It has been apparent to the community of the close working relationship between the law firm Best, Best & Krieger and the City of Riverside. What’s quite evident in fact is that the working relationship between the two entities involves oral contracts.
According to City Attorney Gregory Priamos no hard contracts exist not even a retainer agreement, when a public request act is initiated. When it comes to a public accounting of the expenditures of the City Attorney, as requested by Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello, a rejection letter below, for the request was sent. According to the letter Gregory sent, there is no such accounting that has been prepared, and according to law, the law does not impose any duty to create such a record. Therefore, non is required. Since when has the taxpayer not be allowed to know what their money is being spent on? This should be disturbing to many people, because it states that they treading waters they should not be treading. And according to the law, the City Attorney’s office is not required to disclose the spending of taxpayer monies. You have to know there is something very wrong with this picture. Common sense would tell you there is something to hide behind the dark glasses of City Attorney Gregory Priamos. But there was nothing to hide after allowing $159 million in illegal RDA loans to be approved by City Council, then rejected by the Finance Office for the State of California. What would then be the result of his performance evaluation, which was being discussed in closed sessions Tuesday April 4, 2012, at City Council? I’m sure, just as it went well for our former City Manager, this will go well..
Above is a letter sent to Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello regarding her request for an accounting of the City Attorney’s from Gregory Priamos. The law does state that if no documents are responsive to ones request, they, the city has to help you identify the request.
On 05/15/2012 at City Council, Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello stated to City Attorney Gregory Priamos, ‘how many denials of public records act does it take to get disbarred”? What’s a real contradiction is that the City of Riverside has ‘retainer agreements’ for services with every other law firm they do business with. Though an excess in millions of dollars have been paid out to BB&K, there has been no pertinent or rational explanation to the taxpayer. We were even denied BB&K’s billing hours under the public records act. As taxpayers, should we believe that we should expect anything less than a written contract? I would say not. When individuals ask for a rational explanation regarding no contracts, the city’s implication to the community is that “we don’t need no stink’n contracts”? Is this an act of arrogance or defiance by a public servant toward their employer, the taxpayer? 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 as we understand it, not even with a “memorandum of understanding.” One of the biggest law firms in the nation, Best, Best & Krieger is hands down an exception with the City of Riverside? What is it between the two? As community residents, are we also to accept the fact that Best, Best & Krieger is allowed to dictate carte blanche their legal fees to the taxpayer via their own credit card? It seems so, according to the following documents, but what else is the public to otherwise believe?
And we’re not talking nickels and dimes, but six figures and more. So the question is, who’s in charge and watching taxpayer’s coffers? It appears the city council is not, not even the mayor, it definitely appears that the city attorney’s office isn’t according to the excessive litigation cost. So who’s minding the store? Inquiring taxpayers would like to know. But just maybe, the store has an open door policy, right to the cash register. Why? Quite possibly in their incestuous relationship that has grown over the years.
Such as the cozy arrangement between certain ex city of riverside employees or just BB&K employees who are strategically now on city committees. Conflict of interest? The cast of BB&K characters interlaced with City of Riverside are numerous. Former Grover Trask (former Riverside County District Attorney), Michelle Quellette (City of Riverside’s Charter Review Committee), Jack Clark (Committee to name City Hall after Mayor Ron Loveridge) or Charity Schiller (Vice Chair of Riverside Downtown Partnership). BB&K has also been in the media with the City of Bell, whereby the city is now suing BB&K attorney Edward Lee for faulty legal advice. Even Governor Jerry Brown subpoenaed BB&K records regarding pay packages in Bell, California. In any case, we don’t know how this one fell through the roof, but we did manage to receive one arrangement between BB&K and the City of Riverside to represent Former Chief of Police Russ Leach. What a surprise, it’s signed by City Attorney Greg Priamos and Grover Trask, former Riverside County District Attorney now in the employment of BB&K. Oh lets’ just call it a “contract”, or correctly a “retainer agreement”. Tomato, tomahto, oh let’s just call the whole thing off… Wish we could, but it gets better.
Then there is developer Mark Rubin’s connected liaison with the City of Riverside and the City’s alter ego, the Redevelopment Agency. There is no doubt the brazen display of a conflict of interest displayed and perpetrated by the City of Riverside in approving the Citrus Tower’s lease deal between Best, Best & Krieger, Developer Mark Rubin and the City of Riverside. “Three peas in a pod?” Is it at all possible that the BB&K deal was orchestrated and designed to provide a lease revenue stream for the bonds held on the Citrus Tower project? Was BB&K involved in bond advice for the city? 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. How long will the City of Riverside continue to terrorize the taxpayer with shear incompetence and their breach of fiduciary duty to protect the coffers of hard earned taxpayer monies by the City Attorney’s Office? Good questions for City Attorney Greg Priamos, who coicidently has attended two of my alma maters, Loyola Marymount University and the University of Southern California. A sad day for both university’s Gregory. The question in the community are the ruthless expenditures within the City Attorney’s Office. How much taxpayer money has been litigated out, or settled out as if it was your own, without any rational cognitive reasoning? Or was it just for sport? Or is the threat of litigation just a city tool used against the opposition for what is known in the business as “client control”? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. TMC believes the later is mostly true at our expense. Therefore why would the city litigate to the tune of 9 million, then lose, and then have to award out 250K in one documented case? Of course, that wouldn’t happened because after all as taxpayers we should all believe what the city does is rational and in our best interest. Well the truth of the fact is, that it did, and nothing was in our best interest. Though he serves at the pleasure of the council, should the City Attorney answer rightfully to the employer, which would be “we the people”? This I say because the council and mayor has failed to supervise the activities of the city attorney. The failure is such that we must ask the question of what makes one believe the city attorney needs to incorporate police lights with all the bells and whistles in their pimped out city vehicle? Where did one lose the sight of whose money it really is? TMC can’t answer that, but I’m sure there is a rational answer from our city attorney, as in the case with the ‘no contracts allowed with our best customer.’ It may not be right but it is an answer. Ultimately, the council and mayor is responsible for the activities, failures and actions of the city attorney. In an article in Cactus Thorns, the 29 Palms City Council questions the spending to their City Attorney, and when they looked at public records, that was even a total shock. In this continuing painful saga, one can hire BB&K to run a city attorney’s office. Carte Blanche in Riverside. For a price, instant city attorney, as in this article in The Orange County Register? In the City of Yorba Linda, for example, BB&K attorney Sonia Carvalho represented the city in the capacity of the City Attorney for over a decade. Conflict of interest?
What is the responsibility of the city attorney? What is the responsibility of the Federal Government? Gregory Priamos is now after marijuana dispenseries as Hoover was after so called Communist. But now that Gregory is going after business owners such as the Johnson’s for leasing their property to a marijuana dispensery. How allegedly connected is Gregory to pot smoking friends? The contradiction is even Gregory allegedly has pot smoking friends, so why is he doing this? Why does City Attorney Gregory Priamos think, as Vivian Moreno Self Appointed Citizen Auditor states, ” go and want to beat everybody up” in our fare city?
Gregory, even our forefathers smoked pot….. Gregory do you have pot smoking friends? Do you need time to think about this one?
Well the contradiction is our first President was known to smoke hemp as it was called from time to time… or do we have to help remind you? So why is Gregory not after the most addictive drug of all time? Tobacco? or even Alcohol?
Questions have also arised in the controversial ambulance monopoly in the City of Riverside between AMR’s Peter Hubbard and City Officials. The community is asking what are the alleged ties between City Attorney Greg Priamos and Peter Hubbard? What are the alleged ties between Councilman Steve Adams and Mr. Hubbard? What are the alleged ties between Fire Chief Steve Early and Mr. Hubbard?
What are the alleged ties between President of the City of Riverside’s Firefighter Union Tim Strack and Mr. Hubbard? Why is AMR now a primary advertising entity at Regal Cinemas at the Riverside Plaza? Does the following have any weight in the decision making process of the Council and Mayor’s influence in allegedly favoring AMR (American Medical Response)? Bruce Barton, Director of the Riverside County Emergency Medical Services Agency, according to the corresponding document, appears was previously in the employment of AMR in 2004.
CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW DOCUMENT
Could this contribute to a conflict of interest outcome? Will we find it is too close for comfort in the back of an AMR ambulance? For a price maybe. But AMR and the City of Riverside is not an isolated incident. Alameda County has been a battleground for AMR’s ambulance wars.
UPDATE: FORMER DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY RAYCHELE STERLING SERVES CITY OF RIVERSIDE COMPLAINT SUIT!
Last week former Deputy City Attorney, Raychele Sterling served the following complaint to the City of Riverside. The suit incidently, names City Attorney Gregory Priamos, Former City Manager Brad Hudson, Supervising Deputy City Attorney Kristi Smith and of course, the City of Riverside. This complaint was filed in United States District Court-Central District of California-Western District. Besides the demand for jury trial, the complaint is for damages relating to violation of individual Civil Rights and Federal Law. Already, the attorney defending the City, Brian Walter of Los Angeles based Liebert, Cassidy and Whitmore, is using Priamos’s famous words, “We believe there is absolutely no merit at all to any of her (Sterling) claims”. In addition, wrongful retaliation in exercising free expression under the auspices of the whistleblower act.
EXCERPTS FROM THE COMPLAINT
Priamos threatened plantiff not to have any contact with the City Council…
Priamos stated that Hudson “never wanted to see her (Plaintiff’s) face again”..
Misuse of the 550 Sewer Fund has been a pervasive pattern in the City since Brad Hudson was appointed City Manager. Public Works Director, Siobhan Foster, and Deputy Public Works Director, Tom Boyd, routinely advised Public Works staff to use the 550 Sewer Fund for non-sewer related work.
During lunch SB ( Superintendent of Parks Division) stated to Plaintiff that she had been instructed by the Park and Recreation Director to set aside money from her budget to subsidize the City Hall café, as Provider (Company contracted with Rodney Couch to operate the Raincross Café) , was not making enough money and Hudson wanted to assist Provider.
The bond issuance documents were prepared by Best, Best & Krieger LLP (BBK) in Riverside, California, and had advised potental investors that the issuance of the bonds was to remimburse certain previously incurred improvement cost ($14,377,083.00) and to finance certain capital projects ($186,382,300.00) of the City’s Sewer System.
through its CFO, Paul Sundeen, did submit fraudulent and false documentation to the IRS to secure Treasury Credits it knew it was not eligible for…
LETTER WRITTEN BY STERLING TO THE SECURTIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
The city, through Hudson, hired an outside law firm to investigate the claims, and it found no wrongdoing. Walter, attorney defending the City, pointed to this internal city probe and an apparent investigation by the Riverside County’s District Attorney, Paul Zellerbach’s office, none of which resulted in any censure or charges. But should we be surprised? Considering the close quarters they all live in? We experienced a similar result when citizen concerns were brought to his attention regarding Connie Leach, former wife of former Chief of Police Russ Leach and the City’s use of Asset Forefeiture monies in the amount of $35,000.00 to fund the Multi Cultural Youth Organization or was it really used to fund Connie Leach?
CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW
I believe the internal probe they are referring to was former City Manager Brad Hudson’s hiring of the law firm Chigoyenetche, Grossberg & Clouse to investigate the allegations of himself. This was whereby city employees told Sterling that Public Works bids were being fixed in order to favor one company. Any monies left over from this department were diverted to subsidize Hudson’s friend, Rodney Couch, who ran the City Hall Raincross Café, or is know better in the community for running the Market Broiler Restaurants. Of course after $150,000.00 legal bill to the taxpayer for this investigation, nothing pertinent was found. Maybe if this crack law firm was to actually interview those involved, such as City Engineer Warren Huang, Sewer Treatment Plant Manager Craig Justice an former Deputy City Attorney Raychele Sterling, we may have come up with a different story. But for $150,000.00 it allegedly appears that the conclusion derived was well orchestrated and designed to achieve an intended end result. According to Sterling, Priamos was told about these incidents, and she was fired for doing the right thing and trying to protect the council.
In addition, where did Hudson’s paranoia lead? It led, according to Sterling, to hacking into both Sterling and Priamos’s emails. It led to Hudson ordering the Human Resource department to hire a private detective to tail Ms. Sterling and her children. This at a cost to the taxpayer in excess of $80,000.00. A similar incident of tailing took place with former Public Works Contractor Sean Gill, with a similar cost. But according to Councilman and Mayoral Candidate William “Rusty” Bailey, Hudson was a ‘moral compass’. Further, at public comment Raychelle Sterling talked about Priamos’s secretary decorating his house during a party, a former employee Kathy Gonzalez and alleged insurance fraud and Priamos playing golf with the former police chief while being paid for working. If this is all true, should we as constituents of the City of Riverside allow this to happen? While the council continues to be oblivious to these alleged activities, shouldn’t all involved be accountable if at all true?
The City should have fired Priamos years ago. His marginal legal advice has cost the City so much money during his tenure. I hope Ms. Sterling takes the City to the cleaners. I hate to say that as a Riverside resident, but when the City starts acting like organized crime, they deserve to be punished. I hope that Priamos’ days as City Attorney are numbered. Hudson is gone; Sundeen is on hiatus; it’s time for Priamos to leave. Maybe with a clean state in the leadership positions, and an new mayor, the City can start to make amends to the populace. With Priamos still in place, that can never happen. – Kaptalizm, Commenter on the PE
City Attorney Greg Priamos should be tried under the RICO act. – C’mon…Really?, Commenter on the PE
Again, in the name of transparency, good will and trust … TMC request the positions of the City Attorney, City Manager and the Chief of Police be elected positions, due to their failure to lead and their failure to protect the taxpayer. Elected positions which would answer to the ‘people’ as opposed to a ‘do nothing or should we say do anything they want’ delegated source. Now that the state auditor was in, will certain documents disappear? Will the City again ‘verbally’ employ BB&K for advice or even a possible defense? We know you heard the rings of Bell and even the clangs of Montebello, but are you hearing the Raincross Bells in the City of Riverside? Or is it just dumb bells I’m hearing?
Related Links to Stories in this TMC Blog:
UPDATE: 05/22/2012: Former Deputy City Attorney Raychele Sterling drops another bombshell, another employee lawsuit against the City of Riverside. Human Resources Department named in the suit. Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello, spoke of the denial of public records regarding the City Attorney Gregory Priamos’s expenditures. She state she will resubmit her request, and where is Priamos? Is he making his exit strategy? Mary Shelton told the council that her public records were 3 week tardy. The question to Mr. Barber, who was also not in attendance, was if the city gave it’s request to vacate from their current location. Usually a two year notice is given, and so far no response. Self Appointed Citizen Auditor Vivian Moreno, asked for a refund of $250.00 for documents requested. When these particular documents were requested, the documents that were delivered were not what was requested. They were different, altered and bogus documents.
Currently, no response from Congressman Ken Calvert when asked by Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello to investigate sewer bond fraud in the City of Riverside. Interesting enough, from old research, we were surprised to see why he may not be of help, but helping himself in other self gratifying endeavors..
There are other interest Congressman Calvert has that may not concern the constituents he represents. Getting ‘caught with your pants down’ means, of course, what it is intended to mean.
“I noticed the male subject was placing his penis into his unzipped dress slacks, and was trying to hide it with his untucked dress shirt.”
It also appears according to a campaign he is not sensitive to the issues of the gay community, and quite possibly gay people in general, according to this 1994 campaign mailer against an openly gay opponent Mark Takano, running for the Congressional office.
Further, Congressman Ken Calvert allegedly benefited from earmarked projects he earmarked for Perris, California in 2005 with tax payer money, where he incidently owned seven properties.
But in all fairness, it appear that the House of Representatives came to the rescue on this one. They concluded that the earmarked project would not provide any other direct or unique benefits to the properties.
They concluded that any increase in the value of the properties resulting from the earmark would be incremental and indirect. I realize the House usually has a way with words, but is this about semantics? or degrees? Really now, how closely tied are all these individual in Washington D.C.? Any guesses? Interesting enough, I am told that many of his constituents are now seeing him much more differently than before..
Right you are, that’s an unexpected thumbs up by the Chief with respect to this unexpected bit of information regarding our local Congressman.
But in another aspect, there still has been no apology from Chief Sergio Diaz to public commenter Karen Wright, whereby she was confrontationally acosted and verbally berated at a March 16th City Council Meeting, on her opinion regarding the naming of Tequesquite Park after fallen officer Ryan Bonamino. It appears that there are more instances of information coming into TMC whereby the Chief’s behavior was not up to professional standards, and many others who need apologizies that we can name, and others who recognize his abhorrent behavior within his own working environment that find it unprofessional. And oops, does he have a hell of problem with bloggers? Yes he does, and he doesn’t hold back, as apparent in many of his community and work related forums. Many who appeared at his breakfast at the Mission Inn were vehemently aware of his focus, which again speaks of his professionalism. One individual present, called the display of behavior “unfortunate”.
Chief Diaz is not one for freedom of speech as the majority sees it, this is suppose to be America. There is no place for a strong repressive government ideals as he may be familiar with from his roots, this in essence can have counterproductive repercussions on our Democracy. In a quote from the PE, Before the evolution in technology, Diaz said, “We didn’t have the benefit of ignorant, inexperienced and hateful and cowardly and anonymous people give us their unsolicited opinions on the internet.” But let’s not forget that’s what blogs and comment sections of many news agencies were intended to be. It’s to get a true, raw and real opinion of how many feel, without the fear of retaliation, no matter how extreme one may percieve an opinion to be. These comments should be put into good use, rather than censor them as some type of Batista/ Castro government would. They are one person’s opinion, just as Diaz has an opinion, and this is all good in the central mix of opinions, whereby people can listen to all opinions and deduct their own. The problem is whereby, censorship becomes acceptable, and one’s opinion becomes the only opinion.
There are many times when, even though there is freedom of the press and freedom of speech, it is hard to get a hearing for certain noble causes. I often think that we, all of us, should think very much more carefully than we do about what we mean by freedom of speech, by freedom of the press, by freedom of assembly. I sometimes am much worried by the tendency that exists among certain groups in our country today to consider that these are rights are only for people who think as they do, that they are not rights for the people who disagree with them. I believe that you must apply to all groups the same rights, to all forms of thought, to all forms of expression, the same liberties. Otherwise, you practically deny the fact that you trust the people to choose for themselves, in a majority, what is wise and what is right. And when you do that, you deny the possibility of having a democracy. –Eleanor Roosevelt
What Chief Diaz needs to remember is that if he strived to make his department more transparent, questions of police tactics wouldn’t arise, or at least there would be a dialogue. This was the very reason he was brought in and hired, to change the public’s perception after many years of allegations of favoritism, double standards and special treatment within the ranks of RPD. In addition, just because community leaders have an opinion, you should’t castigate them, as a leader, he should embrace those concerns and work to bring the community closer together, rather than plant the seeds of divisiveness. And if Chief Diaz feels that local bloggers are the problem, as he appears to be evidently consumed with, we have bigger problems. Because bloggers are not the problem, leadership is, and I believe are community is seeking this in our Chief.
Or before you hit the above link to get to the really good stuff, and find free speech offensive, you may want to click this link instead..
Diaz told The Press-Enterprise at that time those posters were “sitting at home eating Cheetos in their underwear” and making anonymous comments online.
“Respect for the community, respect for other officers, respect for ourselves is going to be the byword by which I will attempt to lead the city of Riverside over the next few years” – Chief Sergio Diaz
A contradiction in terms?
“I want to live in a society that people can voice unpopular opinions because I know as result of that a society grows and matures,” – Hugh Hefner
Double dipping must be a public sector phenomenon, but again we see a retirement at age 55, something unheard of in the private sector…and again, the gain of secondary benefits at taxpayer’s expense. Possibly for their second life? And another double dipping story as the one regarding former City Manager Brad Hudson below..
According to the Sac Bee, Hudson, Sacramento County Executive plans to release his first budget proposal late. Hudson planned to release his budget as late as June 7, whereby the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the budget June 14 or 15. Even Hudson’s predecessor, Steve Szalay, released his budget last year in mid-May. Well, as Councilman Mike Gardner said when Hudson was City Manager, ” you’ve got to pay for talent”. Well alright, we did, now Sacramento is paying for it now.
People from Riverside could tell you a lot about Brad Hudson. His few admirers (mostly wealthy, and involved in dealings with the city) said he was effective, but most people were distressed by his manipulations, his secretiveness, and his obvious collaboration with a few corrupt developers. I am sure that the Sacramento County Supervisors were aware of this reputation before they
hired him, and in fact that is probably why they hired him. The supervisors’ feet should be held to the fire by voters until they fire him, as this will be the only way any transparency or honesty can come to Sacramento county government. – Kevinakin1950, Commenter on the Sacramento Bee
UPDATE: Alicia Robinson blogs regarding the Status quo on the menu at Riverside City Hall cafe. The taxpayer has paid in excess of $3 million dollars to construct this cafe, which is open to the public. The question TMC asks as Ms. Robinson ask, is the question is it the role of the public sector to pass that gray line and began to run their own businesses at taxpayer expense, in direct competition with the private sector? TMC brought this to the attention with a posting regarding Rodney Couch, Provider Foods/ Market Broiler, and the thin line that exist between associations, friendships and favoritism: You Provide the Food and the Couch, I’ll Provide the Millions!
UPDATE: 05/25/2012: Standing outside our home, I watched elderly female individual taking a photo of the no parking sign during street sweeping. When I asked if she received a ticket, she said yes. She lives down the block, her husband just had a stroke, and her son left the car out on that Wednesday, and they cannot afford the $42 ticket. What we have been telling council is that there are families who are on tight budgets, and can’t afford a $42 dollar parking ticket. Forty dollars can very well be food on the table. Many who receive tickets around the wood streets are students. The irony is that the City champions education, and would like students to eventually think of Riverside as a city to reside in. Well, not this way… and the city doesn’t have to spend $25,000.00 on an outside consultant to find that answer. I just gave it to you for free. Remember, just because the street sweeper and the parking nazi have left the vicinity, they can still ticket between the hours indicated on the sign. As a result, the residents know this isn’t an issue about cleaning streets, it’s about raising revenue at our expense.. Who makes a profit on your blue can recyclables while you pay a service fee for pick up. A month ago we brought to our readers attention that tickets were even being issued to business vehicles as in the following TMC posting.
In these tough economic times, will the city’s next endeavor be to ticket vehicles during trash pick up? Will they consider billing Riverside residents for weekly garbage pick-up by the pound? Especially now that they are doing a bang up job on creating
a profit debt with the Fox Theatre and City Hall’s Raincross Cafe.
UPDATE:05/26/2012: REDDER THAN A FOX’S COAT? HAS THE FOX LOST IT’S PANTS? NEW ARTICLE IN THE PE REGARDING OPERATING COST WERE GREATER THAN EXPECTED LEAVING THE FOX IN THE RED, OR SHOULD I SAY, “THE TAXPAYER”.
Councilman Paul Davis stated that, “the council should look at options such as offering a long-term lease or selling the theater”. Now, selling the Fox Theatre is not a bad thing, it should be up for sale to be runned by private enterprise. This is what Self Appointed Citizen Auditor, Vivian Moreno stated a year ago. The Fox would have financial problems and it’s likelyhood that it would be closed or sold by summer 2012. Why would the city feel that they can run a business when they fall short at running city government. If these same numbers were corresponding to a private business enterprise, the Fox would be in foreclosure or up for sale. That’s the real world, you just can’t continue to subsidize a deficit at taxpayer expense and believe that it is alright. This is just a skewed way of thinking.
City Finance Director Brent Mason said he doesn’t think city officials consider the theater a failure. If anyone can consider any business not to be a failure when it loses close to a million dollars a year it would be someone that is spending other peoples’ money. – Welrdelr, Commenter on the PE.
The Council and the Mayor has given a smoke screen to the problems and lost of revenue in the Fox Center. The topic came up at the Mayoral debate and each Council candidate praised it but one honest candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello spoke out about how much this was costing the taxpayers and we didn’t make money we were losing money each year. Dvonne suggested the City sell the Fox Center to stop losing money. Adkison, Bailey, Gardner and Melendrez felt the city should keep Fox Center and hope for a profit in the future. But Dvonne shocked the candidates and the crowd with the yearly lost can be doing nothing the loss would increase. She suggested we sell it and recoup our loses. Now that the public knows we see the same councilmen changing their view. Dvonne has the facts of most of the debt and future debt we will learn about but the council just hope voters will elect them to stay Mayor Loveridge course and keep the deals secret and the large debt secret. God does things for a reason and we ar learning things that have been kept secret. Dvonne has a plan to clean up the debt and keep the council on track to do the work for the citizens not business friends. We can expect more shockers to come as Dvonne said. We need her to lead up to recovery and the council should be glad she took the time to get the facts to correct the mess. – Airjackie, Commente on the PE.
According to Chief Financial Officer Bret Mason the expected deficit will be $900,000.00 for fiscal year 2012-2013. While some of the council disturbingly feel the deficit is acceptable, no one in their right mind within the private sector would consider this acceptable. Since when is losing money acceptable? Not in the private sector, this must be a public sector phenomenom, because when the money you are dealing with is not your own, you don’t feel the pain.. As I see it, that $900,000.00 loss could have been used for police and fire. The city would rather have a loss then to utilize the wasted funds to pay for a police or fire salary.
UPDATE: 05/29/2012: Lucky Greek owner sues the City of Riverside for $750,000.00
Imagine what the old Marcy Library would like now if it was handed over to Lucky Greek? What were the Council thinking? According to the Press Enterprise the suit claims the restaurant suffered first from restricted traffic during construction of the nearby Magnolia Avenue railroad underpass as well as street configurations. Many on the Main Street suffered from the construction, but were told they could not sue for loss of business, the city was protected against this. Other businesses suffered from eminent domain and construction on Market Street. Do these current businesses, some evicted and others who have gone, have someone to speak for them? Or do they have any recourse against the City after the Redevelopment debacle?
UPDATE: 05/29/2012: RIEMER REAMING THE TAXPAYER NEVER HURT SO BAD?…According to the Press Enterprise, “Judge Riemer declared a mistrial after a week of trial testimony so he could take his vacation — costing the taxpayers (by his own estimate) up to $25,000 — on the day of closing arguments.”
WILL THE REAL JUDGE RIEMER PLEASE STAND UP?
WAS THE RIEMER FAMILY TRUCKSTER PACKED AND READY TO GO?
Riemer affirmed he said “something to that effect” regarding his comment to Cook. He agreed that it was regrettable. “It would be better to keep thoughts like that to oneself.”.. According to some, Rogue Judge Riemer making rogue judgments? Not surprised, this is Riverside…
UPDATE: 06/01/2012: STATE FINANCE DEPARTMENT SENDS LETTER OF APPROVAL TO CITY OF RIVERSIDE ALLOWING COVERAGE OF $26 MILLION OF THE ORIGINAL $159 MILLION ORIGINALLY REJECTED. THEREFORE, CURRENTLY, APPROXIMATELY $133 MILLION IS UNACCEPTABLE TO THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AND REMAINS A DEBT OF THE CITY, OR SHOULD I SAY THE TAX PAYER.
ACCORDING TO CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER’ S BLOG, THIS LETTER RECEIVED FROM THE STATE, GIVES “CONFIRMATION THAT THE ACTIONS OF OUR FORMER REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY DID MEET THE LETTER AND SPIRIT OF THE LAW”. BUT ACCORDING TO THE PRESS ENTERPRISE ALICIA ROBINSON’S BLOG, THE AMOUNT OF THE REMAINING DEBT IS ACTUALLY $21 MILLION. WHICH DIFFERS FROM OUR AMOUNT OF $133 MILLION. THEREFORE, IT APPEARS FROM THE CITY’S VIEW TO IMPLY THAT $138 MILLION HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE STATE FINANCE DEPARTMENT AS LEGITIMATE ENFORCEABLE OBLIGATIONS.
ACCORDING TO THE PE, DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR EMILIO RAMIREZ STATED THAT NOT ONLY IS THE TOTAL AMOUNT STILL UNRESOLVED DOWN TO $21 MILLION, BUT “(JUST) BECAUSE THE LETTER DOESN’T INCLUDE EVERYTHING IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THE OTHER (ITEMS) ARE DENIED”. WE ARE THEREFORE ASSUMING THAT ALTHOUGH THE LETTER LIST $26 MILLION, THAT THE UNLISTED AMOUNTS ADDING UP TO $112 MILLION HAS BEEN BILATERALLY VERBALLY RESOLVED (Of course, no documents currently exist to corroborate Mr. Ramirez’s figure). THEREFORE WE ASSUME THE FOLLOWING: $26 MILLION + $112 MILLION = $138 MILLION (STATE ACCEPTED EO’S). THEN, $159 MILLION – $138 MILLION = $21 MILLION REMAINING DEBT IN QUESTION. SO WAS THE THE $138 MILLION JUST WRITTEN OFF OR REMOVED IN WHAT IS KNOWN AS A STAFF OVERSIGHT? OR WERE THEY, THE CITY, JUST TRYING TO PAD THE ROP’S TO SEE WHAT THEY COULD GET AWAY WITH? OH WHAT THE HELL, I GIVE UP..I ADMIT IT, THEY’VE WORN US DOWN..
UPDATE: 06/02/2012: NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, JACK OF ALL TRADES, ASSISTANT DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR TINA ENGLISH IS NOW ASSISTANT PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR?
YES, IT’S TRUE.. BUT WILL SHE ASK THE QUESTION, FORMER PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR ALLEGEDLY ASKED? “WHAT’S A POT HOLE”? ACCORDING TO FIVE BEFORE MIDNIGHT BLOG, “MS. ENGLISH BRINGS A WEALTH OF PUBLIC WORKS EXPERIENCE TO THE JOB TO FIT IN WITH THAT PROUD TRADITION”.. AGAIN, WHAT DOES SHE HAVE A DEGREE IN?
WILL COUNCIL CONSIDER APPROPRIATING RODNEY COUCH, OWNER OF MARKET BROILER RESTAURANTS, WITH $48,000.00 FOR OPERATING COST ($35,000.00) AND ADVERTISING ($13,000.00), FOR THE NOW TAX PAYER SUPPORTED CITY HALL RESTAURANT KNOWN AS THE ‘RAINCROSS CAFE’? ACCORDING TO THE BELOW DOCUMENT, RODNEY IS ALSO CLAIMING LOSSES OF $123,800.00 THAT NEEDS TO BE REIMBURSED TO HIM BEFORE THE CITY CAN MAKE A PROFIT. CLAUSE 4.2.1 STATES THAT ANY PROFIT RECOGIZED UP TO $100,000.00 SHALL BE PAID TO THE CITY. IF PROFITS EXCEED $100,000.00, THEY WILL BE SHARED EQUALLY BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE OPERATOR. BUT IN CASE THERE IS A LOSS, AS THERE IS, THE LOSS SHALL BE CARRIED FORWARD TO OFFSET THE PROFIT IN THE SUBSEQUENT YEARS.
WHAT DOES THE TAX PAYER GET? WHAT DOES RODNEY GET?
1. Advertising on the electronic billboard overlooking the 91 freeway. (so the City/ Taxpayer is paying for advertising of the billboard. All other restaurant owners in the City get this)?
2. Rodney is the preferred provider for catering of all City Hall events. (Since when does the taxpayer pay for event food for city hall elite)?
3. The City provides all the furniture, fixtures and equipment.
4. The City provides all janitorial services.
5. The City will pay all utilities.
THIS APPEARS TO HAVE COUNCILMAN AND MAYORAL CANDIDATE MIKE GARDNER’S WRITING ALL OVER THIS…BY GOLLY IT DOES! IF THIS PASSES THEY CERTAINLY HAVE TO PAY FOR IT IN SOME SORT OF FEE, PSEUDO TAX OR SERVICE FEE…
UPDATE: 06/05/2012: OPP’S! WE DID IT AGAIN! PASSED 7-0 ON THE CONSENT CALENDER. EVEN OUR INDEPENDENT VOICE, WHO STANDS FOR PEOPLE VOTED FOR IT..
UPDATE: 06/05/2012: DOES THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR TOM BOYD’S NEW RED CORVETTE?
RECYCLING THE MAYOR? ACCORDING TO PUBLIC COMMENT SPEAKER REBECCA LUDWIG, IF JOHN TAVAGLIONE IS ELECTED TO CONGRESS, WILL HE RECYCLE THE MAYOR (RON LOVERIDGE) TO REPLACE HIS VACANT POSITION?
UPDATE: 06/13/2012: City Manager presents budget, rebuttles community concerns. I just could not help myself but add this tid bit of information regarding a response by City Chief Finance Officer Bret Mason to Blogger Mary Shelton regarding the use of Firestations as colateral for a loan the City took out. Mason said those assets (firestations) make good collateral because lenders assume the city would be more motivated to avoid defaulting on the debt. This financial relationship I’ve never heard of in the current market place. If you take a second on your home, you will as the owner be motivated to avoid default, when you home is used for colateral? Mason went on to say, even if the city defaulted, the lender may only use the facilities until the debt is resolved but may not foreclose and take them from the city. The key to that statement is “may”, and these are the if’s and but’s which envelop citizen concerns. So if one defaulted as a home owner, the bank will only take your home over and never foreclose. They will hold it and give it back to when you catch up and resolve your debt? He goes to finish that his statement by saying basically that scenario would never happen.. “It’s beyond comprehension that the city would allow itself to get in a position where it could not make debt service payments,” Mason said.
Pravda Press Enterprise continues it’s art of molding popular public opinion? Does our Chief Sergio Diaz have a starring role? PE leading the way to absolutely no comments?
WHAT’S WRONG PE? CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH ABOUT OBAMA & ILLEGALS STEALING AMERICAN JOBS? WHY YOU SENSORING ALL THE COMMENTS THAT ARE TRUE. WE ARE IN AMERICA ( OR I THOUGHT ) WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH SO LET OUR OPINIONS BE KNOWN!! – obama hater, commenter on the Press Enterprise possibly prior to being censored..
JUST FOR LAUGHS! EVEN THOUGH I KNOW YOU’RE REALLY MAD BY NOW..