West Valley Water Board Race Nasty As Ever

It seems as though nothing has changed when it comes to providing clean drinking water to 11 cities in 2 counties.

You may remember a few years ago when we covered corruption and misuse of funds on the West Valley Water District Board of Directors. Then Councilman Shawn O’Connell a resident of the water district called out blatant areas where funds were being misused, board members were being bullies and political lines were being drawn in the sand. It became so bad that groups that previously supported Councilman O’Connell threatened to pull their support of him if he didn’t stop his questions of board member Clifford Young.

Now Clifford Young is running for re-election and he is looking to buy residents votes, spreading lies about other candidates and turing on those who once supported him.

One Candidate and the former General Manager of West Valley Water posted this on his social media page earlier this week:

I’d like to respond to some of the attacks that have come out recently against Linda Gonzalez and myself. They are lies, plain and simple.

I’m proud of my 35 years of management of the district. During my time as manager we built two water treatment plants. We kept the water supply safe, despite the discovery of perchlorate pollution. Rates may have gone up in 2013 but that was because we refused to raise rates at all during the economic recession following 2009, and despite the rate increases our district’s water rates are lower than both Rialto and Fontana’s water rates. If the district had been mismanaged for 35 years, we wouldn’t be able to say any of that.

Regarding the claims made about Linda Gonzalez, I’ll just say this. I can provide anyone with records of Freedom of Information Act requests made to the district which show that in the last three years Linda Gonzalez has been paid $34,000 for her work on the board. In that same time Clifford Young was paid $97,000 for carrying out the same job. He did this by going to as many “business” lunches and trips as possible and by gaming the system to get extra perks.

So who is really trying to take all the money they can from the district? Butch Arizia.

Mr. Arizia is right he did an excellent job as the General Manager for West Valley Water. Not only did the Water District not steal millions from rate payers like Rialto Water did to clean up Perchlorate from the ground water. Rialto Water charged the residents Millions to clean up the water then spent over 50 million (Tax Money)on attorneys to sue the people responsible then settled for pennies on the dollar. Mr. Arizia also kept West Vally water from making a monumental mistake that would have done extreme damage to West Valley Water. When the Rialto City Council was forced to remove American Water as the preferred company to handle the selling off of a utility the council went to West Valley and more importantly Butch Arizia to see if West Valley wanted to step in. Butch Arizia took one look at the contract and knew it was a poorly put together plan that made delivering on the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) impossible. He was right because Rialto Water customers still have water that is hard to drink, skyrocketing water rates and none of the Capital Projects completed and many are way behind schedule over 5 years later.

Another former General Manager from West Valley Water who worked under the regime of Clifford Young left and when we bumped into him he was beyond happy to be out of West Valley Water and out from under certain people’s thumbs.

One of our favorite stories we wrote on Clifford Young was when new board members were sworn in and Clifford Young took this opportunity to change the rules of open meetings making it harder for the public to address their elected officials. Another one we enjoyed was when Clifford Young ripped into water employees.

Some people are claiming that Clifford Young is buying votes with his latest campaign ad (see below).

If purchasing your vote isn’t bad remember Clifford Young is the person most responsible for giving support to Rafael Trujillio the Councilman from Rialto that worked behind the scenes to turn Rialto into a sanctuary city putting millions of dollars in Federal grants in jeopardy.

Cities that west valley water works in are:

CITY OF BLOOMINGTON, CITY OF COLTON, CITY OF FONTANA, CITY OF GRAND TERRACE, CITY OF HIGHGROVE, CITY OF JURUPA VALLEY, CITY OF MUSCOY, CITY OF RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CITY OF RIALTO, CITY OF RIVERSIDE & CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO

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Internal Affairs Investigation Ruins K9 Partner “Jordy’s” Career

Initial reports are that the city has paid over $6000 in boarding fees for former officer Glen Andersons partner Jordy. He was kept at Adlerhorst in Jurupa for ten months at $25.00 per day. This poor hardworking police dog is one of the greatest victims of whatever the Police Chief had an issue with former officer Glen Anderson.

The department purchased a new dog costing around $11,000 from Adlerhorst using money from the police department that could have been spent elsewhere if the Police Chief had not cut ties with the Friends of Rialto Police K9 program. Reports are that K9 Jordy was given back to Adlerhorst for another dog the a new K9 officer choose. Rialto Police added two officers since officer Glen Anderson was fired. These officers will be going through the basic class which cost is approximately $5,000 each costs that the Friends would have normally paid. Due to the length of time Jordy sat at the kennels he was no longer desirable for purchase by any other police agency and was sold to a private party.

This awesome police dog and a former Military Veteran (K9 Military Dog) was locked up, had to spend his birthday in a cage all because of an issue our Police Chief had with one of his officers. Whether officer Anderson was fired for a good reason or for a power struggle the Dog paid the ultimate price for something that was out of his control. The blame falls to Chief Deanda since his actions against former officer Anderson led to Jordy’s lockup.

It’s not just Rialto Now that is worried about Jordy one of our biggest critics since we began writing about the issues at the PD commented this on one of our last articles:

“The only person i feel sorry for is the dog Jordy. woof woof. Free Jordy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Mark Peterson

The people of Rialto have the added burden of costs that are not needed because of the chief’s actions against the Friends of Rialto Police K9’s.

We have received some heat for these stories. These stories are not meant to be done put of spite but to inform the people of Rialto about what is going on in your city. Lets look back at some of the things we have highlighted that if we didn’t write about our failed leaders would have been able to hide their failures and get away with the consequences we the people have to pay:

  • Selling off Rialto’s water – We were key in trying to shut this action down working to highlight that the cities scare tactics were nothing more than just that scare tactics. We also pointed out that NONE of the improvements would ever be made. Five years later we keep electing the same people and all that has been done is our rates are skyrocketing and some of the water meters have been replaced. Almost every single improvement is YEARS behind schedule and our leaders could care less.
  • Money moved around to pay for pet projects – We have been harping on the money movement game for years. It wasn’t until former councilman Shawn O’Connell saw it for himself did it come to a stop temporarily. Were now doing it again and allowing our leaders to get away with it.
  • Councilman Trujillo & Sanctuary Cities – Had it not been for this blog newly elected Councilman Trujillo would have held his sanctuary city meeting and Fontana Herald reporter would have reported it in a much different light. If not for this blog we would be in jeopardy of loosing MILLIONS in federal dollars.

So when we write about these actions it is up to you to dig into them for yourself and look at each situation with clarity and not allow personal relationships to cloud your judgement.

 

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What’s On Tap For This Weeks City Council Meeting Tuesday November 10th

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Hello Rialto Now readers as the year begins to draw to a close there is still plenty to keep our eyes on when it comes to the cast of characters known as the Rialto City Council. This weeks meeting is full of tasty little nuggets that are important for you to know about:

There are 8 presentations and proclamations here are the ones who stand out:

Proclamation-Small Business Saturday-Mayor Deborah Robertson – Not sure what Mayor Robertson knows about Small Business when she spends more time with big corporations like Wal-Mart.

Proclamation-Purple Heart City-Mayor Deborah Robertson – Looks like this is a way to honor a select few Purple Heart Veterans who support her as Mayor.

Proclamation-Law Enforcement Records and Support Personnel Day Mayor Deborah Robertson – Not sure when our Mayor began to LIKE our police

Resolution-Veterans Wall of Freedom-Council Member Ed Palmer – Not sure what this is but it may mean a Veterans Wall in Rialto.

Presentation-Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award from International Associations of Chiefs of Police-Captain Randy DeAnda – The last award from the glory days.

Presentation-2015 CNN Heroes Award-Kim Carter Time for Change Foundation – This presentation upsets me because Mrs. Carter isn’t a resident here in Rialto her business is in San Bernardino and she has been all over the place talking about how this award and the potential $100,000 payoff is for a program for San Bernardino, made in San Bernardino she never references any other community.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

Request City Council to Approve Resolution No. 6846 to Establish a New Full-Time Classification of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Establish the Basic Compensation Rate. Eliminate the Part-Time EMT Classification from the City’s List of Approved Classifications.

TAB ITEMS

TAB2 Request City Council to Approve the Community Services Department Athletic Field and Allocation Policy.

This is the Policy that the Recreation Commision and the City Council have been kicking back and forth leaving youth sports programs in the lurch.

TAB3 Request City Council to Consider Amendment No. 4 to Employment Agreement between the City of Rialto and Michael Story, City Administrator for changes to be effective from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017.

Looks like Mike Story is going to be made whole again after giving up a lot what we don’t understand is where is all this money coming from?

TAB8 Request City Council to Ratify the Termination of the Contract Services Agreement with Commercial Cleaning Systems and Approve a Professional Services Agreement with ABM in the Amount of $23,728.13 Per Month Not To Exceed Five Months for a total of $118,610.66 for Janitorial Services and an additional $31,359.37 for Consumable Supplies.

Yet another attempt to find someone that can clean up after the filth our local elected officials leave behind. 

TAB10 Request City Council to receive and file a status update on the Concession Agreement Water and Wastewater Capital Improvement Program; provide direction to staff as appropriate. approving staff to return in February 2015 with a status update on the Concession Agreement Water and Wastewater Capital Improvement Program for the next three months.

Here is yet another opportunity for the Gang of four to try and save the poor water deal that they threw us into. Last time they met Ed Scott said he wanted to not charge the public the next scheduled rate increase but we know he was just saying that he really doesn’t care about the rate payers. What is scary is that were bringing in massive amounts of large developments and we have done ZERO to upgrade our old overtaxed system why are they letting Rialto Water Services get away with this? Well its because four of the five elected leaders have taken money from the Rialto Water Services gang and now they need to pay it back in the form of FAVORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regular Meeting Tuesday November 10th at 6pm

Ed Scott Lies On Campaign Mailer

So apparently the Ed Scott for City Council Campaign put out a last minute campaign piece claiming a few odd endorsements for his bid for another shot at a city council seat.

Ed Scott Lies 2014

As you can see above the endorsement from Mayor Deborah Robertson stands out the most. Just two years ago the Ed Scott for Mayor campaign was using mailers against Deborah Robertson saying that she misused tax payers money and was double dipping with her pension from San Bag. It was a heated race and mud was throw back and fourth but in the end Mayor Robertson came out on top.

We reached out to Mayor Robertson via text message and she had this to say after seeing this mailer.

“I stated to all the candidates that I would not endorse anyone. I’m there to work with the other elected officials the voters in rialto send forward.” Mayor Deborah Robertson

 

 

We met up with Ed Scott at the woman’s club candidate forum at the Senior Center and asked him about it and he said Deborah was a supporter and that the mailer was printed wrong. He claims to have the proper original yet has not shown any such evidence.

Here is video of the interaction Ed Scott on the mailer with Robertson Endorsement: http://youtu.be/Ryn67_5lIAk

Ed Scott what type of Proven Leadership does this show?

Ed and Ed

Don’t worry Ed Scott wont just use the mayor has a false endorsement he has been doing the same thing with other local leaders like Mayor Pro Tem Ed Palmer. He turned his Ed Scott for Rialto Mayor page into Ed Scott for Rialto City Council. He does this without removing old pictures and he gives you the impression that he has a lot of support. No he does not have wide support and it dwindles more everyday as he tries to lie, cheat and steal his way back into office.

On another note it appears Joe Baca Jr. is sneaking his own endorsement mistake. In his sample ballot statement Joe Baca Jr. says he is endorsed by a list of community members. (See Below)

joe baca statement

We have heard that one or more of these people were not asked to be included in this statement. We have not heard that they don’t support Joe Baca Jr. but some people would rather not be labeled publicly as supporting one side over the other.

 

 

Final Rialto Candidate Forum Today

The final candidate forum of the 2014 election year is today and will only highlight two of the may areas up for grabs on November 4th. The two areas that will be covered are City Council ( two seats open out of four candidates ) and Rialto Unified School Board ( two seats open with six people for the seats ). One interesting portion of this event is it appears Ed Scott will poke his head out and finally speak publicly on the race which he has primarily done through private fundraisers and mailers & signs. It will be nice to see a majority of the candidates out together and we can hear their view points at the same time. The event is at the Rialto Senior Center on South Riverside Ave. See flyer below for more info.

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The many reasons not to vote for Ed Scott

So it’s no secret that Mr. Ed Scott and I don’t agree on anything outside of our favorite football team. What I find appalling are his campaign signs “Proven Leadership”. What leadership? Do you pat the guy on the back that did everything in his power to drive rialto down the same road that San Bernardino now finds itself?

So since my last post about Mr. Ed Scott drove our numbers through the roof I thought it’s time to do a highlight of the Ed Scott Years. We will start with most recent Ed Scott blunders and let you decide if we want this type of “Proven Leadership” back in power in rialto:

  1. Most recently we are finding out the most expensive of the Ed Scott policy issues the Outsourcing of Rialto Water to Veolia. Now Veolia was not Ed Scott’s first choice to have our water company for the next 30 years. We now know that Ed Scott’s water pipeline infrastructure project was a like a local unfunded mandate meaning he dumped it into our laps and later we found that the money was not enough to complete most of the projects. When the residents forced American Water from the deal the proposal was handed to west valley water district and General Manager Butch Araiza wanted nothing to do with the water deal. Now residents are left with ever increasing water rates and Veolia is allowed to walk away without completing what was their part of the deal. This deal was written leaving the city of Rialto with no ability to back out if the project is not completed. Yet millions went to local consultants??????
  2. Under the direction and supervision of Mr. Ed Scott Rialto residents were forced into a battle that the Federal Government should have waged but because Mr. Ed Scott wanted to sue the involved companies on the backs of the Rialto Rate Payers. Those rate payers were promised a refund, yet no real refund ever came. People that only paid the rebate for a short time received funds that were meant for the people who lived there before them. Others Like Anne moved to another house both in Rialto both in the Rialto Water Services area and was not given the total refund due to her she received a small portion. Even residents that could not take the Rialto the Ed Scott built and moved out were left with nothing even though Ed Scott promised they would receive a refund.

“Between the two deals, Rialto residents will get back about $9 million in a perchlorate charges they have paid on bills since 2004, Rialto City Councilman Ed Scott said. The surcharge will stop in December or January, which is when rebate checks will be issued to current and former residents, he said.” JANET ZIMMERMAN / STAFF WRITER Published: Oct. 26, 2012 5:41 p.m.

“Councilman Ed Scott, who is on the perchlorate subcommittee” By Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer Posted: 09/26/12, 9:00 PM PDT

  1. Ed Scott & Jimmy Gutierrez had a very comfortable relationship so comfortable that it has been rumored that Jimmy is now Ed Scott’s attorney. Why is this another black mark on our former councilman? Jimmy Gutierrez was bleeding the city dry on attorney fee’s making $3.1 million one year as the part time attorney for rialto. Jimmy was brought to rialto by Ed Scott and was fed well while Ed Scott was on the Dias. It took forward thinking councilmembers O’Connell & Hirtz to take the contract out and find an attorney that is now saving the city $750,000 a year.
  2. Ed Scott has been labeled as the councilmember that abused the cities week travel policy the most. It was so bad that it took the current city council a year and a half to undo the damage and set the ship right.
  3. Last but not least let’s not forget that Ed Scott has tried numerous times to outsource our police department to the sheriff. The worst time was when we actually lost quality police staff because they didn’t want to be left to the uncertainty of having a job at the last minute. Ed Scott had one last hurrah when he began threatening to bring the topic of outsourcing back up and the residents formed a group named Rialto Residents for Rialto PD. They stormed the council meeting forcing Ed Scott to back down at the last minute and change his tone.

Rialto residents it is clear from this brief outline of some of the Top Ed Scott highlights that Mr. Scott is not the trusted or proven leader Rialto needs. The current council has found a groove and seems to be able to accomplish what needs to be done for the better of Rialto. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

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

 

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