Posts Tagged ‘general manager girish balachandran’

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CLICK TO ENLARGE TO VIEW JULY 2, 2015 GRAND JURY FINDINGS AGAINST COUNTY COUNSEL GREGORY PRIAMOS.

2014 2015 Grand Jury Report Riverside County Board of Supervisors Transparency Grand Jury Interference (CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW PDF VERSION)

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COUNTY COUNSEL CONSIGLIERE GREGORY PRIAMOS

According to the latest report released by the Grand Jury on July 2, 2015, they believe they were retaliated against by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, when on April 8, 2014, the 2013-2014 Riverside County Grand Jury made public a report entitled, “Political Reform and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors”. This report focused on the use of Community Improvement Designation (CID) Funds and was critical of the way some of the funds were utilized.

Fifty-eight days later, they state, a new County of Riverside County Counsel with a “controversial reputation, a known history of Grand Jury interference, and over the objections of many concerned citizens, was unanimously appointed by the Board of Supervisors.”  According to the Grand Jury the following report is what started it all … or, in other words, HOW DARE THEY QUESTION OUR USE OF PUBLIC MONEY TO BOLSTER OUR CAMPAIGNS!?

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2013 2014 Grand Jury Report – Political Reform and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors (24 pages) CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW FULL REPORT

Three main points were made in this newest release by the Riverside County Grand Jury with reference to County Counsel Gregory Priamos.

The first focused on the bid process.  An anonymous Supervisor’s Chief of Staff, during testimony, was asked how extensive the geographic area was when the ‘Supes recruited for the position of County Counsel.  His reply?  “Three blocks.”  Although not required, the Board of Supervisors chose not to use competitive procedures, and instead handed a $250,000/year position with lavish benefits over to a buddy of theirs.  Was this was not Supervisor Marion Ashley’s Chief of Staff, Jaime Hurtado, whom we hear is being groomed to take over Ashley’s position?

Second, the Grand Jury had issues with Priamos’ “interference,” in their investigation.  Priamos in an email, asked that all County Departments and Special Districts contact his office (specifically, Anita Willis and Jeb Brown – his main squeeze at the City of Riverside) immediately if contacted by the Grand Jury.  The Grand Jury wants transparency and the truth when they interview people.  The Grand Jury believes this message was sent to control County employees out of fear of retaliation should they not be able to speak privately with them.  Nothing new to us hear at Thirty Miles: just Gregory attempting to have control of the message as he did in the City of Riverside.

Third, Priamos’s contract with the County should immediately be “nullified!”  This means that the Grand Jury feels that the County Board of Supervisors did not execute best practices for the hiring of a qualified (cough, cough…ethical) County Counsel.  Therefore, the Grand Jury is requesting the Board of Supervisors to conduct an actual, advertised recruitment for the position of County Counsel so that the best candidate can be appointed as County Counsel to serve the people of the Inland Empire.  Opps..sorry Greg!  That means somebody who is “not you.”

Since in his letter to county employee, Priamos references the County Executive Officer, Jay Orr, as his co-conspirator, perhaps the Grand Jury ought to investigate that angle as well, and whether Orr needs to be replaced…

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County of Riverside, Executive Fool Officer, Jay Orr

County Sups, Just a Chain of Fools?

RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES SAYS, “WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER…”

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What is not covered in the above memo is that if the State of California was really serious about the drought, they would place on moratorium on new development … of course that’s about as likely as the Gov Moonbeam’s bullet train coming in under budget.

So many issues with the current policies, we hardly know where to begin.  While some are tearing out their front yards, if you have a pool, that’s exempt!  What if you have a share of the Gage Canal water, which many homeowners do? …exempt!

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In the City of Riverside, Brown is not only Sexy, it’s beautiful!  Our front lawns may be brown but are back yard pools are bright blue full of water!  Why is that folks?  It could be that the City of Riverside has a Contractual Obligation to Riverside Property Owners to Provide Water!  The City of Riverside has Pre-1914 Water Rights to Ground Water from the Bunker Hill Basin.  Which means that we are not in control of the California State Water Resources Control Board, Why? Because we have our own Board, Why? Because we as a City own Our Water Rights!  The Leadership of the City of Riverside misguided you, the taxpayer, to believe otherwise.  Causing by their incompetence, that they, the Council, would like you to pay more to cover their illegitimate transgressions.  Not to mention the illegitimate transgressions of your Pretty Boy Mayor, William Rusty Bailey.  Vote No on Measure-Z 2016!  Again those you have placed in leadership positions have deceived you!  You will be paying more for the Heroes you thought were Heroes..Fire and Police.  They are not are Heroes when it comes to scamming the taxpayer for perceived increases in pension and salary increases.

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click this image to enlarge (click this link to go to the city source)

Riverside is unique in that we own our water.  Twenty percent is sold to outside locals.  So why are we conserving, while the city is mandated by law to harvest “x’ amount of water from the Bunker Hill Basin or lose those rights!  New City Attorney Gary Geuss file a lawsuit on behalf of the public asking the State to reverse their requirements since we own our own water.  What he forgot to tell the State is that the City has a “contractual” association with the homeowners that requires them to provide water.  What this means is that it trumps the State Water Drought Declaration.  More on this to come.  What’s more egregious is that the city of Riverside is asking their residents to be “snitches” on their neighbors concerning the new restriction, which will of course cause further undo tension and discourse in the community…for absolutely no good reason.

BREAKING STORIES FROM THE PRESS ENTERPRISE REFERENCING RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES.

JULY 04, 2015: CITY FIELDS QUESTION ON UTILITY RESERVES  The question arises from community activists, based upon and city of Riverside public utility documents, whether its ratepayers, that’s you and me for the uninitiated, have over-charged for services over the past decade.  The reserves have grown beyond what City official policies state, thereby violating those rules.  The the city was caught with their pants down, so they’re crafting language for new policy, and spinning the criticism.  We ask why is RPU General Manager, Girish Balanchandran, rewriting policy, if it wasn’t followed to begin with?  Seems to us like a waste of time if the City’s just going to do whatever the heck it wants anyway.

There is no question in our minds that the new policy will be written specifically to bring into conformance the existing policy violations, so that no one ever has to take any accountability….same ‘ole, same ‘ole.  The right thing to do would be to return the excess funds back to the ratepayers.  But that will be a challenge: your public utilities (“We Own It!”) currently does not work in your best interests.  What the City has done to the ratepayers over the years is just plain wrong.

JULY 02, 2015: RIVERSIDE: RESIDENTS WANT TO AX UTILITY TAX  A common theme: residents are fed up with all the taxation.  TMC is asking for your support to be part of a Ratepayer Advocacy Group that would serve as a watchdog on utility practices, and hopefully prevent some of the abuses we’ve suffered under the Loveridge/Hudson/Priamos (and their cronies) years.  The Board of Public Utilities does not advocate for the taxpayer, but for the city.

Finance Director Brent Mason stated that the utility user tax brings in $30 million a year to the general fund to pay for police, fire, parks and other services …. we thought that was what the General Fund Transfer was for!?  Seems to us like double taxation.

More Information on the Utility User Tax (click this link).

The utility users tax is not a sales tax (the State administers those); it’s an excise tax. Riverside residents pay the City for the “luxury” of gas, water, electric, and phone service. I don’t know about you, but those don’t seem like luxuries to me. They should all be repealed. The City needs to stop abusing its residents through excessive taxation in the form of fees like the Utility Users Tax and General Fund Transfer at its public (aka, monopoly) utility or risk losing them both…and maybe even its entire utility…in the process. My belief is that the City is breaking the social compact to provide these services at “cost plus” and will pay a steep price if it doesn’t come to the table soon with those that want reform at RPU. Just my two cents. – Jason Hunter, commentor to the Press Enterprise

THANK YOU CITY OF RIVERSIDE AND SUPPORTERS OF TMC FOR REACHING 200,000 HITS!  

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST, “DISGUSTING,” “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,” “ABOMINABLE,” “APPALLING,” “DETESTABLE,” “SLEAZY,” “SLANDEROUS,” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  YES WE ARE ALL OF THIS, WE ADMIT IT, SO PLEASE…DO NOT READ IF OFFENDED!  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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WHO WOULDN’T TRUST THIS INNOCENT FACE?

Just a few weeks back, we warned you of the new old game in town: the Public-Private Partnership(“P“-ing on your leg and telling you it’s raining, essentially).  The masters of this taxpayer and ratepayer ripoff is, of course, our old pal, the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce.  The point of this game is to enhance their visibility in the community under the auspices of doing great deeds of self-less charity, quietly paid for with your money, in order to justify their political influence, which will then be used to create programs that more directly (but just as quietly) benefit their membership … once again, at your expense.

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This week’s scam is called the Waterwise Landscape Makeover, wherein a lucky Riverside homeowner wins $10,000 in goods and services to makeover their yard courtesy of Chamber-administered Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful (KRCB) program.  Western Municipal Water District (Bob Stockton on both boards of directors) and Riverside Public Utilities (RPU exec Girish Balachandran on Chamber’s board of directors) graciously sponsor the makeover with your money.  The Chamber also sells raffle tickets with the proceeds going to help pay, “for tools and supplies for monthly beautification projects and youth education projects.”  Apparently, the $190,000+/year the taxpayers of Riverside kick in to run KRCB does not buy many shovels, rakes, and garbage bags….must be inflation!

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Did we mention that 3-year contract with KRCB was of the no-bid variety?  Or did that go without saying?

If nothing else, we at TMC love winners, and so we checked to see who the lucky folks were that have won this contest in the past.

In 2009, Officer Mike Blakely of the Riverside Police Department took home the prize.

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In 2010, Chamber of Commerce member Laurie Beatty was chosen.

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In 2011, Administrative Assistant to the City Manager, Maureen Mitchell, won the makeover.

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In 2012, it was Chamber member Bill Chamberlain.

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In 2013, another Chamber member, Matt Stowe.

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In 2014, Nick Ferguson, who had recently joined the Riverside’s Board of Public Utilities, was all smiles with his new landscaping.

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We wait with bated breath for word on who the 2015 winner will be!

For most contests such as these, the public is accustomed to hearing/seeing something akin to the following disclaimer: employees of the company, the contest’s participating sponsors and their advertising agencies, and members of the immediate family of any such persons are not eligible to participate and win. So let’s tally this up: in 6 years, 2 city employees, 3 Chamber members, and one RPU Board member were awarded the top prize.  An award which was sponsored by the City and RPU, run through the Chamber…

If that sounds a bit questionable, don’t worry: we were assured by Chamber counsel, Dewey Cheatham, and Howe LLP, and auditor, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLP, that we’re just being paranoid…and of course, jealous.  TMC would love to get taxpayer and ratepayer funding so that we could run our own games, sell tickets to our friends, and share your wealth with them…(on second though, that would be a scam…and we’re certain our ever vigilant Council and Board of Public Utilities wouldn’t allow it…unless we were also Board members and city executives as well…)  Hmmmmmmm.  We may have chosen the wrong careers. 😦

Of course, the more obvious explanation is that if not for the Chamber and the City, no one would, you know, actually buy tickets for this contest.  And we can’t have that, or we’d have no excuse to burn our ratepayers’ money.  So of course only Chamber members and City staff and appointeds win the darn thing!  And we’d be fine with that…if they weren’t using our hard-earned cash to sponsor it.

 And the deadbeat goes on…la dah dada dee, la dah dada dah.

SOMETIME SOON (MAYBE EVEN THIS MONTH), we’ll talk about one of the big ripoffs: the commercial turf replacement program, funded through an illegal tax on your utility bills to the tune of millions of dollars, for the benefit of Chamber members.  And the deadbeat goes on….

EDIT: RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY RAISES THE RENTAL FEE OF THE AB BROWN SOCCER FIELDS TO THE AMERICAN YOUTH SOCCER ORGANIZATION …from $1/year to $11,000!  The possibility remains to double or triple rentals fees going forward.  Questions arise as to why.  Of course, TMC knows that anytime one deals with the City, bad things will eventually happen, and there will be no transparency as to why…but that’s the big picture.  Will the youth of this soccer organization have to find another location?  Is this another attempt to make it financially difficult for the youth to use the grounds because the city has other plans that does not include them?  Some are indicating “extortion” tactics by the city.  The claim of “extortion” was also brought publicly by the newly built Hyatt Hotel in Riverside.  The Hyatt developer’s claim states that the city “extorted” money from MetroRiverside (developer of the Hyatt) by improperly changing the obligations to build public improvements, and by delaying approval of designs for the improvements. The claims says the developer lost money because of the design approval delay and the convention center closure.

TMC, however, knows the real story of what’s going on at the Ab Brown Soccer Fields: they are being used for General Fund purposes financed by our Electric Fund in violation of our City Charter!  In other words, we have another illegal tax Riverside residents pay for via our utility bills, which is hidden from the public through an elaborate shell game concocted by City staff and endorsed by our Council.  The City’s General Fund would of course like to buy these properties from the Electric Fund to fix this little problem, but it’s out of money!  So the real question is not, “why did the rent go up?” but, “why wasn’t it raised a long time ago?,” a question raised by RPU General Manager Girish Balachandran in an unguarded moment last December.  And the answer to that question is: because we misspent hundreds of millions of dollars under the previous/current regime…and now the kids must pay that price.  And if that doesn’t make you angry enough to kick Ward 1 Councilman Mike Gardner to the curb this election, we don’t know what would…

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TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “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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It’s never a pretty outcome for the public…

WE AT TMC WANT TO ADVISE OUR DEAR READERS (Yes, all 7 of you…) that when you hear the words, “private/public partnership,” grab your wallet!  A publicprivate partnership (PPP) is a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. These schemes are sometimes referred to as PPP, P3 or P3.

Earlier this year, we detailed how the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce (GRCC), in partnership with Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey,  has turned the State of the City Address into a for-profit event benefiting the Chamber at a substantial expense to the taxpayers and ratepayers of Riverside.  Meanwhile, the general public got to sit in the back of the bus audience for this event, while the Chamber and City bigwigs were given the center stage, celebrity treatment compliments of the Mutual Admiration Society of Riverside County.

A week later, not having had its fill of pork, GRCC had its primary public benefactor, Riverside Public Utilities, sponsor its Mega Mixer and Trade Show at the Tyler Mall.

Last night, the Chamber had its hand out again, this time for its Inaugural Celebration, titled, “A Night in Bollywood” (given the amount of plastic surgery observed at the gala, perhaps, “A Night in Dollywood,” would’ve been more appropriate, but we digress…)

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CLICK ABOVE IMAGE TO ENLARGE (not that Dolly needs it)

Once again, we see Riverside Public Utilities headlining as an Emerald Sponsor (not to be confused with its earlier billings as Gold Sponsor and Premier Plus Exhibitor) of this event.  In what I’m sure is just a coincidence (sarcasm alert), the Chamber installed Bob Stockton, of Rick Engineering, as its Chairman of the Board…the same Bob Stockton who was just recently the Chairman of our Board of Public Utilities.

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Bob Stockton, new Panderer-At-Large in the revolving door scheme

We’ve previously covered how former General Manager, David Wright (another recycled executive, now LADWP’s problem), and current General Manager, Girish Balachandran, sat/sit/sut on the Board of Directors of the Chamber, cutting checks with their ratepayers’ money on a almost weekly basis: a grotesque conflict-of-interest even our own ethically-challenged City Council is a bit queasy with we hear.

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                           Dave “the Kingpin” Wright           Girish “The Bag Man” Balanchandran

All of this is done without any transparency to the general public or oversight.  In theory, the Chamber could host an event every day, and Girish Balachandran would seemingly be all-too-willing to write a check up to $25,000 (his maximum authority) for each one…well, until he ran out of your money.

But enough of the hyphens and run-on sentences, let’s shine the light on how the game works!

You pay your utility bills/taxes —> City/RPU funds the Chamber (and other favorite non-profits as part of an influence peddling scheme, but more on that later) —> the Chamber pushes its business-first agenda and supports local candidates —> the City Council continues to keep the GRCC on the public dole through an ever-expanding assortment of schemes (e.g. the no-bid Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful contract) —> lather, rinse, repeat!  They get an Indian dinner, you get the cheque!

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The Chamber is Watching You! (Click Image to Enlarge).

The game ends one of two ways: the City eventually goes bankrupt, a la San Bernadino and Stockton…or you get sick of the corruption and demand change.  On that note, City elections are June 2, 2015 .  Whom will TMC endorse!?  Stay tuned….

WHAT ABOUT ME?  The County of Riverside would of course not want to be left out of this party.  As you can see here, Riverside County Economic Development and Regional Medical Center both bought $1000 tables for the Mayor Bailey’s State of the City Address.  Yes, that’s the same Regional Medical Center that ran a $36 million shortfall just last fiscal year.  They must be feeling better (sic) because they were also an Emerald Sponsor of last night’s, “A Night in Bollywood,” boondoggle.  It’s heartwarming to know an institution drowning in a sea of red can continue to show its support for its local Chamber of Commerce….run by our Queen Cindy Roth, who just so happens to be married to Senator Richard Roth (31st District – cities of Riverside, Corona, Moreno Valley, Norco, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Riverside, and Perris).

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Queen Cindy                          King Richard

“Let Them Eat Cake!” (or should that be Gulab Jamin?)

The Riverside County Transportation Committee, another in that miasma of Joint Powers Agreements the City is involved in (this one for, “coordinating highway and transit planning and identifying projects for state and federal funding [and] responsibility for all aspects of regionwide planning for Riverside County’s mobility”), also sponsored the Mega Mixer…because as you know, most folks go to the mall to hear about County transportation issues.

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And the deadbeat goes on…la dah dada dee, la dah dada dah. (CLICK THIS LINK TO WATCH YOUTUBE)

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “DEMENTED,” “MENTALLY WHACKED,” “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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A bit of concern came forward the other day with emails from the community who were for the most part, taken back, after viewing the City Council meeting on the internet.  City-supported presenters that came forward to address the Council were filmed in a way one would normally expect, as seen below from Council Chambers on January 29, 2015.

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But when it came to public commentary, a funny thing happened: the camera angle was switched to view the public (many of whom are critics) from the rear of the Council Chamber.  This action sends a personal message to the community: you don’t matter.  Your voice and personification is so far away that what you have to say is not important nor worth being heard.

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Not only was it so far away, but now viewers at home could only seeing the backside of the public.  Questions arose if this was a tactic by City leaders to diss or demean the public.  Just when it appears that the City is connecting better with the public, you get this.  We found that this was interim City Manager Lee McDougal’s call, and will remain so until further notice.  According to the PE, Alicia Robinson reported the following on City Manager McDougal.  “It was my order, yes,” McDougal said. “The meetings are City Council meetings … . I believe (council members) should be on camera because they should be the center of attention at the meeting and not necessarily the speakers.”  So was this all Mr. McDougal, or could he of had a little push from our Mayor?  Regardless, we’ll take from this fiasco a positive: a reminder to follow through with our New Year’s resolutions to renew our gym memberships, so our backsides are more pleasing to the audience at home.

Lets review how the past rules of decorum have been enforced at City Council meetings to see if we can establish a pattern…First, by order of former City Attorney Greg Priamos, the City arrests public speaker Karen Wright for going over the three minute rule by a few seconds, but later Mayor Bailey allows former Mayor Loveridge to go well past the three minute rule to talk about his brother.  Second, Mayor Bailey has former BB&K Attorney Letitia Pepper arrested for clapping.  Now Mayor Bailey is the brunt of her First Amendment law suit, and clapping is allowed in Council Chambers, even for those supporting critics of their government.

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Now there’s an attempt to continue to intimidate, disrespect and insult the taxpayers by filming them from behind, and I must say WAAAAY behind.  But not in the City of Moreno Valley: they film you right up in your face and in HD, and live during Council, not the grainy, blurry filming Riverside uses.  So again, I ask CM McDougal if he would like to change his statement?  Just when you think that the new improved City Hall is really listening, are they really walking the walk?

STATE OF THE CITY: A PUBLIC AFFAIR OR JUST ANOTHER MONEY MAKING BOONDOGGLE FOR THE CHAMBER?  We asked the question, why should the taxpayer have to divvy out monies to subsidize non-profits?  Most non-profits raise the money for events through private sector contributions.  Therefore, we have seen this time and time again, and we wonder why are streets aren’t fixed, why are trees are not cut and why we still don’t have a City Library.

HOW YOUR UTILITY BILL SUPPORTS THE CHAMBER: FOLLOW THE MONEY.  The Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) is recognized as an Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(6) organization.  Unlike a 501 (c)(3) organization, whose primary purpose is to serve a religious, charitable, scientific or educational purpose, the Chamber serves the best interest of its membership.  It’s membership consist of a select group of businesses.  Most of these businesses are customers of Riverside Public Utilities (RPU).  The current General Manager of RPU, Girish Balachandran, under Section 1202 of the City Charter, has the authorization to negotiate and execute contracts with individual retail customers for water and electric utility service.  He also has the power to offer many intangible benefits to customers.  Mr. Balachandran serves on the Board of Directors of the Chamber.

Balachandran’s predecessor, former General Manager Dave Wright, back in the salad days of giving away ratepayer money, also chose to serve on the Board of Directors of the GRCC.  As a board member, both had a duty of loyalty to the Chamber as defined under California Corporations Code Section 7231 (a): in essence, they must put their interest before that of the any other entity.  It is not infrequent that GRCC lobbies the City Council on issues affecting RPU, and endorses City Council candidates whom have jurisdiction over RPU.  This answers many questions regarding Measure A and the Soubirous Hearings.  The Chamber, we believe, was in part responsible for the Soubirous crucifixion regarding his position on Measure A.  His position would not favor GRCC’s true agenda.

The City’s Conflict of Interest Policy states that an employee may not have a personal interest which would tend to impair independence, judgement or action necessary to pursue the City’s best interest.  This tenet is codified as law under Government Code Section 1126 (b) of the the State of California.  Conflict of interest laws attempt to discourage not only biased-decision making not serving the public interest, but also the perception of such bias.

To wit, Resolution No. 22676 of the Riverside City Council, states, “the City Manager, City Attorney, and the City Clerk shall not serve as a member of the board of directors of a non-profit corporation which is receiving or will be reasonably likely in the future to seek and/or receive funding from the City of Riverside so as to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest,” thereby establishing intent of the policy.  Obviously our utility managers seem to believe the rules that apply to their boss, need not apply to them…

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It has been well-known for some time that the Chamber receives taxpayer funding from the City of Riverside. What has been much less known is the amount of funding the Chamber receives directly from ratepayers, under the signature authority (i.e. no public vetting before the Board of Public Utilities or City Council) of both Mr. Balachandran and his direct subordinate, Michael Bacich, the Assistant General Manager of Customer Relations and Marketing.  These funds have been paid via the request-for-payment process that has until recently been kept hidden from the public disclosure.  Below, you will find a list of the roughly 200 payments RPU has made to the Chamber over the past 4 years in individual amounts up to $24,000.00, as well as proof of his predecessor’s participation on its Board (above figure).

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The Kingpin David Wright

THE PAYMENTS TO THE CHAMBER QUEEN

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So folks, could this be how the City of Riverside launders taxpayers money through a non-profit (Riverside Chamber of Commerce), then the Chamber writes a check to support campaign politicians who will feed their gravy train?   Sort of how the “Clinton Foundation” works…  What you have is that “public servants” are on these non-profit boards, but should be looking out for the best interest of the “taxpayer,” but are not, they are looking out for themselves, because, seemingly, they believe no one (the dumbass taxpayer) is looking at them.

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So, is Girish Balachandran following in the footsteps of David Wright, and proving once again that in the River City there’s simply no bridge too far when it comes to conflict-of-interests as is the case with his board membership with the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce?

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TMC RECEIVES LEAKS FROM RIVERSIDE CITY HALL REGARDING BRENDA DIETRICH’S HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENT.  You can read the full leaked concerns of City of Riverside employees from the employee handbook to specific allegations against Human Resource Director Brenda Diederich, by clicking on the links below.

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HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR BRENDA DIEDERICH

These address Riverside City employee concern regarding an antiquated employee handbook, Human Resource Director Brenda Diederich hiring a personal friend and the targeted termination of gay employees without cause.

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EMPLOYEE CONCERNS OF HIRED PERSONAL FRIEND & GAY TERMINATIONS   EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK CONCERNS

 TOTAL COST TO THE TAXPAYERS FOR THE STATE OF THE CITY EVENT BY QUEEN BEE’S CINDY ROTH’S GRCC (GREATER RIVERSIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE).

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The bottom line was that the taxpayer paid out $11,218.50 (minimum, given Mr. Mason’s list doesn’t include a $1000 tables for both the Parks and Recreation Department and the Office of Economic (not Community) Development) for Cindy Roth’s Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce event, but we again, as the general public, had a seat in the back of the bus event.  Next time you pay your utility bill, spot a pothole, or your support is sought for better salaries and benefits by the Police or Fire unions, remember how these departments chose to donate your money to the Chamber….

HOW MUCH IS, “I OWN IT,” COSTING THE TAXPAYER?
Is it also an indirect advertising plug for that specific “I Own It” customer? … Who “incidentally” is the law firm of BB&K.   Since we own it too, can TMC also be part of that campaign? We of course have not been asked..but we patiently wait for our turn… Why?  Because, “I Own It.”  Our take is that it may not be long before RPU begins to recant with, “I Regret It.”

jcTMC, 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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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?

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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?

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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.

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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!

chris-lanzillo

 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