Today Mayoral Candidate Ed Adkison presented a press conference in order to reveal his vision for Riverside, his pledge to cut the Mayor’s budget in half and present his Bankruptcy Prevention Plan. It all began with Adkison stating that the current Mayor’s budget needs to be cut, specifically in half. According to Adkison the Mayor’s office pulls a yearly budget of $900,000.00, and in the past 10 years has not been cut a single time. The current budget has tripled, states Adkison since he came to the council in 2000. To Adkison, “this is simply unacceptable”. According to Mayoral Candidate opponent William “Rusty” Bailey, while Adkison served as council, he voted to increase the City Council pay and to increase the Mayor’s budget. Further, Rusty states that Ed’s approach to the budget is “ nothing but smoke and mirrors”. Ed went on to state the following, that unemployment is at a record high, job creation is at record lows, the homeless population is continuing to grow, and not to mention low risk inmates being release from the jails is continuing to grow, there are more state budget cuts on the way and new debt service payments on the horizon; Riverside will face new budget challenges more than ever before. This I believe was his reasoning for pledging to cut the Mayor’s budget in half, to the tune of $450,000.00. Ed also said that current Mayor Loveridge approached him more than once and told him, that “If elected, not to cut the budget”. But Ed continued, “I will create a culture of fiscal responsibility and transparency” and “ I would use the cuts to help struggling city services”.
The monies can be used for the homeless, for early release low risk prisoners and for programs such as the Youth Intervention Programs. He mentioned to help against “predatory gangs” in regards to the recent killings of three in the east side. Many residents on the east side have stated we are having more of a ‘race war’ between black and hispanic, that’s been going on and escalating for years.
He went on to hit Rusty on his campaign platform. Today Rusty it’s your call! Today I ask my opponent, Rusty Bailey to join with me to sign the Bankruptcy Prevention Plan, so we can begin a responsible future for Riverside. Rusty states he is an independent voice for Riverside, now it is chance to prove it .. independent from the status quo, and independent from the government bureaucracy. But I’m sorry to say, there is no plan, in the Bankruptcy Prevention Plan…
What seems to be a very small part of the picture when it comes to proposed budget cutbacks, Adkison proposed the Mayor’s budget should drastically be cutback, in fact by 50%, which would mean the mayor’s budget would be cut to about $450,000.00 from the current $900,000.00. That means $450,000.00 will be left to be used for other city services, which appears to be a small chunk of change compared to what the city really spends. Rusty also used the “50%” in a different campaign strategy of cutting the unemployment problem by 50%, and this is how he’ll do it. Rusty’s “hire one program” states if each business hires one employee, that would cut the unemployment by 50%. There we are folks, it’s just that simple. Anyway, the Adkison signed pledge is as follows:
I, Ed Adkison, pledge to stand with the people of Riverside. I will cut the Mayor’s office budget by 50% and redirect city funds to protect core city services the taxpayers expect and depend on. As Mayor, I will call for a thorough assessment of potential funding gaps and establish fiscally responsible priorities in spending based on the needs of the residents. Signed, Ed Adkison.
Questions asked from reporters in the audience of of approximately ten:
Q: Are you talking about job cuts regards the cutting the mayor’s budget? A: It would be more for poltical appointees.
Q: What is the bankruptcy plan? A: Didn’t answer directly, but mentioned the many expenses that can have an effect on the city such as the current 218 law suit filed against the City of Riverside and the Department of Finance rejection of payments to to City redevelopment debt. We need to look at the budget and work with the City Manager (Scott Barber). ”The City of Riverside is in good shape”, says Adkison. So I ask myself, “then, why the plan”?
Q: Do you think that the City of Riverside is at risk of filing bankruptcy? A: Not at this point..but that’s the way those other cities thought at the same time. So are we? Or aren’t we, Ed?
Q: Did you vote for increases in that Mayor’s budget while you were in office? A: ..I don’t have that information..
Adkison campaign staff member says, “last question”. Which means, we are calling this press conference to a close.
Q: Who would take a pay cut? A: everybody on top needs to take a pay cut. My last year in office I didn’t take a salary.
Q: The mayor is on his way to Vietnam for another sister city issue. Should the mayor be here addressing city issue instead out of town? A: It’s about economic development and fiscal responsibility. If those delegations generate an economic opportunities for the city, I’m in favor of it, if not, I’m not in favor… There could be opportunities in sister city relationships.
“Okay no more questions..” came from a staff member. That was thee end..
In response to this last question, aren’t people in Riverside capable of creating economic opportunities and jobs? Maybe the mayor can travel with his delegation outside his front door of city hall and virtually see a city full of economic opportunity if they would let it happen and not be so restrictive to them. It’s about regulation and high taxes. The more money businesses can keep, the more they will reinvest in their business and hire new employees. Why must we go to asia to see if economic opportunities exist for our city, when those opportunities are right outside our door?
It appeared to be a presidential candidate moment, Adkison’s staff found the need to quickly call for the end of the press conference with the “one more question” routine. Frequently seen when high profile candidates need to be quickly whisked away from a crowd of pesky reporters and rushed off to another engagement or a plane flight. It struck me strange, since the group listening was not more than ten, including PE’s Alicia Robinson, Dan Berstein and Five Before Midnight’s Blog Mary Shelton and a few others. I wondered if Adkison was elected mayor would we see more of the same “one more” or even “no more questions please” type scenerio’s played out? Most of the answers to the questions were not direct, but skirted the issues. Can he be the “People’s Mayor”? But again, I believe Riverside has much bigger issues than the Mayor’s budget.
What played out today was a familiar campaign in motion, some flash but no substance. Riverside has big issues that need to be addressed. When one city after another is falling into the clutches of bankruptcy, we have a problem. Business as usual is just not going to cut it anymore, tossing the dirt around isn’t going to cut anymore. We have to try something drastic, possible actually listening to what the community has to say, then make decisions based on that process. We don’t need a city which will be dismissive of the opinions of the constituents, or downplay us or label us as ‘kooks’. It’s time that people really understand what public service is about, it is about public service. One should be there for only that reason, it’s not all about the paycheck. Redemption is another character vice which attracts attention, admitting past failures in the decision making process which costed the taxpayers can be a new and refreshing beginning for all candidates. Learn how to read the financial books, learn how to understand them, then give us plan; this is not a time to skirt the issues, people need details, people need someone to trust. We need a vision which includes an assessment plan, an implementation plan, and purpose behind all of these in order to attain fiscal responsible goals. Today, was an opportunity, an opportunity for a mayoral candidate to be different, but again the politician revealed itself, by allowing no more questions to be asked. He could have taken this a step further, to possibly assess what really happened to our city while he was on the dais, what he possibly learned from that experience and how he can now be a wiser leader, and now be the “People’s Mayor”. Well, as for the opponent, Rusty Bailey…we need to see how this will all be played out….
Others who had their take on this is PE’s Alicia Robinson Blog Posting, Mayor’s Race: CutBudget In Half , Adkison Says and, of course, Riverside’s own, the incomparable Dan Berstein’s Blog Postings, Rah! Riverside: 2-4-6-8 Mayors Should Collaborate.
IT’S ALL ABOUT BLOG BANNING..ARE WE SEEING A LITTLE BIT OF CUBA?
IN A DRASTIC MEASURE, WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES OF THE NEW MAYOR? SHOULD HE CONVINCE THE COUNCIL TO CLEAN HOUSE? MEANING THE OFFICE OF CITY ATTORNEY, THE CITY MANAGER, THE PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE?
UPDATE:07/21/2012: WAS CITY HALL CURRENTLY BEING USED FOR COLLATERAL IN A CITY FINANCE TRANSACTION? AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE? ALONG WITH RIVERSIDE’S NEW LINCOLN AVENUE POLICE STATION?
WHAT! RIVERSIDE’S CONVENTION CENTER AND THE DOWNTOWN LIBRARY WERE ALSO USED AS COLLATERAL IN A CITY FINANCED TRANSACTION?
JUST FOR LAUGHS..
REMEMBER FOLKS THE 3 MINUTE RULE FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING, CURRENTLY CITY COUNCIL IS USING RONNY’S BOUNCER’S (RPD), NOW…YOU DON’T WANT CITY COUNCIL TO GET OTHER IDEAS..DO YOU?
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! CONTRIBUTORS WILL ALWAYS BE PROTECTED… YES, WE EXPECT THE JAIL TIME FOR THAT ONE… THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM