Posts Tagged ‘city of alameda’

ACCORDING TO THE ALAMEDA MAGAZINE, THE PHOTO WAS COURTESY OF JOHN RUSSO (Wow, thanks John!)

TMC Figured Russo out way before the City of Riverside did.  We had the all laid out for the City of Riverside, but they relied on their staff.  Thanks John for your Riverside legacy, Partnership Compensation Model, Measure Z, 50 year loan lease, Contracts without a Resolution.

Alameda’s city manager counts development progress at Alameda Point and smoothing over employee relations as his main achievements.

Alameda City Manager John Russo, a former Oakland city councilman and city attorney, is headed to Riverside.

Outgoing Alameda City Manager John Russo likes to use sports metaphors. So, when news broke in February that Russo, along with his oversize personality, was leaving the Island for a new opportunity and greater compensation in Riverside, the response from city officials was akin to what small-market baseball teams admit when they land a high-priced slugger in the last year of his rookie contract. “Frankly, we were lucky to have him,” Councilmember Jim Oddie said in the days after the announcement.

Following stints in Oakland, first as a council member and then as city attorney, Russo’s thoughtful wit and razor-like barbs made his hiring as city manager in 2011 as curious as a big fish swimming in a small pond.

By most accounts, Russo’s four years in Alameda were a success. In an understated, yet frank interview, Russo said his greatest accomplishment is not moving along development at Alameda Point, but repositioning the city and public employee unions away from constant back-biting to an atmosphere of shared values and greater economic certainty. There were rumors that Russo’s departure was exacerbated by the surprise results of the fall election, but Russo said the rumors are untrue and that he merely landed an opportunity to fast-track existing plans for moving himself and his family to Southern California. “To the surprise of many,” he said, “I’m not an important person. I am just city manager of a small California city, and later I’ll be a city manager of a bigger city in California.”

However, under Russo’s stewardship, decades of uncertainty over the direction of development at the former Alameda Naval Air Station was resolved following an agreement with the U.S. Navy for the city to limit housing at Alameda Point in exchange for reconveying the land at no cost to Alameda taxpayers. But, Russo said credit does not lie with his actions. “I don’t think I have a legacy,” he said, noting his viewpoint is deeply rooted in his Southern Italian ancestry. “I have a fairly fatalistic view of the world,” he added. “I know no one ever believes this applies to me, but I think I have a fairly modest view of what my role is. This community was ready to make progress at Alameda Point.”

The infrastructure of support preceded him, he said, when the community rallied around an ultimately unsuccessful pitch to lure a new campus for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to Alameda Point. “I didn’t make that happen. That feeling of ‘at long last, we need to do something about the base’ is what drove the process. The public itself was exhausted by plan after plan. Once you get that mandate from the people and the council, it makes it easier to get something done.”

Yet, negotiating the no-cost reconveyance is one of his proudest moments, Russo said, but even then, he believes luck was involved. The Navy’s previous $108.5 million asking price was never going to pencil out for the city, Russo said. Instead, he urged the Navy to erase the uncertainty of the last decade and return to the original offer of a no-cost transfer of the property. “I just wanted to start a dialogue by getting that number down, but they surprised me by saying yes,” Russo said. “With economic development, sometimes you have to throw the line in the water dozens of times to get a bite. We got a bite on the first throw. That was just luck.”

Next, Russo needed to dissuade some councilmembers from being starstruck by large-scale development at Alameda Point, which incidentally, provided an easy stab at legacy-building to a more balanced piecemeal approach. “The city kept swinging for the fences and trying to hit a grand slam by seeking a single entity to develop the entire point all at once,” Russo said. “What I told them is we need a rally of singles, and I will submit that we scored, and we will continue to score.”

Although he said more needs to be done to put Alameda on solid financial footing, Russo said a thawing of animosity between City Hall and public employee groups over salaries and benefits will greatly aid the city over the next decade. City employees now contribute a higher percentage of their salary to pensions and split the additional costs of medical benefits, Russo said. But they also enjoy pay raises when the city’s revenues increase. (Partnership Compensation Plan, whereby salary increases are tied to City revenue, did it in Alameda, he did it in Riverside.  Was Measure-Z just another Employee Profit Sharing Scheme?)

“What we’ve done here is created a true partnership for good times and bad times,” he said. “That’s a very foundational change in the relationship that had sort of veered from ‘Let’s do whatever labor wants,’ to ‘Let’s go to war with the people who work for us.’”

On the horizon for Alameda, Russo said, is increasingly higher premiums from the state’s largest pension group, the California Public Employee Retirement System, or CalPERS, and greater demand in coming years for post-employee benefits, both of which he said the city is ready to confront. “Alameda has made tremendous strides that will be very important in the coming five to 10 years in dealing with the two big challenges the city faces,” he said. “We’re on a path culturally to being able to have those discussions about those bigger issues in a way that is very businesslike and partnership-based rather than a bunch of symbols and blame and nonsense.”

Despite the accomplishment, Alameda’s fiscally conservative residents, including many who favor pension reform, rarely view Russo as a crusader for their cause. Russo said he relied on the professional opinions of the city treasurer and auditor and “not those taking positions that are founded in emotion or ideology,” he said. “I don’t use Tea Party-type people as my litmus test of my success, not nationally, and not locally. When I was in Oakland, I used to say, ‘I’m sick and tired of people who are sick and tired.’ That path leads nowhere.”   (Russo was not a crusader for the taxpayers of Riverside, remember Russo is part of the Blue Blood Liberal Elite… I’m exceptional due to my background, all others are an impediment.  Case in point whereby public comment is seen by Russo as a formality, not part of the Democratic process of community involvement..)

Some of these same people were often outraged by Russo’s in-your-face style during public meetings over the years. “I make no apologies,” Russo said. Instead, he was defending his employees from unfair attacks from the public and, in some occasions, members of the City Council. “When you stand publicly and accuse good, professional people on my staff of being either stupid, lazy, or corrupt, I think you should expect an answer. If you want to play above the rim, then expect to be rejected from time to time.”  (More revealing examples of the dark mind set of Russo. Did he simply display the classic case of a sociopath?).

Regrets? Russo has had a few. “I’m wrong all the time,” he said. “I just try to be right consistently more often than I’m wrong.” Specifically, Russo said he overreached on Measure C, the 2012 sales tax increase to fund a disparate wish list of city projects. “I just kind of threw it all in together, saying if you’re going to go to the public to ask for money, it should be a meaningful set of projects,” Russo said. Furthermore, elected officials sought additional projects as a strategy for cobbling together the needed two-thirds majority for passage. A more single-minded approach may have been more successful, he said. “I regret that my judgment there wasn’t as good as it should have been. Then again, maybe it isn’t a regret, because the public just didn’t want it.”

Contrary to popular opinion, the reason for his leaving Alameda has nothing to do with Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer’s slow-growth stance for Alameda. Instead, he said, they quickly forged a good working relationship and keep in daily contact. “This is not about whether Trish and I get along. We get along fine. It’s a very friendly relationship. We don’t agree on everything, but it’s not my job to agree. My job is to implement the council’s direction.”

However, he acknowledged conflict exists among the new city council. “There are clearly issues between the mayor and other council members, and there’s dissension there. That’s politics, and it’s not for staff to talk about. They have to work that out amongst themselves whether I’m here or not,” he said. “But that’s not why I’m leaving.”

Before accepting the job of Alameda city manager, Russo and the-Mayor Marie Gilmore had a “personal pledge,” he said, that if he took the job, he would agree to stay for the duration of her tenure. “When she left office, that pledge was gone,” Russo said, and the opportunity in Riverside arose around the same time. Russo and his family already had plans to eventually move to Southern California upon the end of his time in Alameda, he said. “It just moved forward what the family’s plan was by a couple of years.”

Russo’s bump in pay starting in May as Riverside’s new city manager will definitely help the college fund of his twins who will both be attending college starting in the fall, he said. His $296,000 annual salary in Riverside, compared with his $215,000 base salary in Alameda, is basically the difference between taking out a loan for their education and paying for it himself, he said. “I paid my way through college, and I didn’t pay off my school loans until age 43,” said Russo. “And I’ll be damned if I’m going to be paying loans until I’m 80.”

(Before Russo was fired he cashed out over $100K of taxpayer monies.  The traveling snake oil salesman caught the attention of our City, and the taxpayers caught the bite of higher taxes while he skipped town to greener pastures.  But still, the issue of both Russo and Guess’s contract have not been resolved.  Both current contracts violate City Charter as to not having a resolution passed by Council.  If Andy doesn’t put forward an investigation maybe District Attorney Mike Hestrin’s office will.)

From Johnny’s Facebook Page, was his wife holding a premonition of what was yet to come?

Should we now be more aware of Snakes in Suits?

JOHN RUSSO STATES HE LEFT JOB AT THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE, I GUESS HE CONVENIENTLY FORGOT HE WAS FIRED…

BLOCK BY BLOCK: RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITY INCREASES: TAXPAYER ADVOCATE JASON HUNTER INTERVIEWED:  On a side note, the City of Riverside has made it clear to community groups and local radio stations, they will not participate it Hunter is part of the debate.  In fact TMC has been told, Councilman Jim Perry, former City Manager John Russo and former RPU General Manager Girish Balanchandran apparently stated they will not to appear even if they were the only participant.

 

MVGORDIE BLOG SITE: CITY OF MORENO VALLEY CAUGHT MISUSING ITS CODE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM IN ACCORDANCE WITH HUD REQUIREMENT!  Good read with supporting back up documents.  City Hall can call it an oversight, but the Office of Inspector General states “This condition occurred because the City did not have adequate written procedures or controls to ensure that it met HUD requirements and City staff was not sufficiently knowledgeable of the program requirements.” (Click on the Red Link).

 

FROM THE DESK OF COMMUNITY TAXPAYER ADVOCATE JASON HUNTER: Poll given on Next Door neighborhood web site:  Do you think Riverside Public Utilities staff should get automatic raises if our rates are hiked (without a vote of the public I might add)?  Accordingly in this poll, the Residents of the City of Riverside do not want their representatives to pass this.  If they do, it will be political suicide.  People in Ward 1 keep on wondering why the so called advocate neighborhood group, NOWS (Neighbors of the Wood Streets) continues to be an ineffective voice within the community.

Jason Hunter wrote this to the entire City Council and Mayor, as he believed the unethical/illegal behavior in this City needs to end, and the ratepayers/owners need to be aware of this conflict-of-interest… apparently the whole scenario seems like a lot of racketeering to me quite frankly.  Also, did you know 18% of the proposed rate hike is just plain ole’ new taxes?  Please write your Councilmember or show up next Tuesday at 7pm at City Hall to voice your opinion on a measure that is actually greater dollar-wise than Measure Z (2016 $50+ million sales tax).  Remember the Riverside City Council will decide Tuesday, May 22, whether to start charging residents more for water and electricity.  Get your asses out to City Council on this date!

Gentlemen, (I’m sure no pun intended)

RPU employees that put together this rate increase have a direct, material, financial conflict-of-interest in presenting this rate increase. I would urge you, for their sake (if not your own), to vote ‘no’ on the proposed utility rate increases. As you are probably aware, the Partnership Compensation Model (PCM) includes Utility Users Tax within the Balanced Revenue Index, which is used to calculate Executive, Senior Management, Management, Professional, Supervisory, Para-professional and Confidential Units automatic annual raises. The Utility Users Tax is currently 6.5% of all electric and water utility rates/charges. Ergo, the higher the rates, the higher the UUT, the higher the BRI change…the higher salaries go. I warned you guys prior to the passage of Measure Z that the PCM was terrible policy, essentially a bribe to get all employees to back certain revenue enhancements…but 6 of you (including the Mayor) were blinded by your need for instant gratification. The cows are now returning to the barn. I intend to allow the law of unintended consequences to fully play out if these ludicrous rate increases are passed next Tuesday. The PCM needs to be restructured or thrown out all-together to remove these perverse incentives.

Sincerely, Jason Hunter

CALL AND SEIZE CITY HALL, BE IT YOUR DESTINY TO MAKE THEM HONEST:

CITY OF RIVERSIDE ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

MAYORS OFFICE:

Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey     951-826-5551 (office), 951-801-8439 (cell), email:   3mayor@riversideca.gov

CITY COUNCIL:

Ward 1 – Mike Gardner     951-826-5991 (office), 951-941-7084 (cell), email:  mgardner@riversideca.gov

Ward 2 – Andy Melendrez  951-826-5991 (office), email: asmelendrez@riversideca.gov

Ward 3 – Mike Soubirous 951- 826-5991(office), 951-515-1663 (cell), email: msoubirous@riversideca.gov

Ward 4 – Chuck Condor 951-990-9819 (office), email: cconder@riversideca.gov

Ward 5 – Chris Mac Arthur  951-826-5991 (office), 951-990-9719 (cell), email: cmacarthur@riversideca.gov

Ward 6 – Jim Perry 951-826-5991 (office),  email: jperry@riversideca.gov

Ward 7 – Steve Adams  951-826-5991 (office), or 951-826-5024, email: sadams@riversideca.gov

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “SCANDALOUS,” “NEGATIVE,” “WARPED,” “RAUNCHY,” “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “REPREHENSIBLE,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “INDECENT,” “REPUGNANT,””IMMORAL,” “FILTHY,” “VILE,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “DEFAMATORY,” “STUPID,” “PATHETIC,” “DESPICABLE,” “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “OFFENSIVE,” “OBNOXIOUS,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” “FIT TO BE VIEWED FROM THE REAR” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE! YES WE ADMIT WE OUR ALL OF THAT AND MORE, WHICH IN CURRENT TERMS IS KNOWN AS “UNPOLITICALLY CORRECT.” TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED. I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO THE ACLU. RATED ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS.. … AGAIN, THANK YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT! CONTACT US: thirtymilescorruption@hotmail.com

Part One: Jason Hunter, former City of Riverside Public Utilities employee gives you the real story RPU won’t tell the public..

Part Two: Jason Hunter on the RPU reserves that were hidden from the ratepayers, and redirected so they wouldn’t have to give it back!

Part Three:  More on the antics of RPU from one who knew RPU from the inside.

Part Four: Jason Hunter converses with audience in a question and answer session.

So why does RPU need a rate increase? According to management, if we don’t get our antiquated infrastructure upgraded, trouble lies down the road. With this in mind, we can’t help but ask why management understaffed it’s operational dispatch department so that certain utility dispatchers could  receive overtime in the six-figures range … and there’s still been no management accountability.

Another narrative RPU is using with the public, is that they didn’t increase the rates during the Great Recession so as to compassionately give relief to the ratepayer. The truth of the matter is that they were increasing the amount of their reserves by overcharging their ratepayers to the tune of hundreds of millions.

RPU EXPLAINING TO THE RATEPAYER HOW $325 MILLION SHOWED UP IN RESERVES MIRACULOUSLY AFTER THEIR LAST RATE INCREASE

To explain a bit about the RPU Reserves…back in 2015 RPU was the focus of a Grand Jury Complaint, for just that, the excessive collection of ratepayer monies leading to excessive reserve funds.

We don’t know if we have an infrastructure emergency, but we here at TMC are sure we have an executive management problem.  A problem that began with former Utilities General Manager Dave Wright, and now continues with Girish Balachandran, a.k.a. Drunk Daddy.

RPU….the rest of the story the public ratepayer who owns its utility should know.

“I OWN IT!” – RPU has been customer-owned since 1895; City-operated. You, the ratepayer, ultimately call the shots.

The City of Riverside Public Utilities Department is committed to the highest quality water and electric services at the lowest possible rates to benefit the community. – RPU Mission Statement

Proposed RPU Rate Increase: 60%+ increase for low-use water customers; 25%+ increase for electricity customers over 5 years.

Why? To protect our health & safety by ensuring reliable electric and water service. Satisfy State mandates for clean energy. Aka, “the company line”.

The strategic narrative you will hear from RPU:

1) “Our rates are lower than our neighbors.”
Answer: “So what? I own it; they don’t. When you purchase a property in the City of Riverside, you also become part owner of the utilities. Remember, those in RPU work and our employed by us to maintain, secure and protect our utilities. They can’t make profits, unless we, the profits from that, as we should. Therefore, if utility rates are imposed in a manner that deviates from “cost of service” requirements, those rates are in violation of Proposition 218. Wouldn’t you fire those employees that are caused imposition toward you the owner and damages? Absolutely, those involved would be shown the door, if not be criminally responsible. We, at this time, are now allowing the insane to run the insane asylum.

Further, as public owners, through our properties, we therefore should be receiving dividends! If not dividends, substantially lower rates. Why? Because we are owners of our utilities! When you look at comparable utilities with the same scenario, our rates are higher than average. Don’t get confused with privately owned utility companies such as Edison.

2) “Infrastructure…infrastructure…infrastructure. The sky is falling.” Answer: “Over last 13 years, we’ve spent near $40 million/year on infrastructure. We have $800 million of infrastructure bond outstanding. Where did this money go? What are our true NEEDS?”

3) “We haven’t increased rates in 7 years.”
Answer: “Yes, but since 2003, water bills have already increased 130% and electric 50%. Shouldn’t prices in an evolving market like energy be coming down like computer and tv’s have?”

4) “Our reserves are dwindling.”
Answer: “Why did you pay for infrastructure with reserves instead of using our best-in-class credit rating to bond against? Don’t we still have many multiples more reserves stashed away than similar utilities? Where are my refunds?”

5) “The drought made us do it!”
Answer: “Yes, but we sued the State and got out from under their restrictions. Conservation is great, but it should’ve been voluntary. Your financial wounds are self-inflicted.”

6) “Sacramento made us do it!”
Answer: “Yes, but we got $5 million/year in cap & trade money from the State to ‘go green’…which you proceeded to give away to the general fund for street lighting.”

7) “Don’t worry, we’ll expand low income assistance.”
Answer: “Wouldn’t that violate California law to give away my money to other people without letting me vote on it?”

The above ‘hot buttons’…how were they chosen?
• Incredibly, RPU took $84,000.00 of your money to hire a select PR (Public Relations) firm and pollster…to collude and figure out how to get you to part with your money in higher utility rates.  In the real world such as the private sector, honest managers that you employ tell you their real needs, instead of trying to “manage” their owners.  Something to think about!

What Rate Payers Need To Know:

1) Rates probably do need restructuring to better reflect fixed costs, but the proposed increases are obscene, and would take almost $130 million a year out of the community at the end of year 5, 20% of which would be for new taxes and not provide us with any additional utility service.

2) RPU needs to tighten its belt for the first time in many years, and stop the abuses occurring in overtime, six-figure pensions, gold plated conference rooms etc., instead of just asking for money.

3) Trust is important when dealing with subordinates, and RPU management tells half-truths, omits vital information, and creates false equivalencies in order to separate you from your money. It might be time to clean house.

WHO KNEW THEIR WAS A PARTY GOING ON AT RPU? FOR THE RECORD, TMC KNEW ALL ALONG…

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “NEGATIVE,” “RAUNCHY,” “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “REPREHENSIBLE,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “FILTHY,” “VILE,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “DEFAMATORY,” “STUPID,” “PATHETIC,” “DESPICABLE,” “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “OFFENSIVE,” “OBNOXIOUS,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” “FIT TO BE VIEWED FROM THE REAR” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE! YES WE ADMIT WE OUR ALL OF THAT AND MORE, WHICH IN CURRENT TERMS IS KNOWN AS “UNPOLITICALLY CORRECT.” TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED. I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO THE ACLU. RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS.. … AGAIN, THANK YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT! CONTACT US: thirtymilescorruption@hotmail.com

 russohandsup

Questions arose as to why an item for discussion was removed from the agenda without Council consent at the June 16th, City Council meeting.  The item entailed the possibility of establishing a CFD (Community Facilities District), also known as Mello-Roos, on the Ag Park property.  At the heart of the controversy was a letter that was received by City Manager, John Russo, from Director Barbara Lee of DTSC (Department of Toxic Substance Control), which recommended the City refrain from approving further work on the property until the DTSC could review the history of the cleanup.

letterdtsc

CLICK ABOVE TO VIEW THE FULL LETTER

Watch the video above to see the drama unfold.  Is newly-christened City Manager, “Rock Star” Russo and Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey quietly removing power away from the Council.  (Old habits die hard with Bailey we note.)  Or was it all a big misunderstanding?  Thirty Miles of Corruption provides the video: you decide!  We must add that we love Mr. Russo’s use of the vernacular, and as with all government types, we will be listening closely to exactly what he says…and doesn’t, in the future.

NOTE: Russo has been a City Attorney for 11 years, and a City Manager for about 4 years.  He has a degree from Yale University and a law degree from New York University: we have no doubt he’s a really smart guy.  Mayor Bailey taught Political Science at Poly High and has been a Councilmember for 2 terms and Mayor for 2 years: what he lacks in intelligence he makes up for in guile.  The policy issue on June 16th was so elementary that we don’t excuse either one of them: they believe they can do usurp the Council’s intentions under the guise of, “protecting the City”.  We’ve certainly heard that one before…

The backstory: The Ag Park controversy that stubbornly refuses to go away had some procedural issues at the June 16th meeting: the foremost being IT WASN’T ON THE AGENDA.  The Ag Park family had however filled the chambers in anticipation of hearing council debate on an item for discussion regarding the site: developer Chuck Cox’s desire that the City to float him a $6 million bond for his CFD for Ag Park (aka, Arroyo Park).  The item has been continued a number of times because the City was waiting on an update from the Department of Toxic Substances.  The DTSC had sent a couple of notifications out: one stated the land around AG Park has been cleaned up and later, one stating they were not so sure it was properly cleaned up.  What to do…what to do…what to do?

The topic was to be discussed June 9th.  Then it was continued to the 16th.  In an even earlier meeting, the City Council had scheduled it to June 23rd.  The Ag Park CFD debate date has been moved around so many times even we can’t remembered all the details any more.  Finally the 16th arrives…and the item disappears all-together.  We are reminded of childhood times…

THE RUSSO AND BAILEY COMEDY HOUR!

Improvising, the Ag Park family used public comment to express their continued concerns.  Then the real fun started!  Mr.  Russo weighed in on the subject.  Or should we say, he  lied to the public, lied to the Council, created an awkward or embarrassing situation for himself by inserting his foot into his mouth, and set the tone for how his new administration will operate?  Bravo!  As our 11 readers know, we love good theater here at TMC.

“Rock Star” Russo first addresses the public by reading the entire letter sent to the City of Riverside from the DTSC.  After reading the letter he very clearly states:  “It was at my direction and with the consent of the mayor that we pull the CFD (Comunity Facilities District/ Mello-Roos) off the Calendar.”

Of course, that perked up our ears, as well as those of a few Councilmembers.  See, the City Manager has to go to the Council or the Mayor Pro Temp to change an agenda item, not the Mayor.  ‘Dems da rulz.  They weren’t followed.  Logically, the next question to ask is: we this done on purpose?

Here are a couple of statements Russo made that we found rather interesting:  “We will not move forward……I heard loud and clear Mr. Mayor…..that many folks want us the city to bring in the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).”  Notice that Mr. Russo is only addressing the Mayor, not the Council when making this statement.  “We will pursue an orderly and fact-based process that protects everybody involved.”  If the City Manager had read any of the fact-based documents produced by the employees of the city of Riverside concerning the Ag Park he could CLEARLY (a term he likes to use) see for himself what happened.  Anyone with a high school diploma could understand the City, Cox, and DTSC messed this one up, even Councilmember-elect John Burnard – it certainly doesn’t take a degree from Yale University!

“We are going to do things the way they are suppose to be done here forward….and that is for us to refer to the DTSC.”  When he makes this statement “We are going to do things the way they are suppose to be done here forward,” we can’t help but consider this political rhetoric, because in the next set of comments he doesn’t even follow the basic rules of City regarding how Council meetings are to be conducted.

videioone

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW VIDEO – Councilmember Andy Melendrez asks John Russo the million dollar question, “What happened to the AG Park agenda item that was suppose to be on the discussion calendar?

videotwo

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW VIDEO – RUSSO THE “RAMBLIN’ MAN”

Then Mr. City Manager starts what we call a rambling worthy of Allman Brothers credit.  “I take responsibility.  This is a delicate situation. I was only trying to protect the city, the city’s interest.”   Then he says, “I apologize.”  (We almost fell out of our seat when we heard that statement come from the direction of the dais.  We are consulting with nationally recognized astrologists for confirmation if the end of the world is upon us.)  “I didn’t want to deprive you (The Council) of your ultimate decision, I just wanted to protect you.”

City Attorney Gary Geuss chimes in next, but not to correct the legal issue of the agenda item … which he should have done.  He should have corrected Russo for his failure to notify the Council of the removal of the item.  We’ve been down this road in the not-so-distant past, so we can’t say we’re surprised.  No one ever corrected Brad Hudson or Scott Barber – that would have been, “Off With Your Head!  Summon the Threat Assessment Team!” or “You’re fired!”

What Mr Geuss did instead was caution Melendrez about going further with his comments because it is not agendized.  We believe this demonstrates that Mr. Geuss will be more loyal to the City Manager than to his real client, our City Council.

Councilmember Paul Davis weighs in.  He also had a concern about the process in which Russo made the decision to take Ag Park off the agenda. “This decision is not up to the Mayor to make. Was the Mayor Pro Temp advised?”

Then Russo made the statement that put him on the “crystal clear” radar of ThirtyMilesofCorruption.com.  “The Mayor did not make this decision, I advised the Mayor, just to be Crystal Clear I made the decision.”

So, here are the two most important statements made by our “Rockstar” that in one fateful evening:
1. It was at my direction and with the consent of the mayor that we pull the CFD off the Calendar.
2. The Mayor did not make this decision. I advised the Mayor Just to be Crystal Clear. I made the decision.

“I think he’s going to be a high-octane city manager who likes to get things done,” said Riverside City Council Member Jim Perry.  That assumption was affirmed by Russo, who said he plans to bring a level of decisiveness to the table, which is too often lacking in government.  I think what Mr. Russo meant was that he would bring a level of perceived decisiveness to the table.  We had enough flip-flops down here in SoCal already without adding another in you, Mr. Russo.

After watching the online city video of June 16th, we just couldn’t help ourselves.  TMC had to send Mr. City Manager an e-mail to see if we could get a comment on his unfortunate choice of words.

email

CLICK ON EMAIL IMAGE TO ENLARGE

To sum this up, we have a City Manager, who possesses the over-confidence of former City Manager Brad Hudson, the theatrics of former City Manager Scott Barber, and the cunning personality of former City Attorney Greg Priamos.  Should Thirtymilesofcorruption.com give Mr. Rock Star a pass on his unfortunate use of words, or is this the start of another out-of-control City Manager?  Did we just exchange one Shyster for another?  Is the Honeymoon Period already over here with Riverside?

John Russo Circa 2008 & 20011:

Interview: Former City Attorney John Russo Calls Oakland Government “Morally Corrupt.” (click this link to view)

Russo on open government.

Russo also stated that it is not the City of Riverside’s role to bring in the EPA.  Well that is not completely true either.  Any elected may contact the EPA directly and request them to come and investigate.  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST, “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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RIVERSIDE CITY MANAGER JOHN RUSSO (CENTER WITH HANDS FOLDED), WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR RIVERSIDE? A CITY MANAGER FULL OF EGO, DRAMA QUEEN OR JUST LIKES GREAT SUNGLASSES? OR SHOULD WE JUST “FORGET ABOUT IT?”  Are public workers just out of control at the expense of the taxpayer?

forgetSHOULD WE AS RIVERSIDIAN’S OVERLOOK BROOKLYN BORN RUSSO’S PAST AND “JUST FORGET ABOUT IT?  (CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW VIDEO)

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OR MAYBE AL PACINO’S VERSION..MAYBE IT JUST MEANS “I’M KNOWN, FORGET ABOUT IT, I’M KNOWN ALL OVER THE FUCKING WORLD,  OR ARE WE AS RESIDENTS “JUST PISSING UP THE WRONG TREE.”  IN OTHER WORDS IS RUSSO REALLY GOOD FOR RIVERSIDE?

jones_RUSSO-copy-620x465He has been quoted in the PE as saying, “Riverside has an excellent reputation around the state because of its ability to blend a reverence for its unique local history with an aggressive and groundbreaking public improvement program like the Riverside Renaissance.”   Well is he in for a big surprise…  John Russon (56)will also be the highest paid City Manager in the City’s history at a whopping $295,000.00, will have to check if the benefit package is included in this deal or is in addition to.  Prior to taking the position of City Manager with the City of Alameda, he was a Councilman and then an elected City Attorney for the City of Oakland.  What people also need to know is that Riverside’s Utility’s General Manager Girish Balachandran was also from the City of Alameda.  Is Riverside just getting more recycled employees?

You have to ask your self why Mr Russo left abruptly at the city of Alameda. Story is he was unhappy with the direction of the City Council, I should remind him that the last City Manager in the City of Riverside, Scott Barber was forced to resign over issues with City Council members Mike Soubirous and Paul Davis.  Also it is public knowledge that Mr. Russo was in a feud with Mayor Jane Quan, good luck with Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey.  One more thing, Mr. Russo need to know that the City of Riverside has the best public speakers that will keep him fully informed. One of the The Oakland A”s owner says he is full of “empty rhetoric” and he wanted to be MAYOR!  Be careful Bailey you may have competition. Hopefully he (Russo) won’t get to bored in Riverside.  I’m sure we can keep him entertained.  I give him two years.  Can’t wait to meet.  WELCOME MR. RUSSO.

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ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE).

According to the Mercury News Russo is disrespectful to public speakers…is the City of Riverside just getting a hybrid of former City Attorney Gregory Priamos and former City Manager Brad Hudson with a little asshole on the side?  Also mentioned, was that Russo has developed a reputation as someone who cannot let criticism or even minor points go by without a defensive response, and frequently an aggressive one.

In an interview with KQED News, Russo states that the reason he left the City of Oakland to the City Manager position in Alameda, was the following: “I believe this a morally corrupt government and I just didn’t want to serve anymore in that capacity.

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GETTING TO KNOW YOUR NEW CITY MANAGER: CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW YOUTUBE VIDEO INTERVIEW OF A VERY APPROACHABLE MR. JOHN RUSSO

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SOME SAID HE WAS ANGRY, ABRASIVE, DISRESPECTFUL AND RUDE IN THIS VIDEO (CLICK LINK TO VIEW YOU TUBE)

A’S CO-OWNER BITCH SLAPS JOHN RUSSO: Guy T. Saperstein, a co-owner of the Oakland A’s, went after Oakland City Attorney John Russo today in an op-ed published in the Tribune. Saperstein accuses Russo of “empty rhetoric” for his op-ed published last week and of being a “grandstanding” politician who simply wants “to be the next mayor.”

xvolincali, commenter on the PE  “Worst City Manager in Alameda history. Good luck with this snake. Good riddance.”  –An Alameda resident

That’s okay Alameda resident, some city’s deal with field snakes, here in Riverside we are use to dealing with Cobras…we are snake trainers.
I’m from the City of Alameda CA. It was just announced here today, that our City Manager John Russo has been hired, by the City of Riverside. All that i can advise the Citizens of Riverside is to GET READY. More than likely Mr. Russo will need to hire an Assistant City Manager along with who know’s what else. At our city council meetings he would interrupt speakers and belittle them, should they say something that he didn’t like. Lately he has kept his mouth shut since the election of a new Mayor, who wasn’t going to let Mr. Russo’s mouth run amok. All I can say in closing is (in my opinion) you’ve been had, good luck, your’e going to need it!   Dennis Laine, Alameda, CA, Commenter on the Press Enterprise
“I think he’s going to be a high-octane city manager who likes to get things done,” Councilman Jim Perry said. Well alrighty now Mr. Perry, maybe that’s why he is being recalled.  Sort of like the 2 Billion dollar mess former City Manager Brad Hudson left us with.
RECALL

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