Posts Tagged ‘city of oakland’

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

 

PICMIKEVIVIANTWO

The issue du jour is if the voters should designate our appointed City Attorney, Gary Geuss, as the “City Prosecutor” with the primary responsibility of prosecuting state misdemeanors within the city limits?  (At the same time the City Attorney’s Office will also be moving to the City’s newly purchased $40 million Wells Fargo Building (aka, Mission Square to some) to rent from our public utilities department.  Need more space of course.)  In order to grant these additional duties, the City Charter would have to be changed, and hence, the public vote.

The conundrum is that of accountability. While the District Attorney’s Office is an elected position accountable to the taxpayers, the City Attorney is not an elected position, accountable only to the Council. Question is, “Is this a scenario ripe for abuse?” This is a department that was just found to be seeking outside legal services with no contracts and no approval from our Council, that ended up costing taxpayers millions.

Regardless, the city of Riverside is leading the charge in demanding these prosecutorial duties, and it appears they will not take ‘no’ for an answer from District Attorney, Mike Hestrin. In response, the City proposes to place the matter to the voters this June, with a measure tagged, “The Riverside Criminal Prosecution and Crime Reduction Measure.”  If voters approve the change, the city attorney will prosecute offenses such as assault, prostitution, commercial burglary, animal cruelty, graffiti, child abuse and domestic violence.  In light of the historical track record of our City Attorney’s Office the residents in Riverside find that there is still something missing from this story, and continue to question the actions taken to date.

Thirty Miles and Mayoral Candidate Vivian Moreno invited Councilman Mike Soubirous to bring the Citizens of Riverside his “VOTE YES” position.

Councilman Mike Soubirous Says Yes!

The Riverside City Council’s decision to place a proposed City Charter amendment on the ballot was simple. The council believed there was merit to the idea of allowing the Riverside City Attorney the power to prosecute Misdemeanor violations that occur within the City of Riverside. Putting the issue directly before the voters makes sense. Because ultimately they must decide if a Charter amendment is to be approved or denied.

We can debate the merits of the proposal all day long, but at the end of the day it comes down to this: Is it worth doing or not.? Are we better off having the City Attorney’s office handling Misdemeanors or keeping things the way they are – with the County District Attorney handling all crimes? If so, put it to the voters. Let them decide.

This debate should not be about personalities. It’s not about District Attorney Mike Hestrin or City Attorney Gary Geuss. It’s about Riverside. It’s about the people of Riverside. Should we enhance or build upon what the District Attorney’s office currently provides to us, or should we keep what we have?

Every day, councilmembers field concerns from residents and business owners complaining about everyday quality of life issues such as panhandling, street thugs, homeless, prostitution, graffiti, vandalism and more. We have pushed our police department to do more and more to combat these concerns. They counter back to us that many of these cases are not being prosecuted. They have provided written proof of these claims.

Our cops are getting discouraged. They work hard, write lengthy reports, only to have the case rejected, pled to a lesser charge or other disposition simply because there is just not enough Deputy District Attorneys to handle the huge caseloads. How discouraging is that?

It’s not District Attorney Mike Hestrin’s fault. He’s elected and tasked with running the District Attorney’s office, but there is a catch. The County CEO sets Mr. Hestrin’s budget and the County Board of Supervisors approves that budget. In the end, Mr. Hestrin must do all he can to stretch that allotted money. Typically, it starts with prosecuting the serious Felonies, then the lesser Felonies. After the Felonies, the prosecution of serious Misdemeanors and finally, the lesser Misdemeanors.

He does a great job with what limited resources he’s given.

The Deputy DA’s work hard and are often underpaid. They work long hours and have high caseloads.

Funds are limited. Riverside County is yet again reporting money problems, cuts are on the way including furloughs and layoffs. This will severely impact the DA’s office and their ability to adequately cover the county’s needs and the needs of the many cities within the county. Even if county revenues were to increase, there are many higher priority needs the county must work on. First is increasing jail space, along with the current plans to expand the County Medical Center and more.

The City of Riverside is not unhappy with the DA’s office. We understand what obstacles our District Attorney faces. We simply hope to have the power – as a Charter City – to enhance what the D.A.’s office does. We are looking at our quality of life needs now, 5 years out and 20 years from now.

The City Council is simply offering a proposal to the people as a direct response to resident’s demands that we do more to curb the negative issues and problems facing our city each day.

This proposal will cost money to implement. Is it worth the investment? It’s up to the voters to decide. More information will be provided at upcoming community meetings and on ballot statements.

If the people of Riverside believe the City Prosecutor Program is the answer to the problems they complain about, they will pass the Charter amendment. If they don’t believe this will help, then it won’t pass. It’s that simple.

This is nothing revolutionary – many cities in California prosecute their own city’s Misdemeanors. It just hasn’t been done in Riverside County yet. So far, most seem very satisfied with their City Prosecutor Programs. These programs have been in place for many decades. Cities like Los Angeles, Anaheim, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Santa Monica and many others.

The city’s plan for a Neighborhood Prosecutor Program calls for having city attorney prosecutors working closely with our police officers and detectives. Finding solutions to problems and doing what it takes to best mitigate those problems. Not just prosecution and jail, but getting to the root of the problems.

This is something the District Attorney’s office can’t adequately provide due to limited funding imposed by the county. There are just too many cities competing for the same level of prosecution of their Misdemeanor cases as we would like to have in Riverside.

Having our own city prosecutors allows Riverside the ability to focus on those crimes and issues that affect us each day. These are problems that hurt Riverside’s ability to recruit and keep businesses here. These problems affect our property values and our everyday way of life.

Our resident’s have demanded we tackle these issues to the best of our ability. We have this tool available for us to use. It’s up to our residents to choose if they want to pay for this tool and use it to the maximum benefit of those living and investing in Riverside.

 

Mayoral Candidate 2016 Vivian Moreno Says NO :

Vote Vivian Moreno Mayor Riverside 2016……. Bringing the real issues and truth to the public

I found this quote from a local Oakland newspaper:…According to Russo’s “make city government more accountable, more transparent and more effective.” However, a closer inspection reveals that these are no more than hollow words to veil their failed promises, brokerage of white collar crime, advocating of racism, selective prosecution and white class privilege!

CITY OF RIVERSIDE: NEEDS MO’ MONEY….  WILL THE CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE BE BROKERS OF WHITE COLLAR CRIME UNDER THE GUISE OF THE HOMELESS AND PANHANDLING?  VOTE NO TO GROWING EVEN BIGGER GOVERNMENT AND THE CONTINUATION OF ABUSE IN THE CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE.

Most likely in June, the voters of Riverside will be decide by ballot measure whether to add a new government-run program to City Hall’s ever-expanding arsenal. It will be called something like the Neighborhood Law Corp (NLC) under the City Attorney’s Office. Mr. City Attorney, Gary Geuss, stated the Neighborhood Law Corp program will cost the taxpayers $2.5 million, while our District Attorney, Mike Hestrin, says more like $5 million.  Geuss geusstimates $750,000 to $1 million in fines and fees will go back into the city’s coffers per year. I believe it will bring in closer to 2 million, if not more. And where will this money come from? Residents and businesses, but of course.

If you go to any of the community meetings that address this new program, the message coming from City Hall is, “your altruistic government will have more CONTROL over the homeless, panhandling, and prostitution.”  Well … common sense will tell you that the homeless and panhandlers are not going to be paying a cool million in fines and fees. So where will it come from? You guessed it – from us!  The real CONTROL will be over whomever can pay the fines.

Another real concern we have with this program, is that we are growing our government at an unsustainable rate.  We will be adding 17 new employees, 12 of whom will be Lawyers, as part of the NLC Program.  We already have 13 Attorneys, this will take us to a grand total of 25 Attorneys hired by the city of Riverside.

Mr. City Attorney, Gary Geuss, came here from the City of L.A.  They have 4 million residents and 16 attorneys that handle their “Neighborhood Program”, or one attorney per 250,000 citizens.  Riverside wants 12 Attorneys, and that would be 1 attorney per 25,000 Citizens.  In L.A. up until 2014, they only had 4 Attorneys on this program, that’s one attorney for 1 million citizens.  In Oakland, California, where our very clever City Manager, John Russo, hatched this program in 2002, they have three Attorneys for about 400,300 Citizens.  That’s one Attorney for 133,000 Citizens. I just don’t get it. In fact, like all too often in the good ole’ River City, perhaps the real reason they want to hire more attorneys has just not been revealed to us.

City Councilman, Mike Soubirous, Mike Gardner, Chris MacArthur, and Jim Perry all voted YES to place the city prosecutor measure on the June 2016 ballot.  Paul Davis said he wanted this program eventually, but voted NO; John Burnard wanted to increase the Police Department, so he also voted NO; Andy Melendrez just said NO, but the vote passed and unless some last minute deal is reached with the D.A., this sucker’s going to the people (at a nice tidy cost of $80k just to put it on the ballot) to decide.

At the Council meeting it was brought up by Raincross Group man-about-town, Tom Evans, that the City wasn’t even following their own Charter and that the Council should form a Charter Review Committee and vet this issue with the public.  Once the committee finds consensus on the best way to go about implementing a city prosecutor’s office, they make a recommendation to the Council “to ask” the voters for final approval.  The Council decided to ignore that option (hey, I thought they valued public input? Lol.)

There have been a total of two hours that I’m aware of spent informing the public on this very important issue.  I have attended two community meetings and one City Council meeting when the issue of changing the Charter to take prosecutorial powers for misdemeanors away from the District Attorney’s office, and give them to the City Attorney’s office.  At the community meetings I attended, this was hailed as a Neighborhood Law Corp. program and will address livability issues as the homeless, pan handling and prostitution.  At the City Council meeting, the message changed a bit.  It seems the city of Riverside also wants to be the power brokers for white collar crime, code enforcement cases, bad landlords, liquor stores, seedy businesses, unruly bars and restaurants, and or anything else they can think of. Is this the start of more legal abuses in the city of Riverside City Attorney’s office? If history is any predictor of the future…ABSOLUTELY!

At the February City Council meeting where the vote took place, there was a diverse group in attendance: the local activists, the whistleblower employees, a representative from the District Attorney’s Office, the League of Women Voters, the Raincross Group, and a couple of Chamber of Commerce members.  With a group like that there is almost always disagreement, but with this vote everyone was opposed – it was almost unanimous.  That evening 95% of the public said NO!  The City Council voted to approve the ballot measure against all the concerns of the public.

I also feel it’s important to add that the District Attorney of Riverside County is an elected position, whereby this person is directly accountable to the public.  The City Attorney, whom City staff and elected want to usurp the D.A. is an appointed position, who is only accountable to the City Council.  Is the public set up for abuse?  Who will the public go to if there is a grievance?  How do you replace 4 of the 7 members of the Council if you don’t like the way our City Attorney uses his new prosecutorial powers?  You can’t, and that’s a big problem.  Our personal liberties are being threatened.

Now you have to ask yourself, is our honeymooning City Manager, John Russo, just running the city of Riverside on autopilot. He brings us the Sunshine Ordinance, the 2-year Budget, and our new favorite Assistant City Manager Alex Nguyen (absolutely fabulous honey), and now the Neighborhood Law Corp.  Let’s take a look at June 8th, 2011, article “Russo’s Next Big Challenge”:

“Russo also is seeking to make Alameda’s city government more user-friendly, a task he’ll delegate to Alex Nguyen, who will follow him over from Oakland. Nguyen headed Russo’s Neighborhood Law Corps, a groundbreaking program that allowed Oakland residents to access his office to solve quality-of-life issues, taking on slum lords, liquor stores, and other blight. Russo, however, was quick to say that people won’t always be happy with the solutions he proposes for Alameda. ‘Real decisions mean real disappointments,’ he warned”

Queue later photo of the drama behind this program in Oakland. The public is ANGRY over potential fraud in the Neighborhood Law Corp program:

russprotest
Who is really behind this new Neighborhood Law Corp. program?  City Attorney Geuss stated this program was A#1, top of the list, king of the hill, A nummmmmber ooooooooone, top priority of the Council.  In fact, Geuss stated he was instructed by our electeds to begin implementing this program immediately after he was hired.  We wonder why the public and press just found out about it if it was so important and being worked on for almost a year?

So, how did City Manager Russo’s and his trusty sidekick, Nguyen’s foray into prosecuting the public work out after being implemented in Oakland in 2002?  They spent way too much money and created a firestorm of D R A M A.  There was so much drama that it was a distraction to the City and to the Office of the City Attorney.  All we need is more controversy.  Was this program the real reason Mr. Russo left the city of Oakland? Maybe. This program may be nothing new to our City Manager or or City Attorney, but I believe the residents and business owners in the city of Riverside have had enough drama for a lifetime.

To hopefully shut the door on the whole idea of a city prosecutor’s office, I point out that City Attorney Geuss continually compares our city to the city of Anaheim, who has an appointed City Prosector.  So let’s take a look at these similarities:

Medium Income Anaheim: $62,000

Medium Income Riverside: $32,000

Anaheim PRIVATELY OWNED: Disneyland, the Honda Center, Anaheim Convention Center, Angels Stadium, the Anaheim Resort, numerous hotels, The Platinum Triangle, and really great fireworks every day.

Riverside GOVERNMENT OWNED: Fox Theater, Riverside Convention Center, and really great fireworks three times a year.

Population of Anaheim: 350,000     Out–of-town guests: THOUSANDS every day.

Riverside Population:  300,000        Out -of -town guests: THOUSANDS every year?

Annual Budget Anaheim 1.7 Billion

Annual Budget City of Riverside: 900 Million

Anaheim Prosecution Program 10 Attorneys Sometimes up to 15 Attorneys depending on the cases.  I was told of these figures today by the Anaheim prosecutors office.

City of Riverside Prosecution Program wants 12 Attorneys

Apples to apples – Anaheim vs. Riverside – and I say there is NO comparison.  Anaheim is unique from all other communities.  The comparisons coming from our City Attorney is political rhetoric, and that is why the public is so concerned with this program.  Common sense will tell you there is more to the story! (But they ain’t telling you what…you’ll find out later).  VOTE NO.

FOR MORE INFORMATTION COME TO THE “NO ON MEASURE-A” FACEBOOK SITE!

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “NEGATIVE,” “RAUNCHY,” “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “FILTHY,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “DEFAMATORY,” “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!  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!

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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