Results from the Veolia Workshop

So on Monday June 16th the City Council held a workshop to get a report of the first year of the water services contract with Veolia Water Services acting as Rialto Water Services. From the sounds of it this was something that Veolia did not want to publicized because on almost every account they are behind on the infrastructure improvements six months to one and a half years. Ullico is in charge of tracking and auditing the progress Veolia has made in the first year of the 30 year contract.

Marcus Fuller the Department Head from Public Works and Ullico worked very hard to turn a bad report into a better one but the city council, Mayor & Mayor Pro Tem all saw through the smoke and mirrors. Below you will see some of the slides Ullico presented to city council last week:

Here you will see that Veolia is one year five months behind on roughly 2 million dollars worth of improvements, eight months behind schedule on 3.6 million dollars worth of improvements & five months behind on 876 thousand dollars worth of improvements. Now Ullico wants you to give Veolia a break as they want to drag their feet and “get comfortable” with the contract they took on after American Water was kicked out of the deal by Rialto Residents and the Union that represented the water employees.

 

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One major issue with giving them months and months to go over this infrastructure agreement is the 41 million will soon begin to be eaten up when interest rates increase. This means their will be less money to complete the long list of projects Former Mayor Grace Vargas, Former Councilman Ed Scott, Current Mayor Deborah Robertson and Current Mayor Pro Tem Ed Palmer all said were so vital to Rialto moving forward as a progressive city. Council Members told us these upgrades would be vital to major projects like the proposed Super Walmart & the Target Shopping Center that no longer has a Target store (Target has backed out). So what happens if Super Walmart goes in and the sewer system isn’t able to handle the bump in use? There was talk of the sewers backing up and spilling out into the streets.

Councilman O’Connell asked the VP of Veolia if the interest rates caused the money to be used up prior to completion of the listed projects would Veolia see those projects to completion. The VP of Veolia said no.

So Veolia can drag their feet and tie up these projects in paperwork and read tape while the clock ticks and you continue to pay massive increases to your rates with NO CHANGE. Even their field techs, people that live and work in this city are blown away and say that Veolia is doing nothing!!!!

The end result was a motion to have Marcus Fuller, Public Works Director meet with Rialto Water Services and Veolia to get a expedited time frame of when we can see projects beginning the construction phase. Marcus Fuller will report the outcomes in 90 days from the meeting date.

We have reached out to Veolia VP Lanita McCauley Bates and Rialto Veolia Manager Michael Greene when they respond we will update with their comments.

Press Release from Rialto Water Services (WasteWater)

 

 

Rialto Water Services selects Veolia Water

 

to upgrade and operate City of Rialto’s water, wastewater services

 

 

 

Partnership will focus on updating City’s infrastructure and adding efficiencies

 

 

 

RIALTO, Calif., December 3, 2012 – Rialto Water Services has selected Veolia Water West Operating Services (Veolia) to improve, operate and maintain the City’s water and wastewater services.

 

Under a public-private concession agreement signed between the City and RWS in March of 2012, RWS will manage the Veolia contract and oversee a $41 million capital improvements program improving the cost efficiency, compliance, water quality, and reliability of the City’s wastewater and water systems for the 30-year life of the concession. The capital improvements program produces 445 construction jobs, and all affected City employees have accepted jobs at Veolia.

 

The RWS concession refinances the City’s aging water and wastewater systems, and provides the capital necessary to fix and replace water and sewer lines, develop necessary new infrastructure and seismic upgrades, improve cost efficiencies, and provide lease payments back to the City supporting additional economic development and jobs locally. Rialto retains full ownership of the water and wastewater systems, control and ownership of the water supply and water rights, and transparent public authority over all rate setting.

 

For RWS, Veolia was a natural choice as Operator, considering Veolia’s 40-year history in California and 9 years providing environmental services and employment to Rialto residents as operator of the City’s wastewater plant and collection system.

 

Neighboring West Valley Water District will take an expanded leadership role on the City’s water supply side, heading up the perchlorate remediation to ensure the continued safety of the water supply, and expansion of the City’s water capacity. West Valley will continue to serve the balance of Rialto’s residents, and to innovate with the City on the 2013 debut of the nation’s first bioremediation plant approved for drinking water.

 

“The RWS partnership ensures that the City’s water and wastewater infrastructure is upgraded and run in the most cost-efficient manner, while also laying the groundwork for new economic development,” says City Administrator Mike Story. “We’ve worked with Veolia for years in the community, and with West Valley on water supply and treatment, and this arrangement allows for both continuity and improvement in the water resource and wastewater service, and assures us that the total commitment to the residents of the City of Rialto is met.”

 

Under the contract, Veolia Water will operate and manage (O&M) a sewer collection system consisting of more than 260 miles of pipeline, six lift stations, and a wastewater treatment plant currently operating at approximately eight million gallons per day. Veolia Water will also provide O&M services for the City’s water system, with a total user population estimated to be approximately 50,000. The water system includes five water reservoirs, distribution, eight groundwater wells, and related pumping infrastructure.

 

“We’ve worked with Rialto for almost 10 years and have established a relationship of trust that supports the community’s economic vitality,” said Laurent Auguste, president and CEO, Veolia Water Americas. “Rialto is taking the right step in restoring and improving its infrastructure, and we’re excited for the opportunity to help them through our new and expanded role.”

 

The financial backing and structuring of Rialto’s groundbreaking public-private concession was provided by San Francisco-based Table Rock Capital, led by Peter Luchetti. RWS is jointly owned with an affiliate of the labor-owned financial services company, Ullico Inc.

 

“With the loss of redevelopment financing, creative partnerships such as these are increasingly critical to communities who want to restore infrastructure, gain efficiencies, and get a competitive edge when it comes to creating jobs and economic growth,” said Luchetti.

 

Story praised all of the partners in the deal: “Table Rock has worked hard to back and structure this and get it right for Rialto, and we’re glad to see Veolia stepping in to take a supportive, expanded role in our community. Then the expertise West Valley brings to the City to manage the perchlorate remediation and ensure our water quality and supply is invaluable.”

 

 

 

###

 

 

 

Contact:

 

 

 

Steve Lambert, The 20/20 Network for Veolia/RWS, 909.841.7527, steve@the2020network.com

 

Mike Story, City of Rialto, 909.820.2525, mstory@rialtoca.gov

 

Megan Matson, Table Rock Capital, 415.497.2320, mmatson@t-rockcap.com

 

Sonia Axter, Ullico, 917.293.6754, saxter@ullico.com

 

Election Propectives Rialto City Council

Ok so we know everyone has been waiting with baited breath for our voters’ guide.

Most voter guides begin with the BIG TIME regional elections then work down to the local stuff, if you haven’t noticed were a little different.

Also be advised “NONE OF THESE ENDORSEMENTS HAVE COME AT ANY FINACIAL GAIN TO THIS BLOG OR ANYONE DIRECTLY CONECTED TO THIS BLOG”

We put out feelers to people running in local elections to obtain the information they feel you should know about them but we have nothing more to gain that passing along our advice and opinion to people on this monster election. We get our reward from having knowledgeable readers that are energized and ready to cast their ballots.

We will post a different candidate race, Proposition Selection and City and County measures each day until the November 6th Election.

City of Rialto

Council – Two seats open you get to vote for 2 candidates

We are supporting:

Shawn O’Connell

&

Joe Britt

What is in our council currently? Career Politian’s.

Shawn O’Connell will bring honesty and openness to our city council you may not always agree with him but you will know where he stands and know he is listening to you. Shawn cares so much about what you think he has his home number on his business card.

Joe Britt is the right person to keep the people left in council accountable. Joe has been fighting back against their failed policies and wasteful spending. Joe knows a lot about Rialto’s history he was key to helping us get enough signatures to put the American Water issue on the ballot. You won’t find the water issue there because the current brood took some bad advice from our City Attorney and choose not to honor the signatures. We now know the true heart of our city government when it comes to the poor and struggling middle class because of Joe Britt’s hard work to help push the signatures forward. He will help balance some of the crazy spending that has preceded this last year and Joe WILL TALK TO YOU………… This is very important in our eyes.

Tomarrow is City of Rialto’s Mayor race…………

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

Water Debate Update

Rialto Now readers we have some news on the front lines of our water debate. Yes the city made a horrible decision to not place the American Water sell off on the November Ballot, it seems if these reports are true they are finally listening, but why now? Well Councilman Ed Palmer is running for re-election on a failed platform of being there for the community & calling the city on wasteful spending that lasted a little more than a year and died. Reports are that Councilman Ed Scott isn’t seeking another term as Councilman and is seeking the job of Mayor as current Mayor Vargas is ending her time as mayor. As well as Councilwoman Deborah Robertson is also taking another stab at Mayor but her seat on council isn’t up for grabs this go around.

So with Deborah Robertson was absent and the city decided to change its course on the outsource water agreement and the 2 possibilities are Veolia North American who currently works with our waste water systems and East Valley Water District (EVWD) that currently services the top portion of the city’s water services and has worked on removing perchlorate groundwater plume.

What is important now is to continue the pressure and make sure we know about any concession agreement from here on out, we are allowed to ask questions for clarity and that the City Council stops referring to any balloon payment from any other outside companies as Redevelopment money. I have had personal conversations with people inside the state controllers office that such money may fall into the states preview to take since all RDS’s departments are no to be eliminated. Call it what it is money the RUA has owed the general fund for years………….

Ed Scott said that the thing holding up our In & Out project was the state finishing up with old RDA projects. He later said he didn’t know why things were taking so long and blamed the City Staff for not keeping Council informed of time lines and issues.

Were looking for Honest hard-working people to fill Council seats, if the news is difficult give it to use straight and allow us the community to see where we can help make the hard choices for our community together. Also we need Council Members that let us know we are heard, listen to us and don’t bark at us when you don’t like what we say.

American Water is out as operator for Rialto

Jim Steinberg, Staff Writersbsun.com

Posted:   07/10/2012 10:33:57 PM PDT

The yearlong suspense over whether New Jersey-based American Water Works Co. Inc. will manage Rialto’s water and wastewater system is over – it will not.”My gosh this is wonderful. I hated those people (American Water). I don’t feel comfortable with a company on the Stock Exchange,” said Toni Volinski, a longtime Rialto resident, who has been opposed to the American Water deal from the get-go.

“We wouldn’t have a lot of control – and that frightened me,” she said.

The financial backer of the 30-year concession agreement that made American Water the manager of Rialto’s water and wastewater department has removed American Water as the operator, Peter Luchetti, authorized officer of Rialto Water Services LP, wrote Mike Story, Rialto’s city administrator.

Leading the list of potential replacement operators, Luchetti wrote, is Veolia North American, which has managed Rialto’s wastewater treatment plant for years and nearby West Valley Water District, which has been a long-time partner with Rialto in the cleanup effort for a large perchlorate groundwater plume.

At its June 26 meeting, the council voted 4-1 to approve a rate increase that would propel water and sewer rates 114.8 percent by 2016.

Mayor Pro Tem Ed Scott, in an interview Tuesday, said he and councilman Ed Palmer, who led a subcommittee to evaluate water service alternatives for Rialto, had told Rialto Water Services that a substitute for American Water was needed.

Scott said a well-organized resistance to American Water necessitated the action to find another company to manage Rialto’s water operations.

Scott was referring to the campaigns organized by the the Utility Workers Union of America. “Replacement of American Water would be excellent news and a victory for Rialto ratepayers,” Mark Brooks, a union spokesman, said.

The Utility Workers Union has several contract issues with American Water across the country.

This is the Letter From Mark Brooks & Stop Rialto Water Rate Hikes.

Dear Rialto friends and neighbors:

I am writing to let you know about a potential huge victory for ratepayers in Rialto!

Although this may seem like a “good news/bad news” story, in our view Rialto citizens are on the verge of overturning the City Council’s very bad decision to contract out the City’s water system to for-profit American Water Company.

But first the bad news: 

Last week four members of the City Council decided not to place our referendum challenging the Concession Agreement for the water and wastewater system on the ballot for a public vote.*  A majority of the City Council – everyone EXCEPT Council Member Baca – made this absurd decision, even though the County and the City have both certified the fact that we submitted far more than enough signatures from Rialto voters to place this issue on the ballot.

We believe the City’s excuse for not placing this issue on the ballot – that we supposedly failed to attach the entire 1,600 page Concession Agreement to our voter petitions – is completely bogus.  There is nothing in California law that would require us to do this.  In addition, even if the City Council thought it had any grounds to refuse to place this issue on the ballot, the City is ignoring the long-standing California procedure that is required to ignore a valid referendum petition submitted by the voters.

We believe the four members of the City Council who made this decision are engaged in a desperate attempt to prevent Rialto voters from passing judgment on the proposed Concession Agreement.

And now for the good news:

We have received reports that the City may replace American Water as the proposed operator for Rialto’s water system under the Concession Agreement!

If the City indeed makes this decision, this will be a huge victory for Rialto ratepayers.  The City’s own reports have consistently shown that for-profit American Water’s participation in this deal is one of the important reasons for the proposed water rate hikes.

What’s more, we understand that neighboring West Valley Water District might be a “preferred” replacement to operate the City’s water system.

Although the UWUA has never taken any position on who should operate the City’s water system (other than the City itself), in our view this would be good news for Rialto.  West Valley is a neighboring public water system – rather than an out-of-state corporation like American Water – and already provides water services to roughly half the City of Rialto.   Moreover, we believe American Water has a demonstrated track record of hostility toward the rights of utility workers.

So what about the referendum petition?

Unfortunately, the City Council’s decision not to place the referendum on the ballot probably means that someone would have to incur considerable legal expenses to sue the City to overturn this misguided decision.  The UWUA is not in a position to incur these significant expenses at this time.

Even so, you should know that any Rialto voter who signed the petition against the City Council’s decision may have the right to sue.  Obviously this would be a big undertaking.  Moreover, we believe any Rialto voter or group interested in pursuing that fight should act immediately!  We may be able to refer any Rialto group or voter interested in pursuing this further to appropriate attorneys.

Celebrate the victory!

There can be no doubt that – if indeed he City reverses its decision to contract out Rialto’s water system to American Water – this victory will be a direct result of your many efforts over the past year to oppose the Council’s misguided decisions!

In our view, any decision to replace American Water as the operator of the Rialto water system would be a huge victory – for ratepayers and for workers.  As we have said many times before, any deal to contract out the City’s water system to American Water would be a bad deal for Rialto ratepayers.

Thank you for your many efforts in this struggle.  We will continue to keep you informed.

Sincerely,

Mark Brooks

Utility Workers Union of America/SOS Rialto Water

* Please note that Council Member Joe Baca, Jr. voted AGAINST the City Council’s decision not to place our referendum on the ballot.   To his credit, Council Member Baca has consistently opposed the Rialto Council’s misguided decisions concerning this entire issue.  In our view, Council Member Baca has shown real integrity throughout this debate over the future of Rialto’s public water system.

Councils Final Word on Petition Signatures

Hello everyone and good morning.

I am sorry I missed this meeting & that this council refuses to listen to the community. It seems that the only people they listen to are people who live outside of the city of Rialto as they did last night in reference to the Lytle Creek Development Project.

But that isn’t what were speaking on in this post, now its over the signatures collected in protest to the council’s decision to outsource our water to embattled American Water company.

The city attorney Jimmy Gutierrez (Mr I get DUI’s) he didn’t like the way the signatures were gathered and told the city clerk who informed council that they would not be putting the issue on the Ballot in November. It will never go before the people.

(The petitions, gathered by the Utility Workers Union of America, did not include a copy of the concession agreement, Rialto City Attorney Jimmy Gutierrez said in an interview.) From SBSUN.com

This council and Mayor do not care what you think or say unless forced to listen (IE the outsourcing the PD issue).

What is the disconnect with this council and listening to the residents. Ed Scott barks at residents from the dias like a junk yard dog (someone running for Mayor) Ed palmer just ignores you altogether, but at least Councilwoman Robertson will return a call as she did last night when I first got word of this horrible decision with the promise of another meeting in the next 2 weeks lets see if it happens.

Long Story short you have no say in the American Water Deal and we all will suffer for the next 30 Years because this city will never be able to afford to leave this contract ever.

We all must attend, watch council meetings and also call these people and make them finally listen to the people.

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City of Rialto approves water rate increases, denies petition

Posted:   06/27/2012 12:07:27 AM PDT

RIALTO – The Rialto City Council on Tuesday voted to end the contentious issue of a whooping rate increase by voting 4-1 for its approval.The issue, and a related agreement to outsource the city’s water and sewer operations to New Jersey-based American Water Works Co. Inc., have been a boiling point for many residents for over a year.

The council’s action will propel water and sewer rates 114.8 percent by 2016.

Because the city of Rialto hasn’t increased rates for years, many residents recognize that rates need to go up, but think the increase should be spread out over more years.

Only Councilman Joe Baca Jr. opposed the rate increase.

As part of the meeting, the council decided not to schedule a referendum during the Nov. 6 general election on that outsourcing agreement – even though the city was presented with more than enough valid signatures to make that happen.

The petitions, gathered by the Utility Workers Union of America, did not include a copy of the concession agreement, Rialto City Attorney Jimmy Gutierrez said in an interview.

Under a provision of the election code, which Gutierrez said was written to encompass city ordinances, a copy of the ordinance must accompany the petitions “so that people know what they are signing.”

In those situations where there are other documents, courts have ruled that they too must be included, he said.

“You got to give all the information to the public,” Gutierrez said.

With the petitions circulated by the union, a copy of the city council resolution on the concession agreement was the only document included, he said. “How’s the public going to know what it’s signing without a copy of the concession agreement,” he said.

When asked how a document spanning hundreds and hundreds of pages, as is the case of the concession agreement, could be part of a petition being passed from one person to the next, Gutierrez said, “yeah, but that’s what the law says.”

Later he said that at least a summary of the agreement should have been included along with the petitions.

Contacted late Tuesday night, Utility Workers spokesman Mark Brooks said that the union’s legal team would need to evaluate the city’s position.

The union submitted 6,379 signatures and of those, 1,545 were declared invalid during a certification process conducted by the county Elections Bureau. That left 4,834 valid signatures – well above the amount needed to put the issue before voters.

During the council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Ed Scott said that work is underway with city staff to modify the concession agreement in a way that will be “to everybody’s liking.”

He provided no details.

After the vote, resident Frank Gonzalez said, “I don’t agree with the results (of the Proposition 218 vote) but the citizens had a chance…I would like to work with you, even though I don’t agree with you.”

City Council’s vote on the rate increase was delayed to await the results of a Proposition 218 protest vote where a majority of the ratepayers – plus one – must file a written objection to the action.

The final tally for the water rate increase protest vote was 4,345, where 5,701 were required to block it. The sewer rate increases were opposed by 6,883, where 10,387 were needed to block it, Gutierrez said.

Councilman Ed Palmer accused the union’s Prop 218 campaign of producing many invalid and fraudulent votes.

“Thank goodness the vote wasn’t close, because the union would have forced us to physically account for very vote, a process that would have cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.

Palmer noted that his own signature was forged and sent into the city clerk’s office as a protest vote.

The Utility Workers union has several contract issues with American Water across the country and has opposed the company’s business expansion into Rialto.

Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/ci_20947976/city-rialto-approves-water-rate-increases-denies-petition#ixzz1z0aeFlVg

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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