had an issue with former officer Glen Anderson.

The department purchased a new dog costing around $11,000 from Adlerhorst using money from the police department that could have been spent elsewhere if the Police Chief had not cut ties with the Friends of Rialto Police K9 program. Reports are that K9 Jordy was given back to Adlerhorst for another dog the a new K9 officer choose. Rialto Police added two officers since officer Glen Anderson was fired. These officers will be going through the basic class which cost is approximately $5,000 each costs that the Friends would have normally paid. Due to the length of time Jordy sat at the kennels he was no longer desirable for purchase by any other police agency and was sold to a private party.

This awesome police dog and a former Military Veteran (K9 Military Dog) was locked up, had to spend his birthday in a cage all because of an issue our Police Chief had with one of his officers. Whether officer Anderson was fired for a good reason or for a power struggle the Dog paid the ultimate price for something that was out of his control. The blame falls to Chief Deanda since his actions against former officer Anderson led to Jordy’s lockup.

It’s not just Rialto Now that is worried about Jordy one of our biggest critics since we began writing about the issues at the PD commented this on one of our last articles:

“The only person i feel sorry for is the dog Jordy. woof woof. Free Jordy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Mark Peterson

The people of Rialto have the added burden of costs that are not needed because of the chief’s actions against the Friends of Rialto Police K9’s.

We have received some heat for these stories. These stories are not meant to be done put of spite but to inform the people of Rialto about what is going on in your city. Lets look back at some of the things we have highlighted that if we didn’t write about our failed leaders would have been able to hide their failures and get away with the consequences we the people have to pay:

  • Selling off Rialto’s water – We were key in trying to shut this action down working to highlight that the cities scare tactics were nothing more than just that scare tactics. We also pointed out that NONE of the improvements would ever be made. Five years later we keep electing the same people and all that has been done is our rates are skyrocketing and some of the water meters have been replaced. Almost every single improvement is YEARS behind schedule and our leaders could care less.
  • Money moved around to pay for pet projects – We have been harping on the money movement game for years. It wasn’t until former councilman Shawn O’Connell saw it for himself did it come to a stop temporarily. Were now doing it again and allowing our leaders to get away with it.
  • Councilman Trujillo & Sanctuary Cities – Had it not been for this blog newly elected Councilman Trujillo would have held his sanctuary city meeting and Fontana Herald reporter would have reported it in a much different light. If not for this blog we would be in jeopardy of loosing MILLIONS in federal dollars.

So when we write about these actions it is up to you to dig into them for yourself and look at each situation with clarity and not allow personal relationships to cloud your judgement.

 

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Rialto Celebrates Dr. Seuss’s Birthday All Across the City

 

Ana Gonzalez - 47th Assembly District Delegate took the liberty of posting this inspirational quote on her Facebook wall today. Thanks Ana Gonzales!

Ana Gonzalez – 47th Assembly District Delegate took the liberty of posting this inspirational quote on her Facebook wall today. Thanks Ana Gonzales!

Rialto Police Department were out at Myers Elementry School. Rialto Police officers participated in the National Read Across America Day by reading to the children at Myers Elementary today – Great job to Officer Nic Parcher (not pictured), Officer Steven Wright, Officer John Lopez, Law Enforcement Technician Noretta Barker, and Officer Randall Peterson.

Photos taken from Rialto PD Facebook Page

Photos taken from Rialto PD Facebook Page

“OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO,” and OH THE PLACES WE WENT!” Rialto Unified School District has a rich tradition of celebrating National “Read Across America” day, today, which is also the late iconic children’s author, Dr. Seuss’s Birthday! Thank you to Rialto Police, Fire, City and RUSD School Board officials who took time to develop connections with our wonderfully dedicated teachers, administrators and support staff, and to read to our deserving students. Enjoy some memorable highlights!

 

Myers Elementary Principal, Mr. Alberto Camerena and Library Technician, Ms. Julianna Hernandez hosted the guest readers.

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Myers Assistant Principal said, “Tada! Join in.”

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Myers teacher, Ms. Shannon McCreight, had her hat on and her eyes on the students.

Myers Principal, Mr. Camerena, held the microphone for Rialto Mayor, Mrs. Deborah Robertson, as she read lovingly to several classroom students on a sunny and cool morning.

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Kathy McCracken, from the Rialto Host Lions Club, came in to read to students.

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Noretta Barker, technician from the Rialto Police Department was all smiles and ready to read.

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Rialto Police Department and Target Distribution Center were impressively represented well at Myers Elementary School.

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RUSD Board of Education, Member, Mr. Joseph Ayala enjoyed reading at Myers and Casey Elementary Schools.

RUSD Board Member, Nancy G. O’Kelley read to a preschool class.

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While Myers teacher, Mr. Thai happily stepped back, RUSD Board Member, Mr. Joseph Ayala spoke with the excited students. “We haven’t seen a real live Board Member before,” said one student.

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Picture time at Myers El with Principal, Mr. Cat in the Hat Camerena, RUSD Board Member, Mrs. Nancy O’ Kelley and Preschool teacher, Mrs. Saunders-Hester.

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Casey Elementary School Strategist, Mrs. Michelle Stoker walked students in and dressed accordingly for the day!

Casey Elementary School Assistant Principal, Mrs.Terry Helstad walked happy students out on Read Across America day.

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Casey Elementary Principal, Johanna Cuellar was looking pretty and festive with her students – and ready to promote Literacy on her campus.

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Mrs. Ida Davilla, stands with Rialto Fire Department Firefighter, Earl Meredith, monitoring some excited students who observed the fire engine after the reading portion. Rialto Fire Captain, John Lardner gave students a view of what is stored in a fire engine. “It was just so cool,” smiled one student. “I think I’ll be a fire girl!” Casey Elementary School Strategist, Mrs. Escobar organized the students as Firefighter Dewayne Frederick showed some excited students the fire truck.

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Henry Elementary School’s creative and yummy treats were displayed for Read Across America.

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Kordyak Elementary School Interim Principal, Mrs. Karen Good and Assistant Principal, Mrs. Emily Dominguez rocked their look!

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What’s the 21st Century without a staff selfie? Kordyak Elementary School Secratary III, Ms. Margie Taylors knows the golden rule that before you ask students to participate, you have to model the behavior. Nice shirt Ms. Taylor!

Game on….Rialto High School student-athletes entered the Kordyak Elementary School library with the mission to read to students to help promote literary. “It’s far, one of the best things these students have done, and we’re so proud of them,” said RHS Athletic Director, Mr. Kevin Gilbreth.

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Trapp Elementary School got a treat when newly elected Rialto City Councilman, Mr. Rafael Trujillo, came in to read to Mrs. Valvadino’s kinder class. “I read “Owl Moon,” he smiled.

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Game on….Rialto High School student-athletes read to Kordyak Elementary School students to help promote literary. “It’s far, one of the best things these students have done, and we’re so proud of them,” said RHS Athletic Director, Mr. Kevin Gilbreth.

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The Cat in the Hat doesn’t stick around for many pictures but when he realized that RUSD Board Vice President, Mr. Joseph W. Martinez, aka “Mr. Stem” came onto Casey Elementary School campus to read, he had to grab a picture! After reading, pictures! RUSD Board Vice President, Mr. Joseph W. Martinez, read to students at Casey Elementary School and made some friends on campus.

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Star Readers! Werner Elementary School, much like many RUSD Elementary Schools, celebrated “Literacy Night,” raising a reader and strong emphasis on science and literacy. Kneeling up front, from left to right Werner Elementary School Assistant Principal, Dr. Ayanna Balogun and Principal, Mrs. Andrea Roman show the team spirit.

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Even local businesses are teaming up with local elected leaders with Coffee Nutzz in Rialto hosted a Dr Seuss party where Mayor Deborah Robertson read to the kids and every kid received a free book marker and small vamilla cone from Cones Creamery.

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