Posts Tagged ‘riverside city council’

 MR. CHIANG,…MR. CHIANG!  OK, SLOWLY TELL HIM AGAIN ABOUT THE FIRE STATIONS, JUST LEAVE OUT THE MONEY PART..

Don’t miss next weeks City Council Tuesday, April 3, 2012.  Let the fireworks begin, don’t forget to bring your popcorn and peanuts…

THE BIG ISSUE LAST WEEK WAS THE ISSUANCE OF A $4 MILLION DOLLAR FROM PINNACLE FINANCING, AND USING SIX FIRE STATIONS FOR COLATERAL.  THERE ASSESSED VALUE ACCORDING TO THE CITY IS $4MILLION DOLLARS.  ONE OF THE FIRE STATIONS, THE CAYNON CREST FIRE STATION #14 ALONE WAS VALUED AND COSTED THE TAXPAYER $4,812,684.00 ACCORDING TO CITY RECORDS.  THE DETAILS CAN BE SEEN IN LAST WEEKS BLOG POSTING BELOW. WELL IT APPEARS THAT IT ‘S ONLY BEGINNING.  LAST WEEK, STATE CONTROLLER JOHN CHIANG’S OFFICE SAYS THAT THE CITY IMPROPERLY CLAIMED ANIMAL SERVICES REIMBURSEMENTS THEREFORE OWING THE STATE THE SUM OF $500,239.00 

CITY COUNCIL TUESDAY IS HERE,  CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS.  

Afternoon session, Item #2 Seizing Our Destiny/ Economic Development Plan with regards to an overview of foreclosure conditions and programs to address the foreclosure crisis.  It’s great to see the city finally addressing the problem that they have been in denial about.

Closed session, Item #6 Existing Litigation of the Bonaminio Family against the City of Riverside.

Closed session, Item #7 Conference with Labor Negotiators representing City Employees.

Evening session, Item # 14 Mayor Loveridge’s Campaign to promote, attract and retain individuals and families to live in Riverside.  I’m glad they are acknowledging this, this is multi concern issue with regarding many residents leaving the city.

Evening session, Item #26 City of Riveriside takes control of Municipal Parking Facilities.  The city now has the right to control rules, conditions and rates to parking.

Evening session, Item #27 Adoption of the draft recognized obligation payment schedule for the fomer redevelopment agency.  Funding for the obligations will come from bond funds, cash on hand and from the Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund (RPTF).

Evening session, Item #38 the City Council as Successor Agency to the former defunct Redeveloment Agency, the City of Riverside is now responsible for winding down the affairs of the Agency which includes disposition of assets and properties.

WEEKLY UPDATE:

LAST WEEK, SELF APPOINTED CITIZEN AUDITOR VIVIAN MORENO GIVES CITY COUNCIL A MATH LESSON IN MUNICIPAL FINANCING 101, AT EVENING COUNCIL SESSION.

 THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE IS OVER $35 MILLION IN RED CURRENT YEAR TO DATE IN THE GENERAL FUND.  IN THE ENTERPRISE FUND (UTILITIES) CURRENT YEAR TO DATE WE ARE OVER $15 MILLION IN THE RED.  THE CITIES EXPENSES ARE MORE THAN THE REVENUE’S BROUGHT IN. SHE REFERRED TO TWO CURRENT DOCUMENTS ONE FROM THE GENERAL FUND AND THE OTHE FROM THE ENTERPRISE FUND.

  

At times these wars have led to acrimonious exchanges between the two sides; at other times the exchanges have been more genteel. There have even been recent attempts at truces and fudges. But an end to the Math Wars is not in sight nor, I believe, should it be because the essential issues are too important and the essential positions of the two sides are so far from each other that what is needed is victory for one side, not a pale compromise that, in the long run, would not be good for anyone.   – Anthony Ralston

AFTERNOON COUNCIL SESSION:

THE ISSUE OF PINNACLE FINANCING:

Regarding the $4 million loan for Tequesquite Park, Councilman Mike Gardner ask City Attorney Gregory Priamos if he needs to recuse himself since his fathers property is across the street from the planned Tequesquite Park.  If this is true, would Councilman Gardner have had to recuse himself from other issues of Tequesquite Park of which he voted on?

Self Appointed Citizen Auditor Vivian Moreno question the documentation for Tequesquite Park which states that the six fire stations are equal to the $4 million.  “That can’t possibly be right, these six stations have to be worth over $50 million”!  “If you divide $4 million by the 6 fire stations you get $666,666.66.  Your telling me that a fire station is only worth $666,666.66″?   She went on to inform the council that first payment of $233,557.52 is due March 15, 2012 and second one of $233,557.52 is due September 15.  She mentioned that last year in March 2011 the city of riverside accidently comingled the general fund with money from Redevelopment, and actually believed the city did this because there was no money in the general fund.   If there is absolutely no money in March in the general fund, how can we pay $233,557.52   She said that in September 2011 we only had $9 million dollars in the general fund.  It takes 13 to 16 million a month to run this city and we are already negative $4 million.  My concern is when we get this park funded, it will also cost $400,000.00 to cut the grass ( the yearly cost to maintain the park), and if we have to lay off 12 police officers to fund this I think this would be a disgrace to Officer Ryan Bonaminio’s name.

DOCUMENT REFLECTING COMINGLING OF STATE REDEVELOPMENT FUNDS WITH THE CITY’S GENERAL FUND.

City of Riverside Mayoral Candidate, Dvonne Pitruzzello said, “There is something very wrong here.  I’m not sure if you see it,  at least Pinnacle relalized the risk of loaning $4million.  Of course they wanted to have properties of exceptionality.  At least Pinnacle could see the risk with the city by requesting six fire stations for a 4million loan. Why can’t we do a $15 million dollar loan as we do with our developer, Mark Rubin.  We are $4.4 billion in debt over 30 years, all you have to do is read the CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) Ms. Graham, you will see it, add up all the bonds and add up all the debt.  You can see we cannot afford this.  By doing this we will risk our police officers.  Because of the lack of revenue, she said that Councilman Adams stated a couple of weeks ago, that if we were to call for a police officer, if we needed one, they won’t be available”.

CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S TOTAL AGGREGATE DEBT WHICH TOTALS TO $4.4 BILLION

Just as the previous speakers, I’m concerned we putting to much collateral for $4 million.  You are placing six firestations at risk because of our financial status.

You have grossly undervalued those firestations.  You have $4 billion in debt, but you vote yes when you don’t know what your voting on because you don’t read the back up for these issues.

After the vote 7-0 Andy Melendrez asked Assisstant Finance Director Bret Mason about the $4 billion dollars in debt mentioned by public comment speakers, and asked for an explanation from assistant finance director Scott Bret.  Does the council continue to be oblivious to these figures whereby citizens are aware those figures from public records?  Mr. Mason answers Councilman question of the specifics of that $4 billion dollar number by stating,’ it’s  the number that is touted’.  The 4 billion debt number is a number that is the sum total of all payments due over 30 years from Redevelopment and the General Fund, I can’t confirm the number, but it is a ‘high number like that”, referring to the $4.4 million debt.  The city has never defaulted on a payment, and the city has a good credit rating.

According Assistant Finance Director Scott Catlett, it appears that public property such as fire stations are not worth as much to banks when used as collateral. It looks as if they look at the ‘insured value”.   It would therefore appear to be bad deal, because banks view the properties as a ‘re-use value’ based on a third party appraisal, which answers the question of why the assessed value of the six stations came to only $4 million.  It would appear to be a bad deal all around, why would the city get into a bad deal and risk our fire stations?  Maybe the answer is they voted first and asked the questions later.

If we don’t pass for the $4 million loan, we will have to use our General Fund, this is because of the Redevelopment, we therefore now are utilizing the General Funds for such items as code etc.

PUBLIC SPEAKING:

“Oh, Seriously”!  Rebecca Ludwig almost receives a police escort for going over the 3 minute mark.. Ms. Ludwig also uses a walker.. The last time a public speaker was physically removed was back in 2005 when Marjorie Van Pole when she complained on the reduction in public comment time from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.

              

TMC would like to recommend to City Attorney Gregory Priamos a trap door scenerio to be installed in front of the podium.  If public comment speakers know ahead of time that the bottom will fall out from them 5 seconds after the 3 minute mark, we believe there would be full compliance with the rule.  The trap door can be connected to a timer, therefore an unruly public speaker that does fall cannot blame anybody up on the dais for pressing the button.

“First of all, I have brought my timer, because I have no intention in seeing our police officers used for any other purpose than public safety, I will not allow them to resort to being ‘bouncers” if I exceed the time”.. I think that the two officers are to professional to be use in this manner.

I will like to help Bret Mason know what that really big number, if you don’t actually know what that number is,  it is in the CAFR.  If you don’t know what it is, I can help.  Bret Mason if you need help looking at the CAFR, I would be more than happy to sit down and help you.  By the way Councilman Chris Mac Arthur, your aid called us ‘idiots’, and by far we are not ‘idiots’, we are helping you.

EVENING COUNCIL SESSION:

Former Deputy City of Riverside Attorney Raychele Sterling commented on the Human Resource Department.  I’m going to be an advocate for those employees because of the horrible work environment they are working in, this department is completely out of control.  I don’t know if the council is aware, that Former City Manager Brad Hudson hired a private detective to follow me.  He used the tax dollars your hard working constituents to follow the mommy in the minivan, spy on my 8 year old daughter, spy on my 4 year autistic daughter while I took her to the doctor,  just to placate his complete paranoia.  This is what your constituents payed thousand of dollars for, and this continues to go on.  Unfortunatley for the detective that was tailing me, I probably was pretty boring, and not nearly as exciting as Brad and his buddy’s would be, because I don’t go to strip clubs, I don’t go to bars, and get so drunk that I crash city vehicles and step out of vehicle wetting my pants.  Councilman Bailey, how would you feel as a father if some creep was following you, or following Judy and your beautiful girls.. This goes on and it continues to go on.  Your Human Resource Department is non existent.  You are waisting your constituents money, because you have paranoid people in management.  They are a liability to you. You have employees right now that continue to experience discrimination and retaliation  Mr. Barber is aware of this, I know he’s been advised.   Mr. Barber used to be a good man, I used to have alot of respect for him, because he once told me that he would never ever mistreat his staff, the way that Brad Hudson mistreated the employees of this city, I don’t know where that man went, but in my book I call that a hypocrite.  You need to spend your money on other things rather than tailing mommy’s in minivans.

Truth Publication Editor, Salvador Santana spoke regarding an un named group of people who have been in violation of public comment speaking rules.  He made mention that this group is consistently showing a great lack of respect for the dais and other speakers, and to him it looks like a conspiracy.  He stated that this group is provokingly go over the 3 minute rule.  Having disrespect for the mayor and the chief of police.  Stated that, “it is interesting to observe that those rule breakers have an anti-establishment agenda attacking the government and the police department no matter what”.   Quoted Councilman Paul Davis, and state he declared to the Truth Publication On line, “I do agree, some of the speakers at City Council are getting out of control, I believe in freedom of speech, but when the disrespect the rules of decorum they are going to far”.  Lets speak about the good side once in a while.

TICKETING BUSINESS’S ON STREET SWEEPING WEDNESDAY:

Last Wednesday was infamous street sweeping day in our local neighborhood.  A landscaper had just finished his work and was loading up his truck, then I saw the parking nazi park behind him.  They continued to pack up there truck not paying any real attention, I believe since they were doing nothing wrong.  In the vehicle the parking nazi had already began to write them a ticket.  She came out of the car and handed it to one of the two landscapers.  No warning, she clearly saw they were a business, but still gave them a ticket.  Did not want to get to close to this activity, did not want to chance getting a ticket for ‘loitering’.  This is a true indication that Riverside continues not to be business friendly.  I would have to warn business’s such as FedEx, UPS, Sears Repair Service, Plumbers probably the US Postal truck to be aware that you will receive a ticket even if you are in our neigborhood for delivery or called upon legitimately by a resident for services.  The PE reports of residents trying to move their vehicles from the street before the street sweeper arrived, don’t bother you’ll get one anyway.  In Dan Bersteins article the street sweeper runs a stop sign, in our neighborhood the street sweeper followed the law and stopped before going ahead.  I also noticed the street sweeper now going slower.  In our neighborhood the street sweeper with the parking nazi in tow is more of a bi-monthly annoyance, than a service benefit.

   

Ahh, A welcome sign to the city of Riverside…

UPDATE ON STREETSWEEPING:04/04/2012: I’m embarrassed to say that this time the landscaper made arrangements with the homeowner to park his vehicle in the driveway so he wouldn’t be ticketed again.  I’ve also made mention to FedEx, UPS, Pool Cleaners, Sears and other landscapers etc. that they will be ticketed on certain street sweeping days.  This day the street sweeper went down our street three times, once on our side, and twice on the opposite side, with the parking nazi trailing closely behind.

UPDATE ON STREETSWEEPING:04/19/2012: The same landscaper decided that is was just to much trouble to come into the area on Wednesday’s taking another chance of being ticketed, he made arrangements with the owner to come on Thursday’s.  Good job City of Riverside, was is worth the $41 dollars for bad publicity?

JUST FOR LAUGHS!!!!!!!!!!

CITY COUNCIL UPDATE: 8:30 PM:

CITY COUNCIL DISTURBANCE: ALTERCATION BETWEEN A CAMERMAN AND TRUTH PUBLICATION EDITOR SALVADOR SANTANA ENDING WITH THE TWO PHYSICALLY ESCORTED OUT OF COUNCIL CHAMBER, TO BE INTERVIEWED BY RIVERSIDE POLICE OFFICERS.   INITIALLY THERE WAS AN ATTEMPT TO REACH TOWARD THE PHOTOGRAPHER, THE PHOTOGRAPHER RETRIEVED BACK.  THER WAS SECOND ATTEMPT BY SANTANA TO GRAB THE CAMERA FROM THE CAMERAMAN, WHAT ENSUED THEN WAS A STRUGGLE.  WITNESSES STATE SEEING SANTANA MAKING A REMARK TOWARD THE CAMERAMAN AFTER HIS PUBLIC SPEAKING.  NO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT CHARGES WERE FILED BY THE CAMERAMAN OR THE RIVERSIDE POLICE DEPARTMENT AGAINST SANTANA.   EARLIER SANTANA SPOKE AT THE PODIUM REGARDING HIS CONCERN OF CITY FINANCES, EVEN GOING TO THE HOME OF ASSISTANT FINANCE DIRECTOR BRET MASON AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING JUST TO DISCUSS THS ISSUE.  I CAN’T SEE THAT HAPPENING AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING, THIS IS A BIT DISTURBING TO ME, BUT THAT’S WHAT HE SAID.  NO COMMENT HAS YET BEEN ATTAINED FROM MASON REGARDING THIS EARLY MORNING VISIT.  DURING THE COOL DOWN PERIOD, SANTANA WAS SEEN SPEAKING TO COUNCILMAN GARDNER, THEN SEEN SPEAKING WITH COUNCILMAN ANDY MELENDREZ FOR A SUSTAINABLE TIME IN THE ENCLOSED CITY HALL AREA.  ONE POLICE OFFICER WAS SEEN SPEAKING AT LENGTH TO SOME ONE IN CHARGE REGARDING THIS ISSUE FROM A CELL PHONE.  SOURCES STATE SANTANA HAS A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH CHIEF OF POLICE SERGIO DIAZ.  TWO WEEKS AGO, COUNCIL CHAMBERS ALSO SAW THE OUTBURST OF BEHAVIOR BY THE CHIEF OF POLICE SERGIO DIAZ TOWARD SOME PUBLIC COMMENT SPEAKERS, CALLING THEM EPITAPHS SUCH AS “HORRIBLE”, “DISRESPECTFUL”, “YOU HATE THE POLICE” AND “I DON’T LIKE YOU.”  ACCORDING TO HIS BLOG SIT, THE TRUTH PUBLICATION, SANTANA CLAIMS BEING ESCORTED BY POLICE OFFICERS TO HIS HOME ON ACCOUNT OF BEING HARASSED.  MOST OF THE TIME SANTANA WAS WITH AN OFFICER, OR TALKING WITH ONE OF THE COUNCILMEN; DURING THIS TIME NO INDICATION OF HARASSMENT OR SHOUTING BY ANY INDIVIDUALS WERE OBSERVED.

 

FORMER CITY OF RIVERSIDE DEPUTY ATTORNEY RAYCHELE STERLING THROUGH PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST ACT FINDS CITY OF RIVERSIDE SPENT $88,000.00 FOR A PRIVATE DETECTIVE TO TAIL HER AND HER CHILDREN.  IN ADDITION TO THE $150,000.00 SPENT BY FORMER CITY MANAGER BRAD HUDSON TO A LAW FIRM TO INVESTIGATE HIMSELF, FOR A TOTAL EXPENDITURE OF $230,000.00   STERLING REFERS TO THOSE IN CHARGE, COUNCIL AND MAYOR,  AS THE “BOBBLE HEAD BRIGADE”.

COUNCILMAN AND MAYORAL CANDIDATE ANDY MELENDEZ’S MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE SERAF PAYMENT OF $3.4 MILLION REMOVAL FROM THE LOW INCOME HOUSING FUND BECOMES EVIDENT.  A FINDING WAS MADE, BUT NO REPORTABLE DOCUMENTATION OF A JUSTIFICATION WAS EVIDENT FOR THE APPROVED TRANSFER.

MAYORAL CANDIDATE TO REQUEST PUBLIC RECORDS IN CONNECTION TO THE OFFICE OF CITY ATTORNEY EXPENDITURES.  ALLEGATIONS HAVE BEEN RAISED OF NEGLIGENT SPENDING AND BEHAVIOR, SUCH AS PRIAMOS USING HIS SECRETORY TO DECORATE HIS HOME, PLAYING GOLF WITH HIS SUPERVISORS AND FORMER POLICE CHIEF RUSSELL LEACH AND FORMER EMPLOYEE KATHY GONZALEZ.  QUESTIONS REGARDING HER POSITION AS ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY AT THE TIME OF HER DEATH, BUT RECEIVING THE MAXIMUM ON THE PAYSCALE OF $120,000.00 ASSOCIATED WITH THE TITLE OF DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY.  THE QUESTION POSED TOWARD CITY ATTORNEY GREGORY PRIAMOS WAS DOES HE KNOW THE MEANING OF THE TERM, ‘INSURANCE FRAUD’?

TMC WELCOMES NEWEST BLOGGER TO THE COMMUNITY, CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER.  BARBER RECOMMENDS TO THE COUNCIL TO PLACE A BLOG FOR THE COMMUNITY TO ASK QUESTIONS.  QUESTIONS ABOUND OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF INTEROFFICE DATING AS RUMORED OF BARBER WITHOUT A LOVE CONTRACT.

NO SIGHT OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER PAUL SUNDEEN THIS WEEK.

THE CASE OF SGT. VALMONT GRAHAM HAS BEEN RUMORED TO HAVE BEEN SETTLED OUT OF COURT.  CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE RICHARD ROTH, ALSO HIRED TO REPRESENT THE CITY AGAINST GRAHAM’S ALLEGATIONS OF RACISM WITH THE RIVERSIDE POLICE DEPARTMENT.  INCIDENTLY ENDORSED BY MAYOR LOVERIDGE.   CINDY ROTH, PRESIDENT/CEO OF THE GREATER RIVERSIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS ALSO INCIDENTLY SUPPORTED WITH FINANCIAL DONATIONS BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE.

LA ENDS RED LIGHT CAMERA’S! CBS INVESTIGATION FOUND ACCIDENTS WENT UP.  COUNCILMAN STATES FINES WERE EXCESSIVE.  THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE CONTINUES TO ENDORSE AND SUPPORT A RED LIGHT PROGRAM IN LIEU OF THE EXPENSE AND STUDIES OF NO BENEFIT.

TMC ENDORSES DVONNE PITRUZZELLO FOR CITY OF RIVERSIDE MAYOR

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!   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 

Who’s driving this thing? Steve, put a little elbow grease in that crane.  Greg what do you mean we dropped the case, we’re making a killing out here in container fees!

According to the City of Riverside, this was all about the increase in train traffic running through the City and causing an increased level of pollution.  But, after three court rulings against the City of Riverside, they decided not to continue to hold the Port of Long Beach hostage for hopes of receiving a container fee ransom.  Why did the City sue?   Were they running out of money?  The container fees were to be used for newly constructed underpasses allowing local traffic not to be disrupted.  But awhile back, the city could have also considered the idea of re-routing the cargo trains closer to
the Santa Ana River as many had suggested, considering the port was expanding and local traffic in and around the city would increase.  But it appeared it was never seriously considered.

Mayor Ron Loveridge did take notice of the repercussions of the law suit,  when he stated, “I think it is time for us to join the region (in) working on enhancing the two ports.   Our lawsuits were slowing that down.”  Slowing things down, why did the city initiate it in the first place?  Did the city  think it was all quite frivolous to began with?   Well in reality, maybe these cases were just frivolous, and in the terminology City Attorney Greg Priamos would use, the lawsuits  “have no merit.”  But Riverside Councilman Steve Adams, a major proponent of the lawsuits, said he doesn’t see dropping them as
a sign of failure. He said the city’s approach showed other agencies the seriousness of the problem and got them to listen. He now is working on a national strategy that would include a container fee charged at all U.S ports.  Suing the ports, Adams said, “was the right thing to do at the right time, and this is the right thing to do now.”  So now it’s not a local issue,  looks as Steve is now  working on a national strategy for adding a container fee, which will probably be added to the final cost of goods to the consumer.

The cost to the taxpayer has also come into question.  City Attorney Greg Priamos estimated the city spent between $350,000 and $450,000 on outside legal counsel.  Could it be Best Best & Krieger?  He also stated that a considerable amount of staff time was dedicated to the case, though he declined to put a dollar figure on the in-house work.   Possibly “attorney client privilege” scenario?   Thanks Greg!  Was it about $350,000.00, or was it $450,000.00?  I just don’t remember because I can’t read a ledger book, or because I and my outside legal counsel, BB&K,  appear not to need no stinkin contracts?  Contracts you say, well my friends contracts just do not exist in Emerald City with BB&K, but it allegedly appears as if verbal bilateral one does.  Well, what the heck, plus or minus a $100,000, what’s the big deal?  It’s not my money.   That’s transparency for you.  But we did manage to find a signed agreement between City Attorney Greg Priamos and Grover Trask, ex Riverside County District Attorney now working for BB&K,  when they needed representation for Chief Russell Leach.  There is no doubt this is simply and purely negligence of these public servants fiduciary duty to the tax payer, not to mention the unknown additional cost to the taxpayer on in-house staff time.

“I think it was three strikes and we’re out,” Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge said Thursday.  Well your right Mayor,  it’s just a ball game,  0 for the Taxpayer, 1 for BB&K somewhere around $350K  to $450K.  Didn’t the City  know what kind of pitcher they were dealing with when they couldn’t even get to first base?

LETTER WRITTEN BY JOHN HUSING & BOB WOLF TO THE EDITORS OF NEWS AGENCIES:

Editor:

In filing a misguided lawsuit aimed at stopping expansion at the Port of Long Beach, Riverside’s City Council has taken direct aim at the health of one of the Inland Empire’s primary blue collar job generators:  international trade and logistics.  After adding 76,200 jobs from 1990-2007, the sector has lost 7,900 in 2008-2009, largely due to falling imports through our ports, much of which is processed by inland warehousing workers.  Some of this decline will be permanent because national retailers are now diverting shipments elsewhere due to the constant lawsuits that make our ports a
decision-making disaster zone.  In just two years, the ports have lost 4% of their U.S. market.  Riverside is contributing to the chaos.

This is strange behavior from a city where 2008 Census data show one of 12 resident-workers is employed in logistics, and where 10,200 of the city’s fourth quarter 2008 jobs were in it, with a payroll of $449 million and workers averaging $43,800 a year.  These jobs could grow because the port slowdown has left 18.7% of the city’s industrial space empty.  They are badly needed jobs given that 46.3% of the city’s adults and 47.8% of those in Riverside County have not had a single college class.  Where else will this population get decent jobs with construction and manufacturing in deep trouble and service sector jobs like retailing, restaurant and hotel work paying at or near the minimum wage.

Why would the City Council do this?  Clearly, they are frustrated by the railroads bringing international cargo through the city and clogging its 26 at-grade track crossings.  They want money to build overpasses and apparently thought that throwing a punch at the ports would gain attention.  But, even if the lawsuit wins, there is no port funding to pay for off-port projects. At this writing, Riverside’s suit is the only obstacle to the Port of Long Beach starting construction on a long delayed Middle Harbor Project that will employ 10,000 man-years of construction workers and  permanently create 14,000 workers while also significantly improving Southern California’s environment.  Riverside has, in effect, become the principal barrier to a major environmental and green job effort.

Instead, the City Council is turning a city known for fostering regional cooperation, into a Southern California pariah.  To cite just one likely result:  In 2008, Senator Lowenthal of Long Beach tried to get funding for the off-port infrastructure construction that Riverside wants with a bill levying a fee on ocean containers.  Recognizing Riverside’s key needs, Lowenthal’s bill (SB 974) created a commission that would have overseen the funding with a seat specifically designated for the city of Riverside.  The bill passed but was unfortunately vetoed by the Governor.  He plans to reintroduce
it once a new Governor is elected.  But, why would he continue to help Riverside given the current attitude of its City Council towards his hometown?

Recently, Geraldine Knatz, director of the Port of Los Angeles, met with Riverside Council Members to try and gain Riverside’s cooperation by proposing that the city drop the lawsuit and the ports join hands in getting the Obama Administration to use its stimulus funds for city rail crossing projects.  Her bid was rejected out of hand.

For those of us who have worked hard and have successfully gained the cooperation of leaders throughout Southern California to support our efforts to gain funding for off-port projects in the Inland Empire, Riverside’s litigious behavior has become worse than an embarrassment.  It has undercut our ability to engage in fruitful discussions of the kind mentioned here.  This concern extends to the inland area’s regional agencies, the leaders of which are flabbergasted by this behavior.

If Riverside does not drop its ill-advised lawsuit, we fear that the consequence for blue collar workers in the economies of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, where we respectively live, will suffer.  Certainly, Riverside itself will not benefit.

Bob Wolf
Past Chairman, CA Transportation Commission, Former CA Undersecretary For Transportation

John Husing
Commissioner, CA Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission

UNKNOWINGLY PUSHING THE ENVELOPE, KEEP CONNECTED WITH TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!   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…  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!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM  BY THE WAY, COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED!

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT, KEEP CONNECTED WITH TMC…

CLICK THE PIC TO WATCH BRAD HIDE IN SACRAMENTO!

NOW IT’S ONLY A HOP, SKIP AND A JUMP TO THE SACRAMENTO COUNTY OFFICES IN CASE STATE CONTROLLER JOHN CHIANG HAS A FEW AUDITING QUESTIONS REGARDING DISCRETIONARY FUND SPENDING IN THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE FOR NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER BRADLEY HUDSON. 

WHO WILL BE HIDING BEHIND THE COMPUTER NEXT WHEN THE AUDITOR COMES ASKING QUESTIONS? CHECK BACK WEEKLY…THAT IS, EVERY CITY COUNCIL TUESDAY! WE’LL EVEN PROVIDE THE DIRECT LINK SO YOU CAN CHECK THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL AGENDA. CALL YOUR LOCAL ELECTED COUNCIL PERSON AND THE MAYOR AND REQUEST THAT A FORENSIC AUDIT BE DONE BY STATE CONTROLLER JOHN CHIANG OF THE CITY HALL BOOKS.   WITH A NEW INTERIM CITY MANAGER, SCOTT BARBER, THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE NEEDS BASELINE NUMBER AS DONE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN ORDER TO ASSURE BALANCED NUMBERS AND TO CLEAR POSSIBLE DISCREPANCIES OF THE GENERAL LEDGER BOOKS.  IF THERE IS NOTHING TO HIDE, THE NUMBERS WILL ALWAYS COME UP RIGHT! 

Questions abound regarding Brad Hudson’s decision to leave Riverside.  Is it because he understands the books better than the city council or mayor?  Is it because of the enormous bond debt which will come due July 1, 2012?  His discretionary slush fund spending?  To the tune of over 25 million, then suddenly went down this year when a citizen brought it to the councils attention last year.   Or is he leaving because of the many restrictive inter-agency fund transfers.  Once transferred to non-restrictive account, become part of web of inter-fund transfers reaching their proposed goal?  Or did the questions regarding Connie Leach to the City of Riverside instigate Brad to make a quick getaway?  How long will the council and mayor continue to fall by the sting of the break-up even after the June 14th  love fest, especially Steve Adams, who appears would marry him if he could.   The question is, why would you leave his base salary of $295,000.00 to make $258,000.00 in Sacramento?   

Brad’s yearly basesalary                                                      $258,200.00

Carry on Employee Duty Expense ($700/month)                  $8,400.00

401a Plan Match Up                                                                 $9,000.00

Auto Allowance ($550/month)                                               $6,600.00

Total First Year Salary                                                          $282,200.00 

Additional Benefits:  Retirement Benefit,  Health Insurance Benefit, Dental Insurance Benefit, Vision Insurance Benefit, Professional Associations Expenses Benefit, Moving Expense Benefit of $25,000.00, First year entitled to 42 day leave (1 ½ mo off), Second year, entitled to 84 day leave max. (3mo off).  Cost unknown.   Though Brad Hudson’s has yet to formally submit a letter of resignation, does his vague current employee contract with the City of Riverside obligate to pay out the remaining two years in a lump sum?
Conditions in Hudson’s current five year contract with Sacramento County state a lump sum payout if he vacates the position early.
 

Therefore, did the City of Riverside actually pay Brad Hudson to much?   Will an independent forensic audit of the the city accounts be implemented when Brad Hudson leaves, in order to get a baseline for the next City Manager?  Accountability and Transparency may be non-existent in City Hall, but TMC will ask the questions.  The questions the community of Riverside are now asking.  Now the agenda:

Item 11, is Michael Morales’s appeal of the ethics violations against Ward 7 Council Candidate John Brandriff.   What struck me as quite interesting is that there are two other subjects which have yet to be reported regarding their record of attendance.  TMC did our own rundown of the Community Review Police Commission Attendance.   According to the attendance records Brandriff attended 12 committee meetings and had 6  absences;  1 excused, 3 for sickness and 2 for business.  What’s quite interesting is that Robert Slawsby attended 11 committee meetings and had 6 absences, all six for business.  He is quite equal to Brandriff.  Last there is Rogelio V. Morales who attended 9 committee meetings and had 9 abscences,  5 for business and 4 which were UNEXCUSED.  There is a contradiction regarding Michael Morales with regards to his claims.  Errors can be made, but these are obvious in the sense of fairness.  You would also believe Michael Morales would have also filed complaints against the other two, otherwise you would have to believe there is an ulterior motive.  I am unaware if Rogelio V. Morales is related to Michael Morales though they have the same name and many are asking just that question.  The question arises if Michael Morales was hired to follow the daily activities of John Brandriff , or decided to do this as a sole individual?  This due to his extensive knowledge of Mr. Brandriff’s day to day activities and whereabouts.  It is also alleged that Michael Morales is a supporting associate of current Ward 7 Councilman Steve Adams, of which Council Candidate John Brandriff will be in a run off election with.  It is also known that Steve Adams and Brad Hudson are close associates or friends.  The question which allegedly appears to materialize,  is this a political play to damage the reputation of Councilman’s Adam’s opponent, John Brandiff.  Would it be to attain leverage for winning a re-election campaign?  Or would it be a form of political retaliation for other reasons? Brandriff did asked the hard question with regards to City Manager Brad Hudson’s responsiveness to the Chief Russ Leach DUI in 2010, where records for Hudson’s city cell phone showed no incoming or outgoing calls the day of the incident until 14 hours after the traffic stop.  Hudson’s explanation is that his phone was off.  John Bradriff stated, “You’re telling me he wasn’t on the phone with anybody, about anybody, all day, with this going on?  That’s hard to believe.”   So, this is where the question in the community came up regarding Hudson’s personal phone records, which were convieniently unsoepenable.  Or is there a way to utilize the city phone and circumvent the record with City software?  Well, we never received a rational answer from the City.  Or there is the case of Councilman Steve Adams and City Attorney Greg Priamos strong arming a community meeting, La Sierra/ Arlanza Neigborhood Group, as many have indicated who attended.  Adams then made a call to Brad Hudson to end the meeting,  then left.  When an ethics violation was filed, Steve Adams claimed politically motivated because he confronted Taffi Brandriff, LANZA Co-Chair,  the wife of Ward 7 Council Candidate John Brandriff who is running against him.  But this is not the first time, Steve Adams has claimed conspiratorially motivated, stating allegations of others on the dais. What is quite remarkable is the many alleged instances of impropriety against opponent John Brandriff, which make mentioning.   But if you love this so far, you are going to love the Cihigoyenetche, Grossberg & Clouse Investigative Report coming soon on TMC.  (Item 11, 3:00 pm session).

 Item 36, the thing of importance is that the Roberts Consulting Group was originally hired as headhunters to find a suitable and qualified person for the City Manager position, whom back in 2005, you guessed it! was Brad Hudson.  Well they have been hired again to do the same.  It has also been allegedly stated that Roberts Consulting have ties to the Mayor’s office.  Conflict of Interest?  Business as usual?  It appears that the City Council or the Mayor’s office are incapable of hiring someone qualified and knowledgeable for the position.  If in fact they may actually lack the skills to know what they expect of a City Manager, or our they even incapable of asking the proper interviewing questions?  Isn’t that a reflection on the City?   See, many in the private sector do their own hiring, hopefully honesty will be one of the afformention requirements for the position.  Whoever Roberts Consulting chooses as capable, the council and the mayor will accept it as acceptable. Even though the Mayor received 6 outside bids, he still decided to choose preferentially his friend of Roberts Consulting Group.  What  a surprise they were also on top of the Mayor’s list last time they were searching and found our now exiting City Manager Brad Hudson.  In 2005, Norm Roberts, Roberts Consulting, had mixed success.  So much so that the council members rejected the city manager candidates Roberts found and recruited Hudson on their own.  Well they could have saved the taxpayer money.   Roberts also headed the process that led to hiring police Chief Sergio Diaz in 2010.  (Item 36).

 Item 28 Adopt an ordinance to continue and comply with the the new State’s Voluntary Alternative Redevelopment Program. On June 29, 2011 Governor Brown suspended all redevelopment activities in the State of California.  The State gave cities two options to this suspension, dissolve it or continue it.  Because of the abuses of redevelopment an if you choose to continue, the paperwork the State expects to fill out is tedious, and this has upset most city governments as ours.  Therefore, our city is requesting the adoption of an ordinance to continue the Voluntary Redevelopment Program.  This choice to continue becomes as the State calls it, “A Voluntary Choice”.   Therefore entering into this convenant, cities enter a more structured program to force the city to become more responsible, this is with the State’s view that it will mitigate abuse of funds.  Stay tuned for more on this one. (Item 28).

Item 31 Nancy Hart wishes to serve in place of Councilman MacArthur on the Development Committee for the discussion of the leasing program for city owned property located at 10530-60 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside.  Does any of these council people have a real estate license or property management background.  Where is Dennis Morgan of IPA (Inland Pacific Associates) who is the property management company contracted with the city in all of this? (Item 31).

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UPDATE: MICHAEL MORALES APPEAL DENIED 6-O. MICHAEL MORALES SLAMS PAUL DAVIS BY SUGGESTING HE RECUSE HIMSELF BECAUSE HE IS A SUPPORTER OF COUNCIL CANDIDATE JOHN BRANDRIFF.  CONTINUES TO CLAIM DOCUMENTATION, WITH NO DOCUMENTATION SUBMITTED OF VALUE.  HIS ALLEGED ASSOCIATE AND ALLEGED PARTNER IN THIS DEBACLE, COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS IS ON VACATION IN TEXAS.  EVERYONE WAS THERE ON THE DAIS EXCEPT STEVE.  HE HAS YET TO FILE COMPLAINTS OF ETHICS VIOLATIONS ON SLAWSBY AND ROGELIO MORALES, WHO HAVE EQUAL OR WORSE RECORDS OF ATTENDANCE AS DOCUMENTED.  THIS IN ESSENCE, ONLY QUESTIONS THE MOTIVE OPERANDI OF MICHAEL MORALES.  COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS IN INSISTANT WITH REGARDS TO CONSPIRATORIAL REFERENCES TOWARDS HIM.  NO ONE IS REALLY SURE WHAT MR. MORALES OR COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS’S INTENTIONS ARE, BUT OTHERWISE INEFFECTIVE IN CONVINCING THE DAIS OF JOHN BRANDRIFF’S INEPTNESS, WITH REGARDS TO HIS ATTENDANCE RECORD.  THIS INTRIGUING INVESTIGATION HAS BROUGHT MORE FOCUS ON COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS WITH HIS CLAIMS OF POLITICAL VICTIMIZATION! IS HE REALLY THE VICTIM, OR HAS HE USED THIS AS  A SUPTERFUGE FOR FURTHER POLTICAL GAIN?

BRAD’S FAREWELL PARTY: A REFLECTION OF REALITY?  THE HUMOROUS EXUBBERANCE OF OUR CITIES UPPER ESCHELON  WAS NOT TO BE MISSED.  IN THERE MOMENT OF REPOSE THEY WERE ENTERTAINED WITH SUCH GOVERNMENT TOPICS AS POLICE ASSET FORFEITURE, SCANDALS AND CITY CHARTER VIOLATIONS IN A WHIMSICAL SORT OF VIEW.

THE CITY NOW NEEDS YOUR HELP, THE RIVERSIDE COMMUNITY, IN SELECTING THE NEXT CITY MANAGER.

UPDATE:08/25/2011: PE CONTENDS CITY MANAGER SEARCH HAS LOW ATTENDANCE.

UPDATE:08/27/2011: CITY PROVIDES NEW COMMUNITY IMPUT QUESTIONAIRE REGARDING WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN THE NEXT CITY MANAGER.

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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.