CHAMBER SCREWJOB OF THE WEEK: WATERWISE LANDSCAPE MAKEOVER

Posted: May 6, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

scam         croth

WHO WOULDN’T TRUST THIS INNOCENT FACE?

Just a few weeks back, we warned you of the new old game in town: the Public-Private Partnership(“P“-ing on your leg and telling you it’s raining, essentially).  The masters of this taxpayer and ratepayer ripoff is, of course, our old pal, the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce.  The point of this game is to enhance their visibility in the community under the auspices of doing great deeds of self-less charity, quietly paid for with your money, in order to justify their political influence, which will then be used to create programs that more directly (but just as quietly) benefit their membership … once again, at your expense.

waterwise2015

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This week’s scam is called the Waterwise Landscape Makeover, wherein a lucky Riverside homeowner wins $10,000 in goods and services to makeover their yard courtesy of Chamber-administered Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful (KRCB) program.  Western Municipal Water District (Bob Stockton on both boards of directors) and Riverside Public Utilities (RPU exec Girish Balachandran on Chamber’s board of directors) graciously sponsor the makeover with your money.  The Chamber also sells raffle tickets with the proceeds going to help pay, “for tools and supplies for monthly beautification projects and youth education projects.”  Apparently, the $190,000+/year the taxpayers of Riverside kick in to run KRCB does not buy many shovels, rakes, and garbage bags….must be inflation!

KRCB Report1          KRCB Report2

Did we mention that 3-year contract with KRCB was of the no-bid variety?  Or did that go without saying?

If nothing else, we at TMC love winners, and so we checked to see who the lucky folks were that have won this contest in the past.

In 2009, Officer Mike Blakely of the Riverside Police Department took home the prize.

mikeblakely

In 2010, Chamber of Commerce member Laurie Beatty was chosen.

Waterwise2010

In 2011, Administrative Assistant to the City Manager, Maureen Mitchell, won the makeover.

Waterwise2011

In 2012, it was Chamber member Bill Chamberlain.

Waterwise2012

In 2013, another Chamber member, Matt Stowe.

stowejpegChamberWinners

In 2014, Nick Ferguson, who had recently joined the Riverside’s Board of Public Utilities, was all smiles with his new landscaping.

nickfergusonboardarticle    ferguson

CLICK ABOVE IMAGES TO ENLARGE

We wait with bated breath for word on who the 2015 winner will be!

For most contests such as these, the public is accustomed to hearing/seeing something akin to the following disclaimer: employees of the company, the contest’s participating sponsors and their advertising agencies, and members of the immediate family of any such persons are not eligible to participate and win. So let’s tally this up: in 6 years, 2 city employees, 3 Chamber members, and one RPU Board member were awarded the top prize.  An award which was sponsored by the City and RPU, run through the Chamber…

If that sounds a bit questionable, don’t worry: we were assured by Chamber counsel, Dewey Cheatham, and Howe LLP, and auditor, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLP, that we’re just being paranoid…and of course, jealous.  TMC would love to get taxpayer and ratepayer funding so that we could run our own games, sell tickets to our friends, and share your wealth with them…(on second though, that would be a scam…and we’re certain our ever vigilant Council and Board of Public Utilities wouldn’t allow it…unless we were also Board members and city executives as well…)  Hmmmmmmm.  We may have chosen the wrong careers. 😦

Of course, the more obvious explanation is that if not for the Chamber and the City, no one would, you know, actually buy tickets for this contest.  And we can’t have that, or we’d have no excuse to burn our ratepayers’ money.  So of course only Chamber members and City staff and appointeds win the darn thing!  And we’d be fine with that…if they weren’t using our hard-earned cash to sponsor it.

 And the deadbeat goes on…la dah dada dee, la dah dada dah.

SOMETIME SOON (MAYBE EVEN THIS MONTH), we’ll talk about one of the big ripoffs: the commercial turf replacement program, funded through an illegal tax on your utility bills to the tune of millions of dollars, for the benefit of Chamber members.  And the deadbeat goes on….

EDIT: RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY RAISES THE RENTAL FEE OF THE AB BROWN SOCCER FIELDS TO THE AMERICAN YOUTH SOCCER ORGANIZATION …from $1/year to $11,000!  The possibility remains to double or triple rentals fees going forward.  Questions arise as to why.  Of course, TMC knows that anytime one deals with the City, bad things will eventually happen, and there will be no transparency as to why…but that’s the big picture.  Will the youth of this soccer organization have to find another location?  Is this another attempt to make it financially difficult for the youth to use the grounds because the city has other plans that does not include them?  Some are indicating “extortion” tactics by the city.  The claim of “extortion” was also brought publicly by the newly built Hyatt Hotel in Riverside.  The Hyatt developer’s claim states that the city “extorted” money from MetroRiverside (developer of the Hyatt) by improperly changing the obligations to build public improvements, and by delaying approval of designs for the improvements. The claims says the developer lost money because of the design approval delay and the convention center closure.

TMC, however, knows the real story of what’s going on at the Ab Brown Soccer Fields: they are being used for General Fund purposes financed by our Electric Fund in violation of our City Charter!  In other words, we have another illegal tax Riverside residents pay for via our utility bills, which is hidden from the public through an elaborate shell game concocted by City staff and endorsed by our Council.  The City’s General Fund would of course like to buy these properties from the Electric Fund to fix this little problem, but it’s out of money!  So the real question is not, “why did the rent go up?” but, “why wasn’t it raised a long time ago?,” a question raised by RPU General Manager Girish Balachandran in an unguarded moment last December.  And the answer to that question is: because we misspent hundreds of millions of dollars under the previous/current regime…and now the kids must pay that price.  And if that doesn’t make you angry enough to kick Ward 1 Councilman Mike Gardner to the curb this election, we don’t know what would…

2015-section-tourney-finals-850x409

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “OFFENSIVE,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO THE ACLU.  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVLY EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE (WE BELIEVE THIS WILL END SOON, SINCE THE FOCUS IS NOW ON THE IMPROPRIETIES OF MR. “Z”, WE TRIED TO TELL YOU, BUT NOBODY LISTENED), AND DON’T FORGET WE ARE PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… A STRATEGIC LEGAL MANEUVER THAT CAN BE DONE ONLY IN RIVERSIDE WITHOUT A CONTRACT… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  WE JUST CAN’T SPELL!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT BY CONTACTING US AT:  THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

Comments
  1. Kaptalizm says:

    LOL! This is hilarious. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the $10k ends up in the pockets of a landscape architect and contractor who are both Chamber Members. Hey, they take care of their own, don’t they?

    • thirtymiles says:

      I didn’t even think about that, I wouldn’t put anything past Cindy Roth and her circle of friends. There you are, the complete picture of how taxpayer monies feeds the circle of elite life. I think I’d call that municipal welfare.

  2. Aurora Chavez says:

    I think the $574,000 to the Chambers the City gave them will forever stick in the residents throat! KRCB program has 3 staffers and over 200 volunteers giving them lunch and school credits.

    The City didn’t even negotiate a cut of the amount due to the impact to the General Fund. GF pays for City services, ie fire, police, and other services like tree trimming/ uprooting!! Now, the City wants the homeowner to pay for that service. Get KRCB to pay for it! The City keeps giving them our money! $574,000. Remember that figure when the City says they don’t have the money!

  3. Aurora Chavez says:

    City says we don’t have the money for tree trimming. They gave the Chambers $574,000 to Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful! A giveaway of our tree trimming money.

  4. Waterwise Landscape Makeover…Oh, brother. another scam. another money making for the Chamber. and I just notice on the Chamber website that they are endorsing Gardner for Ward 1 (because he is helping to “create jobs” in the community) and they have PAC. And certainly the Chamber just can’t keep money out of politics. I wonder what favor Gardner is giving to the Chamber if he is elected.

  5. Roy Bleckert says:

    One of my sayings is …98.7% of all government programs ( includes the PPP’s ) wind up in graft & corruption no matter how well the intentions are …. LOLLLLINNNN!!!!!!!!

  6. justin martinez says:

    Greedy Bastards

  7. Kaptalizm says:

    Hey TMC, Riverside Public Utilities is extorting $12,000 out of the local AYSO soccer league to use fields that they used to play on for $1. Are you kidding me?? It’s in the P-E today.

  8. Roy Bleckert says:

    It appears the former redevelopment agency’s are coming back in AB 229 & SB 628 http://www.californiaeminentdomainreport.com/2014/11/articles/redevelopment/governor-brown-signs-into-law-ab-229-and-sb-628-giving-new-life-to-tax-increment-financing/ Infrastructure and Revitalization Financing Districts ( IRFD ) & Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD ) these may be used as new tools for public private partnerships ( PPP’s = we pay they play ?) the EIFD may be really troubling as voter approval is down to 55% & the districts can last up to 45 years among other things …. might want to grab your ankles … cuz you know whats coming next
    ……

  9. Marilyn says:

    This City is on it’s way to the Beaumont situation When you have only two or three councilmen that will listen but not learn our cities mistakes (corruption) is on its way to shame Riverside is #2 in the corruption top ten in So Cal if we try harder we can be #1

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