CITY OF RIVERSIDE: $100,000.00 GIFT TO SENDAI: A VIOLATION OF THE CALIFORNIA CON$TITUTION?

Posted: May 23, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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UPDATE: 05/24/2011: NOTED AT CITY COUNCIL, $100,000.00 WITHDRAWN FROM GENERAL FUND AS A GIFT TO SENDAI.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.

Comments
  1. twodogkd says:

    I heard that in the past the City or Mayor Loveridge gifted UCR a large amount of funds either $100,000 or I really thought I heard a million.

    The gift of $100,000 dollars to Sendai of public funds that came from City taxes would be a crime to any reasonable person on the street when you consider that citizens who rely on RTA public transportation lack any means of transport from around 10:30 pm or 6:30 pm TO the next morning. This means some citizens are WITHOUT means of transit for up to 12 hours and other without transit for around 6 hours or more. When you consider this prevents citizens from URGENT CARE, job or job opportunities (such as care facilities and hospitals or gas stations which have 24 hour shifts), prevents citizens from educational opportunities at RCC/UCR etc; prevents citizens from being able to attend events downtown and elsewhere as there is no bus to take home, harms our economy by not allowing citizens to go out evenings for entertainment including those with cars who DO NOT want to drink and drive. Also it hurts our air quality by forcing people LIKE ME who would prefer to use bus transit, back into our cars to attend functions like the International Film Festival off University Avenue because I could get a bus their but no bus ride home. Also endangers citizens by leaving them stranded at the end of the line. A number of citizens were shocked to learn that was the last bus and there was no bus still running they could wait for to jump on and get back to their destination/home. I personally feel that Mayor Loveridge and Riverside City Councils have made decisions to DENY citizens bus service as they do not want THOSE PEOPLE downtown in evenings or having transportation late night. Riverside City Council members have described Greyhound bus riders as parolees getting out of prison and have demeaned bus riders and suggested that if we lost Greyhound the bus riders could take a taxi to another County San Bernardino. A number of those same people ride RTA buses. Riverside City Council instead of ponying up the money to provide for this NEEDED BASIC SERVICE that most COUNTY SEAT type Cities such as SAN FRANCISCO provide, the Council makes an excuses and puts it on the overburdened County RTA. Clearly the City of Riverside, a rather rich City in terms of generous income from the Utilities, should have been able to provide ADDITIONAL FUNDING and make arrangements with RTA to provide this late night service. Oddly the City of Riverside has been giving FREE passes to City workers who also have free parking spaces which defeats the goal of getting folks out of cars and into public transit. The City of Riverside, to my knowledge, has not insituted programs like STANFORD UNIVERSITY where entities pay employees to NOT drive a car but ride a bicycle instead.

    Someone told me the City of Riverside has given away about 3 or four parking lots, one to UCR, one to the Tyler Mall, one to humm think it was a downtown area. The parking lot next to the City Hall or the daytime use thereof was effectively given away and now benefits the County Prosecutor Office folks because those spaces were sold off at much less than full replacement cost, and may have been other factors as well.

  2. Dvonne Pitruzzello says:

    You are correct, no public monies can be used for the sister city program, it is called a gift of public funds. Also, the parking lot debacle….we borrowed millions of dollars from the sewer fund to build these lots and then basically give these lots away…Recall-failure to lead.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s