Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It

For 15 years the city council has been using the Utility Users Tax (UUT) to supplement our cities ability to operate. It didn’t begin this way the 1st time the UUT was put into place as a way to enhance services and provide a bridge to increased tax revenues that would replace the UUT giving the city the ability to allow it to sunset and go away. Well since then some very big things took place making that a hard pill to swallow, here is what has made that impossible:

  • The recession happened – The ever so wise politicians decided that everyone deserved to be able to purchase a home even if they could not afford it. So they created things like State your own income, 4 year interest only loans and allowed people to sell torn up houses for 10 times what they were really worth. Was it any surprise the whole thing fell down around itself and left cities in a very poor place?
  • RDA Money Taken Away – Gov. Brown in all his wisdom decided to take away Redevelopment money away from California cities. This money helped them grow their city and promote why people should spend their tax dollars there verses other cities. This money also made it possible to afford to give developers sweet deals to bring development to local cities.
  • The City’s PERS contract enhancement in 2010 – As a way to entice employees to sign a new employment contract without a raise as a way to say you will have a sweeter retirement later on.
  • Poor investment performance at CALPERS – This has led to the increased PERS cost in the City of Rialto.
  • Retail has come but – The retail stores and shopping are finally coming but not in the numbers that we were told. The new Lewis Shopping Center will bring no more than the new Super Walmart in the south end. Also Mayor Robertson’s warehouses are bringing more problems and not more money. Still many of the warehouses pay tax to cities like Ontario with agreements that cripple small towns like ours.

So last council meeting our city council and mayor were supposed to look at the cities financial future with the community present. According to Mike Story and Robb Steel at the last Budget Finance Committee meeting that city council had the following issues with the Budget Finance Committee’s recommendation:

  • The Budget Advisory Committee didn’t formally recommend what the committee thought city council should do with the cities surplus. Should it remain at 50%?
  • City Council wants to know if the committee would bless spending the cities reserves?
  • City Council doesn’t feel right declaring a state of physical emergency when we have a budget reserve.
  • City Council wants to increase the amount on businesses to as much as 12% and lower it on residents to 6%.
  • City Council no longer believes that Seniors alone should be exempt from paying the tax only low income seniors.

The reason we titled this story “Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It” the popular saying by George Santayana because we find ourselves walking down a similar path. The last time the Utility Users Tax was placed on the ballot for renewal Deborah Robertson was the lone wolf standing in the way. She was throwing a fit and holding her vote hostage until she got what she wanted. This year she is the problem once again but this time it doesn’t seem like public safety is going to blink. You see we have the #1 fire department in the State if not the Country you are more likely to survive a cardiac arrest event here than anywhere else. Also here in Rialto our paramedic program provides an income for the city budget offsetting fire costs, in every other city in the region these services are paid out to minimum wage workers for a private ambulance agency.

Keeping to the topic of public safety lets not forget that it was former police chief Farrar who did the 1st study on the use of body cameras on police officers. That study led to such amazing results that Rialto was one of the 1st agencies in the USA to use body worn cameras department wide. As you can see from the image above officer use of force has dropped as well as citizens complaints of use of force. Also Rialto is one of the few agencies that still has an active Community Policing program and youth intervention programs that are producing results.

Sadly the writting on the wall with everything going on right now is that our city council is playing chicken with our public services and a massive looming debt. Many members of the Budget Advisory Committee see the Mayor and Councils actions as dangerous ways to run a cities finances. One member said that looking at $170 Million pension and health debt over the next 10 years, not moving the Utility User Tax to a vote and even discussing spending reserves is a dangerous course of action. Another member said that council is saying I know I’m get a pay cut next year but I am taking the expensive vacation anyway, this is no way to budget.

So where are things now? Well Council refuses to address the public again with this topic or even the new information on just how bad our budget looks like if we don’t act now. The Budget Advisory Committee on December 18th will hear just what council and the mayor are looking for in regards to spending reserves and playing with the reserve limits. The topic of making seniors pay for the UUT when they have not been required to in the past will also be discussed. The Budget Advisory Committee is a public meeting even though staff refuses to use the cameras in the room and stream the meetings on You Tube the meetings are public. They start at 6 pm and end at 8pm.


Changes coming to Rialto Police Department Leadership

Information sent to us today indicates that changes to the top leadership rolls will be coming to Rialto Police Department.

As of October 1st former Police Chief Mark Kling will come on as a “Consultant” to help transition current Police Chief Deanda into “Retirement”. Police Chief Deanda should be well versed in the retirement process as he regularly tells the story of how he was needed so much in the city of Rialto that he was asked to return to work three times after filing for retirement.

In the communication from City Administrator Mike Story he laid out the struggles a quick departure like this will bring “As the city administrator, I must ensure there is a smooth transition of leadership and place leading up to and after chief Deanda retirement. Ideally, organisations have about 1 year to plan the transition of executive leadership. Chief Deanda will be retiring from public service and three short months on December 28th 2017 there for once Chief Deanda submitted and I accepted his notice of retirement, plans for executive leadership transitioning were set into motion. As an organization, filling the position of a retiring police chief is Paramount to community safety, department operations, and intergovernmental Affairs across departments so there are minimal service interruptions”.

Earlier today the Chief was witnessed briefing his command staff on the coming changes in his Department. Those pictured with the Chief at Mimi’s in North Fontana were Captain Andy Karol, Lt Robert Smith, Lt Dean Hardin and Paul Stella. Staff could overheard the chief talking about the memo from Mike Story and the impending changes.

Nobody will ever know the true story on why we have such a quick departure since past leadership has made sure a replacement was already on the ground before major changes took place. For example:

  • When Chief Kling left he had vetted and prepared Captain Tony Farrar for the promotion.
  • Fire Chief Matt Fratus knew he was not going to work forever so he hired Sean Grayson our current Fire Chief to eventually replace him.
  • When Police Chief Tony Farrar was on his way out he secured the promotion and placement of Chief Deanda.
  • Even City Administrator Mike Story announced months ago of his coming retirement at the end of this year.

So when something is outside the ordinary you have to ask yourself what is the real story? What we do know is that the city has found itself under more legal action brought by staff that claim they were fired, discriminated or retaliated against without merit and some of those cases have began to settle out of court. The latest claim was made know yesterday September 26th 2017 when a $125,000 claim was filed claiming misconduct by a former employee of MHM & Associates.

Answers that will need to be answered are:

  • How much is the city going to pay 2 police chief’s?
  • Will Deanda’s removal begin to bring the lawsuits to a close?
  • How do you attract a quality Police Chief in a Financially Strapped city like Rialto?

There are more questions than answers.

Today we got some of the answers from City Administrator Mike Story who said that Mark Kling will be working on a $15,000 dollar contract for three months to help during this transition. Mark Kling is one of the brighter spots in Rialto Police Department history as he led the Police Department out of the scandals of the past and the poor public trust of the police department. City Administrator Mike Story said that this money came out of the city administration budget already earmarked for consulting.

We will update as more information comes in.

Have a story you think people should know about? Email

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Comic Con Comes to the Inland Empire


For tickets to the Ontario event go to




Ontario and the Inland Empire Get Their Very Own Comic Con at

The Ontario Convention Center in Ontario California Saturday May 13, 2017


Ontario, California March 8, 2017 – The Ontario Convention Center located at 2000 E Convention Center Way, Ontario, California will be the home of Comic Con Revolution.  The Inaugural 1-day event at the Ontario Convention Center will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017.  The show brings Heroes, Villains, Princesses, Pirates, Aliens and so much more to the Inland Empire.

Comic Con Revolution is an event for long time comic collectors as well as first timers and families who want to experience the excitement.  Hardcore fans will recognize many of the names on the guest list while families and first time comic convention attendees will quickly see what makes these events so much fun.

Attending comic cons can be expensive – we want to make it affordable.  Comic Con Revolution offers a variety of pricing options so that the entire family can enjoy the experience.  Adult tickets are $25, teen tickets (13-17 years-old) are $15 and kids 12 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.  One adult ticket allows for up to two free children’s ticket.

For tickets to the Ontario event go to

“We are very excited to bring an authentic comic con experience to the City of Ontario and the Inland Empire community as a whole,“ said Atomic Crush Events co-founder Mike Scigliano.  He added, “The team behind Comic Con Revolution is working overtime to bring you an amazing experience.  Come join the revolution!”

“We are thrilled to welcome Atomic Crush Events to the Ontario Convention Center” said Michael Krouse, President and CEO, of Ontario Convention Center.   “Finally our very own Comic Con!  We know visitors to this event will be in for a treat with the planned program, exhibitors, and camaraderie of fellow collectors.”

Comic Con Revolution, a family friendly environment, will feature a full day of programming and events which includes panels featuring screenwriter Doug Jung who wrote the scripts for movies including Star Trek Beyond.  Other panels include creating comics, creator & comic spotlights, cosplay panels, kid’s panels, and capped off with a Cosplay Contest.  Our show floor will feature exhibitors & vendors who sell movie memorabilia, toys, t-shirts as well as full guest list of top industry talent.

For tickets to the Ontario event go to

Guests currently scheduled to appear include Karl Altstaetter (Mirror), Tim Bradstreet (Marvel Comics Covers), Sandy King Carpenter (Producer Ghosts of Mars, Vampires), Matthew Clark (Injustice: Ground Zero), Mike Collins (ABC’s of Halloween), Neo Edmund (Clan of the Vein), Joshua Hale Fialkov (The Life After), Derek Fridolfs (Li’l Gothams), Joel Gomez (La Muerta), Steven Gordon (X-Men Evolution Animated Series), Travis Hanson (Life of the Party), Ray-Anthony Height (Midnight Tiger), Doug Jung (Screenwriter Star Trek Beyond, God Particle, Scalped), Scott Koblish (Deadpool), Mike Kunkel (Herobear), Hope Larson (Batgirl), Livesay (Dr. Strange), Scott Lobdell (Red Hood & the Outlaws), Pamela Lovas (Regular Show), Raychul Moore (Cosplayer & Gamer), Todd Nauck (Spider-Man), Whilce Portacio (Comic Legend), Livio Ramondelli (Transformers), Paolo Rivera (Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953), Patrick Scullin (Super Siblings), Beth Sotelo (Grump), Cat Staggs (Wonder Woman), Art Thibert (Superman), Gus Vazquez (Big Hero Six),  Vivid Vidka (Cosplayer), Dave Wagner (Dot Problems) and Tommy Walker (Actor on Netflix’s Daredevil) .  Additional announcements will be made as guests continue to confirm and support the show.

For tickets to the Ontario event go to


Register Today for the Rialto Police Memorial 5K/3K Run & Save Money

Sign up before January 1st and register for only $35 (plus racewire fee). After January 1st the cost goes up to $40 (plus racewire fee).

Rialto Police Officer Remembrance Day The City of Rialto has declared that January 31st of each year will be “Rialto Police Officer Remembrance Day” to honor those Rialto Police Officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Members of the Rialto Police Department and the Rialto Police Benefit Association are working toward building a permanent memorial to these officers.

On January 30, 2016, we are holding our second annual Memorial 5K & 3K Run/Walk Fundraiser. The monies from this run will help fund the memorial and future Remembrance Day events. Join us on Saturday, January 30, 2016 to partake in this wonderful event. An awards ceremony and festivities will take place after the race.

Location: Ferguson Park, 2395 Sunrise Drive, Rialto, CA Sign-up begins at 6:30 a.m. Race starts at 8:00 a.m. Follow the link to register.

RaceWire Timing has graciously provided Chip-Timed Technology for our event. All paid participants will receive a Finisher Medal and a “Swag Bag.” Medals will be given to Top-Three Finishing Males and Top-Three Finishing Females in the following divisions: Ages 14 & Under, Ages 15 through 54, and Ages 55 and Over. Trophies will be given to the Top-Three Finishing Teams.

If you are unable to run/walk or form a a team for the run/walk, please consider making a donation to help sponsor a participant and/or a team.

Top Three Most Influential People In Rialto 2015

Rialto 2015

Before we move into the three people we will be highlighting we would like to thank the many people that made their voices heard in this poll seeking the community’s input on who impacted Rialto and left a mark that will stand the test of time. These three men all would have been men that I would have chosen as being key to Rialto moving forward in the way that it has.

Police Chief Tony Farrar

Police Chief Farrar is a 34 year veteran of Law Enforcement with 26 of those years were spent right here in Rialto. The Bio below is the best reflection of Chief Farrar’s body of work.

Tony Farrar is chief of the Rialto (CA) Police Department. A police officer for over 30 years, Chief Farrar is a graduate of the California Peace Officers Standards and Training (CA POST) Executive Leadership Command College and the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University. He is also an adjunct instructor through the Coast Community College District.

Chief Farrar holds masters’ degrees in both administration of justice and business administration and a bachelor’s degree in police science. He also graduated from the Police Executive Program at Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology (United Kingdom) with a master’s degree in criminology in July 2013.

Chief Farrar is a graduate of the CA POST Master Instructor Development Program and a certified trainer in the six different CA POST disciplines. He is also a certified trainer through the California Association of Tactical Officers and the National Tactical Officers Association.

In 2009, Chief Farrar received the CA POST Individual Excellence in Training Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to law enforcement training and encourages innovation, quality, and effectiveness.

Chief Farrar has extensive tactical operations expertise and has shared his knowledge through presentations to law enforcement personnel, community groups, and the private sector throughout California and in other states. He has developed several law enforcement conferences and training venues, and his written materials have been published in both domestic and international publications.

In 2009, Chief Farrar participated in a Homeland Security Training Mission in Israel, training with experts in law enforcement, the military, and the private sector. In 2010, Chief Farrar participated in a Humanitarian Mission to Haiti, assisting with relief efforts and evaluating first response plans.

Most recently, Chief Farrar concluded an extensive yearlong study to evaluate the effect of body-worn video cameras on police use-of-force. This randomized controlled trial represents the first experimental evaluation of body-worn video cameras used in police patrol practices. Cameras were deployed to all patrol officers in the Rialto (CA) Police Department. Every police patrol shift during the 12-month period was assigned to experimental or control conditions. In July 2013, Chief Farrar received the 2013 Award for Excellence in Evidence-Based Policing for this study from the Society of Evidence-Based Policing at the 2013 Conference on Evidence-Based Policing at the University of Cambridge (UK). The award is given annually for outstanding policing research that advances the evidence base in policing and informs police practice.

Chief Farrar is a member of the California Police Chiefs Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the Society of Evidence Based Policing.

On the side of the community I can recall the first time I met Chief Farrar it was in a meeting with his predecessor then Chief Mark Kling and even though I didn’t know it I would come to respect that Captain that terrified me with his silence. Chief Farrar had a REAL open door policy with the community and his department. He never made you feel inferior before him and he worked tirelessly to make Rialto the technological leader in today’s world of policing. Even when you didn’t see eye to eye with Chief Farrar he gave you the respect he wanted in return. He brought back real Community Policing and bridged the gap that existed between the community and our law enforcement agency.

As Chief Farrar retires I wish him the best and Rialto wont be the same without him at the helm.

Council member Shawn O’Connell

Shawn O’Connell has been described in his most recent position as the type of elected official that our forefathers had envisioned when they set up our democracy. A person from the people who served the people. Councilman O’Connell wasn’t always a councilman he also served Rialto Police his last rank was Sergeant. Shawn O’Connell was involved in an accident off duty that left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Shawn down but far from out worked to regain his strength and became the leader behind the group Voice United and group of people that seeked to demand that our elected officials work and speak for the people. Shawn took the work of advocacy very seriously and was a key part of keeping the city of Rialto from outsourcing police services to the SB Sheriff’s Department. Since December 12th of 2012 Now Councilman O’Connell has worked for the PEOPLE. He went as far as to kick off his campaign after he was sworn in as a Councilmember to give out his Home Phone number here is Shawn’s first words after being sworn into the Rialto City Council as reported by the Pasadena News

“O’Connell described his campaign as a grassroots effort and thanked his supporters. Then he announced his phone number.

“I will not forget that I work for you,” he said.”

Councilman O’Connell has lived by those words standing up for the community even when it went against the fray or ruffled feathers of his fellow members he is here to do the work of the people.

Councilman O’Connell was involved in a series of events where he made the people of Rialto Proud. He participated in the 1st annual Rialto Police Fallen Officer Memorial 5k and formed a team of people that supported our Rialto Police officers. Councilman O’Connell helped bring actual real facts to Rialto voters as the city asked them to approve a measure to raise much needed funds for Rialto’s future. Councilman O’Connell didn’t want the issue to rely on scare tactics but real tangible reasons that Measure W was needed. Councilman O’Connell also is probably the only elected official to come in with a list of things that he would like to see changed in Rialto and he has accomplished all of those issues as he enters the last year of his first term on the Rialto City Council. Councilman O’Connell does so much that lives behind the scenes or out of the public eye because he is not looking to be known by the crowd for what he does but rather in the lives of those his actions touch. In the video below Councilman O’Connell shares a personal story of leaving his mothers funeral at the age of 18 looking out the rear window of the car he was in and saw all the lives that she touched. Well Councilman O’Connell your mother must be smiling down on you from heaven for the life of good work you have done with your 44 years on this planet.

Gino Garcia

We have known Gino Garcia for a few years and though he is at times quiet he is loud with passion and drive for a healthier Rialto. His passion for the health of his community proves why the community chose him as one of the Top Three most Influential people of 2015. We reached out to Gino to learn even more about him and what makes him the man so many people admire. Here is what he wanted to say about why he works so hard to make Rialto a healthier place to work, play and live:

Hello fellow Rialto residents. Thank you for giving me the time to connect and share a bit about myself and the personal mission I have to make Rialto a healthier place to live. My name is Gino Garcia and I have lived in Rialto with my wife and two daughters since 2010. When we moved to Rialto I was in the process of starting my own fitness business and was actively plotting potential cities where I felt my business could thrive. After conducting research and determining there was no type of fitness service or dominant business within Rialto that offered the quality of training and fitness culture I sought to establish and build, I made the decision to launch Vibe Fitness in our city. Aside from the business aspect, it just made sense to improve my own city where my family would be living before going out and improving someone else’s home city.

From day one my personal mission was to create energy, excitement, and enhance the living experience of residents who came into contact with my business. You see, as a United States Marine I understood the power of creating community, culture, and team for the sake of fueling and completing a mission. I knew my passion to help others achieve their personal level of greatness would create something special within Rialto. Since the start of Vibe Fitness in 2012, the mission of making Rialto a healthier place to live has been active and successful thus far. The trend of a healthier Rialto was highlighted in 2015 through several events and program collaborations between city organizations and my business. Two projects that really fueled the healthier Rialto mission were the hosting “Operation Fitness Fury” at Rialto City Park in March and the collaboration between the Rialto Pride Platoon and I.

Operation Fitness Fury attracted over 150 residents from all over the Inland Empire for a morning of health and fitness to promote active and healthy lifestyles. The event consisted of group workouts, giveaways, and the promotion of several wellness organizations within the city. Another highlight was the successful completion of two Rialto Pride Platoon programs throughout 2015 which graduated over 60 high school youth from the program. On a physical and mental level combined, both these projects were key components in the success of making Rialto a healthier place to live in 2015. I am excited what 2016 will bring for our city and I believe strongly in my mission.

The focus for 2016 will be to continue building from the generated momentum that has been created in 2015. The goal will be to attract larger community involvement to wellness events for the sake of enhancing Rialto’s living experience across the entire city. This can be accomplished by working with other wellness organizations and city departments to create massive energy and traction to propel the healthier Rialto mission forward. In addition, it will require residents just like you to get involved either through active participation or support.

I will end by saying that my hope is you will be part of the healthier Rialto mission in 2016 at some capacity. The mission is not just about physical exercise; it’s about improving ALL aspects that make our city what it is. The mindset, pride, loyalty, compassion, and synergy we as residents should have when it comes to our city. The healthier Rialto mission is about us taking charge of our city and working together as residents to enhance the living experience we share. I hope we can meet at some point in 2016; I invite and encourage you to connect with me or my business on the web by visiting the websites below. Happy Holidays!


Vibe Fitness:

In health and strength, Gino Garcia

This effort to find the most influential people in Rialto was an awesome adventure into being able to highlight three awesome men who have one goal in mind make Rialto better for you the community. All three have one thing in mind that we need to be reminded of. Each man has at one or more times wore a uniform and swore an oath to protect the people and freedom that makes America the country we call home. The staff here at Rialto Now thank the community for choosing these three men and giving us the honor of highlighting them in this special way.

Before we close out this post we would also like to thank the many other people on the poll for what they have done big or small to make an impact on Rialto. It is people like you that show the upcoming generation how vital it is to stand and advocate for your community and its people.

Everyone have a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.