NOT-SO-FAST ON THOSE SHINY NEW CONTRACTS!

Local resident Jason Hunter exposes the truth about the newly-signed gold-plated contracts of both City Manager John Russo and City Attorney Gary Geuss.  Turns out the current contracts were not accompanied by an amendment to a resolution called the Master Fringe Benefits and Salary Plan, signed by the Mayor as required by City’s Municipal Code (local law).  That particular resolution grants authority to the Council to pay certain salaries and benefits to certain positions.  And the jury at TMC believes the omittance of this document to be intentional given other recent employee deals.  But what the heck do we know!?

When both Russo and Geuss were initially employed, this particular resolution was included within the agenda packet that contained their contracts.  Three years later it magically disappears.  Hunter states the two ramifications of what’s been perpetrated: 1) the contracts terms negotiated outside the authority of the resolution are invalid (and the monies need to be returned immediately to the City’s treasury) and 2) upon re-introduction of the resolution, the Mayor has the right to veto the terms, as he does all resolutions under Section 413 of the City Charter.

                       

Who would have known?  We could extrapolate that City Attorney Gary Geuss, City Manager John Russo and even Human Resources Director Stephanie Holloman would have known.  Incidentally, Holloman and Geuss we hear know each other from their employment with the City/Port of Los Angeles.  Perhaps even Councilman Chris MacArthur could have known given how he eagerly tried to override Mayor Bailey’s veto by signing Russo’s contract as Mayor Pro-Tem.  Maybe even Councilman Jim Perry, who signed Geuss’ deal, was in on the scheme.

        

Who also should have 100% with-out-doubt-known is City Clerk Colleen J. Nicol. Her 30% raise over the past 2-1/2 years must have affected her emotional decision-making not to alert Mayor Bailey. She is either afraid of Russo and Geuss, or she’s simply a master at playing the game (and consequently cruising into retirement at your expense). In our experience, Colleen doesn’t miss a piece of paper at City Hall…what we’d call a pro’s pro…so what’s up?  Whatever the reason, you can be sure TMC will find out!

                         

  JOHN RUSSO FULL MEMO/RESOLUTION                    GARY GEUSS FULL MEMO/RESOLUTION

 

 

                                   

CITY CHARTER                              FRINGE BENEFITS                     SALARY REGULATIONS

Let’s not forget this quote from City Manager John Russo, “…as a child of immigrants with a scholarship Yale degree, and a top ten law school that I have to beg you to do and preserve what we all busted our tails to do to make this city move.”  “But I assure you, I might be here in two years, and whether you extend my contract or not I’m not going to have any trouble getting a job.  But if we vote no tonight, I cannot make any assurances to you about keeping this team together, that’s the reality that’s your choice!”  More famous words for us Riverside Hillbilly’s is, “You can’t afford to have this team break up!”  So what did Russo really mean?  “I’m am so brilliant I’m going to screw Mayor Bailey and the taxpayer out of millions of dollars and they are so stupid they won’t even notice, and my cronies and I can live our much-deserved lavish lifestyles free of interference from the unwashed masses.  Let them eat cake!”  Our bet is the only cake we’ll be eating, John, will be at your going away party.

RIVERSIDE’S CONTRACT-GATE: ONE QUESTION REMAINS

UPDATE: REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION INTO MAYOR BAILEY’S OFFICE:  At the March 7, 2018, Riverside City Council meeting, Councilman Andy Melendrez requests an investigation into Mayor Bailey’s Office to determine if confidential materials related to the Mayor’s right to veto a contract of a City officer were released without Council authorization to the public.  Rumor has it this request involves the Mayor’s Office releasing the Colantuono Legal Opinion (and hence violating the City’s Attorney/Client privilege) prior to it becoming a public document a few weeks ago.  What? He’s requesting the formation of Special Counsel for this inquiry?  Does he think the City of Riverside river water is full of the same rats found in the swamps of Washington D.C.?  Shouldn’t have Andy requested Special Counsel to investigate the contract fraud Mr. Hunter speaks of instead?

As an aside we love how Andy is so nice and polite in this video right before he inserts the dagger of righteousness into the Mayor’s Office.  All of sudden, after all these years, Andy wants “transparency,” into the dirty deeds done dirt cheap within the confines of City Hall.  How marvelous!  Andy should have just called TMC: we’ve already done the investigation for free!  But alas, that’s for another day dear readers…

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE REGIONAL COUNTY’S MOST, “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 “POLITICALLY INCORRECT.” 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

The pension problem in the City of Riverside was brought to the attention of the City Council and the Executive Management as early as 2014 by the very active public and TMC.  We want to make this very clear to our readers: all the political rhetoric that is currently being spun is bullshit.  Assistant City Manager Marianna Marysheva tries to spin the fact that her brilliant team has just discovered our current dire pension problem.  No Marianna, we found it, years before your arrival on the scene from Oakland Maywood Lynwood Mammoth Lakes…wherever (damn girl, you’ve been around!).  If you are claiming you just found it, we are going to claim you are a waste of money.

Not only did we find and report the break down in this system, we were ignored.  Now, no one will be held accountable for their lack of professionalism and enormous cost to the taxpayer.  So what do these ever-increasing pensions costs mean to the public?  You will no longer get your trees trimmed, potholes filled, parks maintained.   So, what does this mean to City Hall?  You will have your $200,000 salary for the rest of your life!  Make no mistake about it, we are going to get nothing, and they – the public employees – are going take everything.  These brilliant professional minds at City Hall are going to ask for more money, and you the stupid taxpayer are going to continue to pay it.  At least that’s the plan…

The pension problem was created in the 1990’s by Governor Davis when he increased the formula for payouts for State employees based upon his thoughts that the tech bubble would never pop. Every municipal agency soon followed.  Because our government is stacked with pro-labor sycophant’s who apparently don’t care about the future nor understand math, instead of adjusting these formulas back downwards, it became clear post-housing bubble we couldn’t afford them.  Hence, CalPERS began forcing larger and larger contributions from both municipalities and employees, while not addressing some of the outrageous pension-spiking abuses in a timely fashion.  And while the issue is now finally getting the attention it deserved 10 years ago, we at TMC believe the problems are now so large they are virtually unsolvable absent drastic measures or miracles, as baby boomers are retiring in droves.

Riverside CFO Adam Raymond at the last Budget Engagement Commission meeting on Thursday February 22, 2018 stated that shortfalls in the General Fund are simply due to CalPER’s increases in contributions.  City records indicate that forecasted City revenues will be inadequate to cover these expenses for the next decade!   As operational costs increase in the next five years in fact City reserves will disintegrate, if of course, we don’t do anything.  And what does that mean?  Will they come back to the taxpayers again, and again for their shortfalls?  But this hasn’t been a secret: unsustainable pension costs have been a popular topic for several years now.  But you know what is a secret until now?  Riverside has no plan to deal with the impending crunch…unless you count sticking it to the constituents as a plan.

As a consequence to escalating pension obligations, our reserves will continue to decrease, and therefore Mr. Raymond suggests to the commission the possibility of investing with slightly higher risk as a possibility (of course with an unpredictable economy, this investment platform may not be the most desirable option).  Measure Z revenues will not be enough.  Mr. Raymond suggests more cuts, after the City had promised that the passing of Measure Z would take care of everything. Just like the water transfer tax, the hotel tax, etc., etc., before it…wash, rinse, repeat.

Later Assistant City Manager Marianna Marysheva attempts to mitigate the perplexing faces of the Commission about the use of Measure Z monies for pension obligations, by using her well-known by now, “Ice Queen Spin,” which includes a variation of monotone nothing-speak, impossible-to-understand powerpoint slides, along with empty promises.  She tried to show the commission that the shortfall was revealed only after review of the numbers by her crack team, and ‘we are on it’, and ‘that is why we do these five year plans’.  But perception is reality, and the Commission knows it and the Council knows it: the budget crunches will continue ad infinitum due to increasing unsustainable pension obligations.  And we for two wouldn’t be surprises if the City, with the financial help of the unions (our heroes, right?), rams through another tax measure.

Advice for Ms. Marysheva: stop the drama – we know it’s an act, and a bad one at that.  Your boss John Russo is the ‘ultimate drama queen,’ and don’t even try to take that away from him.  There is only one diva allowed at a time.

The Ice Queen brings up her meeting with a bond rating agency. So why is this important? On one hand she says in three years we are going to have challenging financial problems, while on the other hand she is setting us up for borrowing more money. You see folks its never enough. She also mentions that the bond rating agency is impressed with the TEAM…. So who’s the TEAM?  The Mayor, City Council, executive staff, and Budget Engagement Commission.  You mean batting leadoff and on deck are the two principal players in getting us in this fiscal hellhole?  We have to laugh that, little does the bond rating agency know, the MAYOR is no longer part of the TEAM!

Case in point, according to September 23, 2016 Press Enterprise editorial,  “Regrettably for taxpayers, city officials are often reluctant to show fiscal discipline or search for innovative ways to deliver services until they’ve already dug a deep financial hole. Asking for more money is much easier. It’s something taxpayers need to be mindful of …. ”  And hence, taxpayers will be hit with more and more creative ways that cities can tax us in order to continue the gravy train for our so-called heroes.

According to a September 2016 Opinion piece by Sal Rodriguez in the Orange County Register,

Public employee unions exist to advocate for their members, often campaigning for policies at odds with the best interests of the general public.

The so-called public safety unions are in a unique position. Representing some of the most esteemed and highest paid of government employees, they have lots of money to dole out and are more than comfortable exaggerating threats to public safety if it helps their cause.

Cases in point: ballot initiatives in Hemet, Riverside and San Bernardino tainted by undue influence from public safety unions.

Hemet has been plagued by polarizing debates over public safety and taxes for the past several years. In 2014, soon before the November elections, the City Council voted to contract for fire services, deeming it the best available option.

This prompted a flood of money from firefighters unions across Riverside County to help elect candidates favorable to the city’s firefighters union, which opposed contracting.

It worked, and the newly elected council quickly reversed the decision to contract, and has focused on tax hikes ever since.

In June, voters rejected the union-backed Measure E sales tax increase. Rather than reconsider the decision to capitulate to union demands, the council instead decided to put another tax on the November ballot.

In Riverside, the city, which last year was boasting about a $1 million surplus and felt so good it decided to give police officers a $4 million raise the city hadn’t actually budgeted for, has put on the November ballot a one-percent sales tax.

Expected to raise about $50 million a year, Measure Z is touted as necessary for the future of Riverside.

With a name like “City of Riverside Public Safety and Vital City Services Measure,” it certainly sounds important. Of course, if passed Measure Z revenues can be spent however the council likes and there are no guarantees about how the money will be spent, with one notable exception.

On Tuesday, the City Council approved a contract with the city’s police union which, among other things, will give police officers a bigger raise if voters approve a tax increase. It’s quite the incentive.

According to recent filings, the police union has already contributed $12,500 to the Measure Z campaign. Firefighters union president Tim Strack told The Press-Enterprise that he already had $100,000 in commitments for the campaign.

Behind any talk of the need for more money for “public safety,” is really just a desire for bigger raises and budgets.

Note the blatant conflict of interest by our public safety unions.  They give big money to support a sales tax like Measure Z and they give big money to the campaigns of the individual Council members.  These Council members, hence, are responsible for ratifying their contracts.  Shouldn’t this be considered criminal behavior?  They pay to play, and they see us as nothing but feeble-minded simpletons, who will vote based on ’emotion rather than logic.’  They will mobilize and encourage their union members to vote for an initiative because it is good for them financially, even if the action is unsustainable and destabilizing socially in the long term.  They will then cry foul when we as a City cannot deliver.

Make no bones about it, if the public doesn’t take the business of the people seriously, neither will those who represent you.  We think the City should be run as a efficiently as a business, while understanding it is not trying to maximize profits at our expense, and we public salaries should be tied to the outcome of organic tax revenues, not new revenue schemes.  And what will they do next?  Sell our Public Utilities?  But what do we know, as Councilman Soubirous says, we’re just a bunch of hillbillies.  Well that’s what he says people in Los Angeles think of us anyway.

Above you’ll find a list of City of Riverside accomplishments that was recently presented to the Budget Engagement Commission.  In the Finance section of the citywide highlights it states, “For the 14th straight year, the City’s annual budget received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers’s Association.”  How inane, and insane, given how existing City management threw old city management under the bus just 2 years ago for cooking the books.  And it highlights how stupid all these trophies the City seems to lust for continually really are in reality.

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “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:

Here is the home that you loaned $675,000 to City Manager John Russo at the exclusive, City-only rate of 1.35%  (or lower?) to keep him happy in Riverside.  We’re definitely going to be lining up for this rate at the Bank of Riverside, located at 3600 Main Street, and we suggest you do too.  But if you need check how your investment is maintaining itself, since you the taxpayers hold the property title, you can visit your asset at 7898 Whitegate Avenue, Riverside, California 92506.

But some sources are telling TMC also serves as a super secret City Hall II, since they see the vehicles of Assistant City Manager Marianna Marysheva and Assistant City Manager Alex Nguyen many mornings at the residence.  Coffee must be better than the new vendor at City Hall we figure.  Are they having meetings as some have said, possibly scheming for the next agenda move or simply enjoying Russo’s pool?  Here are some of the home features you the taxpayers hold title to.

                       

“I’LL HAVE A MUCH BIGGER HOUSE IN RIVERSIDE!” (SUBSIDIZED BY THOSE INLAND EMPIRE HICKS)

CITY OF RIVERSIDE FIRE DEPARTMENT REWARDED WITH DONATED DISNEY PASSES FROM THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH..DISNEYLAND?  Disneyland Resorts has donated 470 entrance passes to the Riverside Fire Department valued at $78,490.00, which of course, still needs Council approval before they can be accepted.   But residents are asking, “shouldn’t it go right back to the taxpayers?”  After all, we pay for the services of the Fire and the equipment used for their service.  While the City of Riverside is in a $603 Million pension deficit, shouldn’t they do their part in reimbursing the taxpayers.  Others, see the 470 passes in City hands open to abuse. But others are asking if the City of Riverside helped the City of Anaheim on a ‘mutual aid agreement?’  If the City of Anaheim didn’t pay for the cost, how much did it actually cost the taxpayer in regular time, over time and equipment cost?  About a year ago the City of Riverside Council approved a ‘cost recovery’ program.  For now, for example, in the Wood Streets Ward 1, if need a new parking permit because your curb outside your home is a zoned parking area, you must have a permit.  The permit use to be free to homeowners, now it cost them $30.00!

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE OR THIS LINK TO VIEW PDF VERSION

According to the City of Riverside Administrative Rule, “Employees shall not accept any gift, favor or other consideration, which might reasonably be construed as a conflict of interest and/or an attempt to influence their actions in their performance of their official duties.”  In the City of Los Angeles, City Officials are required to report any gift valued more than $50 on their Statement of Economic Interest.  I would imagine the same goes for City Officials in Riverside.

     

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

FROM THE DESK OF KEVIN DAWSON:  I just found this agenda item on the City of Riverside council agenda for next week. At first this sounds like a “isn’t that nice” story, but the more I’ve been thinking about it, the more I find it upsetting. The city has a rule that any gifts over $25,000, must be accepted by the council. OK, but that threshold is too low and vague ( we’ve herd stories over the years of city managers getting Christmas gifts of expensive liquor and such). But this agenda item is Disneyland giving 470 passes worth $78,000, so that each employee in the city fire department can receive two passes each. That’s a $340 gift to each employee. Why? It’s in appreciation for our city sending mutual aid to the City of Anaheim during the recent fires. The cost of that mutual aid, I think, is shouldered by the people of Riverside. We pay for those employees, their training and equipment. In fact we are taxing ourselves an extra 1% sales tax to purchase 14 new fire trucks. Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for Disney to have made a donation toward the replacement cost of equipment used to fight the Anaheim fires? The city reports we have a staff of 211 full times firefighters. I don’t think we dispatched the entire department to Anaheim, so why is the whole department being gifted? I think firefighters are great, but they are well paid. They were well paid to go to Anaheim, and they used the resources of our city to do it, so just why should they be rewarded? Should Fire department management, who make exceptional income, be gifted? The optics of this looks really bad. If Disney is going to gift $340 to RFD non-responder’s, why not extend the gift to all city employees? For that matter, why not extend to all the tax payers who fund RFD?

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “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

Snakes on a Dais

UPDATE: 02.22.2018: At last night’s City Council meeting, a statement was read regarding Council support of City Attorney Gary Geuss’s legal opinion against the Mayor’s veto power of executive staff contracts, supported by Attorney Michael Colantuono’s original legal opinion.  Colantuono will prepare an additional written statement for the unwashed masses (us) stating something to that effect within 7 days.

STATEMENT FROM THE COUNCIL: 

“By Majority vote, The Council supports the City Attorney as the sole legal authority under the Charter and we reject any suggestion that any other charter officer or elected official be permitted to obtain counsel at taxpayer’s expense. The majority of the City Council, excluding Councilmember Conder and Councilmember Perry, (Councilmember Adams was absent) reaffirms the statements of the City Attorney, during the February 6, 2018 Council Meeting, that the sole remedy for the Mayor, is to file a writ with the Superior Court. The Charter is plain, that the three Charter Officers report to, work for and take direction from The Council, not the Mayor. No one can have two bosses and work efficiently. We have asked outside Counsel to prepare a written version of his advice, suitable to be shared with the public within 7 days.”

ATTORNEY MICHAEL COLANTUONO RETAINED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AND WHO’S LEGAL OPINION OVER RODE MAYOR BAILEY’S VETO COMES INTO QUESTION.  We find in the following a monetary contribution to John Russo in 2006 when he was running for Assembly for $125.00 and a ‘payment in kind’ for $1,375.38.

Yep, I gave him a couple of bucks and some time, so what’s the big deal?  You have a problem with that?

What was that ‘non-monetary’ contribution of $1,374.38 to Russo’s Campaign?  Sandwiches? Legal Advice?  WE ALSO HAVE RIVERSIDE’S  LAW FIRM BEST, BEST & KRIEGER WHO APPARENTLY WERE CONTRIBUTORS OF $2,000.00 TO JOHN RUSSO’S 2006 ASSEMBLY CAMPAIGN!  MORE TO COME…

        

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 20, 2018: PRESS ENTERPRISE:  SPLIT RIVERSIDE CITY COUNCIL STANDS BY VIEW THAT MAYOR CAN’T VETO CITY MANAGER’S CONTRACT

Is TMC becoming relevant when it comes to sources for Press Enterprise articles?  That’s okay.. will you at least pay us the freelance rate?  Oop’s here it is in all it’s glory.. the Colantuono legal opinion on Mayor Bailey’s veto power. Colantuono cites City Charter Section 600 and Section 700.  His legal interpretation is that the Mayor cannot veto a Council decision on the employment of a charter officer.

                    

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE OR CLICK THIS LINK FOR THE PDF VERSION

Councilman Mike Gardner, Ward 1,  said during the meeting that the veto issue was distracting the city from important business.  Love when I hear this..it couldn’t be the important business of the taxpaying residents having to deal with pot holes, uncut trees, drug houses, prostitution, shoot outs, burglaries, threats to neighbors, mail theft, theft in general, car break in’s, home break in’s,  inundation of homeless into our neighborhoods, etc. etc..

Will Mike Gardner’s unpopular votes in favor of Russo’s contract and against the Mayor’s power to veto sink his chances at County Board of Supervisors?  Magic 8-ball says…definitely maybe.

The question remains, what happens if the courts uphold Mayor Bailey’s Veto?  Will the Russo’s contract be rescinded? If it is, how those who pushed against Bailey fare in the future?  Those such as the City Council, City Attorney Gary Geuss and those that are subcontracted with the taxpayer’s monies to support a ‘legal opinion,’ such as the ‘high priced’ lawyer Michael Colantuono…. which incidentally, an attorney the Moreno’s went against in care of the taxpayers and won.  Let’s give credit where credit’s due…

According to the Press Enterprise, When Council members responded with their thoughts and some additional questions at Tuesday’s City Council, Geuss said city officials should not reply because neither Russo’s contract nor the veto was on the agenda. The state’s public meeting law, the Brown Act, limits what topics the council may discuss without putting it on the agenda in advance.  Because the Council neeeeeeeeever violates the Brown Act….laughing out loud.  Really Geuss?

Our Mayor, the proverbial hero, fighting for truth, justice and Riversidian way, preparing to dive from the seventh floor of City Hall to fight evil and protect the wallets and pocketbooks his people.

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “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

                    

CLICK ON ABOVE IMAGES TO VIEW RUTAN & TUCKER LEGAL OPINION GIVEN TO RIVERSIDE MAYOR RUSTY BAILEY

The following has yet to be thoroughly studied by TMC, but we present it here for your viewing pleasure:  the full legal opinion giving Mayor William Rusty Bailey the authority to veto an executive employment contract extension, such as the one passed by our City Council on Feb. 6, 2018, involving current City Manager John Russo.  The opinion is from Rutan & Tucker, L.L.C., who incidentally is also retained as the City’s law firm in other matters.  Exhibits to this legal opinion are as follows:

                                                          

CLICK ABOVE DOCUMENT IMAGES TO VIEW EXHIBITS

As of today, TMC is the only media source offering this full opinion to the public: we’ll let you decide its merits.

Of course, TMC must remind our readers that the reeeeeeal issue here is that when hustling Brad Hudson was City Manager he gave then Mayor Loveridge everything he ever wanted, including full access to staff.  Ditto ex-City Manager Scott Barber. John Russo came along and cut that access off from the Mayor’s office cold turkey.

And that is why Mayor’s Chief of Staff Cheryl-Marie Hansberger was at a recent Budget Engagement Commission Meeting a couple of weeks ago complaining about a lack of resources, and just-so-happened (wink) to also mention Russo’s contract extension and request more funding for the Mayor’s office.  At which point Rusty’s former Riverside Unified School District buddy colleague and deputy Superintendent Mike Fine picked up the ball and ran with it, mentioning how he knew the Mayor would never cause dissention in the ranks – it just wasn’t his style.  Team Russo, led by Assistant City Manager Natasha Fatale Marianna Marysheva, countered with, “I haven’t seen it!” referring to a divide between the Mayor’s office and the City Manager’s office.  But the rift between Mayor Bailey and City Manager Russo is evident, and IS personal, and that is the real story despite all the public statements to the contrary.

But that is not the story for today.  For we at TMC do not much care if Bailey rumbled, bumbled, or stumbled into the cockfight, as long as he’s on the right side.  After the Mayor’s veto the power struggle for control of City Hall really began in earnest, with both sides firing off volleys in what will surely be a donnybrook with only one side standing at the end.  City Attorney Gary Guess offers a summary of his legal opinion in the video above and now we give you the Mayor’s full legal opinion.  Only one can be right.  The Press Enterprise has had both legal opinions for weeks and as yet, has not published them…we at TMC can only imagine why!

So let’s talk about the City’s case for a second.  In December, after Bailey checked with Geuss to “confirm” that he had the power to veto Russo’s contract, Geuss asked attorney Michael Colantuono of Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley to weigh in with an “independent” opinion.  Colantuono offered that the mayor does not have that power.  “If the mayor could veto a contract for a charter officer, that officer would have an obvious incentive to take direction from the mayor and to seek his approval,” Colantuono wrote in a four-page analysis.  “That incentive is in tension with, if not fully inconsistent with, the Charter’s statement that charter officers ‘serve at the pleasure of the City Council.’”

Michael Colantuono, Esq.

Riverside City Attorney Gary Geuss still has yet to release Attorney Michael Colantuono’s opinion publicly that the Mayor cannot veto a executive staff member contract.  Geuss claims a conflict with Bailey’s use of the firm Rutan & Tucker on retainer with the City of Riverside, for using them for his legal opinion.  But is there another, perhaps larger conflict?  TMC has learned that back in 2006 Michael Colantuono contributed to John Russo’s State Assembly campaign in Northern California in an amount of $1,500?  Reminds us of the old adage: what a twisted tale we weave, when at first we try to deceive.  Yep, we may have trouble in River City!

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 17, 2018: PRESS ENTERPRISE: YEARS BEFORE VETOING RIVERSIDE CITY MANAGER’S CONTRACT, MAYOR VOTED FOR SIMILAR DEAL.

Is it possible to be a hypocrite and still correct at the same time?

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

IT’S ALL ABOUT AUTOMATIC RAISES AND THOSE PESKY UNION PENSIONS…MORE TO COME…..

BLAST FROM THE PAST: CITY MANAGER JOHN RUSSO:

DECEMBER 19, 2007: SAN FRANCISCO GATE: OAKLAND CITY ATTORNEY GIVES HIMSELF A $28,000 RAISE

BLAST FROM THE PAST: FORMER CITY MANAGER BRAD HUDSON:

OCTOBER 2, 2010: PRESS ENTERPRISE: RIVERSIDE MANAGER’S PAY RAISES EYEBROWS

RIVER CITY UPDATES:

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 13, 2018: RIVERSIDE MAYOR’S COLLEAGUES SKIP WEEKLY ‘TEAMWORK’ MEETING AFTER CONFLICT OVER HIS VETO.

HAPPY VALENTINES UPDATE: FEBRUARY 14, 2018: CITY MANAGER CONTRACT VETO CONFLICT DOMINATES CITY COUNCIL MEETING

DO WE HAVE TROUBLE, RIGHT HERE IN RIVER CITY?  WELL TROUBLE CAME AND LEFT IN THE FORM OF VIVIAN MORENO AT LAST NIGHT’S (2/13/18) CITY COUNCIL MEETING.

Incredible footage below of a real life con-man explaining the art of the con!  AT THE FEBRUARY 6, 2018 CITY COUNCIL MEETING, COUNCILMAN CHRIS MACARTHUR LECTURES COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS ON MAKING AN EMOTIONAL DECISION AS OPPOSED TO A LOGICAL ONE!  The decision of course in question was in reference to City Manager John Russo’s contract extension of 7 years, 2-1/2 years prior to his existing contract ending.  Has MacArthur made City Council decisions based on emotion over the past 12 years that he’s been on Council?  That would sure explain a lot.  Councilman Chris MacArthur is the Regional Vice-President of Primerica.  Is this how Chris does business?  As an investment adviser does Chris tell his clients that they should make emotional decisions with their money as oppose to a sound logical one?  Does he tell elderly widows to time the market in pork belly futures with their savings?  Is this how he invests other peoples’ money?

BANK OF RIVERSIDE: OPEN FOR BUSINESS.  WOULD YOU THE TAXPAYER LIKE A CRACK AT THE LOW, LOW, LOW RATE OF 1.35% TO BORROW MONEY ON YOUR HOME?  If they are doing this for executive staff, such as City Manager John Russo, and offering it to other public employees, shouldn’t the Bank of Riverside be open to the rest of the public?  Call your local Councilman for an appointment!  Remember, the taxpayers are taking the risk, not the City Manager with this home loan.  He gets the mortgage money from us, and we hold the title to his home until we are paid back in full…or not.  Who knows, the next thing you know the City of Riverside may also be selling gas too…(at least to their employees)

LATE UPDATE: AS OF 02.13.2018: RIVERSIDE CITY COUNCIL CLARIFIES DETAILS OF CITY MANAGER’S CONTRACT EXTENSION: AS RELEASED BY SPOKES HOLE PHIL PITCHFORD (FORMER PRESS ENTERPRISE REPORTER).  You know the City must be hearing it from outraged constituents as word of the new contract for our City Manager has gotten out.  This press release was issued to clarify the details of his contract, aka attempt to calm the savage Riverside taxpayer beast.  What our Council doesn’t get, is that this city manager’s salary, and other high roller salaries such as in police, fire and utilities…are just plain excessive!  Many of these coddled employees don’t pay but a portion of their pension, medical, life insurance (if they pay at all).  With car allowances and free public transportation, free Wifi and cell service, expense accounts for lunch and dinner, etc., they have fewer and subsidized expenses relative to the private sector and more free income to use their months of vacation, sick time, and administrative leave.  They are the new California Politburo.

Their claim is that the new City Manager’s contract is not much of an increase, but they conveniently miss the point.  Those salaries do not reflect the real world taxpayers have to live in and Riversiders are just not seeing the benefits of paying a such a compensation package to the City Manager.  Assistant City Manager Marianna Marysheva talks about the value that their team brings to River City, but what value really is that beyond words?  Her team has increased the cost-of living here dramatically – higher fees, taxes, and utility rates.  Are we instead paying the City Manager excessively because he’s figured out a way of soaking us, without the torches and pitchforks coming out (yet), in order to cover up the past ‘screw ups’ by our City?  We at TMC believe these guys just don’t know how to negotiate a deal, and have no concept of when to just walk away.  We know so when we hear Councilman Chris MacArthur lecturing another Council Member on how a decision should be made!  Don’t utilize logic in decision-making, use emotion!!!  How asinine is that?

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL RESPONSE BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE TO THE TAXPAYER’S REGARDING DETAILS OF CITY MANAGER JOHN RUSSO’S CONTRACT EXTENSION

Will the taxpayers continue to bite the bullet from the pain of higher taxes?  Apparently so….

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

John Russo, Zorro, champion of the underdog and defender of the common man; or low-down outlaw and notorious gang leader?

As we at TMC wax nostalgic over the passing of the largest tax increase in the history of the City of Riverside just over a year ago, we pass along these gems, proving once again: the more things change, the more they stay the same in the ole’ River City…

Exhibit A, Councilman Mike Soubirous, 11/30/2017, a year after the passage of Measure Z:

As a 2013 candidate for Council I was against the GFT (Measure A). Mostly out of principle because I thought that the City should not have to rely upon the GFT to make ends meet. At the time, being an outsider (not on the Council) not knowing our City’s true financial status, I believed that if we needed that transfer that much we must be in bad shape financially. After the former City management team left and newly hired City Manager John Russo and his staff came on board, it was discovered that the City was about $11.5 million in the hole (or $11-1/2 million less than what Council had been told we had). In order to balance the budget Council immediately implemented 4% across-the-board cuts to all departments/services (June, 2016). We also discovered additional bond debt that was kept somewhat quiet.  We were headed down the path toward bankruptcy had we not taken the immediate budget cutting action!

The residents/voters saw the Council initiated reforms and pledges to pay down debts, raise our dwindling reserves (from 15% to 20% – actually at the time down to 13%) while balancing key infrastructure and public safety needs. So the residents voted to approve Measure Z. Since May, 2015,the City Council and Executive Management team has promoted an openness, transparency track and have been improving the City’s economic development/building & safety/planning business model (more business friendly) customer service oriented position. Things are headed in the right direction! Problem is, the economy is not growing very fast (tax revenue) and is staying somewhat flat. Flat is better than trending down, but means we will probably have to impose ANOTHER 4% across-the-board cuts this June (2018) to again balance the budget. This is good for taxpayers as our City is becoming financially leaner and leaner. Doing more with way less. But not so good for those who want City services right now or five minutes ago. So by cutting back on the GFT at this point would mean imposing more than the upcoming anticipated 4% across-the-board cuts to all departments and services. Most who voted for the Measure Z (1 cent per dollar sales tax) did so to keep or advance City owned tree trimming, road paving, hiring of more police and some infrastructure projects in place or actually (finally) catching-up.

                      

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE OR CLINK ON LINK TO VIEW SOURCE 

Exhibit B, City Manager John Russo and sidekick Natasha Fatale Marianna Marysheva, 4/23/16, seven months or so before the vote on Measure Z:

The city’s new administration has spent several months working to institute the kind of fiscal discipline required to generate healthy and sustainable budgets well into the future. This process has been difficult at times for everyone involved. A $1 million surplus projected for fiscal year 2015-16 – built on the type of budgeting we should no longer allow – has morphed into a shortfall of about $8 million. This shortfall, if not corrected with sustainable ongoing measures, will result in a $10-12 million budget hole in fiscal year 2016-17.

Unfortunately, some perennial critics of the city have confused the cure (early diagnosis of future budget challenges) with the disease (a negative imbalance between ongoing expenses and ongoing revenue). These folks have been frightening some Riversiders by proclaiming loudly that the city faces imminent bankruptcy.

Let us state unequivocally that the city of Riverside is not going bankrupt; in fact, the city could have continued on its prior path for many years without suffering financial doom. But we believe that our standard should be higher than the very “low bar” of “just don’t go bankrupt.” We are committed to a rational budget in which ongoing revenue meets ongoing expenses, and long-term capital needs, like road repair and tree trimming, are properly covered.

As Riverside moves through weeks of introducing, refining and, ultimately, approving a budget for fiscal years 2016-17 and 2017-18, there will be some bumps in the road. Residents and business owners may hear things that make them uncomfortable, and perhaps even a bit nervous about Riverside’s financial health. But as we work through this difficult process, please keep in mind that Riverside is in good financial condition overall, and that this process is only going to make that even stronger.

                   

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE OR CLINK ON LINK TO VIEW SOURCE

So who are we to believe regarding the financial condition of the City of Riverside in 2016?  Staff prior to the passage of the Measure Z ballot measure, a $50+ million new annual sales tax; or an elected official afterwards?  Well neither, of course!  Butttttttttt, neither were technically (fingers crossed) lying either…the key word being “imminent” when it came to the timing of bankruptcy.

Staff and the Council knew back in early 2016 (and looooong before that for some of them) that the City had been hiding its true liabilities off-balance-sheet for years.  Trouble was, the cows were soon to be returning to the barn, where they was no hay. We’ll even give you TMC’s version of proof of this knowledge: former Finance Director Brent Mason was scapegoated fired within months of Assistant City Manager Marysheva arrived on the scene.  Given the tremendous leeway the City has traditionally afforded other overpaid, hack executive employees caught with their pants down hands in the cookie jar, so they could either “retire” or “seek better opportunities,” while staying on the City payroll for much greater time periods, we must conclude Mr. Mason did something fairly egregious to merit his ignoble departure.  Marysheva described it at the time as, “The city has a history of unbalanced budgets, but those imbalances have been disguised,” while ex-City Councilman Paul Davis described it more in layman terms: “cooking the books”.

But the real truth would have to wait until 2017 because Harold Hill John Russo had a tremendous idea at the time and just the right strategy to pull it off.  And that hustle plan was the Wells Fargo Wagon Measure Z good folks.  And along the way he would seduce one spinster librarian loner Councilman and perhaps fool the whole town into believing his shipoopi.  But that fine story is for another day…but with a twist we’ll bet you didn’t see coming!  Then you may have been caught with your pants down in River City.

Instead of hustlers and charlatans, put your faith in Thirty Miles of Corruption, who last time we checked received no income or favors from any local government source: we predicted years ago that the City would run out of money by 2016 …  and as they like to say at the Goeske Center, “B-I-N-G-O!” (another pyrrhic victory…hooray!)

Long-time readers will remember how we and our band of, “perennial critics,” trudged over to council chambers week after week after week to warn of impending financial collapse, and our dear “leaders” (gulp) only response was to call us crazy or deranged.  As the old adage goes: if you can’t attack the message, attack the messenger.  And so who’s crazy now?  With gargantuan unpaid pension liabilities, fully-leveraged assets with bonds that need to be paid, and skyrocketing taxes, fees and rates … yep, there’s still going to be plenty of trouble; right here in the ole’ River City.  More to come.

Brent Mason, Recycled Trash Sent to San Bernardino

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

PART I, OF WHAT’S SURE TO BE AT LEAST A TRILOGY

BREAKING NEWS: Mayor William Rusty Bailey issues his veto message.  The mayor stated this in a circulated email just mere minutes ago:

Good Afternoon,  Last week at the City Council meeting, under the authority invested in the Mayoral position by Section 413  of the City Charter (https://riversideca.gov/municode/city-charter.asp), I vetoed the City Council’s decision to renegotiate and extend the City Manager’s contract.  As required by the Charter, attached is the veto message that we released to the City Council this afternoon. Each of you plays a valuable role serving our community, I would encourage you to engage in this process in the coming weeks.

With Respect, Rusty

William R. “Rusty” Bailey, III Mayor

 

               

BAD TIMING, BAD BUSINESS, BAD POLICY, BAD MESSAGE – RUSTY’S VETO EXPLANATION

CLICK ON ABOVE IMAGES TO ENLARGE, OR THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL PDF VERSION

Just when you think you’ve seen all, you forget you’re in Riverside: the epicenter of creative government finance for the betterment of special interests.  At Tuesday’s February 6th council meeting, Mayor Bailey did something that has not been done for nearly 25 years: he dusted off his copy of the City Charter and used his veto power, finally showing he has a pair of balls.

Initially, when discussion opened to City Manager John Russo’s proposed contract, it appeared that the majority of Council was outraged.   Condor, Adams, Soubirous and Gardner expressed their displeasure with the contract.  When the final decision came about the vote was Condor and Perry “Nay”; MacArthur, Soubirous and Melendrez “Yea,” with Adams and Gardner flipping at the end with “Yeas” as well, to make the final tally vote 5-2 in favor of a brand spanking new 7-year contract for City Manager John Russo.  TMC nominates both flippers for Academy Awards in the special category of “Pretending to Give a Damn”.

During the debate one could tell this outcome would not go over well with Mayor Bailey.  The rumor is that behind the scenes the Mayor’s office and the City Manager’s office are feuding.  Apparently, the Mayor’s Office cannot function as his predecessor, ex-Mayor Loveridge’s had things running (you know, with him having access to all City staff for his pet projects).  It appears that the new City Manager put a stop to that, as was his right under the City Charter, and the paths were set for collision – Hatfield and McCoy-style.  TMC takes no political position on this donnybrook, for the time being, we are just enjoying the the little boys stomping their feet.  We present a montage of highlights:

ROYAL RUMBLE IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS

Interestingly enough at the February 1st Budget Engagement Commission Meeting, Natasha Fatale, Marianna Marysheva – (Martinez, what happened?), responded to what she was informed was a divide between the two offices with…“I haven’t seen it!”  According to the video she receives weekly calls from headhunters (recruiters) asking her to go elsewhere for more money.  Lucky for us, she rebuffs those solicitations because she sees the value of the City of Riverside and our best-in-class leadership. [snicker, snicker]

While your Council became worried about losing Russo, and began kissing his behind, Mayor Bailey finally asked the question, “Have you made a statement that you will leave if you don’t get this contract?”  Well then the real John Russo comes out swinging!  His ego is let loose for all to see.  TMC reminds readers that Russo chose to enter into the public sector because he didn’t want to take any risk, as in the private sector.  Now it seems he’s having a mid-life crisis as he comes to the latter stages of his career, and realizes he’s nothing more then a city manager hack in Riverside, California…unlike entrepreneurs and real businessmen like Elon Musk, who doesn’t have to beg for money, who doesn’t have to beg for his salary, while he’s shooting rockets to Mars doing exactly what he wants to do.

“When truth is blurred by lies and misinformation, perception becomes reality and all is lost.” … This person is creating his own perception by creating an illusion of reality. It does not matter that this person isn’t god’s gift to Riverside, it only matters that to him that you perceive him as one.

What is the reality of Russo’s contract to the taxpayers?  Over his lifetime after retirement will it cost us over $50 million in pension cost and benefits?  This has yet to be addressed by Council.

Back to the council meeting/spitball fight: Bailey gave a scathing response to the Council’s approval of Russo’s contract, and used his super secret, mayoral, wonder-twin power to veto the action vote of the  Council!  City Attorney Gary Guess was asked if the veto was legal?  His response was a somewhat trepid (and mostly unconvincing) one, leading to Rusty’s “talk to the hand” response.

According to Section 413 of the Riverside City Charter:

At any time before the adjournment of a meeting, the Mayor may, by public declaration spread upon the minutes of the meeting, veto any formal action taken by vote of the City Council including any ordinance or resolution, except an emergency ordinance, the annual budget or an ordinance proposed by initiative petition. Thereupon, pending the vote to override the veto as herein provided, such ordinance, resolution or action shall be deemed neither approved nor adopted. The Mayor shall, no more than twenty days following the veto, provide to Council members, in writing, reasons for the Mayor’s veto.

Well, this kind of contradicted what City Attorney Gary Guess had earlier stated to Council and the Mayor, and certainly creates a controversy vis-a-vis the opinion he requested from outside counsel Michael Colantuono (a Proposition 218 attorney from Los Angeles that by the way, the Moreno’s beat on a case in Riverside, which protected ratepayers…not that we’re bragging…much).

In what must’ve been a land/speed record for Riverside contracts, the following morning City Clerk Colleen Nicol and Mayor Pro Tempore Chris MacArthur signed the contract.  And within two days, we have the Mayor’s veto justification…without Council approval.

And so the saga continues….lies and drama, and yes, there is a divide Natasha. Not only is this a divide; its a fracture that will not repair itself.  A fracture over the whole organization, and over EGO AND ARROGANCE AND ENTITLEMENT.  And our Mayor has chosen his hill to defend or die trying.  And so there will be only one winner.  The Ice Queen selling a bill of goods to the budget committee that she is so sought after she can go anywhere, and old grandpa Russo being so smart that if he leaves, the sky will fall.  And then you have the council tripping over each other, seeking favor from our City Manager in doling out the last remaining nectar from the almost-dry Measure Z honeypot.

We never thought we’d utter these words, but this may be better than the Brad Hudson/Belinda Graham era.  But better in what way dear readers?  Only time and a really good legal opinion will tell us who’s right on the Charter. But one thing for sure is that the Mayor’s office and the City Manager and their Council supporters will continue to fight this out in private and public now…and it will get uglier.

But is there still a game within this game?  Our take is that one or two of the Council will flip their vote in favor of Bailey, out of loyalty and to insure future political fare in the City of Riverside.  Ya knows? For the good of the old Riverside families.

TMC welcomes you responses and comments on this issue.  Please reply in the comment section.  We especially welcome those from the City of Oakland and the City of Alameda.

Will Don Bailey finally get Capo Russo to show respect for the River City Godfather and La Famiglia by kissing the ring?  Who will be next on Corleone’s contract?  For now finito!

BLAST FROM THE PAST: CITY MANAGER JOHN RUSSO:

DECEMBER 19, 2007: SAN FRANCISCO GATE: OAKLAND CITY ATTORNEY GIVES HIMSELF A $28,000 RAISE

BLAST FROM THE PAST: FORMER CITY MANAGER BRAD HUDSON:

OCTOBER 2, 2010: PRESS ENTERPRISE: RIVERSIDE MANAGER’S PAY RAISES EYEBROWS

“Riverside officials said they’re getting their money’s worth. Councilman Andy Melendrez pointed to citywide improvements under the Renaissance program and the city’s healthy fiscal condition, things Hudson also cited as achievements.”   Five years later Russo comes to town and discovers a $10 million budget deficit and $600 million in unfunded pension liabilities, and has to deal with $2 billion in City debt.  Fast forward three more years 2018 and it’s the same old song and dance by our more-or-less-the-same Council just replace “Renaissance” with “the Cheech and new Library”.   Nowhere does it mention the rate hikes, fees hikes, new taxes, and new debt that supported this non-stop reckless spending.

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

Last night’s February 6, 2018, City Council Meeting was a barn burner worthy of an episode of Game of Thrones. City Manager John Russo’s 7-year, $2+ million contract came up for review by our Council…2-1/2 years early we must add.  After a bit of faux deliberation, it was passed 5-2 by our doting Council. Mayor William Rusty Bailey then exercised the nuclear option and for the first time in 24 years, a Mayor’s veto was used to quash the passing of the contract.

The bees in the hive then became agitated, and the coup-detat was on. Wannabe Caesar Bailey was not going down without a fight and a royal rumble commenced.  Out of the ring he threw Councilman after Councilman, eventually even ousting et tu brute City Attorney Gary Geuss.

While the Council is in favor of the contract and touting the narrative of a bad political move for Rusty, we at TMC believe their fairy tale is untrue…like all fairy tales.  TMC is receiving responses that the public is overwhelmingly supporting Rusty (well maybe not Rusty per se, but defending sound fiscal policy and our City Charter).  We believe it is the four Councilmembers (sans recently-appointed Councilman Adams) that should be worried about their seats instead.

What is more amazing by the Council’s display of arrogance is that they never mention the taxpayers during their entire defense of Russo’s largess.  It was all about them, and that’s what the public is seeing.  And perception dear boys is sometimes reality.  And the perception is that City Manager Russo is simply greedy and out-of-touch with the members of the public he purportedly serves.  Good job Councilman Chuck Condor and Councilman Jim Perry.  Especially good job Mayor Bailey: you spoke for the unheard.

Without risk there is no reward!  TMC loves a good fight more than just about anything (short of a good sex scandal).  It’s on!  More to come soon…

TMC sends a call-out to the good folks of Alameda and Oakland!  Send us your Russo’s war stories and his history in dealing with authority figures elsewhere.  Tigers don’t change their stripes.  We want to hear from you!

 

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

It has been brought to the attention of TMC that there is an ongoing feud between Mayor Rusty Bailey and City Manager John Russo.  We took some excerpts from the last Budget Engagement Commission Meeting on February 1, 2018, depicting Mayor’s Chief of Staff Cheryl Hansberger airing the City of Riverside’s dirty laundry.  We can’t make this up; this is too good.

War by Proxy – Hansberger vs. Marysheva, Round 1: a study in openly vs. passively aggressive combat

We’d feel compassion for the Mayor, except he watched as member after member of the general public came to the podium over the years, under previous administrations, and turned a deaf ear to their similar complaints on missing/inaccurate information and bias within staff reports.  Why?  Because he was getting what he wanted.  The Mayor’s situational ethics leave him without high ground to stand upon, and in that way he continues to fail us now, as his legitimate concerns are ignored, and the public screwed again.

RIVERSIDE COUNCIL CONCEPTUALLY PASSES A UTILITY RATE

On January 18th, your Council voted to raise your electric rates 2.5% per annum for 5 years and water rates 5.5% per annum for five years beginning July 1, 2018.  The vote on the rate increase was 5 to 2, as 4 Councilmembers (Gardner, Soubirous, MacArthur, Perry) flipped their votes from a mere 7 weeks previous with no real justification offered for their change in attitude despite the EXACT SAME proposal being brought back by Riverside Public Utilities staff.

We at TMC have been taught to follow the bouncing ball and have noticed that just a few weeks ago your Riverside City Council passed 6 percent raises for union members of the Riverside Police Department, while simultaneously hinting at 4 percent across-the-board budget tightening forthcoming in the 2017-18 budget.  Riverside’s unfunded pension obligation stands at $600 million…and counting, and 19% of proposed rate increase will be transferred to the general fund to help pay for the above-mentioned unfunded pension obligation and salaries.  All Council flippers besides Soubirous (who ran unopposed in his re-election) are heavily financially supported by Riverside public employee unions.  Putting two plus two plus two together, we summarize that five Council members were lobbied hard by City staff so they could  continue to ride the gravy train, this time paid for by RPU ratepayers.  (We concede that TMC was never great at math.)

Fresh off a 5-year, $1.5+ million deal for City Attorney Gary Geuss, who carries on the tradition of former City Attorney Greg Priamos of providing legal cover for the City to rape its utility ratepayers, it now appears that City Manager John Russo wants his reward for covering up the Council’s past mistakes using our wallets, with a new 7-year contract with bells and whistles never-seen-before.

TOMORROW FEBRUARY 6TH CITY MANAGER JOHN RUSSO’S NEW CONTRACT IS UP FOR REVIEW BY CITY COUNCIL AT 2:00 PM, RIVERSIDE CITY HALL.  BE THERE OR BE SQUARE.  GRAB YOUR POPCORN!

 

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