CITY OF RIVERSIDE: WILL THE REAL RUSSO PLEASE STAND UP?…..PUBLIC SERVANT OR SELF SERVANT/TAXMAN?

Posted: January 31, 2018 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS IN RIVERSIDE?

Just over a year after Riverside City Manager John Russo fought to increase your sales taxes and mere days after advocating to raise your utility taxes by increasing rates, on February 6th at 2pm in Council Chambers he’s asking for his payola in the form of a new, 7-year contract from his bosses.  And the Bad News Council will probably give it to him as he’s been instrumental in bringing us some of the highest tax and rate increases in the history of Riverside for them to continue to play with…in the name of “public safety and vital services” of course. [snicker, snicker]

We don’t believe most of us would have a problem with a salary increase or extension if he was actually bringing value to his shareholders, or in other words, a savings to the taxpayers, feepayers, ratepayers, etc.  Heck, one could make the argument that he might deserve such if he was providing us with better services at the same price to us.  Instead, Russo has been increasing all-of-the-above during his tenure to cover-up the poor decisions made by the Bad News Council over the previous decade-or-so, especially concerning unfunded pensions, which are now beyond $600 million in the red.  That’s right, since he arrived a mere 3-years ago from his $240+thousand/year salary gig in Alameda (after serious prompting by recently exiled ex-General Manager of Riverside Public Utilities, Girish “Drunk Daddy” Balachandran), you and I are paying higher sales taxes, higher property taxes, higher fees, and soon, if he has his way, higher utility rates.  So busy has Russo been playing his role as taxman we wonder where he finds the time to, you know, actually run the city.

So what of this 7-year contract you may ask?  For starters, he is asking for a new contract with over 2 years remaining on his current contract!  What gives?  This brings us to the obvious question, “Why is he asking now, and why would members of the Bad News Council seriously consider it or even agree to it at this time?”  Is he planning on breaking his current contract like he previously did in Alameda?  If so, and if he gets his new contract, what would prevent him from bolting in a few years anyway, as there are no clawbacks or liquidated damage provisions to ensure he stays?  It is clear to us that he thinks he holds all the cards at the moment, or that he’s identified most of our Council as pigeons.

According to Transparent California, as of 2016 Russo’s total pay and benefits (not including the liability we’re accruing in the unfunded form of his pension) comes to an extraordinary total of $415, 998.40!  That puts Russo just outside the top 1000 public salaries in the State of California, in the top 1%…check that, top 0.01%.  Whodathunk right here in the cosmic epicenter of the Inland Empire, with a per median household income of $56,000, we have a bonafide rock star in our midst?

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Another pressing question is why does Russo even need a 7-year contract?  Our Council can apparently  fire him at any time with a 12-month severance payout.  Is this an ego thing or is he just striking while the iron’s hot?  And why would a Council, full with individuals who may not even be on the dais in less than 4 years, bind the hands of a future Council?  So is this another rendition of the Old Man and the Sea of Taxpayer Monies, or is it to further lead us into a California society of To Haves and Have Nots and in doing so run us Across the River and Into the Trees?

               

CLICK ON IMAGES TO VIEW FULL CONTRACT

Not only is he already one of the highest paid public sector employees in the Inland Empire, he is also the sixth highest salaried city manager in the State, behind only the likes of city managers at Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Santa Ana, and Palm Springs.  On top of 3-4% annual raises he requests based off his new $327 thousand/year salary (up from $240k/year just 4 years ago…my-oh-my, aren’t we gracious?), on top of his already-lavish benefit package, he is looking for these non-standard terms in his new deal from the City (aka, us):

  • He wants us to pay his State Bar dues (though he’s not employed as the City Attorney).
  • He wants us to provide a 15-year subsidized mortgage on his $675,000 house.  So have we become Bank of Riverside?
  • He wants us to provide him with a 15-year term $700,000.00 life insurance policy.  John’s lavish and carefree lifestyle makes life insurance unaffordable?
  • He wants us to grant him a one-time 7 week vacation bonus.  A payola signing bonus laundered as a vacation bonus for assisting Council in securing higher rates and taxes?
  • He wants us to allow him to have a teaching job on the side.  Apparently, he needs to supplement his income and/or network towards his next career opportunity and/or needs intellectual stimulation away from our brain-dead Council.

Of course he also gets:

  • Fully paid medical, dental and optical for him and his family.
  • A $500 monthly car allowance.

The biggest laugh is in the City Council Memorandum that states there is “no net cost compared to the current contract provisions” in the new contract…despite all the net costs to his current contract provisions, prepared and approved by his own staff of course.  I guess P.T. Barnum said it best, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”  Russo seems set to test that theory on at least 4 members of our Council.

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

It’s 1 for us, and 1 for him … and 1 for us, and 19 for him.  And so who is John Russo reeeeally to the general public?  Friend, foe or simply just the taxman…collecting revenue to live the high life himself?  Then you got to ask, “What’s with the Hemingway beard?”  TMC just wants you to know it’s aging you.

Will the Real Russo please stand up, show your colors and take off your make-up … while we ask the Bad News Council to find some rocks under their belt and tell you to go pound sand.

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “NEGATIVE,” “RAUNCHY,” “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “REPREHENSIBLE,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “FILTHY,” “VILE,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “DEFAMATORY,” “STUPID,” “PATHETIC,” “DESPICABLE,” “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “OFFENSIVE,” “OBNOXIOUS,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” “FIT TO BE VIEWED FROM THE REAR” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE! YES WE ADMIT WE OUR ALL OF THAT AND MORE, WHICH IN CURRENT TERMS IS KNOWN AS “UNPOLITICALLY CORRECT.” 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.. … AGAIN, THANK YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT! CONTACT US: thirtymilescorruption@hotmail.com

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