Posts Tagged ‘best best & krieger’

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THE GRESHAM SAVAGE DEAL: A WIN, WIN FOR GRESHAM SAVAGE, AGAIN AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE!

The taxpayers just bought a $40 million dollar building, how do we help maintain it?  Sublease some space from a partner in crime know as the legal outfit of Gresham Savage?  With that in mind, the City Attorneys office who gets paid by the taxpayer will be paying rent in their new taxpayer paid building.

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CLICK THIS TO VIEW FULL COUNCIL MEMORANDUM ON THIS ISSUE

So how does all this benefit the taxpayer?  It won’t, the fact of the matter is that it will cost an additional $411.035.00 from the taxpayer!  Currently, the City Attorneys occupation of the 5th Floor of City Hall has a yearly cost of $208,039.00.  The total annual cost in rent the City would pay to Grease-Them-Savagley would be $548,046.00.  Bad deal at a cost to the taxpayer.  Of course the other side are emphasizing that we need the space!  We are hiring more attorneys and the cubicles at City Hall do not allow for privacy for sensitive legal issues.  But why is the City Attorney’s Office anticipating hiring more lawyers?  The City of Riverside already has approximately about 13 (not sure)? But we want to hire more, not to include all the other outside legal firms we may have contracted and on retainer.  City of Moreno Valley with a population of 200K has two attorney’s.  The City of Murreta with a population of 100K has one. The question, is how many laws suits against the City are we receiving?  If that is what is happening, why is it happening?  Why is the City receiving so much liability?

This completely smells of Deja Vu with the bad deal made with Developer Mark Rubin’s building Citrus Towers.  We initially assumed Best, Best & Krieger’s lease so that they could move to his new building.  RPU taking over this lease to move into this gold plated building, cost the taxpayers a pretty penny which shouldn’t have happened, because we had plenty of taxpayer properties that could have been occupied at low  expense.  But is this culture of elitism whereby the real interest of the taxpayers doesn’t really matter?  What happened to public service and public servants?

TMC did a story on this very issue back in July 2011 called: I’LL TAKE A DOUBLE RUBIN ON A BB&K WITH RPU ON THE SIDE!

At this time the City Attorney’s Office, along with Riverside Public Utilities will now reside in the $40 million dollar Wells Fargo building.  With that in mind, the best part is that the City, in the best of interest of the taxpayer was able to negotiate a rate of $2.50 per rentable square foot to $2.25 per square foot. Along with this there will also be a one time cost of a $125, 000.00 to cover the cost of moving, new furniture, fixtures and equipment.  This at a time when City Manager John Russo is going around town to public meetings stating that we don’t have money and need tighten our belts.

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According to local residents, the City refuses to give a tour to them on this Gold Plated building.  You paid for a $40 million dollar building, but you can’t see what you bought!  Is the America you want to live in?  One was told that City Manager John Russo and even Councilman Mike Gardner said “no!”  As a result, following records request was sent by Attorney Raychele Sterling.

To: Nicole Roa <droa@riversideca.gov>, jrusso@riversideca.gov, ggeuss@riversideca.gov, Sherry Morton-Ellis <SMorton@riversideca.gov>, “Nicol, Colleen” <cnicol@riversideca.gov>, “Allen, Susan” <sallen@riversideca.gov>
Cc: Alicia Robinson <arobinson@pe.com>, cmacduff@pe.com, “Davis, Paul” <pdavis@riversideca.gov>

In light of the Public Utilities Director’s and Councilman Mike Gardner’s (with the alleged concurrence of the City Manager) refusal to permit a tour of the recently remodeled PU facility located on University Avenue by members of the community who are critical of PU’s extravagant expenditures (while allowing other  non-critical members of the public to observe the facility), please make the following available for my review:

1) Entire project file for the PU Board Room/Multi Purpose Room remodel (including all photographs).

2) All Purchase Orders and Purchase Requisitions for the past 5 years for the procurement of any furniture (module or stationary), electronics (excluding PCs, Printers, Photocopiers), art, photography or sculptures, appliances (including refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves etc.) flooring, tile and carpet for Riverside Public Utilities.

3) A list of all participants (including the Chamber of Commerce members) in ANY tour of ANY City Facility and all accompanying releases of liability for the past 5 years. I personally have observed and participated in tours of the Sewer Treatment Plant, RERC, Orange Square and Utilities Plaza, as well as witnessed the execution of releases of liability by members of the public for such tours.

4) Any current policies and procedures regarding touring of City facilities by members of the public. 5) All releases for PU’s “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day”, as well as a list of the facilities where these individuals were permitted to be for the past five years.

6) All releases for any “Bring your Child to Work Day”, “Shadow the Mayor Day” or “Shadow a Council Member Day”, Grade School tours, or the like, and a list of any and all facilities these individuals were permitted to be in for the past five years.

7) List of any currently scheduled or proposed tours of ANY City Facility by any individuals or group. Please identify the facilities intended to be toured.

8) A List of all PU facilities (please identify specific rooms as well) that were open to the public to attend City and/or Utility meetings within the past 5 years.

9) A list of all City employees who have provided tours of ANY City facility to members of the public.

Upon review, I will determine what documents I would like to duplicated. Thank you

Raychele Sterling, Esq.

WHAT IS THE STORY ON THIS SMALL PIECE OF CITY LAND THAT A BASKETBALL COURT AND TENNIS COURT WERE BUILT ON?

No one seems to know how a Tennis Court and Basketball Court was built on City Land!  Even Development Director Emilio Ramirez didn’t have an answer for Council.  The issue (Item #14) was removed from the Consent Calender by Council.  According to Ramirez, City documents could not be found which showed a timeline of permits for building etc.

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TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “NEGATIVE,” “RAUNCHY,” “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “FILTHY,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “STUPID,” “PATHETIC,” “DESPICABLE,” “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “OFFENSIVE,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” “FIT TO BE VIEWED FROM THE REAR” 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!

frontpgWATER LAW SUIT AGAINST THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA (CLICK LINK TO VIEW FULL LAW SUIT)

On June 4, 2015, the City of Riverside, under newly christened City Attorney Gary Geuss filed suit against the State of California with regards to the issue of having to comply with a 24% cut in usage.  The city asked the state in the suit to include it in a program that lets Northern California entities get away with just 4% cuts because they are taking their water from surface sources, like rivers that are going to dump their contents in the sea if not snatched. The State ignored the City’s request. Riverside gets its water from underground sources, not the surface, and that’s a critical difference to the state.  The problem stems from the Board’s definition of a “reliable water source;” namely, the designation refers only to surface water and not groundwater, or water located underneath the earth’s surface.  So the City filed the above lawsuit in Fresno County Superior Court to stop the State Water Resources Control Board from commanding our City to comply.

In its complaint, Riverside asked the state why a “groundwater-sufficient entity” couldn’t be inserted and was told, “It would simply be too difficult to include groundwater in the 4% tier, but provided no evidence why including groundwater suppliers would be any more difficult than including surface water suppliers. No other reason was giving for listening to one class of water suppliers, but ignoring the other class of water suppliers.”  KPCC said Riverside’s lawsuit was the largest objection registered to date against the state’s water policy. Water districts are just now beginning to implement government directives which aim to implement Governor Jerry Brown’s order that water usage be cut 25% among statewide nonagricultural users. The cuts range between 8% and 36%, compared to comparable time periods in 2013.  Riverside wants a temporary restraining order and injunction to avoid $10,000-a-day fines for noncompliance with an emergency order.

Scott Simpson was former Chief of Enforcement for the California EPA Department of Toxic Substances Control, and also worked for the Department of Food and Agriculture in their Environmental Hazards Assessment Program specializing in ground water contamination.  Simpson tells City Attorney Geuss that he forgot the “winning” argument against the State of California!  The residents have a “contractual right” to water in the City of Riverside, therefore the State of California has no right to impose water restrictions!  The right to water in the City of Riverside is tied to every resident who owns property, for perpetuity.  What is important to note in this law suit is that the City of Riverside admits owning water rights pre-1914, which releases us from the constraints of the Governor Moonbeams imaginary drought emergency.  What people need to realize we are in the year of “El Nino” and we will receive a boat load of water this year, more than we can handle.  Unfortunately, the State of California cannot run a business, how can we allow them to run the State?

SCOTTVIDEOTWOCLICK THIS LINK TO HEAR WHAT CITY ATTORNEY GARY GEUSS FORGOT TO PLACE IN THE LAW SUIT TO PROTECT RESIDENTS WATER RIGHTS, WHICH IS THE RESIDENTS “CONTRACTUAL RIGHT” TO THAT WATER.

Simpson states that water is protected for the use and benefit of all Californians according to the California State Water Resources Control Board. California’s waters cannot be owned by individuals, groups, businesses, or governmental agencies. But permits, licenses, and registrations give individuals and others the right to beneficially use reasonable amounts of water. That’s paraphrased from the California State Constitution. The precise language states that the people of the State of California own the water resources of the State for their use and enjoyment.

scottvideooneCLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW WATER EXPERT SCOTT SIMPSON TALK ABOUT RESIDENTS RIGHT TO WATER

Water Expert Scott Simpson then states that the State of California is the care taker of the water, in charge of improving the quality and making more water available for their use. You are not selling us water you are you provide us with the service of transportation for our use and enjoyment.  So why has the State of California unfortunately betrayed the taxpayers?  Some terms come to mind, “greed,” “incompetence,” “over construction,” and “ineptness.”  Where’s the accountability?  Well folks that will never transpire.

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CLICK TO VIEW IMAGES OR CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD SITE WHICH SIMPSON WAS REFERRING TO

Riverside Public Utilities deputy general manager Kevin Milligan said the city wants the water board to include groundwater in its definition of a reliable water supply.  “The only difference is surface water you can see and groundwater you can’t,” Milligan told the paper.  “We have our own wells and our own water resources,” Riverside Public Utilities spokesperson Heather Raymond told the Los Angeles Times. “No matter how much we save it has zero effect on the state water supply.”  Riverside gets its water from groundwater basins it controls and has a four-year supply on hand. That’s the minimum necessary to be included in the 4% tier. Over the years, the city has drilled wells, captured storm water, invested in a water treatment plant and spent millions on a recycled water infrastructure, Riverside Public Utilities Deputy General Manager Kevin Milligan told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

The question then became, the City of Riverside doesn’t really have to comply with the State Resources Control Board, since our water rights are pre-1914, and the Control Board was set up thereafter.  Further, the residents who own property in the City of Riverside have a “contractual right” to the that water, as a result of those water rights given to us by a court of law prior to 1914.  The city says it hasn’t imported water from the Colorado River or the State Water Project since 2008.  According to the Courthouse News Service, the city’s complaint says, “(A)ny water that Riverside does not extract will sit in the basin, and cannot be extracted or used by others. Riverside is truly ‘water independent.’ ”  This is something to remember folks, because the City of Riverside is mandated by law to harvest “x” amount of water.  Water cannot be conserved and sit in the ground.  If it does, it can go beyond the acceptable water table, and cause damage and weakness to surrounding infrastructure.

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Riverside City Attorney Gary Geuss, with double indemnity prior clown behind him, a tough circus act to follow!

Has anybody seen the moniker around town stating “I Own It?”  What does that mean?  It means that if you are a homeowner in the City of Riverside you actually have a “contractual right” to water and you therefore own the “public utilities.”  You may ask, “Why does the City state we are “shareholders” as a result of owning property attached to a home, and then be treated as we are not?”  The straight answer is that the Riverside Water Board represents City interest, therefore not the best interest of the taxpayers is considered.  The only way to protect your rights, your right to water etc. is to form a “taxpayer advocacy” group which will lobby for our rights as homeowners and property owners.

We haven’t even addressed those residents who own rights to the Gage Canal water etc., they can pretty much run there water down the street if they want. There is no drought restriction for them! The point is that are city forefathers made sure there would not be a problem with the access of this important commodity, and this was insured years ago, and pre-1914.  Therefore, are rights to that groundwater should be fought for with a vengeance.  It is as the squirrel who prepared themselves for the winter and stored his food supply early.  Another squirrel comes about, who didn’t prepare, and wants to take it away.  That is what the State of California is attempting to do.

RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES ADMITS WE ARE PRE-1914 BY ADVERTISING PROMO.. CUSTOMER OWNED SINCE 1895.

img040two  enlarge1895ownership

What City of Riverside residents must know about the drought misinformation, is that the residents have a “contractual right” to water prior to 1914. Which means that we as a City do not have to comply with the laws regarding drought mandated by Governor Edmund G. Brown, also known as “Moonbeam.”  According to Riverside Public Utilities own advertisement, we have been publicly and customer owned since 1895!  You therefore are not receiving correct information.  Every homeowner in the City of Riverside has a contractual right to water from the publicly owned Bunker Hill Basin in San Bernardino.  The next big question Riversidian’s should be asking is why we as a publicly owned utility should have to advertise to ourselves?  The Riverside Public Utilities spends multitudes of money to promote, which is technically, a public monopoly with reference to utilities.  WHY IS THERE A NEED TO ADVERTISE?  Is it to divert monies to those special clients in the advertising business?  Can this be interpreted as a gift of public funds?  It’s all wrong and should not be done!  Further, the ratepayers demand the utility overages refunded back!  Don’t attempt to try to craft new language and use are reserves to purchase another $40 million dollar building.

RIVERSIDE FORGOTTEN….

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RIVERSIDE & ARLINGTON RAILWAY CO. (CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST, “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “FILTHY,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “STUPID,” “PATHETIC,” “DESPICABLE,” “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

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Newly christened District Attorney Mike Hestrin, A.K.A. Superman, Clark Kent (also the underground A.K.A. name of “Hestrone”, because he is the man), layed out his plan for change with reference to rebuilding the DA’s office, as he was quoted as saying, “Brick by painful brick.”  We see a new turn of events whereby Hestrin will take the bull by the horns and remold the DA’s office in what many have said is in needed change.  Change in the sense that makes sense.  He states that now only will he be tough on crime, but he plans to concentrate on crime prevention.  Now what does that mean?

Hestrin is in charge of approximately 250 lawyers and 100 investigators.  He has an new expectation for his staff to volunteer their time in order to be more closely connected to the community.  Therefore he expects his lawyers and investigators to volunteer their time and expertise to community programs.  Not as a punishment, but as I see it, extending their responsibilities as DA’s etc. to actually resolving and mitigating the crime problem once and individual is released from prison.  By this, Hestrin’s intention is to prevent recidivism.  This would be done by keeping individuals from going back to their communities and associating with criminal elements.  If they associate with positive and constructive individual, he believes this would help individuals not going back to a life of crime.  The way I see it is that if you want to truly lower crime rates you have to have a 360 degree plan.  Hestrin is making such an attempt.

Programs such as YAT, Youth Accountability Team, helps young offenders, who are at risk youths, to be steered away from crime.  Another program is the Woman’s Wonder Writers program.  Then again, there is the Real Men Read community program.

He is not only asking his staff to volunteer their time to community programs, but to make the attempt to start new community programs.  So he is asking not only to prosecute, but go a step forward to connect to the community.  One of the questions he would ask in the promotion process would be “what have you done for the community to decrease crime.”  This is takes the DA’s office to a different level and bring it full circle, a 360 degree plan.  DA’s and investigators will not only be responsible for fighting crime, but finding solutions to decrease crime, and most importantly, crime due to recidivism.

WILL FORMER BB&K INTERIM CITY ATTORNEY CHRISTINA TALLEY AFTER BEING FIRED FROM THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE BE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER UNSUSPECTING CITY AT INTOLERABLE WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS FOR MEDIOCRE LEGAL ADVICE??

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GOT MY CHECK…

Incidentally, Talley was the City Attorney for the City of Pasadena during the years of 1994-1996, cities do recycle their employees!  She came here to Riverside, while we sent former Public Works Director Siobhan Foster and former Assistant City Manager Michael Beck to Pasadena.

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Oops, looks as that didn’t sit to well..  Regarding the Jason Hunter Ethics Complaint, Talley told Councilman Paul Davis that the City Attorney’s Office had no authority to hire outside council for the Ethics hearing, this was weeks after she allowed outside hired counsel Doug Smith to represent Justin Scott-Coe, at taxpayer expense.  What goes?  What we found was that Hunter made the legal argument against the hiring of outside legal services, then Talley evidently concurred, or felt she was challenged by true legality of this aspect, which led her altered legal opinion in favor of Hunters original proceedings.

WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF ATTAINING EMAILS TO SUPPORT THE ABOVE CLAIM.

FORMER BB&K ATTORNEY LETITIA PEPPER SENDS EMAIL JANUARY 16TH TO CITY OF RIVERSIDE DEMANDING THAT THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE COMPLY WITH THE RALPH M. BROWN ACT PROVISIONS ABOUT ASSIGNING ISSUES TO THE CONSENT CALENDER..  Pepper states that the method the City has adopted for assigning issues to the consent calender violates the Ralph M. Brown Act provisions.

Pepper therefore demands on behalf of all residents of the City of Riverside, that:
    (1) the contents of all future Consent Calendars for City Council meetings be set, as required by law, at an open, public City Council meeting,;
    (2) that such Consent Calendar be set by the City Council as a whole, rather than by the Mayor and the City Manager and Assistant City Manager;
    (3) that the public be given the appropriate opportunity to make public comments objecting to an item being placed on the Consent Calendar before the City Council votes on the make-up of such calendar.

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UPDATE: On January 18th, Attorney Pepper sent out an addendum letter to her first letter, regarding the demand that the City comply with the Ralp M. Brown Act provisions about assigning issues to the consent calender.  Within this letter Pepper makes the connection that she believes that their is circumstantial evidence that prior Council member Don Betro was involved in a broad based conspiracy, along with other former elects and city executives such as City Attorney Gregory Priamos, Mayor Loveridge, City Manager Brad Hudson, CFO Paul Sundeen and Assistant City Manager Michael Beck, to pillage the City’s, or taxpayers finances.

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IS THE GREATER RIVERSIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MAKING MONEY ON A PUBLIC EVENT?  It has been brought to TMC’s attention that the yearly public event known as the Annual State of the City, may be just a campaign fund raising event, which appears to tell the public to not come!  This should be advertised as a free even since it is a public event.  Why has it appeared to be taken over by a non-profit, the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce?  They are asking that there is a charge of $50.00 per ticket, there is nothing to state that the public can come or attain free tickets. The truth of the matter is that the Chamber has a total of 650 tickets, 50 of those are free general public tickets and 600 are being sold

It also appears that Public Utilities is paying for advertisement on this site.  There was controversy last year when $500,000.00 of taxpayer monies was to be set aside to the Chamber to coordinate the Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful Program, without the bidding process.  TMC wants the same deal, we will gladly advertise Public Utilities for $24,999.00 right under the maximum amount Public Utilities Manager Girish Balachandran can cut a check for.

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It appears that the taxpayer funds the Chamber, even through Public Utilities, but the public is not even publicly invited to this event.  Is this what the Chamber has done a ruse or front for raising campaign funds for their “go along get along” candidates?  To be fair the PE did mention their would be a limited number of “free seats available.”  Really now, doesn’t that just want to make the public not want to go or even attempt to compete for these limited number of free seats?

sponsorpkg     PEfreeseats

Again questions arise if employees of the City, as former Public Utility General Manager Dave Wright, should be on the Chamber board.  Curently,  Riverside Public Utilities General Manager Girish Balachandran, is on the board of the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce, and Taxpayer monies are cut from this General Manager to the Chamber as seen in this advertisement (figure one).  Unbelievable…  Conflict of Interest, or Culture of Corruption?

Girish-Balachandran        RCCGirish

Incidentally, Cindy Roth is the CFO/President of the Chamber who’s husband Richard D. Roth is now Senator for the State of California, and has been a recipient of taxpayer monies for doing the City’s dirty work, as many in the community have said, though are afraid to state their opinion for fear of retaliation by the City Department Agencies or even RPD.  Sorry folks, I’m only the messenger..  But many are told when calling the Chamber that the limited number of free seat are for the “General Public” which must be seated in the back of the event.  I say, the “Elite Public” can pay for a taxpayer event, but the rest, “General Public” sit in the back of the bus..  Quite fitting as January 19th is Martin Luther Kings Birthday.

1956_South_Carolina_bus_segregation  martin

DON’T WE HAVE A STATUE OF MARTIN LUTHER KING IN FRONT OF RIVERSIDE HALL?

The question is why would anyone want to do business or even live in the City of Riverside when they don’t even feel safe by the Police Department or even that they can make a living under the duress of many rules and regulation by the City which makes it difficult to doing real business.

IS IT TIME TO RECALL RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERVISOR’S FOR ABUSE OF TAXPAYER’S MONIES?  ACCORDING TO A LETTER IN THE PRESS ENTERPRISE THE ANSWER IS YES..  Sounds like our former Riverside City Manager’s shoe shine machine at taxpayer expense of $600.00.  The bastard couldn’t even pay for his Starbucks coffee for two bucks without hitting the taxpayer..  you named him, former City Manager Brad Hudson.  Hopefully, Hestrin will place the likes of him in incarceration, and his cohort Assistant City Manager Belinda Graham, alleged lover.

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Opps, Jeff Stone not in the picture anymore, he took his bat to the Senate.

 TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “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

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In reference to the current audit, what the PE failed to report was that the scope of the audit was to not only include a forensic audit of the sewer, but the electric and water.  In addition, community advocates emphasized that the scope of the audit must address inter-agency transactions, not inter-fund transactions (of which we knew the majority of those were fine).  Inter-agency loans are those made between to agencies such as the City of Riverside Sewer Department and the State with reference to Redevelopment.  Inter-fund transaction happen all day long!  From one department to another within that single agency, such as the City.  So our question is, who got to the council?  We don’t know?  Did the best advocate for a resolution of this issue flip-flop?  We say, yes!

Let’s take a look at the above transaction.  Originally, the City Council approved the $5.4 million as a short term 120 day loan from the Sewer Fund to Redevelopment.  What Council voted on was different than what actually occurred behind the scenes under former CFO Paul Sundeen.  Council voted for a short term inter-agency loan (not inter-fund) from the Sewer Fund to Redevelopment which is a State Agency.  What happened was instead of paying from the Sewer Fund, they drew the $5.4 million from the Workers Comp Fund as indicated.  Then what happen next was the Electric Fund paid the Workmans Comp Fund.  Then the Sewer Fund paid the Electric Fund.  Why did all this happen?  We call it money laundering.  When the issue was brought forward, the City called it an “oversight,”  we called it the “Sundeen Shuffle” (in reference to former CFO Paul Sundeen).  The lingering question is how many instances of oversight does it take, to consider the actions fraudulent?

Barber and Sundeen have no concerns about how the City will make payments on debt because : a) they are part of the team that created the enormous mountain of debt, and b) the payments on the debt are the responsibility of City taxpayers/ratepayers. Success has many fathers. Failure is an orphan.  -whosincharg, Commenter on the PE

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How bout this one!  Another oversight, as the City is labeling them.  The original transaction was to be a $5 million dollar loan from the City Sewer Fund to the State Agency of Redevelopment.  What actually happened was the $5 million was drawn from the Electric Fund as an inter-agency loan to RDA, instead of the Sewer Fund.  What happened next was that the Workers Compensation Fund payed the Electric Fund.  Then the Sewer Fund payed backed the Workers Compensation Fund.  Again why was this done?  We call this the “Sundeen Shuffle.”  No it’s not a dance, as we know it, but a dance in perception.  Why did the funds take this turn of event again?  Was it nothing more than an attempt to “launder” taxpayer monies?

We noticed in 2011 that City of Riverside was commingling Redevelopment monies with our General Fund, and actually believed the city did this because to give the appearance of a healthy General Fund.  This would be important for those such as investors, who would be looking at the financial healthy of our general fund. We asked the question if the City of Riverside was doing what the City of Miami was?  In this Press Release by the Securities and Exchange Commission, it states that the City of Miami was transferring monies to their General Fund in order to mask increasing deficits in the General Fund.  The City of Miami was actively marketing bonds to the investment public while their primary operating fund was boosted to give the appearance of strength.  According to the SEC Press Release, Miami did not disclose to bondholders that the transferred funds included legally restricted dollars which, under city code, may not be commingled with any other funds or revenues of the city.

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As you can see in the first thumbnail listed as June 2011, we have a commingling of State Funds with the General Fund.  When we brought this to the attention the following month we saw a visual decrease by approximately 77% in the General Fund, this is thumbnail July 2011.  By November 2011, thumbnail three, we noticed the General Fund contains just about $2,000.00.  How would this look to an investor?  In September 2012, thumbnail four, we find our General Fund was negative $73,412.00, again does not look appealing to investors.  We have to remember, that it takes approximately 13 to 16 million a month to run the City of Riverside.

This is an example, of what former CFO Paul Sundeen did in order to give the impression that the General Fund was healthy.  A no no in accounting practices, since those assets are from a State Agency, Redevelopment.

THE CITY OF PASADENA’S $6.4 MILLION EMBEZZLEMENT WOES POINTS TO ONE CITY EMPLOYEE, WHILE THE COMMUNITY POINTS THE BLAME AT CITY MANAGER MICHAEL BECK FOR HIS LACK OF OVERSIGHT AND ASK FOR HIS FIRING!  Former Assistant Riverside City Manager Michael Beck, now City Manager of the City of Pasadena, is on the hot seat for a lack of oversight which the community resulted in the embezzlement of $6.4 million which lead to the arrest of three people, including a city employee, and the suspension of four other city hall employees.

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Michael Beck

Danny Ray Wooten was a management analyst with the City of Pasadena’s Public Works Department who is now accused of embezzlement, and is being charged in a 60 part felony complaint, according to the DA’s office.

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Pastor Wooten

The clincher here is that Mr. Wooten is also known as Pastor Wooten of the New Covenant Church in Pomona.  Even that church is scrambling to check and audit their finances to see if they have been scammed by pastor Wooten in any way.  But don’t sit down yet folks, it gets better, what the press has yet to mention is that former Public Works Director for the City of Riverside was Siobhan Foster… she is currently now the Public Works Director for the City of Pasadena, under the direction, of course, of Michael Beck.  So what was Ms. Foster’s excuse for her inability to catch this criminal act?  Possibly because she is not qualified?  While Director of Public Works in Riverside, employees mentioned that she would asked the question of what a “pot hole” was..  Foster also had her bout with fuzzy math and the bid process which were the brunt of employee complaints.

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Siobhan Foster

Both Michael Beck and Siobhan Foster when they both worked for the City of Riverside, were under the direction of disgraced City Manager Brad Hudson, who’s decisions that were made will cause our City to confront treacherous financial waters as the years pass.  But what many in the community are asking, is why did she resign in order to go to the City of Pasadena?

Incidentally, former interim City Attorney Christina Talley was the former City Attorney for the City of Pasadena during the years of 1994-1996, cities do recycle their employees!  She came here to Riverside, while we sent former Public Works Director Siobhan Foster and former Assistant City Manager Michael Beck to Pasadena.  Kiss that $6.4 million good bye Pasadena, it will cost another $6.4 million in legal fees to attempt to recover it!  Beck and Foster need to go down for this one.

UPDATE: JANUARY 9, 2015: PAUL ZELLERBACH PLEADS “NO CONTEST” IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT:  Of which many in the community are just considering a favor by Riverside County Superior Judge Beck Dugan, according to the Press Enterprise, Zellerbach pleaded no contest to following:

· Vandalism Under $400 (594(2)(a) California Penal Code)
· Trespassing to Place Unauthorized Signs (602(f) California Penal Code)
· Trespassing with Intent to Cause Damage (602(k) California Penal Code)
· Embezzlement (504 California Penal Code)
· Theft of Public Funds (424(a)(1) California Penal Code)
In lieu of the seriousness of the charges, Judgy Duggy didn’t throw the book at Zelly Baby but gave him a cushy ruling!  1.) pay various fines totaling $1,070.00, 2.) Take part in 60 hours of community service and 3.) One year of probation, (and this is cushy probation, not the hardball probation everyone else must take).  There you are folks…
And of course, as is good practice with the PE, besides blocking commenters, is to bring the story out, and quickly bury it into the anal of internet ink..  Corruption runs deep from this trash we call Paul Zellerbach, to the Judges, Grand Jury, County Sups, Sheriff’s Unions etc. etc.
SHOULD SKIN COLOR BECOME AN ISSUE IN RIVERSIDE?  LEE MCDOUGAL, FORMER RETIRED CITY MANAGER FOR THE CITY OF MONTCLAIR HIRED TO BE INTERIM RIVERSIDE CITY MANAGER.  It is unfortunate that we must make race an issue regarding these announcement, as if this has any bearing on ones job position.  According to the PE City Spokeshole Phil Pitcford said that McDougal would be the first African American to lead Riverside.  Shouldn’t ethnicity not matter, and shouldn’t we be choosing people by their experience, qualification and the content of their character, and not bring skin color into the mix?  We did this again when our first black Fire Chief for the City was hired, Michael D. Moore, the PE notated his skin color.  Are we attempting to describe as a City, something about our future and something about our past?  Have we arrived as municipality that has no restrictions?  Shouldn’t skin color never be an issue to began with?  I think so.  Now that I placed skin color to the way side, why do we have so many public servant retirees coming back for a second round of benefits?  That is the question which needs to be answered.  Both McDougal and Moore are retirees, who continue to work.  Is the age for public retirement just to low?  Of course it is, who are we fooling?  Why is the public sector now the best gig in town?  Because you as voters and residents allowed this to happen.  You must be part of a Democracy or Republic in order for this exercise to occur.  It is not free, you must be part of it in order for true Democracy to exist.  This dysfunction seems relevant to the public sector.  This seems to be a phenomenon relative to the public sector as opposed to the private sector, and gives individuals a second opportunity to feed at the taxpayer trough?  That is of course, being able to retire at 55 years of age, and get a second attempt to repeat the process within a lifetime is just a misappropriation of taxpayer funds.
It is again unfortunate that we need to look at the outside for individuals to guide our City forward.  We all know for example, that Interim Chief Mike Esparza should have been the Fire Chief.  But did they all leave in order to solidify their pensions before the flow of money becomes less within the City in the coming years?
OUTSIDE LEGAL HELP PROBLEMATIC? DID WE HAVE A ROGUE FORMER CITY ATTORNEY WHO BY PASSED THE CITY COUNCIL TO APPROVE OUTSIDE LEGAL HELP WITHOUT COUNCIL AUTHORITY?  ABSOLUTELY YES!  With the new article in the PE regarding the hiring of outside legal help, which has been a common practice in the City of Riverside to do it without any sort of binding agreement or contract.  Not only was the contract issue a concern for many in the community, because no one knew what was really being spent by former City Attorney Greg Priamos’s office.  In many cases we felt that he used the taxpayers monies for his own legal agenda and agenda’s of the very few which in the long run, did not benefit the taxpayer, only cost them more.  One good example of Gregory’s contempt, was violating the will of the voters by blocking a ballot measure to be voted on, and of course, at taxpayer expense, as in the following PE article.One good example of Gregory’s contempt, was violating the will of the voters by blocking a ballot measure to be voted on, and of course, at taxpayer expense, as in the following PE article.
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Former City Attorney Gregory Priamos
According to the PE in a December 9th article, stated that in a December 3rd decision, San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Brian S. McCarville ruled against the city, writing that the state’s initiative process “is a right that should be jealously guarded,” and that “the better reasoned approach is to allow this type of challenge to be resolved after the voters have spoken to the issue.”  Therefore, the City of Riverside violated the voters right to place an initiative on the ballot, as is acceptable under the Democratic process.  Again people ask if the City of Riverside is a Dictatorship?  But what becomes more evident is that taxpayer monies were spent to block the Democratic process.  Further, more taxpayer monies will more than likely be spent to appeal the decision.  But that’s Riverside..  and of course, Priamos never protected the sanctity of taxpayer monies..he used the budget as if it was his own money, and of course never benefiting the best interest of the taxpayer.
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How would Christin Talley respond to this?  I would imagine “No Comment.”  Of course, Talley has had her own set of problems with competency with other cities whom hired her through Best, Best & Krieger Law Firms.

In any case, we don’t know how this one fell through the roof, but we did manage to receive one arrangement between BB&K and the City of Riverside to represent Former Chief of Police Russ Leach.  What a surprise, it’s signed by former City Attorney Greg Priamos and Grover Trask, former Riverside County District Attorney now in the employment of BB&K.  Oh lets’ just call it a “contract”, or correctly a “retainer agreement”.  Tomato, tomahto, oh let’s just call the whole thing off…  Wish we could, but it gets better.

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW WHOLE DOCUMENT

This was an article we posted back in May of 2012 when we requested all contracts for outside legal help by the City Attorney’s office.  There were no documents responsive!  This was recently brought to the forefront with a new article by Dan Bernstein from the Press Enterprise, “Riverside: The (Hidden) Cost of Business.”   Bernstein refers to all the non contractual outside legal services which are not documented, a hidden cost as he calls it, but not hidden to taxpayer monies.  One of the most striking documents we at TMC found a couple of years ago was one which Best, Best & Krieger had their own charge card, to charge the City of Riverside as they needed to for legal work rendered.  Charges to the tune in excess of six figures?

CorpCard    CCTWO    CCTHREE    CCFOUR    CCFIVE

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL DOCUMENTS OF CORPORATE CARD

 The writers of the below public records request were trying to determine by what authority did the City Attorney’s Office claim their right to hire outside legal without City Council approval.  The following first two documents are the letter of request to the City Attorney’s Office asking them to answer the question of no contracts.  The last letter is a response by City Attorney Greg Priamos stating there are no documents responsive.

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CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE REFERENCING SECTION 702

The question then arose was because of Section 702 Eligilbility, powers and duties of the City Attorney, from the City of Riverside City Charter.   This section of the charter stated, “The City Council shall have control over all legal business and proceedings and may employ other attorneys to take charge of any litigation or to assist the City Attorney therein.”  We were also told that state bar requires a lawyer to provide a contract for any work done for a client.  We ascertain that Section 702 makes all outside legal services require approval by the majority of the City Council.

With this in mind, an new issue arose, this was of the City Manager, Scott Barber.  The PE reported that the city has hired, with two contracts of $49K each, a law firm to conduct an investigation of two councilman, Davis and Soubirous.  The $49K is significant because it is just below the $50K cap that the city manager can spend without seeking council approval.  We don’t contest that the City Manager has the right to spend this money without council approval, but we don’t believe that Section 701 of the City Charter gives the City Manager the authority to hire outside legal without City Council approval.

Section 703 of the City Charter says: “The city clerk shall have the power and be required to: (c) maintain separate books, in which a record shall be made of all written contracts and official bonds.”  We believe the intent of this charter requirement is for there to be a publicly accessible record of how public funds are being spent.  The practice of hiring outside legal services circumvents the intent of this section.

 Section 1401 of the city charter states: “the violations of any provision of this charter shall be deemed a misdemeanor and be punishable upon conviction by a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars or by imprisonment of a period not exceeding six months or by both such fine and imprisonment.”  We can therefore ask the question, “Is it per incident?”  If it is, it certainly can add up for some individuals.  When we are talking about millions of dollars, as indicated in the Press Enterprise, we have to ask the question, “Does it become a felony?”  How then can one account for such mismanagement of taxpayer monies without a legal rationale for the beneficial purposes of those monies?  What is the real truth here that appears to have been circumvented by City Attorney and City Managers by a document called a City Charter?  A document which appears not to be abided by when it should.

We say this because of the circumstances.  We bring the incident which involved our current City Manager Scott Barber. Just in September of 2012, City Manager Scott Barber decided to take his City Manager hat off and play Council by authorizing a change order of $2.5 million without council authority for the Fox Performance Plaza.  He brought the issue to Council and basically appeared they would rubber stamp the idea, after-the-fact.  Had this type of shenanigans been done before by the prior City Manager?  The City Manager’s discretionary spending cap is at $50,000.00, anything over that amount must go to council.  Certainly violated the Charter Amendment.  What made Barber think that he had the authority to act as an elect and ferret it out without them?  A complaint should have been filed against him with Human Resources, and Council should have fired him immediately.

Or the time, which involved City Attorney Greg Priamos denying that he had anything to do with the command for the arrest of public speaker, Karen Wright.  Officer Sahagun was commanded by the City Attorney to arrest public speaker Karen Wright.  Then Priamos calls the police report “inaccurate”, this then implies that officer Sahagun is s liar.  Brian Smith, RPOA President states, “we call that a lie in the profession, and the State of California calls it lying in a police report a crime.”  So if it is in fact a lie, will Priamos prosecute Officer Sahagun for falsifying a police report?  To this day it remains unclear what Priamos meant by referring to the report as “inaccurate.”  In addition, has yet to give an explanation of what was actually said between himself and Officer Sahagun.  Again is City Attorney Greg Priamos a liar?

The question is, “Why should the taxpayer put up with what appears to be “rogue” activity?  What should be done about it?  Why isn’t anything being done about it now?”  It is appearing that by default we are experiencing the “two sets of rules syndrome.”  So why does the house always win, when the taxpayer should be in charge? When will Council take the reigns of power they were given to them by the taxpayer and defend them?

MAY 2012 ORIGINAL TMC ARTICLE: CITY OF RIVERSIDE: OFFICE OF CITY ATTORNEY: “WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING CONTRACTS!”

may2014twoIt has been apparent to the community of the close working relationship between the law firm Best, Best & Krieger and the City of Riverside.  What’s quite evident in fact is that the working relationship between the two entities involves oral contracts.  According to City Attorney Gregory Priamos no hard contracts exist not even a retainer agreement, when a public request act is initiated.   When it comes to a public accounting of the expenditures of the City Attorney, as requested by Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello, a rejection letter below, for the request was sent.  According to the letter Gregory sent, there is no such accounting that has been prepared, and according to law, the law does not impose any duty to create such a record.  Therefore, non is required.  Since when has the taxpayer not be allowed to know what their money is being spent on?  This should be disturbing to many people, because it states that they treading waters they should not be treading.  And according to the law, the City Attorney’s office is not required to disclose the spending of taxpayer monies.  You have to know there is something very wrong with this picture.  Common sense would tell you there is something to hide behind the dark glasses of City Attorney Gregory Priamos.

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW DENIAL LETTER

Above is a letter sent to Dvonne Pitruzzello regarding her request for an accounting of the City Attorney’s from Gregory Priamos.  The law does state that if no documents are responsive to ones request, they, the city has to help you identify the request.

On 05/15/2012 at City Council, Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello stated to City Attorney Gregory Priamos, how many denials of public records act does it take to get disbarred”?  What’s a real contradiction is that the City of Riverside has ‘retainer agreements’ for services with every other law firm they do business with.  Though an excess in millions of dollars have been paid out to BB&K, there has been no pertinent or rational explanation to the taxpayer.  We were even denied BB&K’s billing hours under the public records act.  As taxpayers, should we believe that we should expect anything less than a written contract?  I would say not.  When individuals ask for a rational explanation regarding no contracts, the city’s implication to the community is that “we don’t need no stink’n contracts”?  Is this an act of arrogance or defiance by a public servant toward their employer, the taxpayer?  If anyone has dealt with lawyers there is always a contract, but it appears that the City is the only entity that is allowed to perform this “verbally”, or as we understand it, not even with a “memorandum of understanding.”  One of the biggest law firms in the nation, Best, Best & Krieger is hands down an exception with the City of Riverside?   What is it between the two?  As community residents, are we also to accept the fact that Best, Best & Krieger is allowed to dictate carte blanche their legal fees to the taxpayer via their own credit card?  It seems so, according to the following documents, but what else is the public to otherwise believe?

CLICK LINK TO VIEW FULL DOCUMENT

And we’re not talking nickels and dimes, but six figures and more.  So the question is, who’s in charge and watching taxpayer’s coffers?  It appears the city council is not, not even the mayor, it definitely appears that the city attorney’s office isn’t according to the excessive litigation cost.  So who’s minding the store?  Inquiring taxpayers would like to know.  But just maybe, the store has an open door policy, right to the cash register.  Why? Quite possibly as a direct result of their incestuous relationship between this law firm and the city that has grown over the years.

Such a cozy arrangement between certain ex-city of riverside employees as well as BB&K employees who are strategically now on city committees.  Conflict of interest?   The cast of BB&K characters interlaced with City of Riverside, who previously worked with the city, or on their boards and committees are numerous.  Former Grover Trask (former Riverside County District Attorney), Michelle Quellette (City of Riverside’s Charter Review Committee), Jack Clark (Committee to name City Hall after Mayor Ron Loveridge) or Charity Schiller (Vice Chair of Riverside Downtown Partnership), now of course, our interim City Attorney Christina Talley.  BB&K has also been in the media with the City of Bell, whereby the city is now suing BB&K attorney Edward Lee for faulty legal advice.  Even Governor Jerry Brown subpoenaed BB&K records regarding pay packages in Bell, California.

Measure A… The City of Riverside used taxpayer monies to bankroll their campaign against citizen advocate groups!  The scam that continues to continues to give, masterminded by former City Attorney Gregory Priamos!

OUR NEW INTERIM LAWTINA CITY ATTORNEY CHRISTINA TALLEY NOW SUING HER FORMER EMPLOYER THE CITY OF ANAHEIM.  According to OC Weekly Talley states that she is victim of council majority’s war on Latinos.  In this suit she is using the race card by claiming discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment.  The majority of the lawsuit is aimed at Council member Kris Murray, who incidentally, is a white female, which Talley says was “extremely rude, condescending and sarcastic” in personal dealings.  Talley has a hearing set for January 5th, 2015, but in a prior hearing in November 2014, District Judge David O. Carter ordered both parties to try to resolve the dispute through mediation.

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One blog site defends Talley regarding her advice to Council members, and states that her advice on the issue of the Gardenwalk project was sound.  But one commenter on the Orange Juice Blog made this comment.

Michelle Rodriguez

IS GENERAL MANAGER GIRISH BALACHANDRAN OF THE RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES IN CONFLICT BY BEING A BOARD MEMBER OF THE GREATER RIVERSIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE?  What has been brought to the attention to TMC is that the newly christened General Manager of our Riverside Public Utilities is also a board member with the Greater Riverside Chamber Commerce.  We find this a conflict of interest in that it directly impacts the public he represents without our input.  Checks written to the Chamber by Public Utilities for what ever supportive reason is not in the best interest of the public and the rate payers, especially if they are approved under the General Manager Mr. Balachandran.

Girish-Balachandran        RCCGirish

WHAT STAYS IN VEGAS DIDN’T STAY VERY LONG?  FORMER RIVERSIDE GENERAL MANAGER DAVE WRIGHT TAKES JOB WITH LOS ANGELES DWP.  Wright retired from the City of Riverside Public Utilities as the political heat got to him their General Manager in July 2013 to take a job in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Who retires to take another job?  If you say you are going to retire don’t you just retire?  Who retires at 53years of age? The common phenomenon with public workers is that you are set to retire early to take a pension, then you can go on to double and even triple dip into public taxpayer monies even more.  Then you are set to buy that mansion in Bel Air.  Now, Mr. Wright will begin work with the LADWP this coming February, 2015 as their Senior Assistant General Manager.  Good Luck Dave! you’ll probably fit in with all the scandal with LADWP, god knows what you did in Riverside.  The scandal of course involved inaccurate customer rates and $40 million in revenues that were mysteriously spent by then General Manager Ron Nicols and the head of DWP’s biggest union.  Brian D’Arcy, union head continued to skew the issue of how public monies were spent in the form of non-profit trust.

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IS IT A TAX OR FEE? THE QUESTION DEFINED BY THE WASHINGTON POLICY CENTER.  The question arises many times the definition of a tax and the term “fee”, and is a fee a tool utilized by Cities to create revenue.  But are they doing this illegally or getting around the law by calling a tax a fee?

NEXT UP: ONE OF RPD’S AND RPOA’S  FINEST…AND WE HAVE TO THANK SERGIO FOR THIS ONE!

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 TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “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

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According to the San Bernardino Sentinel, Colton City Attorney Christina Talley has been relieved of her position as of September 18,2014, or could we say “fired?”   Christina Talley works for the infamous Best, Best & Krieger, and incidentally has been hired by the City of Riverside through BB&K to be interim City Attorney, after former City Attorney Greg Priamos skipped town when he couldn’t handle the heat in the kitchen to Riverside County.  Of course, the County Boys embraced Priamos with open arms.  Accordingly, Ms. Talley appears to have been passed around to cities like a bad can of sardines beyond there expiration date.   Cities continued to employ her, regardless of the smell she left behind.  According to the article there is more to the story then meets the eye, not only was City of Colon Colton concerned with her ineptness with Brown Act regulations, whereby she allowed non-agendized items to be discussed by council.  But even more discerning, was what occurred at a June 3 Colton Council meeting , at which a decision was made to place City Manager Stephen Compton on administrated leave.  This was as a result of Compton’s inquiry with reference to questionable financial practices, including “off-the-book” projects in public works department which led him very close to uncovering details of how certain projects were funded, including several unauthorized projects which were being run out of the public works department.  This of course, brought scrutiny, according to the article, toward the actions of public works director Amer Jakher, who enjoyed a close relationship with a majority of the of the city council.  As the focus pointed to Jakher, some council members were pushing Compton to examine the city’s contract with  Best, Best & Krieger and Talley, and potentially put the contract for city legal services out to bid.

In July of 2014, a group of Colton residents filed a complaint with the city to investigate alleged irregularities in the city’s public works department alleging potential misappropriation of public funds, gift of public funds and misuse of public funds which benefitted two city council members.  The citizens provided documentation indicating that the “off the books” activity, i.e., work that had not been considered or approved by the city council, had indeed taken place in the public works division.  That request was moved forward by Police Chief Steve Ward, who was then acting in the capacity of city manager during Compton’s absence.  Chief of Police/City Manager Ward initiated an investigation and personally forwarded the request to Talley.  The investigation was handed over to another Best Best & Krieger attorney, Ronald Ball, who is “of counsel” with the firm.  Several weeks later it was discovered that Talley, however, neglected to provide Ball with the background documentation that had been provided to the city by the group of residents requesting the investigation.  Thus, the investigation failed to focus on the “off-the-books” activity in the public works department that was at the root of the concerns expressed by the citizens group, and the final report reflected an incorrect timeline of events which discredited its conclusion that two of the members of the council, Frank Gonzales and Susan Oliva, had not benefited from the misapplication of resources in the public works department.  Manipulation of the facts?  Read the whole story in the September 19th article in the San Bernardino Setinel.

Beginning in August 2014, according to the San Bernardino Sentinel, Talley became less and less visible in Colton.  She was replaced in some venues by Marco Martinez, a partner with Best Best & Krieger. In fact, Talley’s mishandling of the Colton account appears to have impacted her standing with Best Best & Krieger, which now appears to be in danger of losing Colton as a client altogether.  Talley, who formerly had an office in Best Best & Krieger’s Irvine office, where she was formerly listed as an “associate,” has been consistently unavailable at that location since August.  She is no longer listed as an “associate,” but is now deemed to be “of counsel,” an indication Best Best & Krieger is seeking to disassociate itself from her.

But it doesn’t stop there, in the “Anaheim Blog”, Christina Talley who was Anaheim’s City Attorney since 2009 was asked to resign in January of 2013, with what appears to be her ineptness, again,  with the Brown Act.  The “Voice of Orange County” also brought forward another issue with Talley with reference to her alleged ineptness with the Brown Act.

But in my eyes what we see is a powerful law firm who has been allowed to be part of the very fabric which ultimately represents the interest of the taxpayers.  It certainly appears that they are their to protect their taxpayer paycheck with bad legal advice.

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Edward Lee

As in the instance whereby the City of Bell sues former City Attorney Edward Lee, a BB&K attorney, for let’s see, “Faulty Legal Advice!”  So Riverside, you know have a little information of how the City of Riverside rolls in what is in it’s best interest…it may very well not be you.  What appears to be allegedly evident is that Best Best & Krieger has been manipulating California City politics through their “fly-by-night” team of legal attorneys, which seem to cause more financial liability to the taxpayer, then financial protection to the taxpayer.

Well I would expect that the City of Riverside’s spokes hole and former PE reporter, Phil Pritchard may attempt to spin the story by just saying she left Colton to work for the City of Riverside… Watch Two Timing Talley’s antics unfold at today’s City Council Meeting, and you the taxpayer decide!  Is she really inept, or really good at playing the field of City Politics?  Should we allow uncontracted legal work to continue with BB&K?  Should we allow BB&K Trash Attorneys to represent the taxpayers?  I think not.

CITY OF RIVERSIDE: COUNCILMAN MELENDREZ: HUMANITARIAN RESOLUTION TRIGGERS ETHICS COMPLAINT.

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Councilman Andy Melendrez’s attempt to create the City of Riverside as a “Sanctuary City” appeared to be hidden according to many in the community and not brought forward at a Tuesday’s City Council Meeting.  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.

UPDATE: TRESS CAPPS IN THE NEWS: THE DAILY CALLER: WOMAN WHO REALLY HATES MEXICAN FLAG LOSE JOB OVER HATRED OF MEXICAN FLAG.  The title says she hates the Mexican Flag, but the report list no direct statement by her with the words “hate” etc.

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CLICK THIS LINK TOVIEW 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.  The meaning of a resolution is defined as a firm decision to do something, or not to do something.

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW CITY COUNCIL MEMORANDUM

What was more discerning was this item/resolution it was placed on the Consent Calender, as some have indicated, a way to pass and sneak a real issue from the community.  Rather than just passed, it was brought out from the consent calender for discussion.  This play on politics does not make Andy a proponent for what’s right and wrong, as indicated by many in his ward.  The resolution states the following: “WHEREIS: The City of Riverside hereby stands in support of sanctuary and humanitarian efforts or assistance in the processing and treatment of all immigrants, including those recently arriving in the United States..”    According to the Press Enterprise, Melendrez stated that “the resolution would not have actually required the city to do anything, nor would it have committed any city funds.”  Even our interim City Attorney Christina Talley chimed in when asked for an opinion by stating the following, “Based upon the face of the resolution, I didn’t see anything in that resolution that conflicted with federal or state law.”   But when you look at the resolution statement it appears rather vaguely written, possibly not to directly take issue with the real point, “illegal” immigration.  His point of stating “including those recently arriving in the United States,” would actually imply helping immigrants “illegally” in the country.  It also seems that the City of Riverside supports efforts of efforts and assistance in the processing of all immigrants.  According the statement, this would imply both “legal” and “illegal” immigrants.  If this is true, the City of Riverside would effectively stating in this resolution that it supports breaking the law by supporting efforts to process “illegal” immigrants.  This I would say is a direct conflict with Federal Law, and out of the scope of a local municipality, such as our City.  Further, the definition of a “child” is someone under the age of 18 year of age, in some in some instances it may very well be under 19 years of age. The full original resolution is as follows:

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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 City Attorney Greg Priamos when we need him?  Hell, he would just make matters worse.

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

According to some in the community, this resolution advocatess breaking Federal law.. Not only is he advocating breaking Federal Law, he is stating it would be acceptable for the City of Riverside to assume acceptance of those who have entered the country illegally.  Some in the community feel this was 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 to be acceptable since immigration is a Federal issue.  Though the term “children” has yet to be defined in these resolutions. Many city’s have adopted similar resolutions, even some states, there is really no conflict as such which would interfere with Federal laws.  But what does this mean when a resolution such as this, is adopted at a local level?

UPDATE: COUNCILMAN ANDY MELENDREZ AT THE SEPTEMBER 23RD COUNCIL MEETING INSISTED THAT THE RESOLUTION FOR “SANCTUARY CITY” STATUS FOR RIVERSIDE BE BROUGHT BACK FOR COUNCIL VOTE ONCE AGAIN.  WILL THIS MEAN HIDDEN ADDITIONAL ASPECTS WHICH WILL BURDEN THE TAXPAYERS OF THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE?

CITY COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS INVESTIGATION IN LIMBO…ACCORDING TO THE RIVERSIDE PRESS ENTERPRISE!

Pu1T0UfvSGJyBBMf-r3kE2dJ-d6fbR2ktzstZ2nkWjkh1QUhkDIc0xkOsbm-1VNCfVrccqA5V7pcE74BVoRrQoAgain, what happens if the whole investigation is dropped, who is responsible for the bill? You got it, we are!  Should an incompetent City Manager Scott Barber reimburse the taxpayer for his inexperience?  Then again attempting to sue the taxpayer as a direct result of his own personal conflicts?

UPDATE: CINDY ROTH AND THE GREATER RIVERSIDE CHAMBER RECEIVES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, OVER A HALF A MILLION OVER THREE YEARS FOR “KEEP RIVERSIDE CLEAN AND BEAUTIFUL” PROGRAM, AS VOTED AT SEPTEMBER 23RD CITY COUNCIL, WITH THE ONLY NO VOTE BY COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS.  INCIDENTALLY, COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS FOUND THIS QUITE PECULIAR ENOUGH THAT HE REQUESTED THIS ITEM BE REMOVED FROM THE “CONSENT CALENDER’ FOR DISCUSSION.  The discussion led to questions regarding how Cindy Roth’s Greater Riverside Chamber is paid.  First, the taxpayer must pay for this “Volunteer Program” in their “Trash Bill.”  Five other cities in California wouldn’t think of doing this.  Riverside does.  Therefore, the issue of this item becomes an illegal charge or tax against the taxpayer!   Since the charge comes from the Public Works Department, it must be brought forth for “bid.”  Secondly, there must be a contractors contract, referencing item by item, how the taxpayer money is to be spent.  Non of this has ever been done!  With her attorney husband and now Senator, “Something seems to be Rotten in Denmark!”  Question have arose over the disbursements of taxpayer monies, which appear to have never been reported to Council in the past.  Taxpayers continue to argue that it is a “money laundering” scheme.  Incidently, Cindy Roth, CEO/President, her husband is now Senator for the State of California, Richard Roth…  In the past has done outside legal work for the City of Riverside, which has been allegedly been questionable with reference in how his work really benefited Riverside residents.

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Cindy Roth and the Greater Riverside Chamber was also against Measure A, which was not in the best interest of the taxpayers, and evidently is why her behind the scenes political activities at City Hall have been seen as some, as a political powerhouse, which includes former CEO and Publisher of the Riverside Press Enterprise , Ron Redfern.   Riverside, wouldn’t you think something is wrong in Denmark?  At the cost of  $574,754 over three years to the taxpayer in your Trash Bill?  Now folks, this is a volunteer program…  Technically according to City policy, since this money arrives from Public Works, this item must go out to bid, secondly, there must be a contractors contract initiated itemizing the cost of services provided.  This was not done.  Also, an expenditure report has never been given to the City to disclose a specific itemization of disbursements.  So, where does the money go?  With this in mind, questions arise to how the monies are actually spent.  First of all, is there a specified account for this money?  Or is this money just deposited in the Greater Riverside Chamber’s general fund?  To possibly be used for Councilmember and Mayor special trips, campaigns etc.

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CITY COUNCIL MEMORANDUM                      CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

UPDATE: IS THE AMERICAN DISABILITIES GUIDELINES NOTHING MORE THAN A “SHAKE DOWN” SCHEME PERPETRATED BY THE CALIFORNIA TRIAL LAWYERS THROUGH LEGISLATION?  NOW UNDER THE DECEPTIVE NAME OF CONSUMER ATTORNEY’S OF CALIFORNIA?  NEW STORY IN THE PRESS ENTERPRISE..

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “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 (WE BELIEVE THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN NOW, SINCE GREG SKIPPED TOWN TO THE COUNTY)… 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 TOXIC DIRT BY CONTACTING US AT:   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

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This was an article we posted back in May of 2012 when we requested all contracts for outside legal help by the City Attorney’s office.  There were no documents responsive!  This was recently brought to the forefront with a new article by Dan Bernstein from the Press Enterprise, “Riverside: The (Hidden) Cost of Business.”   Bernstein refers to all the non contractual outside legal services which are not documented, a hidden cost as he calls it, but not hidden to taxpayer monies.  One of the most striking documents we at TMC found a couple of years ago was one which Best, Best & Krieger had their own charge card, to charge the City of Riverside as they needed to for legal work rendered.  Charges to the tune in excess of six figures?

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL DOCUMENTS OF CORPORATE CARD

 The writers of the below public records request were trying to determine by what authority did the City Attorney’s Office claim their right to hire outside legal without City Council approval.  The following first two documents are the letter of request to the City Attorney’s Office asking them to answer the question of no contracts.  The last letter is a response by City Attorney Greg Priamos stating there are no documents responsive.

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CLICK ON ABOVE DOCUMENT IMAGES TO ENLARGE

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CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

The question then arose was because of Section 702 Eligilbility, powers and duties of the City Attorney, from the City of Riverside City Charter.   This section of the charter stated, “The City Council shall have control over all legal business and proceedings and may employ other attorneys to take charge of any litigation or to assist the City Attorney therein.”  We were told that state bar requires a lawyer to provide a contract for any work done for a client.  We believe that Section 702 makes all outside legal services require approval by the majority of the City Council.

With this in mind, an new issue arose, this was of the City Manager, Scott Barber.  The PE reported that the city has hired, with two contracts of $49K each, a law firm to conduct an investigation of two councilman, Davis and Soubirous.  The $49K is significant because it is just below the $50K cap that the city manager can spend without seeking council approval.  We don’t contest that the City Manager has the right to spend this money without council approval, but we don’t believe that Section 701 of the City Charter gives the City Manager the authority to hire outside legal without City Council approval.

Section 703 of the City Charter says: “The city clerk shall have the power and be required to: (c) maintain separate books, in which a record shall be made of all written contracts and official bonds.”  We believe the intent of this charter requirement is for there to be a publicly accessible record of how public funds are being spent.  The practice of hiring outside legal services circumvents the intent of this section.

 Section 1401 of the city charter states: “the violations of any provision of this charter shall be deemed a misdemeanor and be punishable upon conviction by a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars or by imprisonment of a period not exceeding six months or by both such fine and imprisonment.”  We can therefore ask the question, “Is it per incident?”  If it is, it certainly can add up for some individuals.  When we are talking about millions of dollars, as indicated in the Press Enterprise, we have to ask the question, “Does it become a felony?”  How then can one account for such mismanagement of taxpayer monies without a legal rationale for the beneficial purposes of those monies?  What is the real truth here that appears to have been circumvented by City Attorney and City Managers by a document called a City Charter?  A document which appears not to be abided by when it should.

We say this because of the circumstances.  We bring the incident which involved our current City Manager Scott Barber. Just in September of 2012, City Manager Scott Barber decided to take his City Manager hat off and play Council by authorizing a change order of $2.5 million without council authority for the Fox Performance Plaza.  He brought the issue to Council and basically appeared they would rubber stamp the idea, after-the-fact.  Had this type of shenanigans been done before by the prior City Manager?  The City Manager’s discretionary spending cap is at $50,000.00, anything over that amount must go to council.  Certainly violated the Charter Amendment.  What made Barber think that he had the authority to act as an elect and ferret it out without them?  A complaint should have been filed against him with Human Resources, and Council should have fired him immediately.

Or the time, which involved City Attorney Greg Priamos denying that he had anything to do with the command for the arrest of public speaker, Karen Wright.  Officer Sahagun was commanded by the City Attorney to arrest public speaker Karen Wright.  Then Priamos calls the police report “inaccurate”, this then implies that officer Sahagun is s liar.  Brian Smith, RPOA President states, “we call that a lie in the profession, and the State of California calls it lying in a police report a crime.”  So if it is in fact a lie, will Priamos prosecute Officer Sahagun for falsifying a police report?  To this day it remains unclear what Priamos meant by referring to the report as “inaccurate.”  In addition, has yet to give an explanation of what was actually said between himself and Officer Sahagun.  Again is City Attorney Greg Priamos a liar?

The question is, “Why should the taxpayer put up with what appears to be “rogue” activity?  What should be done about it?  Why isn’t anything being done about it now?”  It is appearing that by default we are experiencing the “two sets of rules syndrome.”  So why does the house always win, when the taxpayer should be in charge?

MAY 2012 ORIGINAL TMC ARTICLE: CITY OF RIVERSIDE: OFFICE OF CITY ATTORNEY: “WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING CONTRACTS!”

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It has been apparent to the community of the close working relationship between the law firm Best, Best & Krieger and the City of Riverside.  What’s quite evident in fact is that the working relationship between the two entities involves oral contracts.

According to City Attorney Gregory Priamos no hard contracts exist not even a retainer agreement, when a public request act is initiated.   When it comes to a public accounting of the expenditures of the City Attorney, as requested by Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello, a rejection letter below, for the request was sent.  According to the letter Gregory sent, there is no such accounting that has been prepared, and according to law, the law does not impose any duty to create such a record.  Therefore, non is required.  Since when has the taxpayer not be allowed to know what their money is being spent on?  This should be disturbing to many people, because it states that they treading waters they should not be treading.  And according to the law, the City Attorney’s office is not required to disclose the spending of taxpayer monies.  You have to know there is something very wrong with this picture.  Common sense would tell you there is something to hide behind the dark glasses of City Attorney Gregory Priamos.  But there was nothing to hide after allowing $159 million in illegal RDA loans to be approved by City Council, then rejected by the Finance Office for the State of California.  What would then be the result of his performance evaluation, which was being discussed in closed sessions Tuesday April 4, 2012, at City Council?  I’m sure, just as it went well for our former City Manager, this will go well..

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW DENIAL LETTER

Above is a letter sent to Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello regarding her request for an accounting of the City Attorney’s from Gregory Priamos.  The law does state that if no documents are responsive to ones request, they, the city has to help you identify the request.

On 05/15/2012 at City Council, Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzzello stated to City Attorney Gregory Priamos, ‘how many denials of public records act does it take to get disbarred”?  What’s a real contradiction is that the City of Riverside has ‘retainer agreements’ for services with every other law firm they do business with.  Though an excess in millions of dollars have been paid out to BB&K, there has been no pertinent or rational explanation to the taxpayer.  We were even denied BB&K’s billing hours under the public records act.  As taxpayers, should we believe that we should expect anything less than a written contract?  I would say not.  When individuals ask for a rational explanation regarding no contracts, the city’s implication to the community is that “we don’t need no stink’n contracts”?  Is this an act of arrogance or defiance by a public servant toward their employer, the taxpayer?  If anyone has dealt with lawyers there is always a contract, but it appears that the City is the only entity that is allowed to perform this “verbally”, or as we understand it, not even with a “memorandum of understanding.”  One of the biggest law firms in the nation, Best, Best & Krieger is hands down an exception with the City of Riverside?   What is it between the two?  As community residents, are we also to accept the fact that Best, Best & Krieger is allowed to dictate carte blanche their legal fees to the taxpayer via their own credit card?  It seems so, according to the following documents, but what else is the public to otherwise believe?

CLICK LINK TO VIEW FULL DOCUMENT

 And we’re not talking nickels and dimes, but six figures and more.  So the question is, who’s in charge and watching taxpayer’s coffers?  It appears the city council is not, not even the mayor, it definitely appears that the city attorney’s office isn’t according to the excessive litigation cost.  So who’s minding the store?  Inquiring taxpayers would like to know.  But just maybe, the store has an open door policy, right to the cash register.  Why? Quite possibly in their incestuous relationship that has grown over the years.

Such as the cozy arrangement between certain ex city of riverside employees or just BB&K employees who are strategically now on city committees.  Conflict of interest?   The cast of BB&K characters interlaced with City of Riverside, who previously worked with the city, on their boards and committees are numerous.  Former Grover Trask (former Riverside County District Attorney), Michelle Quellette (City of Riverside’s Charter Review Committee), Jack Clark (Committee to name City Hall after Mayor Ron Loveridge) or Charity Schiller (Vice Chair of Riverside Downtown Partnership).  BB&K has also been in the media with the City of Bell, whereby the city is now suing BB&K attorney Edward Lee for faulty legal advice.  Even Governor Jerry Brown subpoenaed BB&K records regarding pay packages in Bell, California.   In any case, we don’t know how this one fell through the roof, but we did manage to receive one arrangement between BB&K and the City of Riverside to represent Former Chief of Police Russ Leach.  What a surprise, it’s signed by City Attorney Greg Priamos and Grover Trask, former Riverside County District Attorney now in the employment of BB&K.  Oh lets’ just call it a “contract”, or correctly a “retainer agreement”.  Tomato, tomahto, oh let’s just call the whole thing off…  Wish we could, but it gets better.

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW WHOLE DOCUMENT

Then there is developer Mark Rubin’s connected liaison with the City of Riverside and the City’s alter ego, the Redevelopment Agency. There is no doubt the brazen display of a conflict of interest displayed and perpetrated by the City of Riverside in approving the Citrus Tower’s lease deal between Best, Best & Krieger, Developer Mark Rubin and the City of Riverside.  “Three peas in a pod?”  Is it at all possible that the BB&K deal was orchestrated and designed to provide a lease revenue stream for the bonds held on the Citrus Tower project?  Was BB&K involved in bond advice for the city?  Councilman Paul Davis first told colleagues he’d heard concerns about “the general perception of the gift of public funds and creating a monopoly” to benefit a private developer, but he ended by saying it was a moot point because the city already has signed a lease.  How long will the City of Riverside continue to terrorize the taxpayer with shear incompetence and their breach of fiduciary duty to protect the coffers of hard earned taxpayer monies by the City Attorney’s Office? Good questions for City Attorney Greg Priamos, who coicidently has attended two of my alma maters, Loyola Marymount University and the University of Southern California.  A sad day for both university’s Gregory.  The question in the community are the ruthless expenditures within the City Attorney’s Office.  How much taxpayer money has been litigated out, or settled out as if it was your own, without any rational cognitive reasoning?  Or was it just for sport?  Or is the threat of litigation just a city tool used against the opposition for what is known in the business as “client control”?  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  TMC believes the later is mostly true at our expense.  Therefore why would the city litigate to the tune of 9 million, then lose, and then have to award out 250K in one documented case?  Of course, that wouldn’t happened because after all as taxpayers we should all believe what the city does is rational and in our best interest.  Well the truth of the fact is, that it did, and nothing was in our best interest.  Though he serves at the pleasure of the council, should the City Attorney answer rightfully to the employer, which would be “we the people”?  This I say because the council and mayor has failed to supervise the activities of the city attorney.  The failure is such that we must ask the question of what makes one believe the city attorney needs to incorporate police lights with all the bells and whistles in their pimped out city vehicle? Where did one lose the sight of whose money it really is?  TMC can’t answer that, but I’m sure there is a rational answer from our city attorney, as in the case with the ‘no contracts allowed with our best customer.’  It may not be right but it is an answer.  Ultimately, the council and mayor is responsible for the activities, failures and actions of the city attorney.  In an article in Cactus Thorns, the 29 Palms City Council questions the spending to their City Attorney,  and when they looked at public records, that was even a total shock.   In this continuing painful saga, one can hire BB&K to run a city attorney’s office.  Carte Blanche in Riverside. For a price, instant city attorney, as in this article in The Orange County Register?  In the City of Yorba Linda, for example, BB&K attorney Sonia Carvalho represented the city in the capacity of the City Attorney for over a decade.  Conflict of interest? 

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “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 ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH ZELLERBACH’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

No doubt, Interum Public Works Director Tom Boyd maybe the focus of the John Chiang’s auditing teams hard lined questions.  and no doubt, former Public Works Director Siobhan Foster is also looking from the sidelines after leaving her Riverside position in a rush for the same position for the City of Pasadena, a much furthercommute away from home.  Did she know anything of the second coming?

DON’T MISS CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR,  DVONNE PITRUZELLO AND SELF APPOINTED CITY AUDITOR VIVIAN MORENO WILL BE GIVING CITY COUNCIL A MATH LESSON!   FORMER DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY RAYCHELE STERLING WILL BE TALKING ABOUT HOW HUMAN RESOURCES TERRORIZES THEIR EMPLOYEES BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN PARANOIA.   TONIGHT AT 6:30 PM!

                                              

CLICK LINK TO VIEW FULL VERSION         CLICK LINK TO VIEW PAYMENT SCHEDULE

 Item #2 is a big concern with the taxpaying residents of the City of Riverside.  The city doesn’t have all the money for the park, it therefore will be encumbering our six of the taxpayer fire stations for collateral against a $4 million dollar loan.  The six are as follows: Fire Station 2- Arlington, Fire Station 3- Magnolia Center, Fire Station 4- University, Fire Station 8- La Sierra, Fire Station 11-Orange Crest , and Fire Station 12- La Sierra South.  The city not to long ago encumbered Fire Station 13- Sycamore Canyon, Fire Station 14- Canyon Crest and two libraries: Casa Blanca and Arlington to use as collateral for monies that found it’s way to the devlopers of the Hyatt Hotel.  Now regarding the six fire stations, the finance company, Pinnacle Public Finance, Inc., states that the aggregate value of the fire statios is valued slightly over $4 million, and that is the reason for the need of six stations.  I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but if you divide $4 million by 6 you get $666,666.66.  A possible sign or just a coincidence? Regardless, the median value of each fire station.  Pinnacle Public Finance must feel their is risk with this loan to the city, because sources state that the actual cost to build a fire station can run from $9 to $10 million.  The estimated cost to build the Downtown Fire Station #1,  is $11,246,872.00.   Fire Station #14-Canyon Crest which was completed in 2007 costed $4,812,684.00 for one fire station , which contradicts the assessment of 4 million for all six.  Is anybody out there experienceing a conniption fit just yet?

                                                     

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW THE FULL DOCUMENT           CLICK THE LINK TO VIEW ORIGINAL SITE

So, are we placing approximately $24,000,000.00 to $50,000,000.00 in fire stations for a $4,000,000.00 loan?  More salt on the wound, the city’s finance team for this project includes Best, Best & Krieger.  Now when this is all over, we will probably have to encumber another 6 fire stations (if we have any left) to pay their bill, since it’s the cities practice not to use contracts with them.  Mad yet?  The cities annual payment or debt cost will be close to $468,000.00 per year from the General Fund for 10 years.  At the end of that 10 years the city will have paid out $671,150.40 in interest alone.  That means that could effect police or fire department payroll.  But it must not matter in lieu of the mayor’s staff receiving 15% raises.  Now nothing is free, so will the city make up the slack in higher taxes, or revenue enhancers such as service or violation fees?  Further, Chief Financial Officer Paul Sundeen’s name is not on any of these documents!  By the way where is Paul!

So far it is estimated that Tequesquite Park will cost $10.1 million.  The city already had $2 million to cover the design cost and environmental  and conservation fees, The other $4.1 million would come from municipal debt  that the city issued in 2008.  Therefore, $4 million is needed to complete the project, which will be paid back over a term of 10 years.  In terms of the next 10 years, the total cost from the City’s General Fund each year will be $804,000.00   That’s the cost of park maintenance $336,000 plus the loan payment including interest of $468,000.00

ITEM #20, ITEMS #21 and ITEM #22, the initiations of  Landscape Maintenance Districts, where by an annual process of leyving special assessments pertaining to landscape maintenance.  This cost of maintaining landscaping will assessed to property owners, as if you don’t have enough taxes to worry about.  Dear City of Riveside, don’t we already pay for landscape maintenance in the form of property taxes?  Another example of over taxation or double taxation without representation..  But this whole process brings back an old city favorite Albert Webb.  Back in 2008, the Albert Webb company was paid 12 seperate payouts all in one day.  Question abound, regarding this event.

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HOLDING TRUE TO HIS MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of the City Attorney’s Office is to provide excellent and ethical legal advice, effective legal representation, and other quality legal services for the City Council, City officers, and City employees in order that they may lawfully attain the City Council’s goals and other department program outcomes without undue risk to the City?  DO YOU SEE TAXPAYER OR CITIZEN OF THE RIVERSIDE COMMUNITY MENTIONED? AFTERALL, IF YOU ARE PAYING THE BILL SHOULDN’T YOU, THE TAXPAYER,  BE PROTECTED?

WHO WILL BE HIDING BEHIND THE COMPUTER NEXT WHEN JOHN CHIANG’S AUDITING?  CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS.   CALL YOUR LOCAL ELECTED COUNCIL PERSON AND THE MAYOR AND REQUEST THAT THEY COMPLY FULLY WITH THE CONTROLLERS WISHES.  THIS CITY OF RIVERSIDE NEEDS TRANSPARENCY IN THE BOOKS, AND WITH A NEW CITY MANAGER, SCOTT BARBER THS CAN BE ATTAINED.

“OK, ONE MORE TIME, YOU SAY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE DID WHAT”?

 TWO WEEKS AGO AT CITY COUNCIL MARCH 6, 2012:

Evening session was attended by Tom Boyd Interium Public Works Director, no sign of Paul Sundeen since he was last seen leaving mid day from city hall. Councilman Steve Adams was not seen either. TMC had their protest signs with sticks attached to them, some of them pointed.  A plains clothes officer was called in by City Attorney Gregory Priamos. When the officer approached Gregory, Gregory said  “over there”!  The plain clothes officer looked over to us and went to the back of City Council Hall.  As the group was leaving and exiting the hall, he later told our group that he was told by Gregory to come in an remove the protesters, because some of the signs had points. That would be considered a “weapon”. In this officers opinion he was just not going to do that. Possibly because it’s appearance was “frivolous”, much as some of Gregory’s law suits.  In particular, Ms. Doreen Johnson. Evidently, the Johnson’s own a commercial building and leased property to someone who opened a marijuana dispensary and was then closed and a law suit ensued with their name on it.

  

It appears if anyone is doing drug business on a property you own, they the feds can take it away from you under asset forfeiture.  Others our stating that Ms. Johnson’s property is coincidently across the street from a developers property that has done many projects for the city.  But these projects have been in questioned regarding their public benefit.  Originally, the true intentions of ‘asset forfeiture laws’ were to hit drug dealers by taking their expensive homes, pimped out vehicles, jewelry and luxury items attained and purchased with drug monies etc.  This would occur after their arrest.  It currently appears the City Attorney is stretching it to include innocent property owners.  Whats really egregious is that they are using three BB&K attorney’s at taxpayer expense, with a cost of $300 to $400 an hour each to go against this business owner.  According to Johnson, she was voted on by Priamos and the City as a public nuisance, violating zoning codes, and as she states has been slandered as ‘drug dealer’.  Even though the City Attorney serves at the pleasure of the City Council and the Mayor, nothing is said.  Does our leadership care or even know the laws?  Or our just banking that the advice given by city attorney Gregory Primos is solid and true?  Does our leadership even have the background to contradict him?   So under Federal asset forfeiture law,even if you loan your car to a friend, and that friend makes a drug deal with the use of your vehicle, they can take your vehicle. It’s a true stretch from the original intentions but something the Johnson’s should inquire with the State Attorney General or Federal Department of Justice. Where was Gregory when some of the City Council and Management were driving illegal cold plate vehicles, or where illegal gun sales were occurring, or when concealed weapons permits were being fraudulently being applied for with a city hall address?  Did Gregory call the Feds?  Or where by the attempted cover up of the Chief Russell Leach case.  Where many at City Hall used their personal cell phones for communication whereby could not be subpoenaed, therefore did not exist.  The question everyone is asking is why does Gregory want to beat everybody up?

Afternoon session, not in attendance was Tom Boyd, and again Councilman Steve Adams and Chief Financial Officer Paul Sundeen.  The second day of the two month audit must be tumultuous. The Council Arena didn’t really get heated until the Chief of Police Sergio Diaz stepped in and began pointing fingers and speaking out at those those he didn’t like.  Pointing and looking at Mayoral Candidate Dvonne Pitruzello he exclaimed, “I don’ t like her”, and pointed to others with signs, “and any of them”.  Looked back at Pitruzello, “you said I wasn’t qualified”.  Ok, it is a public forum, but we weren’t sure if the good ol chief was acting in police mode or in private citizen mode.  Then he faced off with Activist Karen Wright, not once but twice, he left and then came back and he wouldn’t stop. “You’re a horrible person”, “Your disrespectful” and the coup de ta “You hate the police”!  Ooops..  Assistant Chief Chris Vicino even appeared to be trying to get the chiefs attention for the unchiefly behavior, “Hey Chief”! “Chief”!    Many around were asking who the man in the suit was. “He’s the chief of police”… “What, you’re kidding”?   Well when I came up to Karen, she was visually shaken as many in the room were at this display. She of course did not know how to respond to the Chief, and she said she didn’t ever meant any disrespect to fallen officer Ryan Bonaminio or his family, as she indicated.  Besides the chief, there were others who verbally attacked her. Have we forgotten what this country is all about?  Is Riverside a microcosm of beliefs predating 2012?  Have we forgotten what our forefathers warned us about?  Afterall they were considered Kooks and Traitors. Questions many are secretly asking about our Chief, if he has the ability or is he truly qualified with the skills to create a unifying and cohesive support and alliance between the police and the community?  Will the chief receive a letter from Gregory regarding his behavior at City Council Meetings as many others have for less of the behavior seen?  A Strategic Plan submitted to the council two years to late and nothing said regarding the lateness from the mayor or city council?  Do any of them care when the whole community is watching?  What message does this send to our community from our leaders?

In Public comment, Kevin Dawson stated that the comments the Chief made were not in line with the preamble of the city charter.  We want people to participate in city government. I’ve heard of other incidents where similar comments were made and I think they were inappropriate, and not in line with a leadership role.  People look at the Chief for guidance.. Kevin also mentioned since the chief is in a leadership role, that maybe the City Manager should have a conversation with him, and I think he owes Karen Wright an apology.  Both current City Manager Scott Barber and Chief of Police were brought in by Former City Manager Brad Hudson, whereby much of his activities have been in question.

NOT SURE WHERE THE CHIEF GETS HIS POLITICS ON SPEECH, BUT NEEDS TO READ THIS, I’M SURE HE PASSES IT DAILY..

Self appointed auditor, Vivian Moreno stated that one of things that the chief discussed in his description of his strategic plan was the enthusiasm and professionalism of the police department, there was nothing professional about the way he accosted Karen Wright when she was exercising her right to free speech.  You have a monument on City Hall and there is a quote of Benjamin Franklin that talks about free speech.  I’m sure that everyone would agree that everyone has the right to free speech.  Our we all civilized in this room except the Chief?  He also said that they (police) were a force of good.  I don’t think what he had to say was good for her,(Karen Wright).  He also stated something really interesting, he stated that the police don’t lie, cheat or steal..  There was $35,000.00 that was given to Connie Leach (former wife of chief Russ Leach) for the Multi Cultural Youth Festival from Police Asset Forfeiture, what about that? There was the receipts from the the Baker to Las Vegas Run for hotels, shoes, luches, dinners, what about that? …and Gregory Priamos, police asset forfeiture will now collect money from a poor woman (Ms. Doreen Johnson), you are now going to take her property because she rented it to someone undesirable..  I think there is no leadership in management, and I think there are a lot of problems with this city council and you better wake up!

CURRENTLY IN THE NEWS IS HOW PENSIONS RULES ARE NOW DISQUALIFYING SOME RETIRED WORKERS IN THIS NEW PE STORY.  IN OTHER WORDS THE PRACTICE OF DOUBLE DIPPING.  IN THIS PUBLIC DOCUMENT THEIR ARE WHO WERE PAID $31,875.00 FOR REDLIGHT CAMERA REVIEW, ONE OF THEM IS CITY COUNCILMAN’S STEVE ADAMS BROTHER, RON ADAMS.

 OTHERS SUCH AS CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER PAUL SUNDEEN, WHO WAS BROUGHT OUT FROM RETIREMENT, TO BE EMPLOYED ON A PART TIME BASIS WITH THE CITY OF RIVERIDE, ACCORDING TO THE RULES AND REGULATIONS IS CONSIDERED NULL AND VOID.  CURRENTLY, SUNDEEN WAS PLACED ON CONTRACT.  THE QUESTION PERCOLATING IS CAN HE EVEN BE PLACED ON CONTRACT TO CONTINUE WORKING FOR THE CITY?

DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP WEBSITE A THREAT? VIRAL INFESTED?  CAME ACROSS THE FOLLOWING:  “WEB SITES RATED “CAUTION” MAY HAVE A SMALL NUMBER OF THREATS AND ANNOYANCES, BUT ARE NOT CONSIDERED DANGEROUS ENOUGH TO WARRANT A RED “WARNING”.  PROCEED WITH CAUTION”.  IS THIS A MESSAGE TO COMMUNITY BUSINESS’S REGARDING THE LEGACY OF DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP?

 

UPDATE: 3:00 PM CITY COUNCIL:  PUBLIC SPEAKER REBECCA LUDWIG PASSESS 3 MINUTE MARK, ALMOST GETS A POLICE ESCORT OUT OF COUNCIL CHAMBERS.  THE CALL, POSSIBLY CITY ATTORNEY GREGORY PRIAMOS.  IT APPEARS THAT MAYOR PRO TEMPT PAUL DAVIS LOOKED AT PRIAMOS, THEN TWO POLICE OFFICERS WALKED DOWN THE HALL WAY.  DOES PRIAMOS HAVE A POLICE BUTTON UNDER HIS TABLE?

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!   TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREG ABOUT THAT ONE… AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!  COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM 

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The story gets better all the time.  It appears as if there was a private committee headed by the ring leader, Jack Clark, a partner in litigation for BB&K, a firm which receives millions in taxpayer money for their legal advice to the city and not to forget the recently signed assumption of their lease with the city.  This self appointed private committee included recognizable names with long titles, as Ex-City of Riverside Manager Brad Hudson, Private Developer Mark Rubin, Yeager Construction Companies Jack Yeager, Senior VP of The Entrepreneurial Corporate Group which owns the Mission Inn Ted Weggeland , City of Riverside Chief of Staff Kristin Tillquist, Riverside County Fair Housing Executive Director Rose Mayes, President/CEO Riverside Chamber of Commerce Cindy Roth, Roth Carney Law Firm Partner Jane Carney, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Roger Luebs, Director of Center for Philanthropy La Sierra University Dr. Jim Erickson, Retired Superintendent Alford Unified School District Dr. Damon Castillo, RUSD School Board Kathy Allavie.  The majority of these people in one way or another have benefited from City Hall and/or have had their palms financially greased by the taxpayer.   If you look at the names they all have some connection with the mayor in terms of contracts, associations, employment by the city etc.  Councilman Paul Davis didn’t know this committee existed till just recently, and asked for an extension to hear out his constituents of which he has received 15 email concerns.  Nancy Hart also had reservations as to the appropriateness of city hall being named by the current mayor.  Usually this is an honor attributed to someone who passed on.  But more egregious, the community was not invited to be part of this process.  Again a culture of arrogance and narcissism.  Councilmen Mike Gardner and Andy Melendrez had no reservations in voting for the naming of City Hall after the mayor.  Steve Adams couldn’t contain himself, he had no problem voting for him right that instant and just push the proclamation through.  Though, he consider Councilman Paul Davis and Councilwomen Nancy Hart’s reservations on the vote and the need for 2 weeks as “confusion”.  But again felt this decision as deserving of nothing more that than a unanimous vote by the whole council when they returned back in two weeks, and this he believed the mayor wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.   Councilman Andy Melendrez Asked Councilman Paul Davis and Councilwoman Nancy Hart what exactly they would be looking at in the next two weeks from their constituents.  This struck me  as an oxymoron and quite obvious, City Hall is owned by the community of Riverside, not by the few councilpeople and a private committee. Have we all forgotten this simple premise?  Let’s not forget that BB&K receives millions of dollars from Riverside taxpayers for legal advice to the city and city attorney’s office.  Conflict of interest?  A gift back to the mayor for his BB&K support?   A private committee was formed without imput from the community at large on the issue of City Hall being named, “The Ron Loveridge Riverside City Hall.”   Or should we call it the “Best Best & Krieger Riverside City Hall”?  Since we do so much business with them, I’m surprise Council hasn’t voted to give them a floor at City Hall.   But it all appears the initiation of the naming was more than likely instigated by Councilmen Chris Mac Carthur and William “Rusty” Bailey, both of whose families have been in existence in Riverside for generations and have been part of the fabric of Riverside politics.  Speakers on this issue were vehemently concerned.  Some speakers suggested other names should be considered, names which embody Riverside, such as Eliza Tibbets, John Wesley North or even Frank Miller.  Others stated that Ron is getting paid to do the work of the people.  As our forefathers of this country stated, no one should be elevated to level of king for doing the work of the people.  Now, if Ron did the work of the people and didn’t get paid for doing it for his 30 plus years, I would have no problem voting for Ron today either. This would reflect a sacrifice and a deep passion for the community he served, and it should be that way getting paid. But people in the community also work 30 or 40 years in a job without anyone naming a building after them, and there job is just as important as the mayor’s.   Names are for extraordinary circumstances.  It appears this has all gone to the dogs, but the entity I believe embodies Riverside and the name I would use on the walls of city hall would be an icon Riverside keeps close to their heart, therefore, “The Rin Tin Tin Riverside City Hall”.

UPDATE: 10/17/2011: COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS CHANGING HIS TUNE? “IT’S NOT THE TIME TO CONSIDER CHANGE”.  IN REFERENCE TO THE CITY HALL BEING NAMED AFTER MAYOR RON LOVERIDGE.  ADAMS NOW BELIEVES THE NAMING OF CITY HALL NEEDS TO GO TO THE PEOPLE, AND A PRIVATE INDEPENDENT COMMITTEE DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE THAT CALL.  PLAYING POLITICS DURING ELECTION TIME?

UPDATE:10/23/2011: PRESS ENTERPRISE REPORTS CITY HALL NAME CHANGE ON HOLD!

KEEP CONNECTED WITH TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” BLOG SITE!   TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND THAT’S ALL WE’RE GOING TO SAY ABOUT THAT ONE…  AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Who’s driving this thing? Steve, put a little elbow grease in that crane.  Greg what do you mean we dropped the case, we’re making a killing out here in container fees!

According to the City of Riverside, this was all about the increase in train traffic running through the City and causing an increased level of pollution.  But, after three court rulings against the City of Riverside, they decided not to continue to hold the Port of Long Beach hostage for hopes of receiving a container fee ransom.  Why did the City sue?   Were they running out of money?  The container fees were to be used for newly constructed underpasses allowing local traffic not to be disrupted.  But awhile back, the city could have also considered the idea of re-routing the cargo trains closer to
the Santa Ana River as many had suggested, considering the port was expanding and local traffic in and around the city would increase.  But it appeared it was never seriously considered.

Mayor Ron Loveridge did take notice of the repercussions of the law suit,  when he stated, “I think it is time for us to join the region (in) working on enhancing the two ports.   Our lawsuits were slowing that down.”  Slowing things down, why did the city initiate it in the first place?  Did the city  think it was all quite frivolous to began with?   Well in reality, maybe these cases were just frivolous, and in the terminology City Attorney Greg Priamos would use, the lawsuits  “have no merit.”  But Riverside Councilman Steve Adams, a major proponent of the lawsuits, said he doesn’t see dropping them as
a sign of failure. He said the city’s approach showed other agencies the seriousness of the problem and got them to listen. He now is working on a national strategy that would include a container fee charged at all U.S ports.  Suing the ports, Adams said, “was the right thing to do at the right time, and this is the right thing to do now.”  So now it’s not a local issue,  looks as Steve is now  working on a national strategy for adding a container fee, which will probably be added to the final cost of goods to the consumer.

The cost to the taxpayer has also come into question.  City Attorney Greg Priamos estimated the city spent between $350,000 and $450,000 on outside legal counsel.  Could it be Best Best & Krieger?  He also stated that a considerable amount of staff time was dedicated to the case, though he declined to put a dollar figure on the in-house work.   Possibly “attorney client privilege” scenario?   Thanks Greg!  Was it about $350,000.00, or was it $450,000.00?  I just don’t remember because I can’t read a ledger book, or because I and my outside legal counsel, BB&K,  appear not to need no stinkin contracts?  Contracts you say, well my friends contracts just do not exist in Emerald City with BB&K, but it allegedly appears as if verbal bilateral one does.  Well, what the heck, plus or minus a $100,000, what’s the big deal?  It’s not my money.   That’s transparency for you.  But we did manage to find a signed agreement between City Attorney Greg Priamos and Grover Trask, ex Riverside County District Attorney now working for BB&K,  when they needed representation for Chief Russell Leach.  There is no doubt this is simply and purely negligence of these public servants fiduciary duty to the tax payer, not to mention the unknown additional cost to the taxpayer on in-house staff time.

“I think it was three strikes and we’re out,” Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge said Thursday.  Well your right Mayor,  it’s just a ball game,  0 for the Taxpayer, 1 for BB&K somewhere around $350K  to $450K.  Didn’t the City  know what kind of pitcher they were dealing with when they couldn’t even get to first base?

LETTER WRITTEN BY JOHN HUSING & BOB WOLF TO THE EDITORS OF NEWS AGENCIES:

Editor:

In filing a misguided lawsuit aimed at stopping expansion at the Port of Long Beach, Riverside’s City Council has taken direct aim at the health of one of the Inland Empire’s primary blue collar job generators:  international trade and logistics.  After adding 76,200 jobs from 1990-2007, the sector has lost 7,900 in 2008-2009, largely due to falling imports through our ports, much of which is processed by inland warehousing workers.  Some of this decline will be permanent because national retailers are now diverting shipments elsewhere due to the constant lawsuits that make our ports a
decision-making disaster zone.  In just two years, the ports have lost 4% of their U.S. market.  Riverside is contributing to the chaos.

This is strange behavior from a city where 2008 Census data show one of 12 resident-workers is employed in logistics, and where 10,200 of the city’s fourth quarter 2008 jobs were in it, with a payroll of $449 million and workers averaging $43,800 a year.  These jobs could grow because the port slowdown has left 18.7% of the city’s industrial space empty.  They are badly needed jobs given that 46.3% of the city’s adults and 47.8% of those in Riverside County have not had a single college class.  Where else will this population get decent jobs with construction and manufacturing in deep trouble and service sector jobs like retailing, restaurant and hotel work paying at or near the minimum wage.

Why would the City Council do this?  Clearly, they are frustrated by the railroads bringing international cargo through the city and clogging its 26 at-grade track crossings.  They want money to build overpasses and apparently thought that throwing a punch at the ports would gain attention.  But, even if the lawsuit wins, there is no port funding to pay for off-port projects. At this writing, Riverside’s suit is the only obstacle to the Port of Long Beach starting construction on a long delayed Middle Harbor Project that will employ 10,000 man-years of construction workers and  permanently create 14,000 workers while also significantly improving Southern California’s environment.  Riverside has, in effect, become the principal barrier to a major environmental and green job effort.

Instead, the City Council is turning a city known for fostering regional cooperation, into a Southern California pariah.  To cite just one likely result:  In 2008, Senator Lowenthal of Long Beach tried to get funding for the off-port infrastructure construction that Riverside wants with a bill levying a fee on ocean containers.  Recognizing Riverside’s key needs, Lowenthal’s bill (SB 974) created a commission that would have overseen the funding with a seat specifically designated for the city of Riverside.  The bill passed but was unfortunately vetoed by the Governor.  He plans to reintroduce
it once a new Governor is elected.  But, why would he continue to help Riverside given the current attitude of its City Council towards his hometown?

Recently, Geraldine Knatz, director of the Port of Los Angeles, met with Riverside Council Members to try and gain Riverside’s cooperation by proposing that the city drop the lawsuit and the ports join hands in getting the Obama Administration to use its stimulus funds for city rail crossing projects.  Her bid was rejected out of hand.

For those of us who have worked hard and have successfully gained the cooperation of leaders throughout Southern California to support our efforts to gain funding for off-port projects in the Inland Empire, Riverside’s litigious behavior has become worse than an embarrassment.  It has undercut our ability to engage in fruitful discussions of the kind mentioned here.  This concern extends to the inland area’s regional agencies, the leaders of which are flabbergasted by this behavior.

If Riverside does not drop its ill-advised lawsuit, we fear that the consequence for blue collar workers in the economies of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, where we respectively live, will suffer.  Certainly, Riverside itself will not benefit.

Bob Wolf
Past Chairman, CA Transportation Commission, Former CA Undersecretary For Transportation

John Husing
Commissioner, CA Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission

UNKNOWINGLY PUSHING THE ENVELOPE, KEEP CONNECTED WITH TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!   TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST…  AGAIN, THANK-YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!  COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM  BY THE WAY, COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED!

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT, KEEP CONNECTED WITH TMC…