Coming up in Rialto in October

Pepper Avenue Extension Groundbreaking         

The City of Rialto invites you to the Pepper Avenue Extension Groundbreaking. The City of Rialto is moving forward to greatly improve traffic circulation and access to SR210. This event takes place October 2, 2012 at 10:00 am north of the intersection of Pepper Avenue and Winchester Ave. in Rialto. For more information, please contact the Public Works Dept at (909) 820-2602.

Farmer’s Market         

Every Wednesday, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Rialto City Hall, 150 S. Palm Ave. (Grass Area off South Parking Lot)!

Get Healthy, come out and pickup some fresh Vegetables and Fruit!

Coffee With The Chief

Come out and learn whats up within the police department and also have the ability to ask questions of the cities top law enforcement official.

Map of this months location is below:

Great oportunity to hear others issues and air out your own.

Candidates Come Out and Answer Your Questions

These events are being organized, sponsored and marketed by the community and local businesses there is no sponsorship by any city entity. Flores Park NW acts on its own and is not controlled by any agency. All candidates were given the opportunity to host a Q&A, October 16th, 24th, 30th & 31st are still open and available.

Get your questions answered and find out where the people running stand on issues that matter to YOU:

When: Tuesdays & Wednesdays in October @6pm

Where: Flores Park 1020 West Etiwanda in between Cactus and Cedar.

Who: Look Below

Deborah Robertson

Rialto Councilwoman

P.O. Box 852

Rialto, CA 92377

(909) 644-8520

Shawn P. O’Connell

Retired Police Sergeant

2542 W. Windhaven Dr.

Rialto, CA 92377

(909) 429-1138

Josef (Joe) Britt

Local Businessman

720 E. Madrona St.

Rialto, CA 92376

(951) 204-4013

Nancy O’Kelley

Former Principle Eisenhower High School

Running For RUSD Board

Citizen’s Academy

The Citizen’s Academy curriculum will include, among other things:  criminal investigations, traffic laws, radio communications, drug and gang enforcement, police ethics, police K9s, SWAT, crisis negotiation, crime analysis, and patrol functions.

Anyone interested in attending the Citizen’s Academy, please contact Lieutenant Kathy Thompson at (909) 820-2560, or an application can be located on the department’s website at http://www.rialtopd.com/, or obtained at the Rialto Police Department, 128 N. Willow Avenue.

Class size is limited to about 40 attendees, due to site capacity limitations.  Preference will be given first to Rialto residents.  You must be at least 21 years of age; no felony convictions; no misdemeanor convictions within the last 3 years; and no pending criminal cases.  The recent academy class filled up quickly, and classes are filled on a first come, first served basis.

Please submit your application no later than Wednesday, September 26, 2012.

Fire Department Open House

Join us at our Annual Fire Prevention Open House! October 13, 2012 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Come out and meet some of the Rialto Fire Fighters and tour the station.  The kids will have a blast and sit in a fire engine! There will be demonstrations, food & games for the kids!

http://www.rialtoca.gov/documents/downloads/2012_Open_House_Flyer.pdf

The Haunted Fire Station

Fire Station #201 (131 S. Willow) will be a haunting place to be on October 26th & 27th.  From 5:00 – 10:00 pm, come see if you are brave enough to get through the “Scary Station”.

Halloween Hi-Jinks

The City of Rialto’s “Halloween Hi-Jinks” is an annual event that is held in downtown Rialto on Halloween night. This event takes place Wednesday, October 31st, on Riverside Avenue between Rialto and First Street from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This is a free, family friendly event with a costume contest, guess the weight of the giant pumpkin contest, games, food and lots of candy. All booth participants are community organizations that provide a safe alternative for children to “Trick or Treat.” If you are interested in hosting a game booth and would like more information, please call 909 421-4949 or 909 877-9706.

RIALTO AIRPORT: Move to San Bernardino advances or miss-use of Water Sale Money

Below you will find a story from the Press Enterprise Newspaper. The articles purpose is to highlight the work moving forward at the San Bernardino Airport with the closing of the Rialto Airport. We were told that the $30 Million the city would secure by selling off our water for 30 years and raising our rates over four years by more than 100% was going to go to allow the city to afford the types of upgrades necessary when your developing land where there isn’t drainage, adequate streets for expected traffic along with street lights and signals. Reading below at first sight you think your reading about the continued relocation of the airport to move forward with its closure, but that’s not the case to those of us who still fight against this evil deal.

The following was never made clear to the public:

  1. Anything about the bulk of land sales going to the San Bernardino Airport for relocation costs.
  2. That now that the land is worthless and not desired by anyone, the city made another bad deal on our behalf to give away the supposed Capital Development money obtained from the bad water deal.

What makes the water deal and now the Airport Closure stink are:

  1. Closing of the Airport puts our own Helicopter program in jeopardy. We will have to take our own helicopter to another Airport creating an unnecessary delay in response time (which newspaper article will we find tells us where our helicopter will be based since the city hates telling the community what they are doing).
  2. $30 Million isn’t allot of money when it comes to large development. If a BULK of the money must go to San Bernardino what money is left for all the BUSINESS they think they can attract to come to RIALTO?
  3. Why wont the city tell us all the people connected to the city who will make millions at Rialto Rate Payers Expense.
  4. The statement from Councilman and Mayor Candidate ED SCOTT that the settlement money from the perchlorate cases wont be enough to repay Rialto businesses who paid perchlorate fees for years right along with Rialto residents. So Ed Scott wants us to promote him to Mayor and trust him with the responsibility of attracting new business to the city. He has his hands super dirty in being on the committee that hired failed Superior for graffiti removal services, being a council member that still likes and wants American Water as the servicer of Rialto’s failed water deal and calls the police and makes false accusations against Rialto Residents because he doesn’t like what they say.
  5. Target, Super Wal-Mart and In & Out are the three projects on tap for the $30 million, if we have to give most of that money to San Bernardino how will any of these projects happen?

Read the article below, then email your council members and city administrator and ask them to finally be honest with us!!!!!

 

Little activity goes on at Rialto Airport these days. The last few tenants could find a new home at San Bernardino International Airport.

Seven years after an act of Congress ordered Rialto Municipal Airport closed, the effort to shift tenants to San Bernardino International Airport took a small step on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

The San Bernardino International Airport Authority awarded contracts worth up to $1.8 million combined for the design of hangars that will serve private pilots and the San Bernardino County sheriff’s aviation operation.

TR Design Group, a Riverside-based company that built a city call center at Riverside Municipal Airport as well as structures near March Air Reserve Base, was awarded up to $902,720 to develop plans, including architectural and engineering, for the sheriff’s hangar.

An $868,500 contract went to Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. for design work and oversight of the eventual construction of amenities for private pilots and their planes that would be relocated from Rialto to San Bernardino’s 32-acre site.

Funding will come from the authority’s related Inland Valley Development Agency. The agency has so far received approval from the state’s Department of Finance to use bond revenue for the new hangars and amenities. State law dissolved redevelopment agencies earlier this year and forced them to seek approval from the finance department when they want to spend property tax revenue on unfinished redevelopment projects.

The IVDA has estimated it could cost $9.55 million to build the sheriff’s hangar, according to the list of financial obligations approved by the state. The general aviation improvements could cost nearly $7 million.

In 2005, Congress made the rare move to close Rialto Airport because the city — the airport’s owner — wanted to see the land developed with homes, retail and other improvements. A large portion of the money earned from selling the land was supposed to have gone to the San Bernardino airport to create space for the tenants forced to move. But the economy soured, land values plummeted, and no land was sold or developed. Tenants still pay rent month-to-month at Rialto Airport, where weeds are visible sprouting from the runway.

Recently, the city of Rialto approved a complicated deal to contract out its water management in order to earn money to reimburse San Bernardino airport for a portion of the costs.

Rialto Airport, which has been further tangled in uncertainty because of the dissolution of the city’s redevelopment agency, is expected to close by 2014, said Chad Merrill, project manager for the IVDA and San Bernardino airport.

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

What do you want Rialto’s Political landscape to look like

Are you going to fall for the same old tricks, only to find our city and your wallet in the frying pan?

I want everyone to pay close attention to cities like San Bernardino, Colton and Fullerton.

Let me preface this post by making something’s clear:

  1. We have a wonderful police and fire department. From everything I’m hearing both sides are doing their best to come to the table and negotiate to not only help the council and staff balance their budget but also still provide the community with the service we need.
  2. We have a police chief that takes the time to listen to the community and a command staff out their doing their best to put the community’s concerns as a top priority.
  3. Our chief of police is an out of the box thinker. By using grant writing abilities and technology we have the ability to see long term crime prevention. They do everything you can ask of an agency that plays by rules the criminals are not bound to.
  4. I have found that when left alone and allowed to talk to the community our staff is open and honest, but once our council members find out their talking to you the communication shuts down. There is no reason we shouldn’t be able to ask questions of staff, staff is well aware of what confidential council just loves their CLOAK OF SECRACY.

Voting for an incumbent for council is not going to work this go around, they only started acting like the councilmember’s we need over the last month because of November 4th the election. There are 3 people being supported by our fire and police agencies only one deserves your vote. City Councilman Ed Palmer is up for re-election and Ed Scott is running for Mayor neither deserve a vote “IN MY OPINION”. Shawn O’Connell has a strong desire to see more openness in city government. One shouldn’t to use the threat of a freedom of information act request to get information from the city or strong arm the city government by going around and over their heads to get information that should be available to everyone.

When it comes to mayor I am making the best choice available this time and hoping a better candidate comes along in four years just in case Deborah Robertson fails me. I am backing Mrs. Robertson because when I pressed her and questioned her intentions on issues over the years she didn’t:

  • Call the police on me and make up lies about crimes I didn’t commit.
  • Call me into meetings and ambush me with other council members and the Captain of the Police Department.
  • Try and create a feeling of distrust amongst people I know and deal with.
  • Accuse me of being a liar stating I never spoke to people I directly quote.

What did Deborah Robertson DO:

  • When I have issues with graffiti she steps up and begins to contact the people that handle the specific area in question.
  • For Example – When GPC and the city were arguing over who was responsible to clean graffiti on the freeway construction staging area on the corner of Ayala and the 210 freeway. I called on her to use her to use her relationship with Caltrans to move them into cleaning up and vacating the lot. It took work but now there is nothing to tag on that corner because it’s gone.
  • She continued that progress by letting Caltrans know that graffiti on our freeway sound walls needs to be removed quickly. No other city sees this quick response in our area except for Rancho Cucamonga that’s because their council cares about their cities impression from the main vein of commerce on their north end.
  • My conversations with Mrs. Robertson are not hostile in nature and if I am the one upset she gives me the feeling she is there to find a solution to the issue not push my buttons.

People will tell you she isn’t good because of the whole outsourcing our police issue back in the 90’s. News flash no one is letting that happen & talk to any of the council member there now and tell me you don’t hear that issue is in the back of their minds? Even the councilman running against her ALWAYS reminds me how much of our budget the Police and Fire consume each year. It’s not what you say it’s how you say it that speaks to the true meaning.

Now to the three cities I first referred to.

Why these three cities you ask? Because they all have some big problems facing their cities and they are making horrible decisions on how to respond to issues plaguing their communities. Let’s break them down one by one and ill explain:

Colton a small city with big city problems. Their budget ran out of control so bad they began to gut their city workers starting with cutting their police force by a third!!!! Colton in my estimation & by the looks of their stats on www.crimemapping.com is rife with crime and no real way to combat it. With no more RDA like other cities how will they continue to attract businesses to their city to support a strong tax base. To top it all off their chief of police retired and their mayor passed away, the city hired a new chief and replaced their mayor with his widow which was a choice that was without controversy.

San Bernardino, where do I start????? Bankruptcy, Childish City Government, Poor Spending Practices or Crime and murders and homicides soaring through the roof, paying millions of dollars to attract business in a city that isn’t safe, a era of public safety that provides poor, poor service yet gets upset when the community. (A) Questions them and (B) asks them to help with their pensions so that the city can climb out of a hole. A hole created by runaway mayor and council by negotiating for an endorsement in the next campaign instead of doing a good job for the community. The article below is from the SB Sun Newspaper and shows one of these big babies in council asking the corrupt city attorney to investigate a citizen for telling him that if he voted to not allow the city to vote on San Bernardino Being a Charter City, he would begin a recall campaign against him???????? Well if this is the case call the police lock me up and throw away the key. I have been ridding Rialto’s Council and Mayor for months over their decision to outsource our water operations and create a bad financial deal. I told them you vote for this deal at your own political fate. I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.

Attorney says he threatened councilman with recall; DA investigating

Ryan Hagen, Staff Writersbsun.com

Posted: 08/07/2012 09:49:14 PM PDT

Special Section: San Bernardino

SAN BERNARDINO – Attorney Tim Prince told Councilman Chas Kelley he would pursue a recall if and only if Kelley voted against putting charter repeal on November’s ballot, Prince said Tuesday.

“I expressly told him, I don’t expect you to personally support repeal of the charter. What I do expect and demand of you is that you give the people the right to vote,” Prince said. “Despite all the errors he’s made, despite driving us into bankruptcy, he could have just let the people have their say.”

The District Attorney’s Office received a complaint Tuesday and is investigating, said spokesman Chris Lee.

Kelley said he considered the threat to be an attempted bribe.

“Someone was trying to coerce my vote, and that’s inappropriate, unacceptable, and I made that quite clear yesterday,” he said on Tuesday.

California penal code defines a bribe as “anything of value or advantage” given or promised with a “corrupt intent to influence.”

That probably wouldn’t apply to a threat to do something that is legal, said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School.

“It’s certainly a threat, but is it chargeable? I’m not sure,” she said. “It’s along the lines of, ‘I’m not going to vote for Jerry Brown unless he pursues pension reform.”‘

Prince gave Kelley a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition just before discussion began on whether to add a ballot measure to repeal the city’s charter.

Kelley, whom Prince said was a swing vote, joined a 4-3 decision not to put charter repeal on the ballot.

The notice says Kelley deserves to be recalled for three reasons: an investigation into Verdemont Community Center, which Kelley “spearheaded and supervised”; advocating higher pay and other benefits for union members – who contributed heavily to his campaigns – despite warnings that the city was headed toward bankruptcy; and “dismissing his constituents by denying us the right to vote on repealing the city charter.”

The Grand Jury’s 2011-12 report criticized the construction of the Verdemont center for not having a certificate of occupancy, initial building permits or proper inspections and for construction that didn’t meet required standards.

The report also found city staff “had a general lack of understanding of the building requirements,” but doesn’t mention Kelley or other elected officials.

Kelley said he agreed with the Grand Jury’s recommendations, but the errors were made by city staff whom he said hadn’t built a community center since the 1980 s.

“I don’t micromanage or make the day-to-day decisions,” he said. “Every step of the way on this project was approved by the mayor and council.”

Prince said he had no regrets and was moving forward with petitions to remove Kelley from office and put charter repeal on a later ballot.

Several council members, including those who said charter repeal should be on the ballot, said Prince’s actions were unacceptable.

Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/ci_21259787/attorney-says-he-threatened-councilman-recall-da-investigating#ixzz22yZgyYvv

FULLERTON was most recently in the national spotlight over the Thomas Kelly case where a man died because after his encounter with some of their officers. Fullerton had a massive recall election, removed bad officers and the Chief of police. They made big changes to their use of force policy and used a PR campaign to show the community they were serious about changing the publics face of their department. So now the city council has asked the Orange County Sherriff to put together a total cost estimate to take over police services. Even though they split the vote to stall this venture this is one of those issues once the cat is out of the bag there is no going back, and this is an issue that is full of contriversary.

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FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) — The Fullerton City Council was expected vote Tuesday on whether to begin a process that would eliminate the city’s police department and have the Orange County Sheriff’s Department take over.

The city council, which recently welcomed three new members after a recall, says the issue is one of money. Two council members said operating the police department costs tens of millions of dollars, so allowing the county sheriff to take over would save the city a lot of money, especially in management expenses. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department already provides services to other cities in north Orange County, the most recent of which is Yorba Linda.

However, there is speculation that the move is in response to the death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man who died after a violent confrontation with police last July. Many of the council members who support dismantling the police force have been sharp critics of the department.

Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker maintains cost is the true concern.

“Had the Kelly Thomas incident not occurred, I believe it would still be our responsibility to be looking at these costs,” he said.

With the city’s expenditures increasing by 9 percent and revenue only increasing by 1 to 2 percent over the coming years, it makes financial sense to cut the department. Should the police department be cut, about 95 percent of Fullerton’s cops would still be able to serve the public as sheriff’s deputies.

Whitaker says now that three former council members have been recalled, it will be a lot easier for the city to look at the budget more objectively.

“The city is shouldering many lawsuits at the moment, including that one from [father of Kelly Thomas] Ron Thomas. And there was an earlier settlement of $1 million to Kelly’s birth mom,” said Whitaker.

Fullerton police officials say they will abide by whatever the city council decides, but they also say public safety is more than just about dollars and cents.

Some Fullerton residents like Scott Darrah are for the idea of allowing the sheriff’s department to take over.

“As long as they get the corrupt people out and get the right people in and do the right job, that’s really all that matters, as long as we feel safe,” he said.

Others are not so keen on the idea.

“They’re doing a pretty good job, I mean they realized they did a mistake and they got rid of the people, so I think we need to keep the police, I mean it’d be ridiculous,” said Susan Montoya.

The president of the Fullerton Police Officers’ Association said he thinks the move is purely motivated by politics. He also said the entire department took a pay cut last year, and he hopes the city will honor a contract it has with the department that lasts through 2015.

Fullerton’s police department, which is about 100 years old and is one of the oldest in the nation, has undergone major changes in the past year. The police chief retired, three officers quit and two officers have been charged in Thomas’ death.

A cost analysis of the department’s dismantling would take about four months

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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

Updated on Coffee with the Chief meeting

 

Coffee with the Chief was held at Coffee Nutz on Foothill inRialto. It was a great time sitting down with Chief Farrar and Captain Deanda. About 15 – 20 people were there to openly dialogue about their local community. It began with the chief introducing himself and it took little time for people to dive right in. Owner Andy Carrizales was one of the many in attendance. There were also members from the Human Relations Board, two massive Neighborhood Watch groups and regular residents.

The President and Vice President of the Human Relations Board were there to get some answers on the possibility of a Chili Cook Off between the Fire Dept. and Rialto PD.

Chief Farrar said that he had not received their contact requests. With reference to the Cook Off and it would depend on if the city was going to have their battle of the badges this year where they do have a chili cook off. The matter would be further researched and an answer would be given at a later date.

Linda Chapman from the Human Relations Board announced that a customer service survey was done on Rialto PD and that the results and report were in the works.

 

Chief touched on some of the ways the police department was using resources wisely and keeping things like SWAT, The Helicopter Program, and Drug and Gang Enforcement available to the City ofRialto. Using these functions in conjunction with neighboring cities likeColtonandFontanaallows the costs to be shared and intel to flow more freely.  Figures were also shared on what our K-9 program has accomplished. In the last year they have seized 1.2 million dollars in property and taken 1 million dollars in drugs off the street.

Chief also spoke about the effects of the state’s Early Release Program on local communities and crime. Rialto PD has one adult and one juvenile probation officers assigned toRialto. Having this resource, Rialto PD hopes to stay on top of the early release inmates and be there to enforce their probation rules when they break them.

 

Chief spoke about the importance of getting graffiti off ASAP and would check into complaints that TAGS were staying up for 5-6 days after being reported. If you have graffiti that isn’t being removed after you call it in you can call Public Works Official Tim Sullivan at (909) 421-7229.

 

Many ways to foster positive relationships between our police and the youth were discussed: They included small community afternoons to reach out to the youth in a more positive manner in conjunction with the Area Command Meetings, having game trailers out at the meetings might draw more families and give the parents the ability to sit and get important information without worrying if their kids are bored, having hot dogs, chips and a drink could eliminate the need for families to cram dinner in before coming to the meetings.

 

Finally the topic that I enjoyed the most was the fact that this chief’s goal was to be more transparent than any before. Capt De Anda said he directed Sgt’s to go around to people in the community and give them some information on what is taking place (in their neighborhood after an incident) so that people’s fears and imaginations wouldn’t run wild and the community would feel like they are a part owner in public safety working alongside the police not separate or against them.

 

These meetings are a great way to get involved, have a voice and be more informed about what is happening in the community. I would invite everyone to come out to the next meeting on July 10th. It is time well spent.

Won this (Water) Battle, Yet Still forging on the War Front

Below is the form email that went out from SOS Water, the organization that is spearheading the drive to allow City of Rialto Voters to vote on the decision to outsource our water and waste water systems. I hope this push proves a few things to the city council and mayor of Rialto:

  • Simple transperity isn’t enough when it comes to our water and a 30 year contract – Besides people who either work for the city, sit on a city commission/board or belong to a group or organization that is owned by the city government no one things that the information meetings were informative, they were more confusing. No other proposals were shown, staff presenting the information came off cocky and rude & people were left with more questions than answers.
  • When the people (Rialto Residents) speak listen – 80+ people signed up to speak on the impending vote on water services & the city council choose to instead listen to Union reps, possible future business owners, labor lobbies & inappropriate city mouth pieces (Ref June Hayes calling one of the speakers a card carving communist). When Rialto business owners and residents filled 4 rooms and spoke their piece and you still chose to ignore it, you work for us remember that.
  • For years this city government has made a choice to ignore the water system, now when RDA funds are gone we make a made dash for the first person willing to pay us off. How is this fair to the city? Why should the residents pay for your lack of leadership. It was best said today as Governor Brown was making his latest pitch for higher taxes he ask a reporter if she didn’t like his plan what did she think he should do and she said “THATS YOUR JOB”. IF the city water is in such disrepair then let’s get to work fixing it. Start off by using the 30 million dollars the Utility owes you and let’s get to work. Then lets talk about slow graduated increases that will hurt less over time to obtain the remainder of the money and finish the work. By the councils own admission this alone will bring business here that was avoiding us because of our water systems age and disrepair. I don’t agree that is why they are avoiding us but that’s for another post.
  • SOS is comprised from people out-of-state that have seen American Water at work and know first hand what type of service they provide. This doesnt bother me one bit because without the hard work and passion of the people of Rialto their efforts would have died out eons ago.

Dear friends and neighbors:

On Saturday, May 12, we filed our petition with the City Clerk with substantially more than enough signatures to place the water privatization scheme before the voters of Rialto.  Under California law, this means that the City will be required to present this critical issue to a vote of the people.

We needed 10% of the registered voters of Rialto to qualify for the ballot – or just over 3,600 signatures.  Instead, we turned in more than 6,400 signatures!

The people of Rialto really came through to let City Council know that the voters of Rialto deserve to have the final say on this misguided 30-year privatization scheme.

The next step is that the City will review our petition to verify that we have submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures.  After that, this issue should be presented to a public ballot sometime over the next few months.  We will need to re-double our efforts to make certain this water privatization contract is defeated at the ballot box.

In addition, in the next few days we will be sending Prop 218 protest cards to all Rialto property owner who are affected by the huge rate hikes that the City Council is trying to push through to finance this deal.  If a majority of property owners protest these rate hikes, then the City cannot impose the rate increases and the entire water privatization scheme fails.

We will keep you posted on both of these efforts as we move forward.

Congratulations again for all of your hard work and for standing up for the future of Rialto.

Mark Brooks

SOS Rialto Water

P.S.  I am posting below a link to the news story in the Sunday’s San Bernardino Sun concerning our success in getting the petition filed, and another link to a guest editorial from SOS Rialto Water members that was printed in the Sun on May 9.

http://www.sbsun.com/ci_20612243/more-than-6-000-rialto-residents-sign-petition

http://www.sbsun.com/pointofview/ci_20585383/rialto-voters-deserve-say-american-water-deal

 

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