Archive for May, 2011


The Boss’s favorable treatment of lovers can be harassment for others.   According to 996 respondents to an on-line poll by Vaultreports,  59% said they have had a workplace romance at some point in their careers, 17% said they had never dated a co-worker but they would, 24% said they had no interest in an office romance.   It’s a common scenario for romance to spark between co-workers in the workplace.  Is it happening in River City, City Hall or is it just my imagination?

The new rules of engagement for an office affair is the “LOVE CONTRACT.”  The “Love Contract” was designed to limit liability in case of an office romance spinning out of control.  Does Riverside have one? A dating policy or an office romance policy . Gary Matheason and Jeff Tanambaum employment attorneys at Littler Mendelson in San Francisco are Co-Creators of the “Love Contract”.  Designed to help ward off sexual harassment claims filed by a jilted lover.  The risks to the taxpayer and employees are great.  Not having the policies in place is like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, ignores the risk instead of managing them.  We will give Riverside the benefit of the doubt, so we emailed the City Clerk a request:

To: city_clerk@riversideca.gov

Subject: Love Contract

Date: May 30, 2011 9:45 AM

As per public records act: I am requesting all policy and procedure guidelines relating to “a romance policy”, “a dating policy”, or “a Love Contract”.

A Relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate can be troublesome. Favoritism arising out of a personal relationship is damaging to the whole department. Two major issues could arise Conflict of Interest between the two and not enough time being spent on doing work assigned.  Not to mention the target of office gossip in the blogosphere or elsewhere consuming the office dialog.  Wide spread favoritism, and nasty rumors can create a sexually hostile work environment. Employers face greater risk from a workplace romance.  California Supreme Court rules that office affairs may give rise to sexual favoritism claims.  {Miller v California Department of corrections} Employees in California may now sue their employers for sexual harassment if the sexual affair between a superior and a subordinate results in sexual favoritism.  It is a Violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

“Sleeping her way to the top” was the basis of this lawsuit. Numerous women were romantically and sexually involved with their boss.  Women got ahead and were promoted if they performed sexual favors for their supervisor. Preferential treatment, raises, promotions, company perks were all part of the repeated incidence of sexual favoritism. The outcome was a hostile work environment where women got ahead and were promoted if they performed sexual favors for their superior.  Sexual Favoritism sends a message to female employees that they must demean themselves by becoming sexual playthings in order to get ahead at work. In this particular case it was proven that “Boss’s favorable treatment of lovers can be harassment to others.”

Now tell me again why Tom DeSantis left?

UPDATE: 06/01/2011: Still No Response To Our Request From The City Clerks Office.  Keep Connected, TMC investigates.

UPDATE: 06/06/2011: We received a response from Sherry Morton-Ellis, CMC Assistant City Clerk as follows: Pursuant to California Government Code Section 6253, the City of Riverside submits this response to your request received on May 30, 2011.  In your request, you seek: •  All policies and procedure guidelines relating to a “romance policy”, “dating policy”, or “love contract”. We have searched our records and found that are no records responsive to your request.

In my opinion it’s always been the nature of government to propose the proposition if there is no trail to an incident or event,  it didn’t occur.  In a free society we expect accountability and transparency, not some semantical play on words leading us further from the truth.  What is really disturbing is the fruition of a culture which has become unrepresentative of the needs of the community and has  become increasingly detached from mainstream economic theory, that its interference with the free market takes precedence.  What is best for the community is simply to do the right thing.   If that was done at all, we would not have so many employees fired at will.  But in retrospect, couldn’t this in essence,  be construed as a reflection of leadership?  And leadership can inadvertently distort the truth as a mechanism of defense.  Whereby an initial account of truth once disseminated, is followed by a transfiguration there of,  eventually becoming a subterfuge leading the community with a distorted perception of the truth.  For these reasons people are angry, people are frustrated, economically stressed and foremost, people are now asking questions.  Having questions is one thing, asking them is another.  People are feeling intimidated and afraid of government, and for good reason for which it has been quietly expressed in the community.  What has happened to our government, our protector and fervent leader?  What has propagated an entitled culture to developed independently of  the needs of surrounding community?  We have seen this within cities such as Bell.  People shouldn’t  have to feel that they are wrong  or be  intimidated by asking questions of public servants, or to feel they may be retaliated against.  Remember, elected and appointed officials are there to work at the pleasure of the people.

“Fear is the foundation of most Governments…”       

- John Adams, 2nd President of the United States of America,  January 1776

City Attorney Greg Priamos states he is there to protect the mayor and the council.  Is this an aberration of duty?  Or a momentary lapse of clarity?  …such as when an inquiry is initiated, and the assertion of attorney-client privilege is spawned.   Attorney-client privilege?…. lets analytically conceptualize the relationship.  In our tangible world it simply means the relationship between attorney and client, whereby the client hires the attorney for a fee.  Elected and appointed officials work at the pleasure of the people, taxpayers, and the community etc.,  therefore are we not their employers?  In essence, is the City Attorney present to protect the people and serve at the pleasure there of?  Therefore, would we not be his client?   An employee is still considered to be an employee, and we the people are technically their employer.  Such as the case of Best, Best & Krieger representing the Chief of Police via the tax payer,  we the employer/the CEO, do we not have the right to know what he may have done wrong and how it damages us as the employer?   Furthermore, is it the taxpayer/employer which must then hire a third party entity such as BB&K to actually tell us, again the taxpayer/employer, not the truth?  Led of course, by former Riverside DA Grover Trask, now with BB&K.  The City Manager, serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and the Council,  and therefore the responsibility of his actions reflects upon the mayor and council, it would be considered a breach of trust and of their fiduciary duty to the community  if they did otherwise.  It should also be assumed that the city council and mayor if necessary, could conduct themselves as city manager.  This would imply, a mastery of the appointed position, and this should be a requirement to becoming mayor or a member of the city council.  Understanding the work of the City manager is not only necessary but pertinent to the understanding the intricacies of the general fund.  Therefore there would be no justification to an aberrational abuse as seen with City Manager Robert Rizzo of the city of Bell.

Those that have been there longest have attained institutional memory, of which could be detrimental to a leaders agenda.  Ridding the work force of this intangible phenomenon insures the likelihood of implementing ones agenda without question, regardless if it is right or wrong.   Of course, those with institutional memory know right from wrong.  Is it a benefit to leadership to control and to rid their immediate arena of institutional memory?  And when expelled from the work arena,  does it have a corresponding price?  Duck taping a mouth always has a price within a city gone rogue. (Note: This Original Link Dissapeared From The Press Enterprise Site).  Without integrity there ultimately would be no need to question the actions of representative leadership.  Say what you don’t mean and mean what you don’t say.  Thank-you Sean Gill and Raychele Sterling for doing the rightful work of the people and with the integrity, and thank-you for asking the questions which help us, the taxpaying community,  to protect us from the abuse of public funds.  You have not been forgotten….

On March 22, 2011 Riverside City Council unanimously transferred $100,000.00 from the public general fund to the Sendai Relief Fund.  The queston now became, can a public entity contribute a gift of public funds to another, even if it is for a good cause?  As a general rule,  you can only give away to others what you own, which includes cities.  But by definition funds owned by the city are public, and elected and appointed officials are stewards of those funds.  Therefore, according to Article XVI, section 6 of the California Constitution  undeniably prohibits gifts of public funds, therefore the City of Riverside gifting $100,000.00 of public funds to Sendai is not only illegal but a violation.  Individual contributions by elected and appointed officials and personal would have been the legal way of raising appropriate relief funds to gift to Sendai.   Rules and regulations have been developed for a reason, to prevent taxpayer fund abuse.  The State constitution is very clear, there must be direct or primary public purpose and benefit to the public at large when general funds are used to avoid being a gift.

UPDATE: 05/24/2011: NOTED AT CITY COUNCIL, $100,000.00 WITHDRAWN FROM GENERAL FUND AS A GIFT TO SENDAI.  HOW MANY MORE GIFTS OF CONTRIBUTION FROM THE GENERAL FUND HAVE OCCURRED FOR OTHER NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS? 

UPDATE: 05/29/2011: RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES DONATES $2000.00 TOWARDS A DINNER HONORING MAYOR RON LOVERIDGE AND WIFE.  A SILVER SPONSORSHIP INCLUDES A TABLE WITH A SEATING FOR FOUR AND AN AD ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.   IF THE DONATION WAS WITH PUBLIC FUNDS AS INDICATED BY THE SPONSORSHIP LISTING, THIS WOULD BE ILLEGAL AND A VIOLATION OF ARTICLE XVI, SECTION 6 OF THE CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTUION.   THIS WOULD ALSO BE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST SINCE RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES IS A PUBLIC ENTITY.  TMC INVESTIGATES, STAY CONNECTED.

The CITY always seems to amaze me, I think Mike Gardner said it best responding to a question regarding high salaries of appointed officials at one of the campaign debates, “We have to pay for talent”.   Regency Tower was bought first with too much money from $126.5 million to $131.5 million.  Now the Orange Street Garage is in the news again, thats the one that looks like the Bellagio in Las Vegas and was built on Redevelopment money.   The sale of the Regency Tower to the County of Riverside included 400 parking stalls from the Orange Street garage.  Zellerbach now states we don’t need all of them anymore and we can sell the city back the rights in the form of a lease for 150 stalls, for a mere $90,000.00.  According to the City Council Memorandum for Tuesday May 24, 2011, the city will pay the county $25.00 a month per stall, that comes to a total of $3750.00 for 150 stalls per month, therefore $90,000.00 for a two year period. It seems quite nominal for a city employee to pay $25.00, where others are paying$35.00 and upwards to $65.00 in some cases and save the taxpayers $90K.   As I’m understanding it, County employees are paying for their parking, as opposed to City employees who don’t.  Regardless, the city states that this mere $90,000 will loosen up parking around the city for the public at large.   Well, anyway, this whole mess originally started before the Regency Towers were built, where city officials thought with new construction, the developer would be bringing in new business to the city and city tax revenues would be boosted.   So they reduced the parking requirement by one-fourth to the developer as an encentive, and agreed to sell him 400 parking stalls from the Orange Street garage for $4 million, that’s $10,000 per stall.   But in January 2007,  the city figured out that it actually cost you and me, the taxpayer,  $7 million for the 400 parking stalls.  That’s $17.500 for each stall, Ouchh!  But it gets better, by October 2008 that number became $8 million and $20,000 per stall.  So the $3 million faux pas become $4 million.  Now what?  Well it appears, that’s why government created Fuzzy Math, Creative Financing and the word “Subsidize”.

Leasing parking spots for government workers is just totally asinine!  If they are incapable of finding a place to park on their own – just like the rest of us manage to do  every day – then let them take public transportation to work. Government workers need to pay for their own parking, just like everybody else.  

 -Comment from PE by Dave’s Not Here

So at the time, Councilman Schiavone knew if the Regency Tower was sold to the County, their would be no intended benefit to the city.  No new business’s or no new workers would be coming to Riverside, and the subsidy would be waisted.  Schiavone said, “I don’t care if it is in writing or not”.  “Make us whole. Give us back the incentive that wasn’t meant to be used like this”.    By then is was just to late, nothing could be done, the city didn’t even think of placing this clause in writing. Now when the county of Riverside bought the Regency, this additional $4 million faux pas then became a convenient  subsidy for the county, the other $4 million was probably added by the developer to the total sale price of the Regency Towers.   Of, course Mike Gardner said this would not happen again, but that’s talent for you.   Parking has always been an issue in Downtown Riverside with merchants and their customers, as with Arts Bar and Grill, which their parking was displaced by city construction.  The city’s less compassionate attitude toward struggling merchants doesn’t help either.  Why doesn’t the city care for merchants?  They suffer the most, having their life saving tied up in their business’s and their future income.  Many around town have been damaged by city redevelopment construction, and many merchants have left with no support effort by the city.  For many of the merchants parking meters were an issue which fell upon deaf ears of city officials.  Now the  issue of parking meters comes up again, shall we now remove them, maybe it was a bad idea to begin with?  First, Smart Park by Dom Betro, then removed and replaced with Parking Meters by Mike Gardner, all at taxpayer expense.  And I understand the parking fund is still running at a deficit which I’m beginning to believe is the standard for city run business’s.  I realize talent can be a good thing.  Bell had their talent in City Manager Robert Rizzo with his benefit and salary package of $1,500,000.00 per year,  but we won’t go into the falsifying public records part.  Regardless, I’m not sure if the city knows what talent is, or what their persception of it is, but I’m still optimistic that my City of Riverside will one day become what it should be, but I believe it will be done without the great talent and expense we now have in city hall.

UPDATE: 05/24/2011: COUNCIL PASSES $90,000.00 FOR CITY EMPLOYEE PARKING, IN LIEU OF PASSING OF $50,000 FOR A CONSULTING FEE FOR A CITY WIDE MASTER BICYCLING PLAN.

The Metamorphosis of Marcy Library…Enthralled in the Hands of Fuzzy Math, what is it’s value, $505,000.00? $339,000.00?  Now a great place to pick up a couple of hamburgers!

UPDATE: 06/22/2011:  The development committee is going to rehear the Marcy library issue June 23 at 3:00 pm on the 7th floor of Riverside City Hall.

UPDATE: 06/23/2011:  The Development Committee votes 2-1 to sell Marcy Branch Library to the Lucky Greek Restaurant with Councilman Mike Gardner disscenting.

UPDATE: 05/29/2012: Lucky Greek owner sues the City of Riverside for $750,000.00

Explosive two part exposé of Riverside City Hall Politics and Connie Leach. 

Oh what a tangled web we weave…….. Mayor Ron Loveridge , City Manager Brad Hudson,  Assistant City Manager Tom Desantis, Chief Financial Officer Paul Sundeen,   City Clerk Coleen Nichols, City Attorney Greg Priamos, Kristin Tilquest  Mayor’s Office,  Mario Lara Assistant to Tom Desantis , ConnieLeach Ex Wife and City Consultant, Russ Leach Ex Police Chief .  Now let’s connect the dots and Follow the money.  

Summation:  What are the uses of Equitable Sharing……Police Asset Forfeiture.

1. Shared funds shall be used for law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes only.

2. To avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest, any employee of any federal, state, or local governmental agency ( or members of his or her immediate family or those residing in his or her household ) who was involved in the investigation which led to the forfeiture of the property to be sold by the USMS contractor is prohibited from purchasing, either directly or indirectly, forfeited property.

3. All Contracts provided to Connie Leach were all signed without City Council approval.

In the packet provided to city council, tuesday, contained:

Business Licenses: Issued to Connie Howard and ex- police Chief Russ Leach of their business Impact Consulting

Newspaper Articles of Alleged Domestic  Violence in 2004

Divorce Document of filing July 25, 2006

Copies of Checks paid to Connie Leach from the General Fund, Parks and Recreation, Redevelopment, City Manager and Economic Development for 3 years and 10 months totaling approx :  $333,000.00

Not including Donations to Multi Cultural Festival for approx  $40,000, Tranfers of $35,000 and Invoices & Receipts between Connie Leach and her Vendors for approx $90,000 from Police Asset Forfeiture totaling approx   $208,000.00.

Connie Leach was paid in excess $531,000.00.

Alleged Domestic Violence, Divorce Filing of Connie Leach & Russ Leach, General Fund Payouts, Police Asset Forfeiture Conflict, Alleged Malfeasance, Misuse of Funds and Favoritism.

During the time Connie Leach was hired as a consultant, Mayor Ron Loveridge was Department Head for the Youth Council. City Manager, Brad Hudson “the boss”, was in charge of the entire budget and how it is spent.   Purchase Order #R57482 Youth Council for  $12,500 and PO #R57481 Multicultural Youth Festival  for $35,000 went right to his office via Section Code 1100 City Manager-Admin.   What is also really interesting about this $35,000 PO was that she was paid 8 months in advance for a festival that didn’t even happen. Tom Desantis Assistant City manager, signed contracts between the City of Riverside and Connie Leach on behalf of City Manager Brad Hudson.   Paul Sundeen CFO,: Signed all checks issued to Connie Leach.  Mario Lara Assistant to Tom Desantis: all processing activity for P.O.s. went through Mario Lara.  City Clerk,  Coleen Nichols, City Attorney, Greg Priamos, and Assistant to the Mayor, Kristin Tilquest , were all signers on the contracts between the City of Riverside and Connie Leach.

Connie Leach: Wife of Ex Police Chief Russ Leach and Co-Owner of Impact Consulting

Russ Leach: Co-Owner of Impact Consulting with Connie Leach.

Tuesday,  May 24, 2011 City Council 6:30pm.  We will tell the personal story of Connie Leach PART 2.

Through the  Public Records Act. We were provided with the Police Asset Forfeiture budget from 2003 to 2009 and the City Managers $50,000.00 Discretionary Spending Budget.  All the expenditures were provided without City Council approval.  Everything we found is available for public viewing by request through the City Clerks office of Colleen Nichols 951-826-5557.

Question To The Mayor and City Council: Can a City Managers Discretionary Fund with a Maximum Payout of $50,000.00 for each item.  Can it be possible to spit bill via $50,000 increments for projects which hypothetically may cost $250,000.00, in order to get by City Council approval?   Can the City Manager Fund be at all subject to abuse, do to that fact?

TMC Investigates, Stay Connected, Comments Welcomed Especially From City Hall!

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO ACLU.  PROUDLY RATED ONE STAR (POSSIBLY DOWN TO ZERO FROM OUR LAST ACCOUNTS) OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE FOR GOOD REASON, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST, FOR GOOD REASON… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPHALL SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR CONTACT US BY THE FOLLOWING EMAIL ADDRESS!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

In an unprecedented act of desperation the City of Riverside buys $65,000,000.00 in their own bonds, due to Riverside Counties refusal to buy as a result of the low rating.  According to many, it’s never been done before.  It appears the taxpayer will get screwed again.  Buying your own debt by buying your own investment bonds means the bonds are not investment quality.  You know the end of the road is near when no one is willing to see enough value in your bonds to purchase them.  Of course, the original City-County plan according to Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, said the proposal raises red flags.  Therefore being creative with your own debt appears to be the only answer, and I would imagine this would raise double red flags.   This would be like printing your own money so that you could take it out and replace it against your own debt.  This could never happen in the private sector, how can this possibly occur in government?  First, you would have to classify what city fund to remove money from.  Secondly, the taxpayer money taken for other proposed funding purposes is replaced with the issuance of a bond, or in other words, and IOU.  The money is taken, but there is still a void in the fund that needs to be paid back at the maturity of the bond.  City Charter states the City of Riverside cannot buy bonds under a AAA rating.  Well the Utilities and Water Bonds are AAA, but that’s because the City of Riverside own their own utilities and own water rights.  So how do they explain the downgrade to AA? But our Redevelopement Bonds, may be in the BBB rating or lower.  Riverside’s Chief Finance Officer Paul Sundeen said repaying the debt is not a concern as long as the city’s property values don’t take a large plunge.  But property values are diving, and will continue to decrease according to real estate statistics through 2012.   Emerald City’s Paul Sundeen went on to state, “What is the risk? It is zero,” he said.  The interest rate wouldn’t be as good as what the city negotiated with itself, he said. But, he added, “I typically don’t invest in our own bonds, (so) as an opportunity would present itself I would simply get out of it.”  Does City Hall continue to believe their own story that their is not a problem, and that creative financing is the answer, when others in the finance world do not?  What is the truth, or is this at all legal?  Hopefully are Renaissance Man, Mayor Loveridge can answer that question for the community of how it relates to the rebirth and future of our Fare City of Riverside, California.   TMC  investigates and  will be waiting, in the interim, keep tuned-in for Updates. Please give your comments!

Legally we can do whatever we want there,” Hudson said. “The city wasn’t required to preserve any of it.”

It’s a sad day when each day the integrity and history of our once beautiful and fare city falls .  The Ol Press Bindery was on life support until the death rattle was heard by the final falling of what was left of the frontal façade.  And down it went biting the dirt of progress by the iron fist of City Manager Brad Hudson, while the council below him were none the wiser.  Every time an element of historical significance is demolished, the city loses a little bit of who we are as a community.  People travel to cities because of their history, and it would be in the City of Riverside best interest to stop this practice, and in this situation a case of incompetance.   This ultimately is reflected in a lack of leadership and a breach of trust toward the community by sworn elected officials.  The Stalder Building may be next, with a stipulation that if the cost to repair escalates over 350K, it can be torn down.  What do you think will ultimately be the result?  Well its on paper folks!  True shenanigans going on? My opinion it just can’t be anything else, the good ol’ boys will be boys.  As Dave Leonard stated, Chief of the Old Riverside Foundation, “Knocking down a concrete building is not a mistake, this is a major problem for the city”.  And he fears it will get worse, “The Stalder Building is next”.   I guess, now we will rebuild the facade of the Press Bindery with plaster and fiberglass like some movie set prop, and onward, tear down the Stalder Building, will just rebuild the facade.  This will become our city, facades of what was and maybe just a little bit of Disneyland and Moreno Valley?

UPDATE: MAY 29, 2011: The Press Bindery was designed by Henry L.A. Jekel and constructed in 1925 in the Spanish Revival style.  Someone told me that it even housed the Press Enterprise at one point.  There is no doubt there was incompetancy all around, from City Hall to the construction company.  “Legally we can do whatever we want there,” Hudson said. “The city wasn’t required to preserve any of it.”  What should be bothersome and disturbing to Riversidian’s is the arrogance of that statement.  According to the Certificate of Appropriateness, page 3, the city was to preserve the “ENTIRE Spanish Revival portion of the Press Bindery”, not just the frontal wall facade.  It goes on to say on page 4, that “the Press Bindery consist of the original Spanish Revival front portion of the building AND the poured concrete rear work area of the building. This plan will preserve the highly stylized Spanish Revival front portion of the building.” This gives validity to the argument that instructions were not followed.  No mistake here!  It’s part of the cities agenda or Hudson’s agenda.  It’s obvious the City Manager is responsible.  The Mayor and the council members, who also play a part in state redevelopment decisions, are equally responsible as well.  Another play on the community with use of semantics?  These are people who do not care about our city.   We can place new policies in as Councilman Mike Gardner indicated, but what is worth when current policies are not followed or honored.  When someone turns their head for a second, we find ourselves asking, “What happened to this wall, and hey, and what happened to that wall, it was there yesterday”?  Mike, you cannot tell us, “The city made a very serious mistake by tearing down that building the way they did”.  The chain of events that led to the press bindery demolition should be investigated and responsible parties terminated, afterall, it appears employees at City Hall have been fired for lesser offenses.  You carry two positions of responsibility,  City Councilman and as as an agent of Redevelopment, you are the City.  The investigation should be initiated by Ward 1 Councilman, Mike Gardner, this was on his watch and it went right by him.  Or we can hire at outside law firm as Brad Hudson did to investigate the allegations of favoritism by himself.  We all know where that will lead.  The more that the community understands the truth through documentation, Brad Hudson’s arguments simply begins to become more disingenuous, revealing himself, as just a paper tiger.  If you Like Mike call him, and Especially if you Don’t Like Mike, ask him to investigate Brad Hudson’s actions and recommend he vote for his termination, let him know how you feel, 951-826-5991 (office) or 951-941-7084 (cell) or by e-mail at mgardner@riversideca.gov     Let the City Manager, Bradley Hudson know how you feel directly at 951-826-5771 (office) or by e-mail at bhudson@riversideca.gov    There is the story you read, then their is the real story you don’t read, but is yet to come.  Keep in tune, TMC investigates, check for updates. Please give your comments!

UPDATE: 03/12/2012: WHAT REMAINS OF THE PRESS BINDERY REMAINS IN LIMBO ACCORDING THE PRESS ENTERPRISE.

As result of the 1.6 Billion as stated in the Press Enterprise, the figure is really 2 Billion per Councilman Mike Gardner.  This we incurred through the famed Redevelopment Agency.  Every Man, Women, and Child in the city of Riverside will be left to pay for the Riverside Renaissance in increased Sewer , Water, Electric, Parking, and General Fund Replacement.   The 2 Billion breakdown is as follows:, The Principal is $1,084,051,402 and The Interest is $979,022,581.  Today, the cost to each individual will be $6,660, or a family of four will have to pay out $26,400.00.   If you are wondering why your utility bill has gone up so much, it is direct result of the 2 Billion Dollar mistake.  The idea that the Reanaissance Project was a success depends on which way you look at it.  When was the last time you went downtown to admire the almost 12 millon dollar concrete Mainstreet Mall that will add enormous increases to your Utility Bill.  Another example is that the city will be voting on a new water plant that will add an additional $5.00 to your bill.

Of over 270 projects, you the taxpayer have paid for:

  1.  The Freeman Co. building on 6th and Main, purchased at 4 million, continues to remain empty.
  2.  Fourteen Million plus Land to Mark Rubin for Raincross Promenade Condos.  Now turned into rentals with the majority sitting empty.
  3.  Three Million plus for land to build the new City Owned Hyatt Hotel, which will more than likely run at a loss as well.
  4.  Land and Houses on Olivewood and Mulberry: 3.8 Million: originally purchased with Measure G money for the new Firestation, then switch-a-rooed back to original location.
  5.  Ian Davidson Architecture almost 12 Million for “Concrete”  Downtown Main Street Mall.
  6.  Marcy Library on Central Avenue.
  7.  Raincross Café  within city hall, continues to run at a loss.
  8.  Fox Entertainment Plaza: Fox Theater, 32 Million, continues to run at a loss.
  9.  Fox Parking Garage: in progress,  32 Million.

The reasons these projects were built was to attract new residents and visitors.  The question is,  will they come?  Not Yet!  The Main Street Mall continues to be a ghost town.  But council people continue to praise Brad Hudson for making the Renaissance a reality, even Steve Adams praised Brad, but no one dared talk about the cost to taxpayer.  Now, we have the up-keep and maintenance on all newly acquired city properties.  City of Riverside now competes with the private sector; they sell real estate, they are in property management, they are in entertainment and in the restaurant business.  Was that the intention of government, to compete with the free market?  And at what cost?  Simply, they are not good at it.   Did they completely forget about their public service duties to the community in lieu of now becoming City Hall, Inc.?  Can we afford to keep paying the deficit on The Fox, the many city owned buildings which remain empty of tenants and The Raincross Café, owned by ProviderFoods/Market broiler?   Can we keep on paying Rodney Couch, owner of the Raincross Café, if he doesn’t make enough money at the café in City Hall.?   Are we in business with the Raincross Café, (Provider Foods/Market Broiler)?  Yes!  If the city supported Raincross Café  makes over $100,000,  we share in the proceeds.  IF they don’t make $100,000 you the taxpayer will make the difference.  Sweet deal? Absolutely.  So how come others are not privy to this same deal?  Preferential treatment?   The CFO of the city has stated to me in an e-mail that The Raincross Café/Market Brolier  has never made over $100,000.  So how long does the taxpayer have to continue to pay for the incompetence at City Hall.

The bottom line is as long as we continue to stay asleep at the wheel, your utility bill will continue to escalate due to the city’s increasing interest cost, rising development cost over-runs and project and development change orders.  Today each individual owes $6,660.00 to pay off city redevelopment debt, next year you will owe $7,000.00, all in Brad Hudson’s attempted “Gucciism” of Downtown Riverside.

Second phase extension of the Jurupa Avenue extension was unanimously passed by City Council at Tuesday’s council meeting.   According to Riverside Municipal Code, the monies from those funds can be used solely for the maintenance, operation, construction and reconstruction of existing sewer lines, and cannot be used for the construction of new local street sewers.  Is this project actually legal?  Or a misuse of taxpayer funds and a violation of Riverside Municipal Code?  That is the question.

UPDATE:  It’s hard to grasp how someone can rationalize violating laws enacted to protect the sanctity of taxpayer monies and their potential abuse by elected and appointed officials sworn to protect the interest of the taxpayer.  It appears it all started in 2003, whereby developer Chuck Cox gave the city a parcel of land next to the golf course by Riverside Municipal Airport in exchange for a piece of land called simply the Old Agricultural Park.  The Old Agricultural Park had evidently been contaminated from and old city sewer plant on or adjacent to the parcel.  In the real world, it would have been up to Chuck Cox, the developer, to pursue an environmental study to test for soil contamination during the negotiations. Regardless, Cox then planned to build homes on the Agricultural site.  It was then that city officials decided to tell Chuck Cox the land had been contaminated by an old city sewer plant.  Why would the city knowingly not tell the developer this bit of info prior to the original parcel swap.  It seems to me this would be a violation of the law to sell a parcel of land with foresight of it being contaminated?  As City Manager Brad Hudson explained the deal, the city and Cox agreed to swap responsibilities — Cox would handle cleanup at the agricultural park if the city would build part of the Jurupa Avenue extension.  See, if you built your own house, connecting your house to new utilities such as water, sewage and electricity would be at cost to you.  Smell the sewage yet?  Well it gets better. Councilman Steve Adams who’s has an extensive background and knowledge of the city, based on his comprehensive level of experience in public service as a career politician and police officer, must know municipal code and law.  Adams said the sewer funds to be used for the road extension would otherwise have gone toward the site cleanup.  How can that be, the clean-up is not the cities problem anymore, it is the developer!  Further, sewer funds cannot be used for road extension construction or cleanup, but the developer may have a case for fraud against the city, since the city admitted having prior knowledge of land contamination.  The real issue is the location and existence of the old city sewer plant, what kind of contamination occurred and did it really happen at all.  Regardless, Councilman Steve Adams may need a refresher on municipal code for the city of riverside.  But again, no one can use Sewer Funds for new sewer construction. 

UPDATE: 06/07/2011: Sources state that due to the Jurupa Avenue Extension, the Sewer Fund has been depleted.  In an inter-agency transfer, monies from Public Utilities Fund will replenish monies lost in the Sewer Fund.  But at some point, your utility bill will increase to replenish the Public Utilities monies lost.  Comments Welcomed!  Give Us Your Insight.  TMC investigates, stay connected, watch for updates.