Coffee with the Chief Re-Cap

RPBA

With yet another coffee with the chief coming and going I thought it would be nice to highlight what was talked about at the August meeting at Coffee Nutz.

Twenty four people attended the event and we had people from all walks of life and various organizations that serve various purposes for the community.

In attendance (of note) were Linda Chapman Humans Relations Commission, Michael Townsend from the Department of Mental Health, Phyllis and John Hangman from Friends of the Rialto K-9’s, Joe Britt Park and Rec commissioner, Andy Carzales Rialto Beatification Commission. As well as Captain Randy Deanda and Chief Farrar from Rialto PD & two raido personalities from Q104.7 were doing a live remote in the parking lot and decided to join us.

Chief Farrar began by thanking everyone for coming. He then began talking about the extreme success of Rialto’s National Night Out event on August sixth. Chief Farrar stated they had just over five thousand people come out to this years event two thousand more than last year. He commented on how well the event went and that it was the best National Night Out event the city or county had ever put on. He said there was room for improvement but that overall the event was top notch. The highlight was for the people who hung around to see the police helicopter lift off from the event. Chief Farrar asked the people in attendance what they thought could be improved for next years event.

The next topic of conversation were the upcoming Area Command meetings. These meetings offer the community, city and police department a opportunity to connect and dialogue. Various city departments come out and give you the information you need to easily live here in the city. For info on the meeting dates, times and locations just look for the link on the right hand side of our page.

The topic of the AB 109 Early Release program came up due to the courts ordering Governor Brown to release another ten thousand inmates. Chief Farrar told the community that Rialto PD has been working to stay one step ahead of the criminals. These ways include an full time probation officer that works at Rialto PD, using electronic advances to track criminals, applying for more grants and working with other local agencies.

The last topic spoke to who our Police Chief really is it spoke to his heart. Chief Farrar spoke about a strong passion to reach our youth. Not just the good kids that have normal nuclear families that don’t have negative contact with the police but all youth especially the under privileged youth that shy away from telling police officials their true fears and concerns. This desire chief Farrar has isn’t a fishing expedition to lock up more criminals but a true heart felt desire to show the entire community that his department truly cares. What was awesome is everyone there bought right in and began talking out the idea of how to involve our youth. This is where Annette Pulido the promotions person from Q104.7 spoke up and offered to assist the city and police department with this and other outreach opportunities.

One thing that is missing is a constant presence by School District Official. Every single meeting there are constant questions about our children’s safety. This is just an observation by me but it seems Rialto Unified really doesn’t care how we feel about school safety or our children’s safety. It is sad because Edgar Montes has attended a few times but beyond that nobody. Rialto Unified has a School Safety Department and their office can’t send down one official to listen and log the long list of issues the community has with school safety.

Here is what else is awesome when I brought up the response some of our readers had to the time of the meetings and how morning meeting during the week excludes a portion of the community. Chief Farrar said lets make it happen so all you that commented on the time of the meetings here you go.

There is a lot going on in Rialto and everyone is working hard towards making this a community to be proud of. But it takes everyone working towards the same goal. So ask yourself what are you doing to help make this city a better place and can you do more?

 

What’s going on at City Hall?

The city council meeting on July 9th was full of happiness, turmoil, confusion & accusations. No one was silent this time everyone had a bone to pick or a issue to iron out.

robertsonMike Story

What we know is that there were a couple of HOT BUTTON issues on tap that night. It began with two consent calendar items. One was to move the public comment section from the end of the meeting to the beginning. This drew little controversy but did raise questions on what was the thought process. This item was placed by Councilman Joe Baca Jr. and he said his reasons for the change was to allow the citizens the ability to voice their concerns without having to sit through an entire meeting especially when they went long.

People had concerns with this move because many times the subject matter of a community members statement could change after hearing the way our elected officials act in the course of the meeting. Mr. Baca said he didn’t see any reason to not allow someone to defer to the end of the meeting if they so choose and this move in no way would eliminate the communities’ ability to comment on separate TAB items. This was only affecting the public comment section when you are speaking on an item not on the AGENDA.

Mr Joe Baca Jr. did a excellent job explaining his move and people were allowed to come up and speak their issue on the Consent Calendar item.

The other Consent Calendar item that was of contention was Mayor Deborah Robertson’s move to REDUCE the time you could speak from five minutes to three minutes. We covered this on our last post and you guys responded in a big way and you were heard. The problem was Mayor Robertson pulled this item at the last minute. This move didn’t allow the public the ability to speak on the issue.

I found the move by Mayor Robertson to be damaging to her ability to gain the public’s trust. Joe Baca Jr. was simply moving forward on a issue that multiple council members had spoke openly about. After we wrote about this issue a couple weeks ago a firestorm of comments proceeded. None in support of the Mayors idea that APPEARED to be a move to silence the community. The statement she found most damming confused me. It wasn’t people calling for a do over, it wasn’t accusations that our elected officials over the years have overlooked the decline Rialto has gone thru. She was most upset over the accusation that Ed Scott the contender she beat out for the job of mayor said that she was mirroring a move done by John Longville when he was mayor of Rialto. Ed Scott simply said that Longville ran her campaign and implyed that he was advising the mayor on these types of matters.

Joe Baca Jr made it very clear that he had nothing to do with the time limit restrictions and didn’t agree with the move at all. Mayor Robertson never gave a clear answer to why she had this placed on the consent calendar by denied it had anything to do with silencing the public. What she did next made that statement appear false.

Four people singed up to speak on the consent calendar. Richard Royce, Terry Thompson, June Hayes and David Phillips prior to coming up we were informed we could only speak on the Public Comment item and not on the time limit issue because it was pulled from consideration. Richard Royce deferred his comments, Terry Thompson spoke and seemed thrown because he probably was expecting to speak on both issues, June Hayes & David Phillips both spoke and were not at all happy that they were being silenced. Then council began speaking about the time limit issue and June Hayes taught me a valuable lesson. That opened the door for our comment to be heard and we were allowed to re approach the dais and address council on this issue.

What was eye opening was the breach of the Brown Act. The Brown Act covers meetings of public bodies must be “open and public,” actions may not be secret, and action taken in violation of open meetings laws may be voided. (§§ 54953(a), 54953(c), 54960.1(d))

What was done in reference to this action was Mayor Robertson tried to POLL the council? You see the Brown Act has rules where more than two council members cannot discuss matters concerning the public good except at an open meeting attended by the public. What Mayor Robertson did and this is from her own lips was have the City Administrator ask each members opinion on this issue and the City Administrator actually admitted that he did just that. Mayor Robertson moved forward with this action because she received word from the City Administrator that there were no objections. She didn’t entertain pulling the item until YOU the COMMUNITY blasted social media and sent emails and made calls sending a clear message that this move had ZERO support in the community.

This is the second time Mayor Robertson has directed city staff to do something that was against the proper decorum of an elected official. Where is the investigation? What is our city attorney being paid $600,000 a year to do if he isn’t looking into this?

What do you think, should our city be allowed to run like this? Comment here or go to www.facebook.com/rialtonow and join the conversation.

 

Abuse of Power or Assisting The Community

robertson

When can you call an abuse of power simply that an abuse?

Normally it’s when someone in a position of power uses that power to influence a process to benefit one side over the other. Wikipedia describes it in this way, “Abuse of power, in the form of “malfeasance in office” or “official misconduct,” is the commission of an unlawful act, done in an official capacity, which affects the performance of official duties. Malfeasance in office is often grounds for a for cause removal of an elected official by statute or recall election.”

So for example lets use the City Council Meeting on June 25th 2013. The final tab item delt with the issue of replacing the current Security Contractor for the City of Rialto. Marcus Fuller and City Staff used a very clear set of guidelines to qualify companies for the approval of working with our city and obtaining the Security Contract. After all the bids were in and evaluated Contact Security Inc. (CSI) was found to be the best fit in accordance with the guidelines set forward by city staff.

For the last 18 years General Security Services (GSS) has worked here in Rialto. They have covered our parks, metro link, city offices & downtown area. Their last contact the city paid them $240,000. I became aware we had security Services last year when I witnessed one of their security guards walk past a group of people in Flores Park after 10pm and did nothing. He didn’t make contact, he didn’t look in their direction or call dispatch he just locked the bathrooms and went on his way. I was blown away that I was the only person calling dispatch to report these people in the park after park hours.

What bothered me even more was back in 2008 when my family moved back into Rialto Flores Park went through a massive rash of gang activity and graffiti. I begged and pleaded with our city and police department for a permanent solution. The only solution was forcing people that had to live here to act as defacto security and patrol our own park. If there has been security in the city since 1995 what was their purpose? Why put residents in danger when we were PAYING security personnel to patrol those parks?

So I began asking around looking for a reason why this company had zero impact on keeping our parks safe. I came across numerous employees that told me a story that is all to common in contract security. The accusation is that General Security Services tells the city that they will do what they ask but tells its employees to drive without seeing the issues because it was to much trouble to get involved. Many security companies scare their employees with the thought of unemployment if they chose to involve themselves in illegal situations even with the simplest action of calling the police.

On Thursday June 20th I sat down with Marcus Fuller the Public Works Director, Mike Story the City Administrator, Lt. Bill Wilson with Rialto PD and Chief Tony Farrar. Mike Story, Bill Wilson & Marcus Fuller all admitted that monitoring the company that worked in the city had never really happened they were waiting for complaints. So they don’t tell you that they pay a company $240,000 a year to secure our public facilities and then expect you to complain about something that in your mind doesn’t exist.

So Councilman Shawn O’Connell asks Mike Story to evaluate any company that has had a long term contract with the city that has received numerous extensions. Thus the security contract was put out to bid and a strict set of guidelines was created to remove companies that didn’t conform to the guidelines set forth in the RFP. General Security Services did not conform to those guidelines and should have been removed from the process. Marcus Fuller made a decision to allow them to remain and complete the process, no other company was given this right.

Even though General was given the right to remain in the process they did not finish on the top and Contact Security Services was chosen by the committee to receive the contract. I was unhappy with this and not only placed calls to Mayor Robertson, Mike Story & Councilman O’Connell I went to council that night and spoke out about the $302,000 contract the city was handing out to a company that was no different than General if not worse. What Mayor Robertson did after that blew me away she instructed Marcus Fuller to go back to General and allow them to change their proposal to fit the RFP guidelines and come in $19,000 under Contact Security Inc. No other company was given this right only the company that was accused by city staff to be trolling council looking for an ear to bend.

The end result was Marcus Fuller after much prodding from Councilman Shawn O’Connell Marcus Fuller finally said who directed him to act in such an inappropriate way. Now General Security has a 90 day extension on the security contract and no one knows where things will go from here.

According to the Fair Political Practice Commission what Mayor Robertson and Public Works Director Marcus Fuller did looks illegal

‘ 18702. Making, Participating in Making, or Using or Attempting to Use Official Position

to Influence a Government Decision,

 Defined.

(a) To determine if a public official is making, participating in making, or using or

attempting to use his/her official position to influence a government decision, apply 2 Cal. Code Regs. sections 18702.1 through 18702.4, respectively.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of this regulation, to determine if a public official who holds an office specified in Government Code section 87200 is making, participating in making, or using or attempting to use his or her official position to influence a governmental decision relating to an agenda item which is noticed for a meeting subject to the provisions of the Bagley-Keene Act Government Code section 11120 et seq.) or the Brown Act (Government Code section 54950 et seq.) apply 2 Cal. Code Regs. sections 18702.1(a)(1)-(a)(4), 8702.2, 18702.3, 18702.4, and 18702.5. Note: Authority cited: Section 83112, Government Code. Reference: Sections 81002, 81003,

87100, 87101, 87105 and 87200, Government Code

Mayor Robertson claims that Downtown businesses that she spoke to like General Security Services. Luckily Councilman Ed Palmer owns a business in our Downtown and tells a different story. He speaks to Security staff either unwilling or unable to fulfill the post they were assigned. There is a massive disconnect between the people supervising the contract and the contract itself. For 18 years no one has monitored what WE have paid MILLIONS for.

Below is the link where you can see the meeting unfold for yourself if you want to skip straight to the Security Contract it is TAB 12.

http://rialto.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=355

State Senate Election Meet and Greet

Hello Rialto Now readers. So now that the elections are over we can now put that climate aside for a while, right?

Nope we have a state senate seat open here in rialto and other surrounding areas. Norma Torres is running against the Mayor of Ontario Paul Leon for our state senate seat. I asked each of them one question via Facebook. What role should our state senator play in helping the communities they serve work to combat graffiti that harms our communities. Norma Torres had no response but Randall Ceniceros did kind of respond on her behalf.

Paul Leon said that he thinks that the state senator needs to be more connected with the issues plaguing the communities they are representing. He was open to helping local cities combat crime and graffiti in a effort to make the Quality of Life for the community as high as possible.

Norma Torres Never responded but Randall Ceniceros said he would ask me and get back to me. That answer never came and that was asked in February.

So as I post the Meet and Greet info for Mrs. Torres I urge Rialto residents to attend and bend her ear to what YOU care about. Our state legislator both assembly and senate are greedy, power hungry people that through their actions have no real concern for the PEOPLE THEY REPRESENT. Make them listen or not get elected.

The picture provided below was provided by Joe Britt.

Torres Meet and Greert

Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown to Honor Women From the 47th District

Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown to Honor Women From the 47th District

SAN BERNARDINO – Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) will host her 1st Annual Breaking the Glass Ceiling Awards Reception on Friday, April 26 at the Vanir Tower in San Bernardino.  During the event, Assemblymember Brown will honor a number of key women leaders throughout the 47th Assembly District who have broken down barriers to help create opportunities for other women.

This year’s honorees  are all women who have broken the proverbial ceiling; they include Mayor Deborah Robertson, City of Rialto; Mayor Sarah Zamora, City of Colton; Councilmember Darcy McNaboe, City of Grand Terrace; and Mrs. Lisha Smith, deputy executive officer of the Legislative and Public Affairs Office at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD).

Our Mayor is being honored at this event

Our Mayor is being honored at this event

Mayor Deborah Robertson broke the glass ceiling when she was elected as the first African American and woman mayor of Rialto on November 4, 2012. Prior to her successful election, Mayor Robertson served on the Rialto City Council for twelve years. She’s active in various community organizations and is the past deputy district director of external affairs for the California Department of Transportation, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. She retired from the State of California after 20 years, where she oversaw a budget of nearly $4 million.

Mayor of the City of Colton

Mayor of the City of Colton

Mayor Sarah Zamora broke the glass ceiling when she was appointed in August 2011 to serve as mayor for the remaining term vacated by her late husband and former mayor, David R. Zamora. Mayor Zamora represents the City of Colton as a member on several local and regional agencies, boards and committees, and is an avid supporter of business retention; community programs and events that benefit families and the elderly. Prior to her appointment, she was elected in 2000 to serve as a Colton City Councilmember.

Councilmember city of Grand Terrace

Councilmember city of Grand Terrace

Councilmember Darcy McNaboe was elected to the Grand Terrace City Council in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. Councilmember McNaboe broke the glass ceiling when she spearheaded an inclusive veterans memorial called the “Veterans Wall of Freedom” in Grand Terrace.  As principal and founder of Village Enterprises, she provides assistance to business owners as they manage development and growth. She also works with clients to design and implement action plans. Prior to her consulting firm, she spent over 20 years working for small technology and manufacturing companies. She was founder and principal of a small product design and manufacturing business in Riverside.

Mrs. Lisha Smith initially broke the glass ceiling when she became the deputy chief of staff to San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales, 5th District. She shattered the glass ceiling once again when she became the deputy executive officer (DEO) of the Legislative and Public Affairs Office at AQMD in October 2012. As DEO, Mrs. Smith directs the agency’s public outreach and education programs, small business assistance, local government and environmental justice programs, as well as its state and federal legislative activities.

For more information, contact (909) 381-3238.

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Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown represents the 47th Assembly District, which includes Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Rialto, San Bernardino, and the unincorporated communities of Bloomington and Muscoy.

 

Website of Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown: http://www.asmdc.org/members/a47/.

City Council and Travel Spending

Ok first of all I am so glad that I can watch council meetings via the internet that already happened. I was told to watch last week’s council meeting by a few select individuals and I was like ok, whatever the agenda was light a couple issues I wish I could speak on but all in all light.

 

Then I watched the meeting and boy was I surprised! First of all finally council members are pulling that horrid Consent Calendar apart and showing it for what it is a place to dump crazy spending. I was told to watch for the re-emergence of money being spent on an outside company to bring back Measure “V” that was pulled by Council Member Joe Baca Jr. The item read as follows:

 

Request City Council to approve a Professional Services Agreement

 

with USI Consulting for development and implementation of an

 

alternative strategy to a ballot measure to increase fuel tax revenues

 

from petroleum storage facilities in the City of Rialto in an amount not to

 

exceed $47,500.

 

We will get back to this in a minute.

 

You see Councilman Shawn O’Connell pulled a warrant for City Clerk Barbara McGee to be paid for her trip to Washington D.C. She apparently went to the Convention of Mayors with Mayor Deborah Robertson a three day event and stayed for the Inauguration of President Obama.

 

First of all we just gave them another 5 years on the Utility Tax and they all pledged publicly and privately that they would do 2 things:

1. Be Financially responsible with the tax money we give them.

2. Work on a way to break away from the need for this money anymore without reducing the city services.

 

I think Councilman O’Connell has some good points. He should be able to ask the City Clerk what she did while on this trip and the City Clerk should answer him. What I have learned in life when people act evasive or give you the silent treatment there is an issue there. Apparently Barbara McGee still refuses to tell us the people what she did in Washington.

 

I will take Councilman O’Connell’s question a step further. What value did her trip have to the city of Rialto and the tax payers that pay those taxes? City Administrator Mike Story made 2 statements. One was that he approved the City Clerk to extend her stay in Washington D.C. beyond the time of the Mayors Conference. Two that he would do it again.

 

Its my opinion that the Mayors conference is merely a way for mayors to insert themselves into National Policy. Also why would the city pay our elected officials to attend the Inauguration of President Obama? What value did this trip bring for Rialto?

 

Furthermore any further travel that taxpayers are paying for I think it would be good to report back to us what value there was for the citizens. IE I went to the International Shopping Center Convention and these following businesses were interested in doing business with Rialto.

 

Now to D4 we are paying a company to use their contacts to get to talk to the operators of the Tank Farms is a waste of money. The city did such a good job with Measure “W” why not use that same hard work and spirit of community to work out something with these operators.

 

Finally I would call on Mayor Robertson and whoever else goes with her to the International Council of Shopping Centers Convention to report back to us what value the Convention was to the City.

 

http://rialto.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=331

Statement from Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown on Celebrating Black History Month

Preceding the statement from the Assembly Woman’s office we would like to include the flowing:

Dr. Harold L. Cebrun-RUSD Superintendent
Barbara A. McGee-City Clerk for Rialto and African American to hold elected office the longest in San Bernardino County

Statement from Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown on Celebrating Black History Month

Brown_057_edit

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown released the following statement today in honor of Black History Month:

 

“This month, I join my fellow Americans in celebrating Black History Month. When I think of Black History Month, I am reminded of the countless African American heroes that have made a powerful difference in our world including Martin Luther King, Jr., Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Bridget “Biddy” Mason, Ida B. Wells Barnett, and Rosa Parks, to name a few. I also celebrate our everyday heroes in the 47th District who have made a positive impact in our communities, those who have passed on and those who are still with us. I am honored to celebrate African American history and I respectfully salute those who came before us and those who are working in the trenches today.

 

Please help me celebrate some local historic heroes of today:

 

Lois Carson, San Bernardino Community College Board’s first African American trustee

Dorothy Grant, community activist

Acquanetta Warren, Fontana’s first African American mayor and city councilmember

Deborah Robertson, Rialto’s first African American mayor

Wilmer Amina Carter, the Inland Empire’s first African American Assemblymember

John Woods, San Bernardino’s first African American school board member

Carl Clemons, first African American to be appointed to the San Bernardino Planning Commission

Faye Coates, former official songstress for the City of Rialto

Hattie Inge, founder of the Rialto Black History Month Committee

Draymond Crawford, banker

Jack Hill, businessman

Dr. Willie Roberts, educator

Calvin Pierce, first African American Marshal

 

Saluting the memory of those who have passed on:

 

Dr. Dorothy Ingraham, educator

Dr. Howard Ingraham, first African American physician

Jessie Turner, community activist

Charles Redd, educator

Ted Davis, Fontana NAACP president

Sam Martin, first African American elected to the Democratic Central Committee and pioneer publisher

Harry Rheubottom, first African American to have a radio program

Norris Gregory, San Bernardino’s first African American city councilmember

Art Townsend, publisher and community activist

Frank Tillie, mortician

Charlie Seymour, youth and senior citizen advocate

Rufford Johnson, first African American attorney

J.D. Greenwood, CEO of Greenwood Bail Bonds

Valarie Pope Ludlam, champion of the poor

Rev. F.R. Williams, St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church

Bill Porter, Buffalo Soldier

Mary McKinney, champion of the poor

Joe Sampson, Rialto’s first African American city councilmember

P.K. Blakely, Golden State Insurance manager

Rev. David Campbell, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church

Norman Wilson, contractor

Anne Shirrells, youth advocate

 

This is by no means a definitive list of heroes in our district. I invite you to send in your heroes so we may remember them as well.”

 

 

Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown represents the 47th Assembly District, which includes Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Rialto, San Bernardino, and the unincorporated communities of Bloomington and Muscoy.

Website of Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown: http://www.asmdc.org/members/a47/

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