CITY OF RIVERSIDE: I WAS SUCKER PUNCHED! OR WAS I SOCCER PUNCHED?…… AL ZELINKA

Posted: March 2, 2020 in Uncategorized
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THE STORY OF COUNCILMAN ANDY MELENDREZ’S SOCCER FIELD:

The dialog starts in 2010 around a bustling city water cooler one day with the talk that we need a soccer stadium, and it should be in the Northside, and of course, the City just happens to have the “perfect” piece of property.  Or should I say, a goulash of several properties, one of them was the former Riverside Golf Course.

Backtracking in time, about 2005 the City needed money and property to get into the full swing of Redevelopment and they had their eyes set on the Northside of Ward 1.  This was easy pickings: apathetic Northside residents, surplus utility property, out sized utility reserves, and a staff all-too-ready to violate the law and City policy in the name of advancing their careers.  The end game was simple: special interests and the City wins and the average taxpayer and ratepayer would be left looking for the license plate of the vehicle that hit them.

Forward, Council Member Andy Melendrez started selling Riverside Soccer Complex idea to the community.  Then, we get a new Community Development Director (CDD), Al Zelinka, who starts planning for a beautiful new soccer stadium with all the bells and whistles.  The CDD spends about a year and a half putting this project together. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, goes into planning, designing and developing this stadium.

The City then selected two main development teams to bid for this project. The Council is ready to hear the proposals from both teams.  The Council Chamber is full that afternoon with developers, architects, contractors, money men, and probably a couple of other scoundrels.  Every one of them is dressed in their Sunday Best.  The “Big” names of Riverside elitist were sitting there: Yeager, Tavaglione, Rubin, Singletary, Hunt… all ready, willing, and able to cash in on the tax payer, as in this PE Article on the Soccer Complex back in September 2012.

We had repeatedly advised the Council and the City that this deal could not and should not go forward.  But nobody wanted to listen as our elects were salivating over each other and their proposed plans for futbol-for-all was within arms reach. THEN……… EVERYTHING FELL APART RIGHT BEFORE THEIR EYES.  WE WERE RIGHT, THEY WERE WRONG!  The charade was turning into a legal liability nightmare for the City, the integrity of Al Zelinka was in question, and the Council looked foolish.  In the end, nothing was ever done with the property UNTIL….2013-2014.

There was the unforeseeable problem for the City regarding these Northside properties, again we tried to tell them.  Problem was that the Northside properties didn’t belong to or were owned by the City.  Those properties were once owned by our Water Fund; that were sold to the Redevelopment Agency, General Fund and Electric Funds; a portion of which were subsequently given to the General Fund; all financed by the Sewer and Electric Funds; and with one property sold back to the Water Fund.  Did you get all that?  We may have missed a transaction or two, but what Council and the City failed to understand was that the properties were all tied up in the dissolution of Redevelopment!

Everyone was upset. The selected teams of developers had huge money invested in drawings and plans for the development to present to the Council.  The soccer stadium died a slow, painful, very public death that day. . . and the City’s response due to their embarrassment was to initiate another audit.  Yep, let’s get to the bottom of this, with another audit, to attempt to appease the angry natives.

City hires Baker Tilly to do the audit on the Northside.  An audit within an audit — that is what the accountants call it.  Mr. Hissom from Baker Tilley starts his comments by saying this site has already been audited by many financial firms and they had been done appropriately by some very highly quality firms.  BUT… They were more than happy to take this task on again and perform another audit.  Hey, if you could get a paycheck for work already done, would you turn it down?

So, what did this audit accomplish? NOTHING!! After all the hoopla, this property at the time, was remained in the hands of RDA (Redevelopment Agency) or the Department of Finance for the State of California.

HERE’S OUR ORIGINAL TMC STORY: 02.9.2016: CITY OF RIVERSIDE: AUDITING FIRM, BAKER TILLY, GIVES RIVERSIDE A C- ON NORTHSIDE PROPERTIES TRANSACTIONS

COUNCILMAN ANDY MELENDREZ’S SANCTUARY CITY DEBACLE:

Councilman Andy Melendrez’s attempt to re-brand the City of Riverside as a “Sanctuary City” appeared to be part of his hidden agenda according to many in the community and not brought forward prominently as part of a City Council discussion way back on August 26, 2014.  As a result, a formal Code of Ethics and Conduct complaint was filed by Fontana Council candidate Tressy Capps, specifically against Melendrez’s assertion that their would be no “fiscal impact” in the adoption of this resolution, as stated in the City Council Memorandum.  The following is the filed complaint by Tressy Capps.

complaintone

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL ETHICS COMPLAINT FILED BY CAPPS

The following is the City Council Memorandum stating that there would be no “fiscal impact” with the adoption of this humanitarian resolution.  Really now Andy!  TMC knows that the policy gets set first: then the “ask” (cha-ching) comes later.

memorandum

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW CITY COUNCIL MEMORANDUM

What was more concerning was that this item/resolution was placed on the Consent Calendar, in what could be seen as a way to sneak a real issue of community concern by the public, by not bringing it allowing discussion from differing viewpoints.  Instead, it was removed from the consent calendar for discussion and eventually shot down after a huge waste of time that only divided the community.  This kind of pandering political play makes Andy untrustworthy to many in his own Ward.  The resolution provides no clarity towards whether the term “immigrants,” applies to those here legally or illegally, and we would guess that’s intentional.  Because if they were in the country legally, we surmise there would be reason to have a resolution to protect immigrants.  Problem: Melendrez said one thing at the forefront, but stated another in the fine print as seen in the resolution.  We provide the resolution below:

resolutionone

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW THE MELENDREZ HUMANITARIAN RESOLUTION

Capps states that this resolution directly violates specifically page 4, item #6 of the Code of Ethics and Conduct for Elected Officials.  She cited the item, “they will seek to insure that information provided by the city government to the public is accurate and clear.”  Where is former City Attorney Greg Priamos when we need him to pick the nits?  Oh Hell, he would just make matters worse.

CofEone        Cofetwo

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT (CLICK IMAGES ABOVE TO ENLARGE)

Many in the community feel this resolution advocates breaking Federal law.  It appears that Melendez in that case would not only be advocating violating the law, he is also offering that it would be ok for the City of Riverside to accept those who have entered the country illegally.  TMC feels this would be done without consideration of those in his community who are legal, and need help, such as are veterans, homeless, residents struggling financially to make ends meet, etc.  On the other hand, proponents state that we need to ensure that the security, protection and needs of illegal or undocumented children are addressed on a humanitarian level, which appears we would agree with…from a Federal level.  Many cities have adopted similar resolutions, even some states, but we at TMC ask what the fallout will be when you’re in conflict Federal laws.  Our guess is, watching what is transpiring in DC at the moments, the consequences will affect the general public of these “sanctuaries” negatively.

Illegal immigration cost the American taxpayer $84 billion a year. $2,724.00 per household in California alone. To say that there is no fiscal impact, I don’t know how you can justify that?

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST EVERYTHING, A.K.A “THIRTY MILES OF CR-P,” “SITE IS A JOKE,” “SCANDALOUS,” “NEGATIVE,” “WARPED,” “RAUNCHY,” “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “REPREHENSIBLE,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “INDECENT,” “REPUGNANT,””IMMORAL,” “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 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

Comments
  1. Tom Hunt says:

    Thank you for finally bringing the soccer complex debacle to light.

    When the developers, our team included, .met for the briefing meeting RFO, we were all told by then Emilio Ramirez that the land could not be sold. To which one of the attendees asked ” well then should we assume that there will Bond capacity ” which ER affirmed. ( a developer cannot get their financing unless they own or have a very long term ground lease-even then very difficult with a government entity. Our team was Rick Eng, Fortus architects, USA soccer, Mark Rubin for the grocery anchored shopping center, 12 acres, we are told stadium, practice fields etc then they/city as well wanted other sports/family recreation opportunities: we studied and found that a growing popularity item were these lakes which one can “water-ski” via a “merry go round” high up that is a (better than described) rope pull , “Wakeboarding parks”.

    We spent $thousands in hours on drawings, studies, visiting other such complexes, bringing in advisers on turf, hooded lights, comparison sound studies and more etc. USA Soccer was excited, i met a xouokenif times with the locally powerful AYSO leadership who were not happy as to the new, yet gradual use does projected as they utilized Ab Brown for a piddling fee. Our collective nearly 1,000 hrs produced a very quality project proposal, drawings, studies and USA Soccer’s commitment to Riverside, and so did the competing project led by TC and other locals.

    Finally the workshop presentations at CC chambers. The other team presented first, and in the early stages of their presentation they alluded to the Bonds backing the project. Silent Scott Barber then CM suddenly woke up to announce in almost shocked tone that there wasn’t any bonding available as if we had made it up. We were greatly taken backangry, we were frustrated and we watched as ER just shrugged his shoulders. We presented nevertheless yet that was that. Al Zelinka: I do not recall Al Zelinka being involved as at least as we were going back and forth with ER. It was a massive waste of time, 8+ months at least and all including even more disappointed in our City was USA Soccer. Yes , Councilman Melendrez was a driving force for the stadium as he felt he could attract with such a team associated I believe with Chivas . CM Gardener was excited by the Rubin led shopping center/grocery anchored, and we had to promise a Shakey’s like pizza place there as well.

    Yet to whom would we complain to, certainly not the City Manager who had apparently had never been briefed by Emilio.

    Never forgot it. Emilio was later relocated to Homeless housing.

    Anyhow some background. Tom

    On Mon, Mar 2, 2020, 8:31 AM TMC: Thirty Miles of Corruption wrote:

    > Javier Moreno posted: “https://youtu.be/_e62YSgjH3A THE STORY OF > COUNCILMAN ANDY MELENDREZ’S SOCCER FIELD: The dialog starts in 2010 around > a bustling city water cooler one day with the talk that we need a soccer > stadium, and it should be in the Northside, and of course, ” >

    • Again, Thank-you Tom for this side we didn’t know. It brings more light to correct our perspective on this issue which of course, happened years ago, but is relevant within the realms of our current governmental direction. Or simply, how our City does business. Thank-you once again we relish your imput! Best, Javier Moreno

  2. Scott says:

    Ab Brown soccer fields are leased to AYSO for youth soccer teams. It is owned by the city water dept. AYSO gets a sweet lease deal. So what does AYSO pay for utilities–NADA. The city RPU sends the bill for the water, electric and sewer to the Parking services contractor who presumably pays the bill from the collected parking fees. No record of giving free utility services to a non-profit.
    I wonder who pays for cutting the grass soccer fields??

  3. Kim lindsey says:

    I wonder if Melendez still holds this dubious position. We must find out if we are going to back him. What choice do we have?

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