Riveriside City Councilman Mike Gardner said he disagrees with the characterization of the lease as a backroom deal, but for some people, “I don’t think anything anyone will say will change that perception.”
THIS WEEKS CITY COUNCIL AGENDA WAS THE GIFT THAT KEPT GIVING, AND ONE OF THOSE GIFTS WAS ITEM 40 OF THE CITY COUNCIL AGENDA. THE “ASSIGNMENT AND ASSUMPTION” OF A LEASE BETWEEN PUBLIC UTILITIES AND BEST, BEST & KRIEGER. THIS MEANS THAT THE CITY WILL TAKE OVER BB&K’S VERY EXPENSIVE LEASE, SO THEY CAN GO TO A NEW LOCATION THAT IS CURRENTLY IN CONSTRUCTION. SOUNDS LIKE DEVELOPER MARK RUBIN’S PROJECT, THE CITRUS TOWER BUILDING. QUESTION IS WHY DOESN’T PUBLIC UTILITIES JUST GO THERE, WITHOUT ASSUMING A BAD DEAL SUCH AS AN EXPENSIVE LEASE? PRIVATE SECTOR PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU IT MAKES NO BUSINESS SENSE! THEN IT VERY WELL MUST BE POLITICAL. MARK RUBIN’S RAINCROSS PROMENADE HAS NOT PANNED OUT AS THE CITY EXPECTED EITHER, WITH THE MAJORITY OF UNITS REMAINING EMPTY. COUNCILMAN MIKE GARDNER STATES,”IT’S A GOOD OPPORTUNITY THAT FELL IN OUR LAPS, SO WE TOOK IT.” LET’S SEE HOW GOOD OF OPPORTUNITY THIS IS. FIRST, IT APPEARS THAT BB&K’S LANDLORD STILL HAS BB&K’S SECURITY DEPOSIT, SO IT LOOKS AS RPU/CITY WILL GIVE THEIR SECURITY DEPOSITY DIRECTLY TO BB&K IN THE AMOUNT OF $151,104.00. THEN BB&K CAN LEAVE AND RPU/CITY MOVE IN AT LOAN SHARK PRICES REGARDING SQ. FOOTAGE. YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THE MARKET IS DROPPING, BUT THE COUNCIL IS CONSIDERING PAYING $1.00/ SQ.FT. OVER THE CITY AVERAGE AND RIVERSIDE MARKET TRENDS, WHICH BEGINS AT $2.49/SQ.FT. IN 2012 AND ENDS WITH $2.75/SQ.FT. BY YEAR 2016! MONTHLY RENT IN 2012 WOULD BE $175,234.00. IF YOU GO AROUND TOWN THERE ARE MANY SPACES AVAILABLE AT HALF THAT RATE WITH A BOTTOM LINE SAVINGS TO THE TAXPAYER. MIKE GARDNER STATES, “WE HAVE TO FIND SOMEPLACE TO PUT RPD”. SOUNDS LIKE RPD WILL BE HOMELESS AND ELGIBLE FOR FOOD STAMPS SOON! BUT THE CURRENT BUILDING RPD RESIDES IN IS CURRENTLY OWNED BY THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE, AND LEASES THE SPACE AT A LOWER THAN REASONABLE RATES, AS IN $1.00/ YEAR. WHY MOVE AT ALL? BUT NEWLY ELECTED SECOND TERM COUNCILMAN MIKE GARDNER, WHO INCIDENTLY CHANGED HIS MIND MONTHS LATER TO RUN FOR MAYOR, DOESN’T THINK THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG OR SINISTER IN THIS CHANGE. I CAN GET A WAREHOUSE FOR $0.65/ SQ.FT TO HOUSE RPD OR PUBLIC UTILITIES IN THESE TIMES, WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL? SWEET DEAL FOR BB&K, I’M SURE THERE IS NOTHING MORE THAN THAT OR EVEN A CONFLICT OF INTEREST, EVEN THOUGH WE ARE USING THEM FOR DIFFICULT CASES SUCH AS UNLAWFUL DETAINERS TO CLEANSE MAIN STREET OF MERCHANTS…. AND IT MUST BE WORKING BECAUSE ACCORDING TO ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER DEANNA LORSON WHAT THE CITY SEEMS TO OWN THE MOST, STOREFRONTS ON DOWNTOWN MAINSTREET. AND I GUESS IT DOESN’T HURT TO GREASE THE GLUTEOUS MAXIMUS OF THE LIKES OF DEVELOPER MARK RUBIN. WHY DID RDA UNDERWRITE CITRUS TOWERS IF IT COULDN’T MEET IT’S OCCUPANCY GOALS? WHY WOULD ANYONE GIVE UP A $1.00/YEAR IN A RECESSION? BUT IT MAKES YOU WONDER WHY THE CITY CONTINUES TO TERRORIZE THE TAX PAYER, AND THE MORE REASON THAT REDEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED.
It’s possible Ex Costa Mesa Chief Steven Stavely said it best regarding his city- “They act as if they are owners of the business that is the municipal government of the City of Costa Mesa, but they are not, they are merely trustees of these public assets both human and physical and they fail in that role completely. They are in my opinion incompetent, unskilled and unethical.”
UPDATE: 08/03/2011: Back in June 18, 2008 City Council approved the purchase to the Gateway Building at a cost to the tax payer of 3 million. Public Utilities was then housed within the Gateway Building and the Orange Square Building. Once Public Utilities moves to take possession of the current building BB&K resides, the Gateway Building will become empty. Even though the city mentions the Federal Courts have expressed interest, there is still no current commitment. This musical chairs of alleged favoritism will cost and continue to terrorize the taxpayer in higher taxes, waisted money and more wasted unoccupied city owned buildings.
If you haven’t received your Brad Hudson Farewell Invitation, here it is. It appears that the City’s restaurant, The Grier Pavillion will be providing the food in order to support Rodney Couch, and at what cost to the taxpayer? Is this even legal in this public arena? In the past, employee’s would contribute food and drink to such events. Currently the Community and City of Riverside has yet to receive City Manager Brad Hudson’s official resignation letter. Does this mean that the taxpayer is obligated to pay the remaining two years of his contract, especially with days left before he leaves?
UPDATE: THE PARTY HARDY WITH BRADLEY PARTY BRINGS ABOUT SOME DISTURBING REVELATIONS WITH REGARDS TO CITY BUSINESS. THE JOKES OR THE ROASTING JOKES ARE A CLEAR PROCLAMATION OR A REVELATION OF THE DYSFUNCTIONAL CULTURE OF CITY HALL AND THEIR ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO CREATE AN ECONOMIC SUBTERFUGE OF DISCEPTION, WHICH IN TURN REFLECTS ON THEIR ABILITIES TO PERFORM AS EXPECTED BY THE COMMUNITY WHICH HAS ENDOWED THEM WITH THE POWERS TO GO FORWARD AS INDICATED….
UPDATE: 08/22/2011: Councilman Paul Davis asked that the issue be revisited after questions were raised about the total cost of the move, which entails relocating owntown police and public utilities workers.
UPDATE: 08/23/2011: Councilman Paul Davis first told colleagues he’d heard concerns about “the general perception of the gift of public funds and creating a monopoly”to benefit a private developer, but he ended by saying it was a moot point because the city already has signed a lease. There is no doubt as to brazen display of conflict of interest displayed perpetrated by the City of Riverside in approving this deal between Best, Best & Krieger, Developer Mark Rubin and the City of Riverside. “Three peas in a pod.” How long will the City of Riverside continue to terrorize the taxpayer with shear imcompetance and their breach of fiduciary duty to protect the coffers of hard earned taxpayer monies? It is not a secret of the contractual agreements between BB&K and the City of Riverside; even though hard copies don’t exist. Our we to believe that as taxpayers that we should expect anything less than a written contract? While the city implies to the community that “we don’t need no stinkin contracts”? If anyone has dealt with lawyers there is always a contract, but it appears that the City is the only entity that is allowed to perform this “verbally”, or should we try to request a rational answer from our Chief Financial Officer, Paul Sundeen, which would be the same. Is Best Best & Krieger therefore dictating carte blanche on their legal fees to the taxpayer? Then there is developer Mark Rubin’s connected liason with the City of Riverside and the City’s alter ego, the Redevelopment Agency. Is is at all possible that BB&K deal was orchestrated and designed to provide a lease revenue stream for the bonds held on the Citrus Tower project? Paul Chiang are you hearing the Raincross Bells?
UPDATE: 08/25/2011: One source of criticism has been the $20 million loan the city provided the Hyatt through a special federal bond program; the deal leaves the city on the hook if the developer defaults on debt payments. The timing of the hotel, as far as the expansion of our convention center, is good. Having the hotel is a key to being able to do the expansion,” Gardner said Wednesday. But has Gardner asked the Marriott and Mission Inn of their current already dismal occupancy statistics?