UPDATE: 04/20/2012: City Council has allocated time on Tuesday 04/20/2012 for President/CEO Cindy Roth to present and discuss Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and its relationship to the City of Riverside. Questions have been raised of City’s role in funding via taxpayer allocations of certain projects etc. with the Chamber. The Greater Riverside Chamber is a non-profit, and questions have also been raised regards to conflict of interest as some have contracts with the city and its influence on particular projects which should only be a function between the council, mayor and the Riverside constituents.
UPDATE:04/19/2012: According to Former City Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Ed Adkison, City Manager Scott Barber divulged to him that the City of Riverside will have a $10 million dollar deficit. Salvador Santana, of The Truth Publication, stated that the budget was balanced, this info he received in a recent 3:00 am meeting at the home of Finance Director Bret Mason. Councilman Mike Gardner states we may have to use some of our reserves, but we have a balanced budget (I didn’t know the city had reserves, no one is yet able to pin point it). According to the public records request act, TMC still sticks to premise that the City has more like a $90 million deficit.
UPDATE: 04/13/2012: BLOCKED WEBSITES HIGHLIGHTS TENSIONS BETWEEN COUNCIL, CRITICS. Article in PE regarding the blocking of the Thirty Miles of Corruption on public city sites. ACLU notified according to the Five Before Midnight blog, and has placed the City of Riverside on watch.
Most of the money to the chamber was donated between the years of 2005-2007 when Brad Hudson was city manager. Cindy Roth CEO/ President of the Greater Riverside Chamber, a non-profit organization, was vehement against the city having a Citizen’s Auditing Committee.
As for the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce, it does nothing but collect paychecks. The office could be used for rental for income to the city. Cindy Roth laughs at how easy it is to hold a title and collect a big check and do nothing for it. But that seems to be common with friends of friends. Several citizens looked to the Chamber for help and Cindy Roth never got back to them and really doesn’t cared as the fact no one will say anything to her. — Airjackie, Commenter on the Press Enterprise 5:38 PM on 04/22/2012
Why would a non-profit care about local citizens participating in an oversite of the communities coffers? Why would such an entity have presidence over the will of the people? Further, Ms. Roth states that the City’s Finance Committee would suffice. This has been a committee that has had an inconsistent track record of meeting, there have been times whereby it met twice a year..but since 2010 we see an up swing in Finance Committee Meeting, which is a good sign for the community.
FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETINGS 1999-2010 (CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW)
What would be so wrong for true dedicated oversite committee of local citizens for the community’s coffers? What is Ms. Roth afraid of ? Is the Greater Riverside Chamber really a lobbying group? Why would it matter to a non-profit organization such as the Chamber? Well this struck us as odd, so we did a little investigation and found the following.
What many have also brought to our attention are the board members. Many who receive contracts with the city, such as BB&K attorney Howard Golds and also Richard Roth, Attorney and husband for Cindy Roth, who is also running for Congress under General Richard Roth and endorsed by Mayor Ron Loveridge.
Also there was a great disparity which was evident between chambers, but is it legal to donate tax payer money to non-profits? Click on the link under the image to view the full document.
CITY COUNCIL TUESDAY AGENDA ITEMS APRIL 10, 2012:
ITEM #14 They simply want to raise your water rates from $2.83 to $5.82, they wanted actually to raise it to $10.00 Evidently Public Works is unable to work within their budget?
On the above Public Works document, on page four, it mentions that the Greater Riverside Chamber voted to increase our rate from $2.83 to $5.82. This sends a message to the community residents that there is an underlying connnection with this particular non-profit and the city. Could we consider that there may be a conflict of interest with some of the board members?
So if we don’t pass this we will have to take it from the general fund.. According to Barber, the loss of Redevelopment has a direct impact on the General Fund to the extent of $6 million. Therefore an already strapped General Fund will have to make up the slack of programs dependent on it. He said it is a tax increase, but that was put in place before proposition 218, and therefore it is not subject to a vote. This is a tax increase, City Manager Scott Barber said, and that is partly why I believe the Greater Riverside Chamber supported it. Not because they receive financial support from the city, most of the support that the Chamber receives from the City goes to pay Festival of Lights and Keeping Riverside Clean and Beautiful, and thats what financially goes to support the chamber and that’s what needed to be said. Well this needs to be said, I would imagine that the Greater Riverside Chamber is under city contract for services related with the Festival of Lights and Keeping Riverside Clean and Beautiful.
Since the Storm Drain issue is about keeping curbs clean of debris. Chris Mac Arthur made mention to the problem of street sweeping both sides of the street on the same day. We can’t have friends or family over… of course we know we will be ticketed. you cant have any activity on those days.
Councilman Steve Adams is confused about the time line regarding the Federal Mandate of the Storm Drain issue, it was actually put in place in 1948, not 10 or 20 years ago. These are mandates by the Federal Government that are unfunded.
Vivian Moreno Councilman Mike Gardner had suggested that we increase the rate from $2.83 to $5.82 Have you asked the citizens of Riverisde to sweep their curb, like you you make us clean the alley ways, which is actually your alley way. The Greater Riverside Chamber will approve anything that has any increases, because they need their ‘financial fix’.
Dvonne Pitruzzello, Lower the rates and let us spend our money here in Riverside. Your sucking the residents dry, it may go along with the mayors plan to remove the low to moderate out and middle to upper income residents in, in order to pay these taxes, but in terms of economics, this does not work. Stop bleeding the citizens, especially for the elderly, this is there food money.
In reference to this isssue, Councilman Paul Davis vehemently stated, “I may stand alone, but I will not do this tax”! Passes 6-1… and yes, even our “independent voice for Riverside” William “Rusty” Bailey voted for it. TMC thanks Councilman Paul Davis for being an independent voice for Riverside, standing for people not politics, demanding fiscal responsibility and challenging the status quo to improve our quality of life. Wow, that just sounded vaguely familiar..
So has Mr. Barber ever thought of cut backs? Why again hit and terrorize the residents with more increases. Residents have to financially cut back, why can’t the city? Residents are made to live within their means, why not the city? What would the city do, if they didn’t have the power to tax and implement such fees etc.? They would have to be like us, forced to live within their means.
ITEM # 25 We have a resignation in the Human Resource Department of Tyrell H. Lawyer, Commission on Disabilities, a year before the contract ends, March 1, 2013. Does anybody want to hear Tyrell’s story? I sure do..
ITEM # 28 Continue an agreement with the Goeske Center to pay their electrical bill and and their landscaping bill. The cost to the tax payer $403,590.00 from the General Fund. The Janet Goeske Center is a non-profit organization, and questions have been raised if this monies our considered a gift of public funds.
On April 6, 2012 at the Board of Public Utilities Meeting to allow public comment on the issue of the purple pipe. The purple pipe program is a new water reclamation program the city would like to implement, with of course, you paying the bill.
Not only was this meeting for the leyving of new fees for the purple pipe program, but for other issues. One issue that we noticed, was Item #14 on the Public Utilities Board Meeting on their consent calender which was to approve a purchase order for the purchase and installation of office furniture for 3750 University Avenue. Which was BB&K’s office space, whereby the City of Riverside assumed their lease, costing taxpayers $175,234.00 per month. Well the furniture cost indicated in this item is for $280,691.84, but it doesn’t stop there. They snuck in a change order, just in case they needed even more furniture, for $200,000.00 Usually change orders are brought back to council to be approved due to an unforeseen action which escalates the cost. Therefore a justification needs to be brought to the attention of the council or board. So the total cost for new furniture for their new place is $480,691.84, where does the old furniture go? To that great office in the sky, I guess? So, if they were to use their old furniture, and I’m sure it is not that old, we would have Tom Boyd’s needed $345,310.00 to pay for his storm drain, with something left over for a rainy day. But of course, they may just use it for lunch.
But let’s take it a step further, the adopt a tree program, which is Item #13 the Tree Power Program. It allows Public Works to pay out a maximum to each vendor or $150,000.00, but the total program is capped at $500,000.00
Questions are being asked on the purple pipe tax. Some are questioning the extra expense Public Utilities recommends for more furniture. Out with the old, in with the new style? at taxpayer expense? ..during a down economy? Is the purple pipe program being push to help pay the rent for BB&K’s old lease, but now the City’s new lease (or should I say we the taxpayer’s new lease)? When we swap out, or take over BB&K’s lease, it will cost the taxpayer $175,234.00 per month. Excessive? According to market statistics we will be paying $1.00/ sq. ft. over current market trends.
Mary Sheldon, Five Before Midnight Blog, blasted Councilman Steve Adams last weeks response of discrimination being funny.. Discrimination isn’t funny when at a recent settlement cost the taxpayers $1.6 million.
Dvonne Pitruzzello, 2012 Mayoral Candidate, said that we need the same type of reporting for the city attorney, that we have for the city manager discretionary spending. Also stated regarding discrimination law suits, that we can lose federal and state funding if a city has to many discrimination law suits, and that’s not funny! Further, she wanted to find out when developer Mark Rubin’s property was transferred, because I see Councilman Mike Gardner’s mayoral signs there, and I thought the city owned those properties.
Self Proclaimed Citizen Auditor Vivian Moreno, said if we cleaned our own street and paid for our own trees, we would have enough money left over that we wouldn’t have to pay for the purple pipe. To add to this comment, citizens are not recognized or thanked for the expense of cleaning back alleys, which is actually the city’s back alley. But they do this under the duress of expensive code enforcement fines. Citizens forced to clean city property under the threat of being fined…now that doesn’t sound like freedom, but it does sound like an oxymoron.
Former Assistant Deputy Attorney Raychele Sterling spoke of contract bids and prevailing wage increases, since interum public works director tom Boyd didn’t know this basic bit of info. April 3, 2012 at City Council Ms. Sterling spoke about the public works performance evaluation form which had not been reviewed by the City Attorney’s office, and considered “a lottery ticket” for employment lawyers. Without further adieu here is the infamous ‘Tom Boyd Special.’
CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW
UPDATE: 04.12.2012: IN THE NEWS, COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS AGAIN ATTEMPTS TO IMPOSE CONTAINER FEES ON PASSING TRAINS. TMC ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE SOMETIME BACK WITH THE ARTICLE BELOW, WHEREBY A JUDGE WOULD NOT ALLOW THIS ATTEMPTED FEE. THERE WAS EXTRODINARY LEGAL COST TO THE TAXPAYER IN LEGAL FEES AND AGAIN COUNCILMAN ADAMS ATTEMPTS TO PROPOSE TO THE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE THAT THE TAXPAYER PAY AN OUTSIDE CONSULTANT IN DALLAS, TEXAS $160.000.00 TO PERSUADE OFFICIALS AT VARIOUS PORTS THAT THESE FEES ARE NECESSSARY FOR PROJECTS SUCH AS RAILROAD GRADE SEPARATIONS.. IS THIS DALLAS BASED CONSULTANT REALLY A LOBBYIST?
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. RATED ONE STAR 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, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT! COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS! EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT! THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM