WE WERE TOLD THEY ONLY GLOW AT NIGHT..
Now That six families in a two block area of the contamination have cancer will you admit you lied to us All you better than us city and government of Riverside. Have talked till I am blue but it didn’t make the cancer go away or the contamination of the soil we eat everyday while they build Jurupa Ave. When the people who move the dirt get cancer or breathing problems then will you do something more - Marilyn Whitney, commenter to TMC
Toxic Trails Estates…A great place to raise your family? What would you do if you paid $500,000.00 for a new home, and later found that it sits on a major toxic spill? Would you drink the water, well evidently Council drank the Koolaid, and bobbled right behind their infamous leader City Attorney Gregory Priamos to a potential unlawful emergency close session meeting. It is TMC’s opinion that Priamos called the unlawful meeting so he could reprimand the council for postponing the vote on the AG Park housing development. Whether TMC is right or wrong, it sure does sound good! The housing project couldn’t even get bonded. Why is developer Chuck Cox allowed to do a project as this without any bond insurance? Cox is asking the City to take a deed of trust in lieu of a bond. Really? Why is he so special? Is it because he couldn’t get bond insurance because it was a toxic spill site? The meeting even became dramatic when Attorney Letitia Pepper POUNDED on the closed session door, demanding they all come out, and she wasn’t kidding either! Of course she was met by two of Riverside’s finest and that handsome devil himself Assistant Chief of Police Chris Vicino, who attempted to diffuse the whole situation. Isn’t Vicino married, he should know that you shouldn’t argue with a woman, especially if she is smarter. You have to believe that Chief of Police Sergio Diaz knew better this time around, to stay far away from these legal vixens..
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.
The following is a 2003 Interoffice Memo from Public Works Director Tom Boyd, then deputy public works director, to former City Manager George Caravalho, reporting the breakage of a digester tank which spilled its contents, and the intended clean up plans. Later, lab analysis determined the spilled contents to contain high amounts of PCB’s (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) as well as other dangerous contaminants, as indicated below:
Compare the Result with the DLR (Detection Limit for purpose of Reporting)-below the DLR is acceptable, over is unacceptable. The below December 2005 Fact Sheet Cleanup Proposal states that as a result of the contaminant findings, that there are no health risk to current residents, however, they can pose a risk to future residents living in homes built on the site… You be the judge, we’ve had City workers who have died working on the cleanup, we’ve had resident reports surrounding the untouched properties who claimed illness.
When the incident initially occurred, why was not Hazmat or the Fire Department called? Why wasn’t the clean up crew suited properly as required by hazmat? According to a letter by Debbie Anderson, Associate Engineer, the Developer Chuck Cox, contacted approximately 7 days after the digester was breached, on City owned property. He attempted, to single handedly take care of a problem that even a hired pumping company refused to take on. Cox according to former Assistant City Manager Michael Beck, was on the property doing the grading work without a legal city permit! The land was still City owned. Who gets this treatment in the real world without knowing someone? When then Assistant Public Works Director Tom Boyd first was told of the spill, he immediately directed Water Quality Control and Street Services staff to clean up the sludge spill. Where was Public Works Director Siobhan Foster? She was directly responsible for the Public Works Department. The City didn’t even know what they were dealing with and they called for staff employees not trained to clean up an unknown. When an unknown is discovered, why wasn’t Hazmat or the Fire Department called in? In Debbie’s hand written notes, she states that Public Works told them (Cox) that they could do the grading work without a permit! In addition she mentions that the locks on the property were changed, but they broke them. When checking for an engineering license in the State of California, Siobhan Foster does not show she holds a license, but Boyd’s license does come up. This answers a lot of questions in the sense if Foster and of course Beck really knew what they were doing.
In the below youtube video, Attorney Letitia Pepper had just pounded on a closed session door to attempt to notifying Council that they are violating the brown act. The council was inadvertently called into session by City Attorney Gregory Priamos to discuss a non agendized matter. By Council following the City Attorney’s lead, they unknowingly violated the Brown Act.
Two Police Officers, Assistant Chief of Police Chris Vicino, Attorney Letitia Pepper and Attorney Raychele Sterling continued to discuss and ferret out legal aspects if pounding on a door is illegal, or just discourteous, as what they said about Chief Diaz. The finer points of the discourteous pounding discussion continued even after council found a different mode of exit, known as sneaking out the back door. Councilman Soubirous was the only council member that used the front door.
Arrow points to the X Marks the spot where Pepper pounded closed session door…
UPDATE: 1:00PM: JUST IN: ANONYMOUS SOURCES ARE TELLING TMC THAT THE CLOSED SESSION MEETING WAS LEGAL BECAUSE IT DEALT WITH A PERSONNEL ISSUE, NOT A NON AGENDIZED ISSUE! IS SOMEONE LEAVING?
UPDATE:2:00PM: IT TRUE, ALL THE HOOPLAH LAST NIGHT IF YOU PUT TWO AND TWO TOGETHER, WAS ALL ABOUT CITY ATTORNEY GREGORY PRIAMOS LEAVING THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE FOR NEW JOB WITH THE BIG TOP, THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE, AS INDICATED IN THE PRESS ENTERPRISE. Priamos evidently had an interview with the County Supervisors yesterday morning, which was not on the agenda as well. He will be named the County’s Chief Council. As of 2012 salary statistics Priamo’s total salary package with the City of Riverside came out to $309,671.10, and will more than likely go up with as he double dips with the County. Should he have to explain how he was clowning around with taxpayer monies when it came to utilizing outside legal help with no contract? When it come to inside office parties, is Priamos the king of the clowns?
WHAT ARE PEOPLE IN RIVERSIDE ARE SAYING, BESIDES GOOD RIDDANCE?
UPDATE: 06.23.2014: FROM THE DESK OF LETITIA PEPPER: COMPLAINT REGARDING VIOLATIONS OF THE BROWN ACT.
To Riverside’s City Council and Mayor:
In addition to ongoing violations of people’s free speech rights, the City officials have also engaged in violations of the Brown Act. Most recently, the City Attorney called an illegal, unscheduled, un-noticed, and un-described closed session on June 17, 2014, as evidenced by the video of the City Council meeting at 05:07:03- 24.
This illegal closed session was further compounded by the Mayor’s adjourning the public meeting before the illegal closed session took place, as evidenced by the same video at 05:09:12. After closed sessions, there must be a report on such session. By adjourning the meeting, this step was side-stepped.
I demand that the Mayor and City Attorney publicly acknowledge that what occurred was a violation of the Brown Act, and that they publicly pledge not to engage in future violations.
cc City Attorney, City Clerk, City Manager bcc concerned citizens
UPDATE: 06.23.2014:9:00PM: ACCORDING TO THE BROWN ACT PRIMER, CITY COUNCIL VIOLATED THE BROWN ACT LAST WEEK!
If you look at the limited situations in which a closed session is legal, you’ll see that closed sessions can be used for personnel matters, but not for an announcement by an employee saying he’s leaving! Closed sessions for personnel matters can only be used to discuss the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, discipline, or dismissal of a public employee or to hear complaints or charges brought against the employee by another person or employee. (Gov. Code section 54957, subd. (b).) Furthermore, such sessions still need to be listed on the written agenda before hand, unless they involve an emergency, the Council holds a vote and decides that it is an emergency, and then publicly states before going into closed session the code section that authorizes an emergency closed session.
Items not listed on a posted agenda may not be discussed in closed sessions except in three circumstances: an emergency, a need for immediate action and an item that was posted on a previous agenda. (Govt. Code section 54954.2, subd. (b).) None of those situations applied at the June 17 City Council meeting.
A City Council cannot decide that there’s an emergency or need for immediate action without discussing this during an open meeting, and then having 2/3ds of them vote to hold a closed session for this reason. (Govt. Code section 54954.2, subd. (b)(2).) Then there must be an oral, public announcement of the basis for the session before they go into a closed session. Obviously, none of these things happened at the council meeting in question.
Any other (non-emergency) items for a closed session MUST be on the agenda. Period. It’s a basic part of the Brown Act.
WHAT WAS RIVERSIDE’S POLICE OFFICER ASSOCIATION/UNION (RPOA) PRESIDENT BRIAN SMITH AND VICE PRESIDENT AURELIO MELENDREZ TRYING TO SAY? WERE THEY THE PERPETRATORS BEHIND THE EXPENSIVE TAXPAYER PAID COMPLAINT AGAINST ONE COUNCILMAN? WAS THIS AN ATTEMPT TO MUSCLE A MOVE WITH THE HELP OF TAXPAYER MONEY AGAINST ONE COUNCILMAN? THEREFORE WHAT WAS THE MO?
IS DOING THE WORK OF THE CITIZENS OF RIVERSIDE AGAINST CITY POLICY?
BIAN SMITH, PRESIDENT OF RPOA AURELIO MELENDREZ, VICE PRESIDENT OF RPOA
June 17, 2014 City Council: Public
Brian Smith, RPOA President
What was the RPOA talking about? Mike Soubirous? They appear to admit they were involved with this complaint, it couldn’t be more obvious.
Brian Smith, President of the Riverside Officers Association at City Council June 17, 2014:
Several months ago I had a conversation with a council member, ahh, which brought me some concern. Ahh, I brought that information back to some members within the City. The Department head and City Manager, ahh, it was then brought to the then Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem, and a decision was made to conduct an investigation. You authorized an investigation to be done, and I’m here to address a couple things that I believe are rumors, so, I’m not a huge fan of rumors, innuendo and supposition, so I’m going to ask you to do a couple things.
An investigation was conducted. To my understanding, the party of that investigation aside from myself as a witness, has not yet participated in the investigation, whether it be in writing or otherwise. And I think that should be done.
Secondly, my understanding is that some members want to see a summary of the investigation. And I don’t think that’s fair. Not only to me, but it’s also not fair to you as a council and it’s not fair to the citizens as a whole. I would ask that you look into that, completely and thoroughly, don’t just take a summary. A lot of time and effort was put into that investigation. There’s an actual transcription of everyone’s interview, and I think that it is important that you get that interview, and that you read through each and every one of those, and make that decision.
I also think that if you as a council decide, after reviewing that, that it’s a matter of public record and public comment, I think it should be done. I think that publicly they should be able to.. the public should know what you’ve decided to do and what things, allegations have been made.
I also think that councilmember deserves the right to answer, to what I said, happened. I think he is entitled to that, and he should… And I think that he wants the opportunity to do that, and I think that it is the best thing, for all of us concerned, both myself, the city as a whole, the public, and those of you that are seated here.
You are the centuries at the gate, it is your responsibility to police yourselves, and conduct yourself in a manner that is appropriate. If somebody has brought forth an allegation of inappropriate behavior, it needs to be investigated, it needs to be looked into, and ultimately a decision made. And that’s.. I’m here to answer any questions that you may have, I doubt there will be any, but you all know how to get a hold of me, if need be.
Aurelio Melendrez, Vice President of the Riverside Officers Association at City Council June 17, 2014:
Good evening, I’m Brian’s vice president with the Riverside Police Officers Association. My Biggest concern, that’s come out of this, is that, for any of you that have been for any longer than four years. You remember what it was like when we had city government that over reached their bounds, stuck there hands in department heads business that didn’t belong there. I want to make sure for the sake of transparency, just like this councilman has asked for, that we put it out there for everybody to see. Brian, me, all of us at the association want to make sure our organization is protected.. we don’t want to go backwards, we’re trying to go forward.
Sergio Diaz recently had an incident, first thing he did was sign away his right to privacy, and he shared his complaint openly, he took ownership of what he did, and I want to make sure this person does the same.. Thank-you.
Does Melendrez appears to conceive that RPD is an independent “organization” as stated at City Council? An organization (or organisation) is an entity, such as an institution or an association, that has a collective goal and is linked to an external environment. Has Riverside’s finest lost there way? Concerned citizens and local community groups in Riverside say Yes! RPD needs to be more community orientated and needs to stop thinking they are an independent external entity.
What is it between Council and RPD? According to Melendrez, there was a time that city government “overreached there bounds”, and stuck there hands in department heads business that didn’t belong there. What was meant by that? Were they talking about Councilman Adams interfering with the promotion process? Or was it our City Attorney Greg Priamos, with his embroidered bullet proof vest, which states “City Attorney,” involved with the raid on the Vibe club in Riverside? Or is it simply by Chiefs Diaz’s standard, that people should simply stay out of police business and stay at home eating cheetos in their underwear? Is he saying they should be independent? Is Riverside a
dicktatorship? Sorry, a dictatorship as many in our residential communities are expressing? Who would then in the City be authorized to ask questions regarding police business? Incidentally, Aurelio Melendrez is the son of current Ward 2 Councilman Andy Melendrez..
Is the focus of Smith’s and Melendrez’s complaint directed possibly toward Councilman Mike Soubirous, the only independent voice on the Council? A complaint against Soubirous is a complaint against Ward 3 constituents who we are told respect their hard working Councilman. Since Aurelio is the son of Councilman Andy Melendrez, can we believe there may be some conflict of interest at hand due to his familial connection?
What those two officers need to know is that Councilman Soubirous is their boss.
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
We asked the question if this whole investigation is politically motivated because the City supported Valerie Hill rather than Soubirous. Another interesting point regarding this mailer is that it was paid for by the Riverside Police Officer’s Association as indicated by the red arrow. According to a new article in the Press Enterprise, Soubirous continues to say he believes the investigation is politically motivated because the police union backed his opponent in the election, and because he has questioned police department actions and policies since taking office. Is this becoming a issue of Piss Poor Politics?
Why did City Manager Scott Barber walk out right before Riverside Police Officers Association/ Union President Brian Smith came to the podium? Was he disturbed that Smith made public, something that shouldn’t have been public?
Second Councilman Paul Davis, is also up against a Human Resource Complaint for a similar presmise… Doing the work of the people has it drawbacks..it certainly seems you will get political blowback for asking question.
When did that become so bad, is it only in Riverside? The ultimate question they should be asking and concerned about is what is really going to happen to Police Officer Pensions in 2016? That should be of concern. Maybe Brian and Aurelio should realize that the way the City of Riverside has done business, will impact their jobs. For one thing they should understand where pension monies have gone, there will be n money t sue the city if need be. They need to do a little bit of investigative work themselves, in order to uncover how their pension monies have been used. The following is a response by Riverside Police Officers Association President Brian Smith to Thirty Miles of Corruption.
6/20/14: To: THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM
Interesting to read your take on what the rpoa was “saying” at the council meeting. Perhaps a little investigating on your part you’d find a councilman likely violated the Brown Act…intimated that the city manager and chief of police jobs were in jeopardy. ..and a myriad of other things..
You may also uncover during your investigation that the complaint was actually filed by city employees and not the union. In fact, the union was interviewed as a witness only.
The fact of the matter is this particular councilman needs to stop campaigning and start governing!
Feel free to contact me, after you have done a little investigation on your own.
Brian C Smith
TMC’s response to Brian Smith’s email response..
6/20/14: To: BRIAN SMITH, PRESIDENT OF RPOA
I do appreciate your email response regarding the one councilman who allegedly violated the Brown Act. With all due respect, myself and the citizens of Riverside have a great appreciation for our Police force and the excellent work they do for our community. For some reason, many find it difficult to forward constructive criticism regarding The Riverside Police Force, because it seems when we are responded to, we are disregarded and not taken seriously.
I’d like more than anything to clean this possible misconception up. I will definitely make it right with regards to your conception of spin. Spin is not good, it only makes us dizzy about the reality of true events. I’d like to ask you some questions to clear this up. Regarding this one councilman, “What part of the Brown Act did he specifically violate?”
As taxpayers we spent approximately 100K to ask a question (50K for the investigation and 50K for the law firm), we are still waiting for the 100K question to be answered. Wouldn’t it have been frugal for city employees to file an ethics complaint? Which would be free.
In your email to me you stated that, “You may also uncover during your investigation that the complaint was actually filed by city employees and not the union.” I realize that only employees of the City of Riverside can initiate this complaint. Were you one of the employees at the time that initiated this complaint? Were the employees City Manager Scott Barber and Police Chief Diaz?
Could you clear up the statements made at City Council June 17, 2014, whereby you stated that “Several months ago I had a conversation with a council member, which brought me some concern. I brought that information back to some members within the City. Department head and City Manager, it was then brought to Mayor Pro Temp and Mayor.” Could you clarify this statement.
Also, you stated, “I also think that councilmember should have a right to answer to what I said, happen. I think he is entitled to that.” Could you clarify this statement.
At one time you were under Chris Lanzillo, who was president of RPOA, could you express any premonition yet to come regarding his behavior with reference to his alleged alliances with Lackie, Dammeier & McGill?
At some point in time did you feel that some in RPD were entitled to personal use of city vehicles? Could you give us some insight regarding allegation of Councilman Steve Adams and interfering with the promotional process? When you were Vice President and Chris Lanzillo was President of the RPOA, could you give us some insight in reference to the Cop Playbook? Lastly, is this a concerted effort on part of the City to remove certain council people due to politics?
Again, thank-you for contacting us.
All the best, Javier Moreno
UPDATE: JUNE,22,2014: FROM THE DESK OF ATTORNEY LETITIA PEPPER: NEW RULES WHEREBY SPEAKER CARDS MUST BE TURNED IN ADVANCE.
To: K Wright, Colleen, Sherry Morton-Ellis, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Chris MacArthur, Mike Gardner, Paul Davis, Rusty Bailey, Steve Adams, email@example.com, Greg Priamos
Cc: Kevin Dawson, Gurumantra Khalsa
Re: The Recent Rule that All Speaker Cards Must Be Turned in Advance of the Public Comment Period Appears to Be Unconstitutional.
Honorable Mayor, City Council Members, City Attorney Priamos and City Manager Scott Barber:
I was present, as was Kevin Dawson and a few other people, when, as Karen Wright walked to turn in a speaker card during the on-going public comment period, she was specifically singled out by Mayor Bailey by name, and told that her card would not be accepted because it was turned in too late.
I had already intended to send you a letter about this event, but since Karen Wright copied me with her e-mail, I’ll provide my comments instead by e-mail.
Free speech is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed to us by both the stet and federal constitutions. Any time the government takes action that impairs a fundamental right, it must have a compelling reason to do so, and it must use the least intrusive means possible to accomplish its alleged goal.
Here, the right at stake is the First Amendment (and concomitant but more protective state constitutional article) right of political speech. This right includes the right to comment on the government’s actions in a specifically forum designed for such purpose, the public comment section, as well as the period for public comment after each agenda item. This relatively new rule requires that all speaker cards for each such period all be turned in before the agenda item has been called.
As explained below, this rule appears to be unconstitutional, and I ask that the City Council promptly rescind such rule and return to the original method of letting people turn in speaker cards up until the final comment for each period has concluded.
The background for my conclusion that the new rule is unconstitutional follows. If the City Attorney advises you to the contrary, please remember that this is the same attorney who told you that “moratoriums are illegal” (as you know, we currently have a moratorium on the issuance of building permits) and the same attorney who advised Mayor Bailey that arresting me for applauding was a perfectly good solution to — what? What problem was the applause causing? But I digress.
In the past, the citizens of Riverside were able to comment on various items simply by lining up along the walls and waiting their turn as each agenda item was called. They did not need to fill out speaker cards. The citizens, not the government, decided on the order in which they would speak. The citizens could listen to their fellow citizens speak, and then decide that they, too, wanted to comment — and then get up and join the line to add their comments, too. Legally, no one was required, as a condition of being allowed to speak, to give an name or an address, or any other information, including whether they favored or disfavored an item.
But under Ronald Loveridge, that clever political scientist, this was changed. Speaker cards were required, as well as the speakers supposed stand on an item. This changed the balance of power. The government could control the order of speakers. It could group those in favor or opposed together, and let one group or the other speaker first or last. The government could make sure that a strong speaker that supported the position of the government would be the final speaker. I personally saw these things happen over the years.
Although legally the government cannot require people to give a name, address or other information as a condition of speaking, the average person does not know this. So some people choose not to speak up because they do not want to share such information. I have seen this happen, too, when people, like me, who have used medial marijuana with great success, could share how much it has helped them, but are afraid to do so because of the potential ramifications such use could have on them because of the irrationnal laws that still exist making such use illegal or grounds for losing employment.
I have personally witnessed all these uses of the speaker card system to give the government an “edge” over public speech. This new rule is simply another attempt to let the government have unnecessary control over free speech.
Now, the rationale is that letting people turn in speaker cards during the meeting is somehow “disruptive.” It is not disruptive. It was never disruptive in the past for people to turn in cards during the meeting. I, and others, saw this happen for many years, with no problems.
Even court rooms function in this way, with people able to approach to bailiff or court room clerk, while court is in session and the judge is listening to other people, in order to quietly conduct other business unrelated to the event then taking place before the judge.
So walking up to the front corner of the room to slip a speaker card into the receptacle, while someone else is at the podium speaking, is simply not so disruptive as to justify depriving anyone (even Karen Wright, who it’s clear is one of the City’s “disfavored” speakers) of the fundamental right of free political speech.
Requiring anyone who wishes to speak to turn in a speaker card at any time before the very end of the period for such speech is not the least intrusive way of solving the alleged problem of “disruption.” There was no disruption caused by handling things in the prior way.
Again, I ask that the City Council take a stand and represent its constituents by protecting their right to engage in the fundametnal constitutional right of political speech without unwarranted intrusion and interference by their government.
Letitia E. Pepper
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 THE ACLU. RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS.. TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVLY EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE (WE BELIEVE THIS WILL END SOON, SINCE THE FOCUS IS NOW ON THE IMPROPRIETIES OF MR. “Z”, WE TRIED TO TELL YOU, BUT NOBODY LISTENED), AND DON’T FORGET WE ARE PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… A STRATEGIC LEGAL MANEUVER THAT CAN BE DONE ONLY IN RIVERSIDE WITHOUT A CONTRACT, 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 SPELL CHECKERS! WE JUST CAN’T SPELL! EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT BY CONTACTING US AT: THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM