Renaissance Marketplace Offers Rialto Local Shopping Opportunities

Rialto residents have been spending a lot of their hard earned money outside of Rialto because the options to shop here at home were extremely limited. Over the last 7 years a slow trickle of new options have moved into the area. Rialto leaders were so worried about the ability for new retail and restaurants to find success in Rialto that they would implore people to tell surveyors that they ate out at least 3 times a week so that we would fit into a certain demographic even if that wasn’t true.

The beginning of the new food options for Rialto was the construction of the In & Out restaurant pad that brought a Chipotle, Major Brain Freeze, Jersey Mikes and Wing Stop. There was supposed to be a Miguel’s Jr and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf but that site proved to be maxed out on space.

Years later the Coffee Bean would happen on the opposite corner and the Super Walmart Development brought things like a relocated Starbucks, Menchies Yogurt and Hawaiian BBQ.

The real influx of desirable food options is this development the Renaissance Marketplace. This development gave Rialto what it was missing out on and that has sent us searching for better food and retail options. Some of the standouts are a Drive Thru Habit, Chick-fil-a, Wich Which and so much more. The Renaissance Marketplace also brought needed retail options into the Rialto area. Even though residents were promised a Target and many residents are still upset over loosing this retailer many of us knew they were never serious.

Rialto will now have a Burlington Coat Factory, Ross and 5 Below.

Outside of the food and retail the coolest part of this development is the new Cinemark Movie Theater………

Grand Openings & Other Fun Stuff This Weeked

Rialto has gone from dirt lots, to construction noise and finally new stores opening in Rialto.

We have already seen Five Below & 24 Hour Fitness open up and now things are really going to kick into high gear.

This week we saw WSS & Coffee Bean open up and the next couple months there will be a flood of new businesses opening coupled with your normal events that happen all year long. If you can make it you should check out as many of these Grand Openings as possible so you can learn about all the new stuff coming to Rialto. Also don’t forget about the last Movie night being held at Bud Bender park!

MOVIES IN THE PARK: Featuring The Sandlot
“Free Admission”
7:00 pm – 10:30 pm • Movie starts at 8:00 pm
Bud Bender Park • 235 N. Lilac Ave, Rialto
Blankets, jackets, and lawn chairs are suggested.
Information: (909) 421-4949

Grand Opening of 7-Eleven at Renaissance Marketplace 1130 W. Renaissance Parkway, Rialto. This Friday, July 27 from 10 am – 4 pm.

The City of Rialto will be taking some of the young ladies (ages 12-19) of the community on a field trip to the 6th Annual Girl Talk Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is Social Media, and the correlating hashtag is #ITSABOUTYOU. The conference will hold special workshops on various topics, including: art class, vision board/goal setting, self-defense, texting and driving, self-esteem, and more.
In order to complete your RSVP, a parent or guardian must download, fill-out, sign, scan and email the CITY OF RIALTO and GIRL TALK permission slips to rsmith@rialtoca.gov. Permission slips can be found here: http://yourrialto.com/wp-cont…/…/2018/07/Girl-Talk-Flyer.pdf
The conference, transportation, lunch, and a snack are FREE. Registration is limited to the first 20 young ladies who register.

Please Join Us In Celebrating the new WSS in Rialto, California!
630 W. Foothill Boulevard
Saturday, July 28, 2018
10:00am
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: 10:30am
There will be music, free haircuts, refreshments, giveaways and more throughout the entire day!
Meet and Greets with:
Ramon Morales, Ivica Zubac and Z-Ro

This community event will feature free health screenings, resources, and backpacks until supplies last! Join us. You won’t want to miss out!

Who: Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes, Senator Connie M. Leyva, Supervisor Gonzales, and the Bloomington Community Health Center

What: Backpack Giveaway and Health Fair

When: Saturday, July 28th from 9am-1pm

Where: Corner of Valley Blvd. and Cedar Ave in Bloomington
18601 Valley Blvd, Bloomington, CA 92316

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Roxanna Gracia at (909) 381-3238 or at Roxanna.gracia@asm.ca.gov

 

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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Real Leaders Step Up in Times of Need

One problem that plagues all departments in the city of Rialto is staffing issues. As you saw in our last post about how Rialto Police are having problems with keeping staff this situation is a little different. Yes Rialto Fire is having a problem with their Ambulance Operator program people are using it as a stepping stone to another department.

This shortage is due to the fact that California has many active fires going on so some of our staff are out fighting those fires. Rialto fire was looking at shutting down MA202 due to not having an available EMT. Well according to the Rialto Fire Department Facebook Page the Fire Chief Sean Grayson was not having any of that and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Fire Chief Grayson cancled his plans and came in to cover the ambulance and go from the top rank in the department to the lowest rank in the department.

“Last Saturday we had a severe staffing shortage with all the local fires going on. We were going to shut down MA202 due to us not having an available EMT. Rialto Fire Chief Sean Grayson responded to the call, canceled his family plans, and came in to work on the Ambulance. Yes, you heard me right!” Rialto Fire Facebook Page.

Rialto Fire and the Residents of a Rialto were lucky to have a Fire Chief Like Matt Fratus who was very humble and approachable. It is good to see that his replacement in Fire Chief Grayson is just as much a stand up guy. It is very unlikely to see a Chief do something like this. He could have bumped another ranking officer down to take the grunt work but he didn’t he seems to have pulled his own weight.

“Chief Grayson said he would not let the citizens of Rialto be without an Ambulance for 24 hours. While he was on shift he performed EMS inventory, washed rigs, and cleaned dishes. He also ran multiple medical aids and a CPR.” Rialto Fire Facebook Page

One thing we always want to remember when writting about corruption is to also call out awesome acts whenever we can!

Want to say thanks to the chief? Post a message to the Rialto Fire Facebook Page!

More Employees Exit the City as Police Department Remains in Turmoil

Former Police Chief Mark Kling has quite a task before him as he was brought in to clean up the mess his former Lt. made when he was promoted to Police Chief in 2016. Former Chief Randy Deanda ripped through the department and left a wake of corruption and destruction that are still being felt today. Many saw Police Chief Kling’s return as a sign that better days are ahead but that hasn’t happened.

Both the rank and file in the department have not seen the action everyone was expecting and promised with Kling’s return. Everyone has been left with a weird feeling that normally comes after someone you trust comes by and slugs you in the stomach then walks away with the thing you care about most. Even this blogger has been left with a sour taste in my mouth as there seems more corruption to expose in Rialto than there are people worthy to defend.

Rialto has already seen an exodus of staff fleeing the city leaving many jobs to fill and other staff members to pick up the slack. Development services is not only down 4 or 5 key positions but we have interim staff making recommendations for the next 10 years of critical budget shortfalls due to extremely generous retirement packages.

Rialto Police is probably one of the hardest hit by this exodus of staff. According to sources close to the Police Department there are 10 sworn officers working for Rialto that are testing with other agencies. Two female staff members are already on their way out. Dispatch Supervisor Angela Haddad and Police Officer Cheri Shaffer are both leaving Rialto.

Dispatch has been one of the areas hardest hit with employee retention. Many of the dispatchers who worked in Rialto were subjected to poor working environments, quite a few were married to someone on the job and when their spouse fell into one of the departments witch hunts they were collateral damage and other agencies pay better and have more room for moving up in your career.

In 1997 Rialto had 124 sworn personnel now they only have 89. In 1997 Rialto had a population of 83,000 people. As of 2016 Rialto has a population of 103,314 people. These figures show that Rialto’s population grew by 20,314 residents and the amount of officers dropped by 25 sworn personnel. Add to that the addition of the In & Out area, Super Walmart shopping center and now the Renaissance shopping center opening this year there will be many more people here in the city of Rialto.

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Why were the unintended consequences of Rialto’s shelter switch not considered?

On June 12th 2018 Rialto moved into a direction that would change how Rialto handles shelter services. Many other things are and will be effected with this change. When this blogger asked specific questions about consequences of moving shelter services from Devore to Riverside County everyone points you back to minor savings.

Let’s look at these consequences in light of the $67,000 savings:

  • 32% of Rialto residents do not have reliable transportation to get to a shelter that is 55 mins away – More low income families will be impacted by this change and will be separated from their pets in some cases forever.
  • Current Cat rescue programs will no longer be able to help with the stray cat load – Programs currently working with Devore on our stray cat load will not be able to work with Riverside County do to the added distance.
  • Overload of animals and hitting capacity – Even though John Welsh from Riverside County Animal Control and Lt Smith from Rialto Police are sure we wont hit capacity there doesn’t seem to be a plan in place for the what if’s. With Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda and Fontana all sending animals OUTSIDE of the county of origin many believe that capacity will be reached.
  • Slower response from animal control staff – Our 2 animal control officers already do a ton of work and work hard to get to calls as soon as possible. Now they are going to travel farther and fight the same traffic as everyone else meaning more calls will be pushed off until the next day. Also the police chief is pushing off adding staff until NEXT YEAR!!!!
  • San Bernardino County has set aside $10 Million to develop a state of the art facility in the greater Rialto Region – This means that the county is looking for an opportunity to build a state of the art facility that is closer than even Devore.
  • If partner cities like Rialto don’t come back this will effect how the facility is developed – Contract cities like Rialto, Grand Terrace and Fontana help keep shelter facilities open and operating. If San Bernardino County can’t get cities to come back the the new center will be built for a different population and placed closer to existing contract cities.

There is an answer to this abuse of power and lack of fore site the people must call the council and demand action. From where the people stand there are 2 options:

  1. Return to San Bernardino County and broker a better deal that help’s Rialto deal with budget issues but keeps shelter services closer.
  2. Address distance issues and sit down with rescue organizations that are unable to preform vital services at the new shelter.

Want to talk about Humane Treatment of animals? Lets talk about this dog right here. This Police K9 was left in a cage not aloud to do his job or be with the police he was trained to work with just because the city council decided to attack his human handler. We spent almost $8,000 on locking this dog in a cage and ruining his career. Just in case you were wondering the dog we bought to replace this one cost $10,000 and the city bought the replacement dog and paid the bill for the kenneling of this dog. Prior to this witch hunt the Friend’s of Rialto K9’s used to cover K9 costs but our council has allowed them to be chased off and abused.

Want to help? Well it is time to email, call and text our leaders and let them know you wont stand by and allow them to act recklessly while things get out of control. We need to act now to make a change time is on nobody’s side.

MAYOR: DEBORAH ROBERTSON
MAYOR PRO TEM: ED SCOTT
COUNCIL MEMBER: JOE BACA, JR.
COUNCIL MEMBER: RAFAEL TRUJILLO
COUNCIL MEMBER: ANDY CARRIZALES

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While You Were Sleeping Massive Changes Took Place in Rialto

 

 

On June 12th 2018 the Rialto City Council voted to move animal control services over to Riverside County rather than look to keep those operations local. Interim Police Chief Mark Kling went on and on at the June 12th meeting saying how nice the Riverside County Shelter is and how this will be better for Rialto. The Police Chief asked three of the people from the Riverside County west shelter to come out and do a presentation.

What was poor in this presentation is that there were a lot of games being played when it came to the shelters’ kill numbers. When Chief Kling spoke about Devore he used exact numbers when referring to Riverside County’s kill rates, they spoke in vague percentages. There was no mention of any issues are problems. For example what happens when the shelter runs out of space or how will the city get the word out to people, letting them know where they can find their lost pets as of July 1st. This is very concerning since it is right before the July 4th holiday when most people loose their pets. There is no money being dedicated to getting the word out in mass in the next four days (thank god for this blog). We did speak to John Welsh with Riverside County Shelter systems and he did say he would be reaching out to local media (including this publication) to work to educate residents on the change in shelter services

While the Riverside shelter is beautiful and very state of the art, we have questions on whether the facility is designed to handle animal services for two counties let alone two of the biggest counties in the State of California. John Welsh told us that this contract was possible because of the work that Riverside County has done to address their numbers of animals housed in their shelters. John Welsh seemed pretty optimistic that there wouldn’t be any problems with reaching capacity.

We sat down with Police Captain Wilson with Rialto Police and he said that this is not a perfect situation, but it was something worth looking into. He also broke down some of the items that were not clear in Police Chief Kling’s presentation to council on June 12th.

  • Devore requires injured animals to be taken to a vet prior to being admitted to the shelter forcing the city to pay a separate vet bill – Captain Wilson was not sure why in house vet services covered by SB County are not used to cover these costs.
  • Devore doesn’t like to take cats and will not take kittens. Currently if we have kittens we have to take them to Grand Terrace at a cost of $70 a kitten.  Riverside County will take cats and kittens as part of the contract – Reports from people living in the Riverside County area are reporting that even though Riverside County takes kittens,  they euthanize them (see image below). John Welsh from the Shelter system wasn’t sure about the complaint below but did acknowledge that they are getting better at dealing with felines.
  • Riverside County has a panel set up for animal seizures from homes found to be unfit costing the city money to hold the animals while the case is adjudicated – What this will do is build a greater barrier between owners who may be likely to seek out an opportunity to fix the problems found and keep their animals.
  • There is no plan to address the longer travel time to the new shelter when picking up lost animals – According to the last Southern California Associated Governments local profile on Rialto “32 percent of Rialto households own one or no vehicles”. This means over a third of our population will lack the needed resources to travel 55 mins to get to the shelter to pick up their animals. Another problem is that 7.8% work and live in Rialto, while 92.2% commute to other places meaning that people who have a car to get to this far away shelter are at work and stuck in traffic. The Riverside shelter does not have late hours and are only open for a short time on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
  • There is no plan in place to deal with the problem of what happens when the shelter is full – Riverside County already has a big problem with lost and abandoned animals. Now with Fontana, Rialto, Loma Linda, Grand Terrace and Colton adding animals to the system the question isn’t if , but when they hit capacity. John Welsh told us that this contract was possible because of the work that Riverside County has done to address their numbers of animals housed in their shelters. John Welsh seemed pretty optimistic that there wouldn’t be any problems with reaching capacity.
  • When asked about the accusation that Riverside County is reaching well outside their boarders in an effort to fill the gap of a lack of adequate funding in a County facing massive budget shortfalls Captain Wilson confirmed knowledge of Riverside County hasting budget problems and that these contracts would provide some relief – So the question is how can we guarantee that we will still get what we have been promised out of the contract and that they wont start making massive cuts to save the program? John Welsh admitted that the shelter spent the last year in the red but that they did not hunt out this contract, the city of Rialto came to them.

We spoke to someone in the office of SB County Supervisor Janice Ruthaford. They claimed that Riverside County was poaching San Bernardino County cities in an attempt to cover cuts in funding, that SB County has set aside $10 Million to develop a new state of the art animal control facility to be placed in a more central location to cities in the valley that currently use Devore. Dan Flores from Josie Gonzalez office also confirmed that there is a plan to build a facility here in the Inland Valley region. He did say that if they did not have the partners from local cities that they may be forced to re think the design and capacity of the facility.

The problem with this is that the change in shelter services was made without any public input. The Police and city are quick to run out and promote the latest tax increase or law, but when they are looking at a hot button issue like moving animal shelter services they are tight lipped and move under the cover of darkness.

The problems that still exist are access to the animals for the Rialto population, why the city was so tight lipped about the change and why are they still waiting to tell people about the anticipated change in shelter locations? We here at Rialto Now feel confident that we have spurred the right people into moving with the information sooner rather than later.

 

 

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