State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Comes To Rialto

On Friday April 12th Rialto had the honor and pleasure to host State Superintendent Tony Thurmond as he formally received and recognized the Green Ribbon School winners from Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. The event took place at Morris Elementary School, with site visits to Milor High School, which showcase the amazing efforts taking place at both schools that promote environmental literacy: environmental impact, wellness, and sustainability.

Additionally, Rialto USD has also been nominated to compete in the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition program, which honors schools and districts that conserve resources while promoting health and environmental literacy. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond came in and spent extra time before he sat down shaking hands and acknowledging the students in attendance at the event. Mr. Thurmond even asked his former colleague Eloise Reyes to join him at the podium for a moment as he thanked her for her dedication and service.

After the formal event that recognized Twenty-Four different schools and school districts Mr. Thurmond took a tour of Morris Elementary and Milor High Schools. At Morris Elementary he looked out at a butterfly garden and enjoyed the school’s outdoor classroom and garden area that he wanted to stop and enjoy a meal right then and there. Mr. Thurmond spoke to every child he came across and never took himself too seriously making jokes laughing and enjoying the schools garden.

At Milor High School Mr. Thurmond said he didn’t want to keep the students waiting with photos and walked right over to the students. Mr. Thurmond asked Desiree Ramos, George Falcon and Arianna Ordonez their names and what they wanted to do after high school. Then Mr. Thurmond asked something that threw the students at first “What can we do to support you?” He told them don’t answer now but think about it and handed them his card. Next the students showcased the serenity room a place where students can care for their mental needs. The room offered different areas for groups and individual counseling plus Thrive Thursdays where the students could do yoga. The room was so amazing that School Board President Edgar Montes asked if the School Board could use the room.

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City of Rialto Chooses New City Manager After 2 Year Search

Photo from the OC register

Since December 2017 Rialto has been without a permanent City Administrator. There have been three men to fill the top seat on a temporary basis as the Rialto City Council made poor choices that have moved us closer and closer to financial disaster.

First to fill the seat was Assistant City Administrator Robb Steel he lasted for a short stint prior to looking to take a step back into his old role. Then the City Council brought back  Ahmad Ansari, a former public works director and city engineer, as interim city administrator. The most recent person to fill the interim chair is Rialto Fire Chief Sean Grayson.

The spot at City Administrator isn’t the only position to sit without a permanent place holder over the last few years. As the city ignores the looming reality of the unfunded pension liabilities and private vendettas are allowed to hurt employees from bad leaders the city has struggled with attracting new talent. This has shown in the length of time it took to fill this position as well as Police Chief and the fact that is took two years to find a finance director. There have also been jobs in public works and code enforcement that the city offered employment to people and those people turned the city down!

One thing that all Rialto residents and business owners should pay close attention to is the cost of this salary. The article we wrote in the Rialto Record December of 2018 still rings true today. Rialto is spending money it doesn’t have and next years budget which starts in one month is going to be a HOT mess. Your Rialto City Council have spent MILLIONS on raises for employees that we can’t afford.

I say all this to show you how little your city council cares about the taxpayers!

Rod Foster worked as the city manager for the city of Colton, not really the beacon of innovation and clearly not a city to model after. Mr Foster then followed Eileen Gomez to the city of Laguna Niguel. Rod Foster spent ruffly four years at the city of Laguna Niguel and left at the same time as his assistant city administrator. Now Rod Foster may be a very nice man nothing here is to say he isn’t, the problem is can Rialto afford a City Administrtor at the tune of a quarter of a million dollars a year? Rod Foster the new city administrator and Mark Kling the Chief of Police make half a million dollars in Salary alone!!!!

Now you would think that there was a lot of discussion on this appointment and the other top candidates names were presented right? Nope they acted like this effort was a simple, everyday line item and passed this without any explanation or discussion. After the quick motion and second then the comments came. Mayor Robertson spoke about some special trip to Mommie Helens Bakery and her sole reason for picking Rod Foster was his sweet tooth! Ed Scott even more childishly asked Rod Foster to protect him from the many people that Ed Scott has upset over the years, maybe if Ed Scott doesn’t sue Rod Foster he may protect him!

In Rod Fosters defense community members like Gary Grossich and Eileen Gomez have nothing but positive things to say about Rod Foster. These are marks in his favor but why would someone like Rod Foster want to come to Rialto?

To make matters worse Rialto still has no plan on how to deal with $150 Million in unfunded liabilities!! They are still waiting for magic money to fall from the sky! Mark my words bankruptcy or insane tax increases are right around the corner!

Here is what the contract says on the Agenda:

The following provides a summary of key provisions of the proposed employment agreement with Mr. Foster:

 

•                     Salary:  Annual salary would be $240,000 annually.

 

•                     At-will nature of employment: The position of city administrator is an at-will position serving at the pleasure of the City Council.

 

•                     Term: A term of 5 years, which can be extended by the parties for 1 year following a positive performance evaluation.

 

•                     Severance: If Mr. Foster is terminated without cause, then he will be entitled to severance as follows:

 

0-6 months with City                                          monthly salary times 18

6-24 months with City                                          monthly salary times 12

After 24 months with City                                          monthly salary times 6

 

If terminated for cause, Mr. Foster would not be entitled to payment of any severance.

 

•                     Benefits:

 

o                     The benefits would generally consistent with those of the City’s department heads, except as specified in the employment agreement.

 

o                     Vacation leave: Provided 120 hours up front. Thereafter, accrual would be at the rate of 6.15 hours per pay period.

 

o                     Sick leave:  Provided 120 hours up front. Thereafter, accrual would be at the rate of 10 hours per month.

 

o                     Administrative leave: 140 hours per year.

 

o                     Deferred compensation: $750 per month.

 

o                     Vehicle: Provided a City-vehicle for business and incidental personal use.

 

o                     Educational incentive: 7.5% of regular base salary based on master’s degree (same as provided to eligible City department heads).

 

o                     CalPERS: Mr. Foster would be enrolled in the City’s 2% at 62 retirement plan consistent with the requirements of state retirement law for “new” CalPERS members. The employee contribution under this plan is presently 8%.

 

o                     Health insurance coverage and retiree health: Same as for department heads.

 

o                     Relocation reimbursement: Up to $8,500 if Mr. Foster moves to San Bernardino County and within 25 miles of City Hall within 2 years.

 

o                     Life insurance: Benefit amount equivalent to 2x amount provided to department heads.

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Two Dead Bodies Found in Rialto Neighborhood

Photo of crime scene at Sycamore and Jackson Streets from Loud Labs IE

RIALTO (LoudLabs News)

On Saturday morning, April 27, 2019, the Rialto Police Department along with the City of Rialto Fire Department responded to reports of a two people down. The incident was reported around 6:19am in the 100 block of E. Jackson Street.

When Officers arrived they located two males, down in the front yards of two different addresses, roughly 200 feet apart. Both victims were pronounced deceased at the scene. Homicide Detectives as well as the Coroner’s Office were just arriving at the scene around 8:30am.

Police investigators working the crime scene where 2 dead bodies were found on the corner of Sycamore and Jackson Streets photo from Loud Labs IE

Details surrounding the two deaths are limited as Police will only say they are conducting a death investigation. No further information was immediately available.

Why are murders and deaths on the rise in Rialto?

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Miguel’s Jr. Opens April 23rd

The wait is over after many years of being told a Miguel’s Jr was coming to Rialto only to find out the opposite. Now Rialto has a Miguel’s Jr and the newest addition to the Renaissance development will open up to serve the greater Rialto Area. Besides amazing food Miguels Jr is one of the last family owned businesses.

The original owners are still involved with the company and the children make up the top levels of the company. The company still uses the same cheese provider and has their hand stretched tortillas made without GUM a chemical additive that makes tortillas more elastic.

This isn’t their Grand Opening which will take place on May 2nd

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City of Rialto Website Goes Down

In the age of technology where we get all of our information it hurts when a website goes down, but outside of the Covered California website most of the time government websites are pretty bullet proof. Well since this morning the Rialto City website had a blue screen advertising other websites and stating that the City of Rialto’s domain had expired!!!

We called down to city hall to find out it wasn’t until an employee went onto the website that anyone was aware! This begs to question is the cities website domain available for purchase? We were curious so we went over to square space to find out. This is what we found:

So the cities domain name is good for now but this still means that if you need to access any information or phone numbers for the city you are at a loss and have to go down to an already understaffed city hall!!! We reached out to Mayor Robertson who said at the time we reached out that she was just made aware of the situation. City staffer Angela said that IT has been notified but gave no ETA for when the website would be back up!

If you are having website issues don’t let your website get pulled down and loose valuable time and money have our friends over at Mass Atom Studios help you with your website needs!

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New Fire Prevention Specialist Richard Boltinghouse Joins Rialto Fire

Richard Boltinghouse joins the Rialto Fire Department Family from the City of Chino Hills where he served as the Emergency Services Coordinator. He was responsible for development of their Emergency Operation Plans, Hazard Mitigation Plan, and training for city staff for ICS/NIMS/SEMS.

Prior to working for the City of Chino Hills, Richard worked for the City of Corona Fire Department where he had almost seven years of combined employment and volunteer service. At Chino Hills, he served as an Emergency Management and CERT Technician. Richard currently resides in the City of Corona with his wife Christina and their 5-year-old daughter Faithlyn.

Richard has a bachelor’s degree in fire and emergency management from Kaplan University and a master’s degree in public administration from Cal Baptist University according to his Linkden profile.

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Ono Hawaiian BBQ Holds Grand Opening For 2nd Location

Ono Hawaiian BBQ is continuing its expansion with a second location in Rialto inside of the Renaissance Marketplace!

The 80th location will celebrate its grand opening with a festive luau on Friday, March 15th – complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:45am followed by a raffle (fifty $100 gift cards will be given away on the spot), Hawaiian dance performers AND an offer of buy one, get one free for all food items during business hours.

Ono Hawaiian BBQ’s menu features Hawaiian-inspired plate lunches and island specialties like Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, Spam Musubi, Chicken Katsu and more through a fusion of flavors.

The new Ono Hawaiian BBQ location is at: 1155 West Renaissance Pkwy, Suite 530, Rialto, CA 92376

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Eisenhower Principal and Head Football Coach Come To an Agreement

Last week we reported to you that Eisenhower High School Coach Alvin Brown of the CIF Division Champion Eagles football team was forced to step down as Eisenhower’s Varsity Football Coach over continued stalling over offering him his teaching contract allowing him the ability to care for his family..

Well after our story broke Eisenhower and Rialto Unified School District staff stepped up and began talking to Coach Brown again. Coach Brown reached out to us on Thursday February 21st to say that he and Principal Camacho came to an understanding and he will remain as Eisenhower’s Head Coach of the Varsity Football program. This is amazing news because nobody was happy to hear about the possibility of Coach Brown’s departure. Parents, staff, teachers and community leaders all spoke out about the possibility of not having Coach Brown at the helm of Eisenhower’s Varsity program.

Coach Brown wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and support now and as the team forged forward this season. No details on what the agreement that Coach Brown and Principal Camacho came to outside of the fact that Eisenhower will not have a leadership change on the football field for the 2019-2020 football season!

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Rialto Police Track Down Hit & Run Suspect

Photo from Rialto Police Facebook Page

On January 27th at approximately 9:05 a.m., the Rialto Police Department received several 9-1-1 calls from citizens reporting that a young female was struck by a car in the 1500 block of Rialto Ave, in the City of Rialto.  After the 14 year old pedestrian was struck, the driver in the suspect vehicle fled the scene without stopping.  Rialto police officers arrived on scene within minutes and found the young girl lying in the roadway.  The Rialto Fire Department arrived on scene and she was transported to Loma Linda University Hospital with severe head injuries. She is currently receiving emergency medical treatment.

Through an initial investigation which included witness statements, the suspect vehicle was described as a dark colored Jeep last seen eastbound on Rialto Ave, and then northbound Cedar Ave. Rialto Police Officers responded to the area and began their investigation.  During an area check for the vehicle, officers were able to locate it in the Walgreens shopping center on the corner of Cedar and Foothill Blvd. Further investigation led officers to conclude the registered owner of the vehicle (Jesus Quinonez-Garcia), was the driver. Officers were quickly able to locate Quinonez-Garcia and place him under arrest.

After obtaining his statement and conducting a DUI investigation, Quinonez-Garcia was found to have a blood alcohol level of almost four times the legal limit.  He was later booked into West Valley Detention Center under the charges of Felony DUI and Felony Hit and Run causing injuries.

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Election Rules Changed To Favor Incumbents & Silence Latina Challenger

Rialto may seem like a Left leaning city but when it comes to politics, but all sides come out to make sure that honest hardworking voices are silenced.

After the 2016 election where nine different people all were seeking to occupy one of the two vacant city council seats Ed Scott wanted to make sure that the playing field was leveled when he ran for re-election. A city ordnance was put into place banning regular people from being able to promote their intentions of seeking public office. Everyone forgot about the 2017 ordnance and apparently the City Clerks office and Police department were unaware.

On Tuesday August 7th Mayor ProTem Ed Scott witnessed Ana Gonzalez who was seeking to occupy one of the two seats up for re-election with a campaign booth at the cities annual National Night Out witnesses said he came unglued. Mayor ProTem Ed Scott apparently directed Intern Chief of Police Mark Kling to kick Ana Gonzalez out of the event. What happened next was mind blowing the Chief of Police went over to remove Mrs Gonzalez’s booth from the event!

Now the Police Chief doesn’t respond to calls for service, he doesn’t go out on patrol and most chiefs delegate enforcement duties on other officers in their department. Well in this case when Ed Scott says jump the Chief jumps! Witnesses said that the Chief went over to Mrs. Gonzalez and forced her to remove anything about her campaign or leave. When we reached out to Chief Kling this was his response”

I understand that the City accepted the application from Ms. Ana Gonzales to have a booth at this year’s National Night Out in August, without recognizing that campaigning activities would be conducted or in violation of the City’s enacted policy from 2017. When the application was accepted PD staff did not notice the description of informational postcards about her political campaign. PD staff did recognize that she would also give candy and school supplies to children visiting her booth. No other council candidate was allowed to distribute campaign literature from a booth at the event, pursuant to Resolution 7084. 
 
Nevertheless, at the event, when Rialto Police Department staff members learned of the activities being conducted at Ms. Gonzales’ booth in violation of the city’s policy, Ms. Gonzales was asked to cease passing out campaign literature, but she was encouraged to continue passing out candy and school supplies to children attending the city sponsored event. At no time was Ms. Gonzales asked to leave the event.

Nobody stopped Ed Scott or councilman Joe Baca Jr. from addressing the public or having city resources taking photos of them at the event but the Latina Woman running to oppose them she was shutdown?

The question is why such an ordinance even exists and why both city staff and police staff are not aware of a city ordinance?

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