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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Once Again Fontana Leaders Are Able To Pull Off What Rialto Can’t

City council and the Mayor have told us Rialto is never getting anything nicer than a Stater Brothers and there seems to be no plans for a decent regular market North of Baseline for the foreseeable future. The common reason that is given are Rialto’s Demographics not sure what they mean by that and I would hate to speculate but………. From what we have been told there are to many people here that don’t make a lot of money.

What we find hilarious is the fact that we never run into elected officials anywhere in Rialto but man you sure do bump into them outside the city. Not to mention the normal middle class family spends about $500 a month or more at stores outside of Rialto. To add insult to injury just one mile outside of Rialto in the same area as the new Renaissance development is a Sprouts shopping center. Sprouts is a healthy organic store that works to provide local produce whenever possible. Their produce is better than any other store in Rialto now and in most cases much cheaper.

So what do you do when your elected officials spend thousands of dollars traveling to far away locations and eating and hobnobbing with rich developers all on your dime? What do you do when they promise you we did everything we could?

The problem is they only work hard for items that will help them out financially look at the companies that get the most attention in Rialto. Burttec gets a 10 year no back out contract plus we will tax the citizens for the damage your trucks do to the city streets. What does the Mayor get in return? Campaign Contributions and Burttec holds private parties and campaign fundraisers for the mayor. Lewis is another big example of buying influence. Lewis owns every single elected leader because if you cross them not only will they not give you money but they will spend money to keep you out of office. The City Manager has facilitated opportunities for Lewis employees to corner residents that have questions about their contracts and bully them into being quiet.

Our leaders are not out for the people they are out for themselves!!!!!

Veolia Water Workshop Round 2

CIP

On our city council update we left you hanging because TAB 7 was pushed off until the next council meeting so that it could be addressed at the Water Workshop tonight. Veolia apparently took on a contract they can’t deliver.

 

TAB 7 from the last council meeting is Veolia was required to provide 4000 meters at a cost of $460,000 water meters, but because they failed to check the contract they only want to provide 1600 meters at a cost of $390.000 why can Veolia pick and choose what part of the contract they can follow? Do the residents have the option of when to pay their bills?

 

What is this contract and what is this workshop for tonight? Veolia agreed to take over water and waste water services for the next 30 years and were tasked with conducting a major infrastructure overhaul of the city’s water delivery system and waste water removal system. They have already and will continue to levy major rate increases on Rialto Water customers and they have paid $40 million dollars to the city of Rialto for this utility take over. What they did is take your money and make excuses for being behind by 1-2 years on many projects because they claim that American Water (the cities first choice for a water servicer) wrote a bad contract that can’t be delivered on the originally agreed terms.

 

Veolia isn’t new to Rialto they have been around working with our waste water services for years. So they can’t claim ignorance to how Rialto is structured or set up. There are two major issues with the delay one is Rialto Water Services customers are already one full year into a four year rate increase schedule. Two if this process is delayed too long the interest rates on the loan that was taken out to make the capital improvements will eat into the money needed to afford these projects. Back in June at the first workshop Veolia upper management was asked by Councilman O’Connell in the meeting if they would cover this gap if the situation arose and they said NO.

 

Back at the first Water Workshop in June the city council found out that Veolia has been hiding behind a lame excuse of we didn’t write this contract. The community’s response to that is you signed it before reading it? What Veolia saw was an opportunity to take the rate payers for a ride and leave us with no other recourse. This contract was written in a way that city hall has thrown its hands in the air saying were stuck!!!!!!!

 

Anyone watching the news and all the problems with Los Angeles’s DWP is having with blown water lines knows that’s not where we want to be. The problem is everyone is acting like they are powerless to make Veolia do their job. Ironically a week after the first water workshop in June the city experienced a sewer back up that spilled into the streets. What is more irritating is that the Capital Improvement Projects not being completed and the massive rate increases is not the end of the problems with Veolia. Here is a short list:

  • Water meters are not being read they are being estimated. This means you are not likely to see any change in your water bill even though you’re cutting back on water usage.
  • Horrible customer service. Veolia doesn’t seem to have a customer service supervisor Monday thru Friday because when they mess up your bill you have to wait weeks to receive a call back if you receive one at all.
  • Lagging on processing payments. Veolia is slow to check the collection bin at the city of Rialto Civic Center and processes payments very slowly; you will get a late fee.
  • Horrible water pressure. Since Veolia has taken over Rialto Water Services customers have noticed a major drop in water pressure.

 

Now is the time to get involved and engage. This is an election year and was in the thick of it. Now is the time to demand action and we have some resources for you.

 

You can Send us a Letter to the Editor to be published here to rialtonow@gmail.com

 

You can email Leslie Parrilla with the San Bernardino Sun at leslie.parrilla@langnews.com

 

Contact Councilmember O’Connell shawn4rialto@hotmail.com

 

Contact Councilmember Hitrz danslmc@hotmail.com

 

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.

Suprise Special Council Meeting

So those of you using water services its time to listen up. It appears there is a “Public Hearing” scheduled for tomorrow in regards to the financial performance of Table Rock Capital & the performance of Veolia as our water & waste water provider. What you didn’t know? Well that’s because someone at city hall doesn’t want you there. The meeting was hidden in the city calendar with no title unless you click the highlighted date. Even then it only states that its a special council meeting. Then you must dig through the confusing agenda procedure to find the agenda (here is the link) https://rialto.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

Oh and don’t worry everything is very confusing and hard to understand so here are the last minute bullet points we were able to pull out.

  • The spending is and was out of control, money is going into local consultants pockets to the tune of around 8 million dollars.
  • RUA reserves were depleted to the tune of 3.4 million dollars.
  • Your rates have gone up to cover infrastructure costs yet no improvement have been made and the ones that have been scheduled have been delayed again.
  • Veolia has spent your money moving into a new building and delayed doing their jobs.
  • Veolia claims your customer service problems are minor and not an issue.
  • The main reason for this agreement was to have the money to shut down the airport for a Target Shopping center is a thing of the past as Target has been out of the deal for years.
  • From all appearances we are stuck with this deal until 2042!!!!!!!!!!!
  • City Clerk Barbara McGee refused to honor the communities petition.
  • Table Rock Paid 1 million more than necessary to remove American Water from the agreement.

Does anyone have the presence of mind to call Table Rock Financial and Veolia on the carpet for what they have done and not done? Are you tired of paying more money for below par service and a company that has worst customer service than the Ca. DMV? Well tomorrow you have the right and ability to have your questions answered or air the horrible customer service that Veolia really provides the customers in Rialto.

Meeting details:

City Hall

6/16/14 @ 6pm

Can’t Make the meeting follow us on twitter http://www.twitter.com/rialtosnow follow #RialtoWaterReport

You can watch online at http://rialto.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=4

Rialto Network staff are the Customer Service liaisons between the Citizen’s of Rialto and Time Warner Ch. 3 & AT&T Ch. 99 for Cable issues and can be reached at (909) 421-7235.

Tab 1

Approving the final financing table rock

Tab 2

Veolia’s 1st year performance

In Response to the San Bernardino Sun Editorial Board

merchantcircle.com

merchantcircle.com

Sun Editorial Staff:

The problems with Rialto and its budget are as follows.

  1. We refuse to make the right cuts, the needed cuts. We have attacked employee units that actually work for Rialto and ones that the community needs to function as a city. The city has sold off our water and waste water systems, attacked our fire and police & shut down city offices so much it virtually impossible to get anything done in a timely fashion. They changed graffiti contractors leaving residents in the lurch and at the mercy of resident gangs allowing them to re root in Rialto and add their tags to our walls and electric boxes. City hall refuses to tell the residents what our Mayor, City Clerk, City Attorney and other dept heads make. Our new mayor has already failed to reach out and be open with the public there are rumors swirling that she has ordered new paint and carpet for her office and is asking the city to waste tax dollars on sending her to Washington DC for a Mayors conference and to attend President Obama’s second swearing in, REALLY.
  2. The city became extremely way to comfortable with RDA funding which led to lazy council members ignoring the ugly business culture that is Rialto. We attract 99 cent stores, Walgreens, smoke shops, liquor stores, indoor swap meets and cash for gold businesses. It was an act of God to get our In&Out moving forward which according to In&Out is still in limbo. Fresh and Easy opened here but the latest word is that the company is abandoning the store concept which means yet another empty store front coming our way.
  3. Wasting time on failed projects that have further damaged our city:
    1. The city allowed Ron Phariss and his Lytle Creek Project to take up valuable council time, run our golf course and country club into ruin and create a riff between residents of the city and county areas. If Ron Phariss wants to build his development he needs to get going or get out.
    2. Wal-Mart claims they want a super center here in Rialto but they refuse to show the people of Rialto that they can operate a clean professional retail business in the Inland Empire. Wal-Mart hires lazy sloppy security for their parking lots and their staff remains rude and not helpful. Why would we welcome the super center if they can’t even offer Rialto residents a quality retail establishment at their current location? Also what happens to the old store once the super center is open, one more ugly vacant building for the homeless to destroy and gangs to tag up.
    3. The corner of Cactus and Foothill we have yet another gas station/carwash opening up even though there is a vacant falling apart carwash just east of this location. Where was the city leadership allowing another business to fall apart and become an ugly scar on our city and approve the same business to make a similar mistake just down the street?

Current council members and Mayor Robertson need to show us they are serious about working for the community and not just their own personal agendas. Joe Baca Jr. needs to focus on all areas of the cities not just parks. Mayor Robertson needs to figure out what she is doing and get back out into the community like she did when running for Mayor. She played a lot of us for fools by allowing us to think we would have an open line of communication with our Mayor if she was elected. Lets all hope that Councilman Elect Shawn O’Connell has the mental stamina to work in this council and see some positive forward progress. He is a man of strong character and has shown he wants to know and do the WILL OF THE PEOPLE. He has offered his home phone number 909-429-1138 his email address Shawn4Rialto@hotmail.com and he is even learning to use twitter to reach out to residents in every way possible Twitter.com/Shawn4Rialto. We must extend the Utility Users Tax in March, bring in new business to rialto, finish off half done projects and better utilize people in the community that have a desire to help make Rialto a better place to live.

The SB SUn article is below:

Editorial: Rialto must fight financial crisis by taking action

Posted:   01/03/2013 04:31:11 PM PST

OUR VIEW: Talks to rein in costs in Rialto need to give way to action, and the sooner the better.

It’s been almost three years since the Rialto City Council was warned that the city was facing its own serious financial crisis, potentially on par with the disaster that led to San Bernardino’s bankruptcy.

But rather than begin an aggressive campaign to trim costs and address a current $7.6 million budget deficit, the city seems more focused on convincing voters to approve extending a utility user tax set to expire in June.

Meanwhile, the city continues to spend its reserves to maintain services at current levels.

That sounds all too much like the scenario that played out in San Bernardino, where city officials depleted reserves and began borrowing from restricted funds to keep up with costs rather than make necessary cuts.

The situation in Rialto is dire – with its reserves expected to drop to $7 million by July, the budget stands to take an $11 million hit next year if voters reject the utility users tax during a special election in March.

Extending the utility tax in Rialto, keep in mind, won’t resolve the city’s ongoing structural deficit, the result of a sluggish economy and escalating personnel costs. The utility tax is a stop-gap that for now prevents the city from digging a deeper hole.

To be fair, Rialto has found some ways to cut costs, such as leaving vacancies unfilled and partnering with nearby
police agencies on some special services such as SWAT and helicopter patrols.

Such cost-savings measures have not been enough to balance the city’s books, however. And, if voters refuse to continue paying an 8 percent tax on their utility bills, the city’s General Fund will take a huge hit. The $11 million in revenue generated by the tax accounts for 22 percent of the General Fund, the city says.

Leaders at City Hall have said they expect to begin negotiating with labor groups to further reduce personnel costs, and there is some talk about restructuring the organization.

Those talks need to give way to action, and the sooner the better.

Those who live and work in Rialto need look no further than nearby San Bernardino for a cautionary tale about leaders who wait too long to take action. Residents who will be asked to continue paying an 8 percent tax on their utility bills deserve to know how the city is going to cut costs before handing over anymore of their own money.

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.”

 

 

 

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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