Posts Tagged ‘jason hunter’

County Counsel management has abused its power to wrongfully drive me from the job I successfully held for almost 30 years. I was not an at-will employee, I had a legal right to my job. County Counsel management intentionally and wrongfully took my job away from me.”  – former Deputy Riverside County Counsel Neal Kipnis, January 2018

In 2012, the Grand Jury stated that Priamos violated its secrecy during an investigation regarding police procedures.  Back in May of 2015, according to the PE, the Riverside Grand Jury has accused Riverside County’s internal law office of interfering with its review of the county’s information technology department.  In the report released in April 2015, the Grand Jury, which serves as a court-appointed watchdog of public agencies, said the Office of County Counsel directed IT staff to accept only written requests from the investigative panel, which had asked for a copy of IT’s (Information Technology) response to an audit.  According to California Penal Code “the grand jury is entitled to free access … of all public records within the county,” the report said. County counsel needs more training and must recognize the jury as an independent body, the report concluded.  Riverside County Counsel in headed by non other than the infamous Gregory Priamos, also was former Riverside’s City Attorney, who of course had plenty of baggage….. and I don’t mean travel baggage.  The question asked, “Is why this scumbag continually is protected?”  We know why, you only have to look at the supporters behind the scum bag, which in turn, is more scumbags such as former Supervisor’s John Tavaglione and Marion Ashley.

According to a current July 1, 2019 Grand Jury report it stated,  “Our investigation/interviews revealed that certain county managers have set personal ego, arrogance, power and personal control above their duty to serve the people. The highest honor is to serve the public, and along with that honor, is the responsibility to maintain ethical standards in employment actions. These county managers, the CEO and to some extent the prior County of Riverside Board Of Supervisors, have failed in their leadership to provide a positive, supportive environment.”  Well it seems as all hell broke loose at the County of Riverside, primarily because former County of Riverside Supervisor John Tavaglione was not their to protect his boy, Priamos, further not even Ashley.  The real Priamos is now seemingly being exposed now that he is all in the open.  Well this was no surprise to TMC, we’ve exposed him in the past, but no one cared!  The enablers kept enabling.  This same scenario happened in the City of Riverside with former City Manager Brad Hudson and Scott Barber.  Garbage in, garbage out.  Even then no one cared enough to come out to City Council and give their opinion.  Full Grand Jury Report below for your reading and viewing pleasure. (click link below).

 

Riverside County Human Resources Department and Office of Riverside County Counsel 07.01.2019

Former Riverside Deputy County Counsel Neal Kipnis expressed the following in a personal email, “I assure you that I am a totally honest person. What happened to me was totally wrong and dishonest.  He is a bad person and not worthy of being in such a public position.”

Neal Kipnis arrived at the Office of County Counsel from San Diego at the end of 1988.  Since then he has worked on many different issues related to contracts and construction projects, including drafting and negotiation of professional services and technology contracts, and resolution of complicated construction disputes. He has advised many County departments and special districts on various problem-solving and dispute resolution efforts.  Since 1988, a period during which he worked under four different County Counsels prior to the arrival of Greg Priamos. In all those years, Kipnis never had a bad performance review.  Why was he targeted?  We still don’t have a clue.  Was it simply because he did his work with honesty and integrity, and could not be molded to the Priamos machine?  Honesty and integrity is not in the vocabulary of the Priamos dictionary.

Mr. Kipnis received both his B.A. (Economics, Phi Beta Kappa) and J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.  During law school, he clerked at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Trade Representative, both in Washington D.C.  He was an associate with Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard and Smith for two years before coming to Riverside.

Mr. Kipnis stated, “I have had a successful career at County Counsel since 1988, a period during which four different County Counsels headed our office prior to the arrival of Greg Priamos. In all those years, I never had a bad performance review.”

Of course this wasn’t the first incident of complaints against Priamos, he had a slew of them going back to the days of being Riverside City Attorney.  We saw how this sociopathic sycophant destroyed good people.  We saw this with former City of Riverside Deputy Attorney Raychele Sterling.  Sterling alleged that City Officials awarded millions in contracts without bids!  We now see this with Riverside County Deputy County Counsel Neal Kipnis.  This was his original letter sent to me back in 2018 which was addressed to former Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione. (click on link).

THE LETTER TO FORMER SUPERVISOR JOHN TAVAGLIONE FROM FORMER DEPUTY COUNTY COUNSEL NEAL KIPNIS DATED JANUARY 1, 2018

According to Kipnis’s letter to former Supervisor John Tavaglione, there were false and misleading information made against him.  It was a failure of Human Resources (HR) to react in a proper and fair manner.  According to Kipnis letter to Tavaglione, “Sadly, Human Resources facilitated the improper actions taken against me by failing to ensure compliance with applicable County employee discipline procedures (Board Policy C-23 and corresponding HR policy). There was a significant failure to follow or enforce these important policies – intended to provide employees in my situation with fairness and protection. This failure by HR made it far more difficult for me to be able to defend myself leading up to the termination notice.”  Sadly, Kipnis’s letter was left on deaf ears and never responded to.

So what did the the Grand Jury report say?  Well it vehemently appeared to mirror Kipnis’s complaints of the process at hand.  So what actually received the attention of the Grand Jury?  It stated, “For several consecutive years, the Riverside County Civil Grand Jury (RCCGJ) has received numerous complaints regarding HR practices, and Riverside County Counsel (RCC), regarding the methods used for terminations and other related personnel matters that are initiated and processed.”  They went on to say, “The County of Riverside has a published Code of Ethics which states: “The principal function of County governmentis to serve the best interests of all the people.””

What did the Grand Jury see?  They noticed an inherent, “Prolonged mistrust due to harsh personnel practices as well as unscrupulous tactics by some managers has created a climate of fear, intimidation and anxiety among county employees. Employees know it is “go along to get along”, even if it is immoral, illegal, unethical or goes against policies and laws. One employee was told “you have to learn how to do things the county way.””

The Grand Jury found that employees had been denied and were deprived of the ability to examine materials and other documents kept in their personnel file, which is essential to the defense of an allegation against them.  Well okay…

But the following is the kicker folks, Retaliatory Behavior known as “Special Treatment” such as the “Freeway Therapy” Treatment!  “Employees who have displeased managers in the Office of County Counsel, as well as other departments, have found themselves the recipient of a number of “Special Treatments”.  Instead of being assisted, if performance issues are present, they are subjected to various stressors and “Special Treatment”.  Retaliatory transfers are prevalent. These occur when individuals are transferred to distant work place locations for punitive reasons.  Witnesses and those who have experience with this “Special Treatment” refer to these punitive transfers as “Freeway Therapy” and it is a known means of punishment for those who have displeased managers and directors in power.  In other instances of “Special Treatment”, attorneys who have been assigned to a specific department for many years are punitively reassigned to another unrelated department in which they have no expertise.”  I wonder what they coined that as?  “Job Reclassification Therapy”?  Oh no not that! anything but the Freeway Therapy Treatment!  Give me the Job Reclassification Therapy…  While I’m reading all this, it all sounds strangely sadistic with emphasis on Soviet Style Politics, of course, in America.

The Grand Jury report concluded that, “The current Board of Supervisors must address and stop all abuses of power in the Office of County Counsel. The record of culpability is long and convincing. The County of Riverside deserves a strong CGJ (County Grand Jury) to protect the taxpayers from fraud, corruption and abuse. A County Counsel who shares that vision is critical to that goal. The public must demand this.”  The Board of Supervisors are responsible for the actions of the County Counsel, it appears quite evident, his behavior was supported.  Due to a do nothing group of Supervisors.

So what did the Grand Jury report indicate and recommend be done?  According the Grand Jury report, “Testimony of high level manager in the Office of County Counsel indicate that any personnel actions which have taken place in that department have been initiated with the full knowledge and consent of the County Counsel.  The responsibility to control and stop the abuses therefore is the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors and CEO.  The Board of Supervisors and the CEO must hold the Riverside County Counsel accountable for all past and future behavior.”  Okay, so Priamos is the culprit, we all knew that, especially if you live in the City of Riverside… but remember it’s that ‘two sets of rules bug-a-boo’ that those within this so called local representative government can’t seem to get!

Well, the question is, should Riverside County Clownsel be behind bars and/or should have been behind bars when he was at the City of Riverside?  Many taxpaying residents within the City of Riverside are stating yes, and blame the City Council and Mayor for enabling this!  The County of Riverside has a published Code of Ethics which states: “The principal function of County government is to serve the best interests of all the people.”  Interesting enough, Priamos helped draft the Ethics Guide: Practicing Ethics: A Handbook for Municipal Lawyer for The League of California Cities, which Priamos was President of that entities Department.  But we believe that they, such as former Supervisor John Tavaglione never of course believed in any code of ethics.  Because of course, who would dare question him, unless your the type that enjoys a confrontational retaliation that could hurt you financially.  Well he is gone, but his legacy of corruption continues to effect the taxpayer at the pocket book.

Let’s look at some of Priamos’s other antics that no one did anything about within the City of Riverside!

Thought it was okay to transfer Riverside Public Utility monies to the General Fund without a vote of the people.

Thought it was okay to hire outside legal without contracts.

Thought it was okay to spend $19.4 million on outside legal, even the State Bar of California thought it was okay.

Thought it was okay to lie about who actually commanded that a public speaker be arrested for violating the three minute rule, which contradicted a bonafide police report.

The real laughable take away is that he wrote the Ethics Guide for the National League of Cities, being President.

Thought it was okay to settle legal cases which were not in the best interest of the taxpayers.

Thought it was okay to ride around in City Vehicle acting as a legitimate law enforcement representative of the City of Riverside.

Thought it was okay to support City Officials with Cold Plates.

Thought it was okay to support City Officials with Fraudulant Badges.

Thought it was okay to support Pension Spiking Practices within his Office.

Thought it was okay to utilize tax monies for office parties.

Thought it was okay to utilize tax monies for extravagant outside parties such as the Papadakis Restaurant Party.

Thought it was okay to allegedly commit insurance fraud?  The Priamos Tape.

Thought it was okay to support City Officials with Badges and Fire Arms .  Further Priamos thought it was okay that former City Manager Brad Hudson use the City Hall address as his Residence!

Thought it was okay to support former Chief Russel Leach after his DUI charge.

Thought it was okay to conspire to frame a sitting Councilman Mike Soubirous.

Thought it was okay to conspire on Councilman Mike Soubirous water usage, even there was no water shortage in the City of Riverside!

Thought it was okay to conspire to frame a sitting Councilman Paul Davis.

Thought it was okay to lie to Council regarding a complaint against the City of Riverside Human Resources Department.

Was he working numbers with his family during his U.S.C year back in 1991?

In 2010, after Riverside police Chief Russ Leach was charged with misdemeanor DUI for wrecking a city-owned vehicle while under the influence, allegations surfaced that Priamos was among those in city government aware of an attempted cover-up but did nothing about it.  A probe headed by former Riverside County District Attorney Grover Trask found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Even one family member was disgusted with the family antics that she wrote a book about it!  Greg Priamos’s cousin Paula Priamos!  She talks about the underworld of the Priamos Famiglia.

An excerpt from her book:  “I see my father’s body doubled over the wheel.  I see his chest and arms spilling out of the car, his head dangling, blood seeping out of the wet hole in his scalp.”

The warning signs were evident, even Community Taxpayer Advocate Jason Hunter chimed in back on June 24, 2014 about Priamos, take a listen:

The primary take away from all this is that there are two sets of rules, there’s Priamos Law and there is Priamos Law.  In other words, the ruling political class had one law, and the rest of us must endure the real law.  Will the following finally be Priamos’s new suite?  Well it should because the taxpayers are demanding justice.

The primary take away from all this was that there were two sets of rules, there was Priamos Law and there was the Priamos Law.  The ruling class had one law, the rest of us taxpayers endured beyond the spirit of any law.  Will the following finally be Priamos’s new home for his Soviet Style Law Practices?
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

What’s left for the Local Riverside Taxpayers after Measure Z is passed by heavily funded Unions!  What is left when the Riverside Council voted for higher Utility Rates for a Utilities that the Riverside Public Residents actually own!  RPU is Riverside Public Utilities!  Why did they do it?  They increased your Utility rates, to pay for their bad decisions and contracts with the Unions.  What they did was to increase the General Fund Transfer from the Utility fund to pay unsustainable pensions.  A sanitation worker in Los Angeles is retiring with $280K per year.  Are public workers the Nouveau Riche?  What gives?  My pension is $980.00 a month with the Vons Corporation as a Managing Pharmacist, What gives?

It’s been two years after Measure Z passed and I believe it is necessary and warranted that we at TMC explain the truth behind Measure Z.  We only need two images to explain this travesty against the honest taxpayers.  If you remember, Measure Z came to the voters in November of 2016 as a proposal to increase our sales tax an additional 1% to 8.75% total

Measure Z was entitled, “The Public Safety and Vital Services Measure,” and was billed as a panacea for our infrastructure and services needs. As it was stated in Ballotpedia, “To prevent cutting police, firefighters, paramedics, 911 emergency response, antigang/drug programs, homelessness reduction and youth after-school/senior/disabled services; to repair local streets/potholes/infrastructure; and to provide other general services, shall a one-cent transaction and use tax (sales tax) be implemented providing $48,000,000 annually through 2036….”  Sixty Percent of Riverside voters favored it as it was heavily promoted by the “Yes on Measure Z” campaign committee, which raised over $100,000 to inundate the general public with mailers, text messages, Facebook ads, etc., on top of the normal City propaganda (meetings, RPU bill inserts, push polls, etc.).  This is what the City of Riverside and the Public Unions did to deceive the public.  First they, the unions,  who invested huge monies toward influencing the public that passing Measure Z was the right thing to do.  Further, they pressed their members to vote for Measure Z….or else.  It’s what they do. 

With the economy strong, Measure Z continues to beat forecasts for revenue taken in by the City and currently approaches $53 million/year. So what ACTUALLY happened to the money? And here’s where the story takes a predictable turn.

At the same time Measure Z was being put on the ballot, now-infamous former City Manager John Russo crafted a deal with the local unions (and non-represented) employees, which was passed by our crooked City Council (with no veto from the Mayor), called the Partnership Compensation Model (PCM). The PCM was structured to grant salary raises of 9-12% ABOVE AND BEYOND NORMAL MERIT RAISES spread over 2 years for all public employees ONLY IF Measure Z should pass.

In return for this lucre, the unions had to promote the heck out of Measure Z (click on image to enlarge below).

Which they did to the tune of the aforementioned $100,000.  And they used the same scare tactics they use every time they need to raise taxes…and many of us keep falling for it: “cutting police, firefighters, paramedics, 911 emergency response, antigang/drug programs, homelessness reduction and youth after-school/senior/disabled services; to repair local streets/potholes/infrastructure.”  This is what that $100K paid for… beautiful propaganda mailers with happy families and smiling fire employees and the threat that if this wasn’t passed you, the taxpayer won’t have service.  Some call it hard line politics, some call it political black mail.  Shouldn’t this be illegal?  You realized that you were lied to.

policeone    policetwo firetwo  

This was a shot of those in charge of the Teachers Union, Fire Union and Police Union all together having a good time after the passing of Measure A back in 2013!

Tim Strack, president of the Riverside City Firefighter in center, raises his fist as the first results of Measure A came in, at the Orangecrest Club in Riverside, at left, Tom Hunt of the school board and writing in the totals is Dave Austin, on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

Now here’s what should make you take your pitchforks and torches down to City Hall at the next Tuesday City Council Meeting: according to City Finance’s own numbers (presented March 13th, 2019 to the Finance Committee), in return for that $100,000, by the end Fiscal Year 2021, those very same employees will make off with over $21,000,000 annually ($16,000,000 from Measure Z itself and the remaining from your recently-raised utility bills) as a result of PCM (Partnership Compensation Model) – see and click on image below to enlarge.

Simplified:

1) Your Mayor and Council (with an assist from former City Manager John Russo) made a deal with the devil unions to trade an annual annuity of over $20 million of your money in return for $100,000. The Net Present Value of that annuity over the next 20 years (the sunset on Measure Z)? NEARLY $300 MILLION.

2) Every one of your elected officials at the time (including Ward One Council member Mike Gardner) contributed monetarily to the “Yes on Z” campaign, as did City “leaders,” non-profit associations like the Riverside Chamber of Commerce and the Raincross Group did as well.

3) The 2021 Fiscal Year budget forecast shows a $15 million deficit, which means SERVICE CUTS are on the way just 5 years after the passage of Measure Z. You think we’ve got a homeless/pothole/you-name-it problem now? Give it a year!  They’ll be sleeping in your front lawn and RPD will not be able do anything about it, as this occurrence recently in our cherished Wood Streets.

4) The numbers in Simplified #1 above do not reflect how the PCM will make our unfunded pension liability explode, as pensions are calculated off an employee’s highest salary.  I’ll take a swag and guess that number will eventually be in the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS too.

5) The City runs for the benefit of the electeds, a few special interests, and the employees, with just enough thrown back at the general public to provide the illusion that all’s well and things are getting done. Behinds the scenes we have $2 billion in debt, a $535 million unfunded pension liability, and budget deficits as far as the eye can see (at the City alone, not counting the County, the School Districts, etc.).

6) Eventually, all the Measure Z money will go to employees as Simplified #4 kicks in.  You have been screwed royally by those sworn to serve and protect you. The City’s proposed solutions to the problems they’ve created seem to center around selling your assets, cutting your services, and taking more money from you…the road San Bernadino took over 10 years ago. Sooooo, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? I will offer my suggestions at a later date.  The below was a debate on the subject of Measure Z hosted by Ralph Torres of Hey Riverside.  Councilman Paul Davis and Community Tax Activist Jason Hunter were on the hot seat!  He gave a warning to the taxpayer residents as follows:  And don’t say some of us didn’t warn y’all at the time (at 10 minute mark in particular):

Please, please share with your neighbors. It’s time folks woke up. There’s still time to mitigate this impending disaster.

I get a bit peeved, as you should, at the entitlement I see amongst the public sector workers who think there’s any equity between work in the public and private sector by allowing public sector folks to retire at (in some cases) 90% of their highest one-year career salary in their early 50s, especially with the amount of pension spiking that still goes on.  That’s not a comfortable retirement: that’s a scam on the private sector taxpayers, many of whom at looking at $35K/year in Social Security at age 70.

According to the PE, 53,000 former public employees in California were pulling down 6-figures a year in 2016, many of whom NEVER PUT A PENNY OF THEIR OWN MONEY towards their retirements.  If this was seen in the Private Sector this would lead to Bankruptcy.  And no, I don’t feel sorry for one second about demanding that those pensions be modified (particularly the higher end ones), especially since reform of the problem has been postponed by our public employees continually buying our elections (like Measure Z) and politicians. The general public is the boss under our Constitution, so if enough of us say “no more,” guess what?  That’s it … regardless of past promises, just like in the private sector.  Google, “United Airlines bankruptcy,” for reference. And the whole argument that everyone who bitches is just jealous they can’t get a job in the public sector is preposterous on its face (the private sector pays for all ALL general fund employee compensation via taxes) and shows how little people know about how our economic system of capitalism works (while not perfect, I challenge someone to show me a better model that’s actually been implemented in a country this size).

Bottom line, the City of Riverside should consider Bankruptcy as an option, and then renegotiate those Union contracts or give the Unions an ultimatum, decrease salaries and increase the pension obligation or contribution to the fund.  The City of Riverside should only negotiate contracts with Unions that we actually can afford.  The Private Sector does it all the time, they would otherwise see bankruptcy!

The above was a news story that was published on Youtube in 2013 by Fox Business, it talks about the unsustainable pension cost crisis that California is being confronted with.  When they looked further they found public city workers were retiring with high yearly fat payouts.  They had a sanitation worker in Los Angeles retiring with $280K per year, a librarian in San Diego retiring with $234K per year, a retired life guard in New Port Beach retiring with $180K in pension and health care benefits per year and 94 public government workers in the Bankrupt City of Stockton, CA receive over a $100K plus per year in pensions.  Why am I peeved?  I receive a pension of $980 per month in my pension as a pharmacist.  I worked with the private sector as a pharmacy manager with the Vons Corporation.  My background, I have a Doctorate in Clinical Pharmacy from the University of California.  What I’m telling you, and should be obvious, is their are elements within City Governments that do not care, and do not look upon the interest of their taxpaying constituents.

This reminds me of Riverside Public Utilities dispatcher Donald Dahle who received $257,719 in overtime in 2016, boosting his total earnings to $373,235!  A dispatcher folks!  According to Internal Audit Manager for the City of Riverside Cheryl Johannes stated, “In other words, they found no fraud, … Where (Public Utilities staff) were lacking was internal review. They had policies, but if people don’t follow policies, this is what happens.”  Duh, are we talking about City of Riverside Employee who was in charge or who had supervisory role was derelict in their duties or who was clearly incompetent?  This being said cost the taxpayers a heap of money!

Cheryl Joannes

Just wanted to take this time to thank Jason Hunter for allowing TMC to use and share his information he posted on Next Door for this posting: The Truth About Measure Z: The Public Employee Salary and Employment Tax.  Thank-you! Best, Javier Moreno

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

Do not fret my friends if you missed the show that never ends.  Never fear, stop the tears, TMC has it here…

RPU, the Greatest Show on Earth,  according to their own financial statements as of February of this year, had $333 million in unrestricted reserves at water and electric, that could be spent on anything utility-related with a simple majority vote of the Board and Council.  In contrast the general fund (which is about half the size of RPU) has just over $40 million in reserves.  RPU’s reserve levels are simply outrageous by comparison… and yet our greedy Council still voted to raise your rates.  Why?  Because 18% of the total rate increase is simply new taxes, so this was also a tax increase… without a public vote.  The employees who pushed the rate increase will also get AUTOMATIC raises based on the size of the increase because of the Partnership Compensation Model.  It’s apparently a racket and scheme to deceive the taxpayer.  Again it is not about Infrastructure it’s all about General Fund Transfer to pay Pensions.

What Councilman Steve Adams reveal at City Council was shocking, disturbing and wreaked of deception.  He stated that rate increases were passed and supported based on bogus numbers, according to Councilman Adams.  TMC agrees because we broke the story.  Thank-you and good job Adams!  The rest of the dunderheads especially those speaking for Riverside businesses, such as the Riverside Chamber of Commerce, who simply know nothing of business, and may have been behind the manipulation of figures.  As a result, former RPU General Manager Girish Balachandran was shown the door.  Former City Manager John Russo was shown the entrance of the 91 freeway, and Guess may just be tar and feathered if the District Attorney doesn’t get there first…

Adams goes on to say that in three meetings concerning rate increase he was given ‘bogus numbers.’  Councilman Chuck Condor and Adam’s assistant Sandy also witnessed this as stated by Adams.  After repeatedly being misled by false numbers, knowing the pretense that the former City Manager and General Manager were working under, Adams believed it would be inappropriate and irresponsible to continue any further talks on rate increases until three conditions are met.  One, the new City Manager is in place.  Second, a new General Manager of Utilities is hired.  Thirdly, an independent audit of the utility that answers directly to the Council.  TMC has heard that there has been manipulation or editing of prior audits by the City Manager’s office and staff.  Audits performed by interim City Manager Lee McDougal were apparently edited by a staff member of the former City Manager John Russo’s office, before reaching Council.  In lieu of the new revealing information, the Chamber of Commerce and Members of the Public Utility Board continued to support the rate increases along with Council Members Melendrez, Gardner, Mac Arthur and Perry who passed it.

Councilman Steve Adams states that the former City Manager John Russo gave a ‘direct order’ to former RPU General Manager Girish Balanchandran, quote, ” to ask for the stars, moon and the sky… so that we can raise these rates, fluff up the utility and our reserves, so we can sell it.”  Adams goes on to say that Russo never contacted the Council regarding this, and he had never contacted the RPU Board regarding this either.  This something Russo wanted to do because he believed he could sell at least the Electric part of the utility.

If this was the behind the curtain shenanigans, we could therefore assume Assistant City Manager Alex Nguyen and Assistant City Manager Mariana Marysheva would have also known of the deception.  You would think that Councilman Andy Melendrez would jump up from his seat and ask for an investigation.  Not.  Instead, he voted to increase utility rates based on Councilman Adam’s claim of ‘bogus numbers.’

According to Riverside Tax Advocate and Riverside Resident Jason Hunter states at City Council, “Poor pitiful RPU has no money! This rate increase is base on one thing and one thing only….Deception!  We have electric reserves rising year to year by $20 million!”  This isn’t Hunter’s statement it comes from RPU documents.

Mary Humboldt makes mention on ‘step increases’ which seemingly are a public sector phenomenon, and is never seen in the private sector!  What is that all about?  Well it’s about deception and Union involvement, which continues to be a direct problem and interference with their paid for candidates attempting to be transparent.  Automatic raises!  What about the $275K in Over Time given to an employee.

Does the RPU Board lie again on the reserve slush fund, according to RPU Board Member Dave Austin, it’s all about that San Onofre Bug-A-Boo.  That’s the ticket!  Austin, former Riverside Fire Fighter and Chairman of your Board of Public Utilities may have completely missed the mark on this one.  Taxpayers are now asking the questions… is he a Firefighter for the Taxpayer, or simply an Arsonist, who took part in igniting the flames for higher utility rates?  He apparently didn’t hear what Councilman Adams had to say, or may have been given bogus numbers.  The board chairman didn’t even find it necessary to investigate the allegation of bogus numbers that were used to apparently push the increases through! Where were these numbers coming from?  From former City Manager John Russo and former RPU General Manager Girish Balachandran.  Amazing! That in itself is shocking!  No one seems to be interested in finding the truth.  Because as Councilman Chris Mac Arthur states, don’t think about it logically, think about it emotionally.

RPU Board Chairperson Dave Austin clearly does not know what he is talking about.

What was apparently shocking and disturbing is even after Councilman Adams revealed elements of deception and bogus numbers, the supporter for the rate hike still wanted the rate hike!  Did they hear anything Adams said?  Apparently not.  In many cases truth doesn’t matter, it’s only an impediment in the overall scheme of deception.

YEP..IT CAN’T GET BETTER THAN THIS… ENJOY THE NEW RATE INCREASES ON THE THE PUBLIC UTILITY YOU OWN… AGAIN YOU WERE TAKEN BY THIS DOG AND PHONEY SHOW BY YOUR CITY OF RIVERSIDE REPRESENTATIVES AND STAFF!

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

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

“Have I made wrong decisions? Sure, everyone does. We all make mistakes because we have imperfect information, we’re not always as mature as we should be or our emotions get the better of us. However, I can honestly say that I never made a wrong ethical decision.   –  ex-City Manager John Russo

da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” remastered by Riverside’s now former City Manager  

Has the great one been shown the entrance to the 91 Freeway?  Yes he was!  As far as we know, Council never fired a City Manager, this may be the first, and it must have been for a good reason.  But knowing Russo he probably preferred being fired to receive more bang for his buck through the taxpayer.  On the other hand, don’t you love it when Councilman Jim Perry wished him well!  The bustle and tussle of rumors were coming through the TMC notification center earlier today stating City Manager John Russo has been fired without cause, and was announced at Today’s April 17, 2018 City Council Meeting.  Fired without Cause?  Probably to avoid litiigation.  It was a 4 to 3 vote that came while Russo was performance review was being undertaken by Council in closed session.  Councilman Steve Adams, Chuck Conder, Mike Gardner and Jim Perry were the four who voted to fire City Manager John Russo.  Questions arise as to Councilman Steve Adams and Mike Gardner change in vote this time around.  Did they have a come to Jesus meeting with the godfather himself… John Tavaglione?

But what may have been the last straw for Council, was coming to the realization that a crime may have allegedly occurred.  The fact the Mayor can veto a resolution should be the focus. What our City Attorney and City Manager allegedly did is present a contract to Council without a resolution, as required by Municipal Code and/or City Charter.  Therefore the argument is that the Mayor cannot veto their employee contracts, because there is no resolution, which is true, but not without violating City Charter.  Further, there may be some culpability on Councilman Chris Mac Arthur’s part, who at the time was Mayor Pro Tem and signed the Russo contract, in lieu of Mayor Bailey being in town as required by Charter.  Hence, Mac Arthur violates the rules of the City Charter by overstepping his bounds.  This was a true miscalculation in judgement.

Rumor is that Mike Hestrin’s District Attorney’s office was brought in to investigate and ask questions regarding City Manager John Russo’s contract.  Hell broke loose with City Councilman Jim Perry and City Attorney Gary Geuss, who blamed Perry for bringing the District Attorney in.  Chief Financial Officer Adam Raymond was questioned by Councilman Jim Perry of why certain relevant issues such as Russo’s vacation pay out were not brought forward to him in the name of transparency.  It seems that tension continues on the City Hall Seventh Floor with City Attorney Gary Geuss and Chief Financial Officer Adam Raymond, who always seemed to be pressed anyway, when answering relevant questions.  What did he really know?  The blame game continues.

Could Former Interim City Manager Lee McDougal be the choice for interim City Manager once again for the City of Riverside?  Lee again, comes with his own set of baggage as we indicated in prior post on TMC.  TMC knows the real story of Lee McDougal of what happened in the City of Montclair.  Let’s not forget his attempt to close camera close ups because he couldn’t handle the free speech at public comment.  Yes, Lee will be nothing more than another bobble head.

Did City Manager make a miscalculation in judgement when it came to pushing the issue of remunerations?  Riverside’s Cool Conceited City Manager was finally taken down by the old guard of Riverside.  His vanity got the best of him.

The story of John Russo is nothing new, he climbed the ladder of success and became the top dog in Alameda and Riverside and I’m sure some other unsuspecting city will be glad to have him.  He only lasted three years in the small Southern California City of Riverside, and didn’t even complete his full contract.  His arrogant personality got in his way and the Council finally may have had enough.

Were these the reasons John Russo was fired tonight?  And if so, is this the beginning of John Russo’s, and not Mayor Bailey’s, legal problems.  Local resident activist Jason Hunter sums up the problems with the Russo contract.

THE CASH OUT PROBLEM: CITY MANAGER JOHN RUSSO’S STATEMENT AT CITY COUNCIL TUESDAY FEBRUARY 6, 2018: UNBEKNOWNST COUNCILMAN JIM PERRY WHO WAS BEHIND THE RUSSO CONTRACT NEGOTIATION, APPARENTLY AND EVIDENTLY MAY NOT HAVE HAD ALL PERTINENT INFORMATION NECESSARY IN ORDER TO COMPOSE A CONCLUSIVE DECISION.

According to the video City Manager John Russo told Council he would like to take more time to spend with his family and apparently not cash vacation, as opposed to using them.  But the truth of the matter he evidently cashed out the $50K vacation pay.  In addition, the mortgage loan for his home of $675K, should have been $625K, he therefore also cashed out another 50K for a total of $100K. What gives?  More culpability on Councilman Chris Mac Arthur for not doing a proper assessment on the property?  It now places City Council in a precarious position with the eyes of District Attorney Mike Hestrin’s Office clearly positioned on this activity.

According to City Manager John Russo’s statement..  “I want to be forced to take more vacation, the idea here, I work all the time, I have a kid in the bay area and a mom in a dementia ward in New York…”

“I’d like to feel that I can take that time off, and that I have to take it off, so the city saves money by my not cashing it, since I can’t cash it I can’t accrue it..so I gotta take vacation..”

Russo leaves his position with a years severance, the contract entitles Russo to receive pay and other benefits worth about $471,000 this year and a course his $675,000 low-interest home loan.  Not to shabby for a short stint, now he will travel to another unsuspecting town.  CFO Adam Raymond fumbles to find words to answer simple direct questions by Mayor of cash outs by the City Manager.  Interesting enough, Russo interrupts.  While the council fired him without cause… they are going to wish that he was.  Because if they know or find that there was behavior to knowingly defraud the Council and the taxpayer, that would be a felony, and also known as misappropriation of funds.

CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY BY CITY MANAGER AND CITY ATTORNEY? RIVERSIDE ACTIVIST JASON HUNTER GIVES THE LOW DOWN ON THE LOU DESMOND & CO RADIO SHOW TODAY: 04.18.2018

 

COMMENTS FROM THE FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, THE PRESS ENTERPRISE, WE ARE ASPIRING TO BE IN THAT REALM OF HONOR!

CLICK TO ENLARGE

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

…AND CITY ATTORNEY OPINIONS! – JASON HUNTER

IT’S SIMPLY JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE….

TMC has long-believed that the modern-day role of City Attorneys in corrupt Southern California governments has been to provide legal cover for City Councils who wish to steal from the general public.  No better case study could we find than the current one, where it appears City Attorney Gary Geuss gives biased, shoddy legal opinions to thwart Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey’s veto powers in order to ram through his and his buddy, City Manager John Russo’s, gold-plated contracts.

Last Tuesday, local resident Jason Hunter rode in on a white horse to save Team Bailey by systematically laying waste to the City’s $1 million legal team of Russo and Geuss’ excuses as to why certain parts of their contracts are valid by explaining why an appropriations measure (in this case a resolution called the Master Fringe Benefits and Salary Plan) MUST coincide or precede a spending measure (in this case their contracts).  He called for the dynamic duo to return their ill-gotten gains or follow the City’s long-standing processes and laws and bring forward the appropriations measure by resolution (with Mayor Bailey waiting in the wings with his veto we presume).

WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ RESOLUTIONS!

WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T TAKE ON CITY HALL?

In the above video Hunter continues to disassemble the two executives case for keeping their booty, by explaining how apparently, the section of our City Charter the Russo/Geuss team calls (in an email by cannon fodder proxy, HR Director Stephanie Holloman) out as excluding the 3 Charter Officers contracts from coverage under the Master Fringe Benefits and Salary Plan actually states that the 3 Charter Officers contracts are covered under the Master Fringe Benefits and Salary Plan.  Fresh out of Bill Clinton cigars, instead we give the legal wordsmithing by the Russo/Geuss (with an assist from new kid on the block Michael Colantuono?) team here this year’s first annual “TMC Hudson/Priamos-memorial bullpoop award,” for self-service masquerading as public service.  We will ask Chamber Queen Cindy Roth whether we can present the award at the Chamber’s Mayors’s State of the City address next year if we can find an extra $50 to buy a seat at the mutual admiration society’s premier event.

Hunter then proceeds to produce the resolutions that accompanied Geuss’ own contract from 2015 and even Laguna Woods’ hustler former City Manager Brad Hudson original contract from 2005, both indicating that the spending authority (complete with the Mayor’s signature) must be created BEFORE/AS employment contracts can be/are signed.  Apparently, our current City Manager/Attorney duo think they’re special because it’s been widely acknowledged by 5 (Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey, Happy, and Bashful) of the 7 dwarfs on the Council that, “you’d have to be an idiot not to keep them here.”  We’ll let you decide which dwarf is whom (between Gardner, Melendrez, Soubirous, MacArthur, and Adams)…and whom the real idiots are.

2/6/18: WARD 5 CITY COUNCILMAN CHRIS MACARTHUR IMPLIES WE’D BE IDIOTS NOT TO APPROVE THE CITY MANAGER’S $450,000+ CONTRACT

2/6/18: WARD 7 CITY COUNCILMAN STATES, “WE’RE DOUBLE-DATING FRIENDS,” IN OBVIOUS CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST…AND MENTIONS COUNCIL ONCE-AGAIN VIOLATES THE BROWN ACT BY AGREEING TO OPEN CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS EARLY IN 2015 WITHOUT INFORMING THE PUBLIC

And then Hunter brings down the hammer of truth: if the spending resolutions amending the Master Fringe Benefits and Salary Plan, which HAVE to be approved by our elected City Council, don’t apply to our 3 Charter Officers at Team Russo contends, how was the Master Fringe Benefits and Salary Plan amended anyway? It’s a classic Catch-22.  Only real question left is, “whodunit?” and we’ll get to that shortly for our not-captive audience.

You see dear readers, we know a little sumptin’ sumptin’ about how this game works from an operational standpoint that Messieurs Russo/Geuss from their high-fallutin’ places on the dais may not – Payroll doesn’t print those government checks without checking the Master Fringe Benefits and Salary Plan first.  And who maintains/revises/amends that plan?  Well, according to our Municipal Code, Human Resources Director Stephanie Holloman does! …as approved by City Manager Russo.  And so it appears, in order to get paid their loot, Mr. Russo approved his and Geuss’ checks, while Geuss provided the legal cover for this shady business.  And so far our City Council, led by love/star-struck pinheads using emotion-based decision-making and in the case of Ward 7 Councilman Steve Adams, hot dinner dates, has done nothing to stop this monkey business…all designed to thwart the Mayor’s Charter-protected veto power and to pillage the taxpayer.

Yup, there’s gonna be trouble all-right, right here in the Ole’ River City.  And TMC will be right here with our popcorn reporting on the real stories the Press Enterprise doesn’t print anymore.

ADDENDUM 3/14/18: We noticed below, in the email response to Jason Hunter, Human Resources Director Stephanie Holloman attempts to sidetrack him by slightly changing the wording.  She changed Chapter 2.32.030, where it says “City offices.”  It should say “City officers.”  Very sneaky Ms. Holloman, but we don’t miss a beat at TMC.

Stephanie states this in the email:  2.32.030 – The basic monthly salary plan for City offices and employees shall be established by resolution of the City Council.

Riverside Municipal Code states this:  2.32.030 – The basic monthly salary plan for City officers and employees shall be established by resolution of the City Council.

HUMAN RESOURCES RESPONSE TO HUNTER EMAIL

                    

BRADHUDSONRESOLUTION2005                               GARYGEUSSRESOLUTION2015

 

                         

ART VII CITY CHARTER                                            PERSONNEL SYSTEM

SALARY SCHEDULE WITH REVISED, NON-AUTHORIZED NUMBERS 2017

In what appears to be red meat for the lions, Hunter also discusses the possibility that City Manager John Russo gave himself a 4% raise on January 1st, 2018, when his contract wasn’t passed until February 6th.  Click to view City Manager John Russo’s pay stubs.  You will see that in December 2017 his hourly rate is $151.21; once the new year began in January 2018 his hourly rate shot up to $157.26!  That’s a 4% increase!  This was done without Council passing the contract!  You’ll find that in February 2018 it was decreased to an hourly rate of $155.75, which Council passed at the 3% increase.

We hear this might be a “clerical error,” but what if it’s part of an ongoing pattern?  It appears that Russo gave himself a $28,000 raise in Oakland as the elected City Attorney.  Who signed his time card?!  The political in-fighting continues and the dirty laundry continues to be exposed … mostly their skivvies.

CLICK TO VIEW RUSSO PAYSTUBS 2017-2018

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Jason Hunter was the keynote speaker for a full house again at the RRR (Residents getting Reprehensible for Responsible Representation) meeting on Monday, March 12, 2018.  This community group must be doing something right since their Councilmembers, Jim Perry and Steve Adams, refuse to attend, especially if Mr. Hunter is allowed to tell the truth speak about topics of their constituents’ concern.  Shout out to Sharon Mateja for inviting Sneezy and Sleepy them anyway!

BUDGET CRUNCHES, 25% EMPLOYEE RAISES, MAYOR VETOS AND LAWSUITS….OH MY!

THE ABOVE VIDEO IS FROM THE QUESTION ANSWER SECTION OF THE R.R.R. MEETING FROM THE RESIDENTS TO JASON HUNTER.

CITY OF RIVERSIDE:02.06.2018: Councilman Mike Soubirous tells the public what Los Angeles thinks of us folks here in Riverside. Are we just a bunch of hillbilly’s with not a heap of book learning?  We at TMC can do all that fancy ciphering without using our fingers.

THIS IS FOR JOHN ZAVESKY FROM THE WOOD STREETS, WHO SENT THIS IN.  IT LOOKS TO ME THAT RIVERSIDE WOOD STREET NEIGHBORS ARE GETTING RESTLESS ON CITY ISSUES!  NOWS (NEIGHBORS OF THE WOOD STREETS) WHERE ART THOU?  YOU ARE MISSING THE BOAT JUST ABOUT NOWS… THE HEAT IN THE KITCHEN COULDN’T BE HOTTER!

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

NOT-SO-FAST ON THOSE SHINY NEW CONTRACTS!

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

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

                       

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

        

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

                         

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

 

 

                                   

CITY CHARTER                              FRINGE BENEFITS                     SALARY REGULATIONS

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

RIVERSIDE’S CONTRACT-GATE: ONE QUESTION REMAINS

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

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

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

October 21, 2016: “Hey Riverside Live”, with Jason Hunter on the sales tax measure known as Measure-Z along with host Ralph Torres and Patrick Maloney.  A must watch video and also remember to Vote NO on Measure-Z!

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

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CITY MANAGER RUSSO IS IN THE DRIVERS SEAT….HOW SAFE DO YOU FEEL?

jones_RUSSO-copy-620x465

Our Fugacious, City Manager Mr. Russo and Assistant City Manager Marianna wrote an editorial about the current state of  “Fiscal Reckoning”, in the City of Riverside. He was trying to defuse the message that the city is going down the path of bankruptcy.  I think Mr. Russo needs to leave the messaging to the professionals. His office is only making it worse and more obvious. You can read the full article on the Press Enterprise.

Who are the Perennial Critics or should I say who are the Truth Tellers. Me Vivian Moreno, Dvonne Pitruzzello, Raychelle Sterling, Jason Hunter, Kevin Dawson, Karen Wright, Marilyn Whitney, Aurora Chavez, Scott Simpson and my man Javier Moreno, we all work really hard and our motivation is to protect the underserved, disabled, elderly, and the  taxpayer/ ratepayer from bad decision making at city hall that will ultimately raise taxes and our utility bills.

Because I was referred to in this article I needed to answer or clarify the statements that were made. We took out all the fat or unnecessary verbiage and just left in the substance.

The city of Riverside has enjoyed financial success in the past decade, most notably through the on-time and on-budget delivery of the nearly $2 billion Riverside Renaissance capital improvement program. The city rode out the Great Recession with grace. By Borrowing or Stealing (depending who you ask) from Riverside Public Utilities, Water fund, Sewer fund, Electric fund, Workmans comp.fund, and the Rate Payer. Now, the city is in a “Fiscal Reckoning of this magnitude”, those are your words Mr. Russo not ours.

That success, however, was partially due to budgeting practices that are no longer sustainable. Whether it was borrowing from other funds to prop up the city’s General Fund. Why would the General fund have to be propped up? Our General fund cannot function without the propping up by Riverside Public Utilities…..REALLY BIG MISTAKE!

There is nothing ethically wrong with these practices, NO… IT”S JUST PLAIN STUPID, and they are certainly not illegal.  Depending on who you ask.  Indeed, many cities employ some variation of such budgeting practices, and Riverside could have continued doing so for many years without encountering serious financial difficulties.  Just like the city of Bell.

However, reliance on such practices is not sustainable over the long term, and goes against the principles of prudence and conservatism in municipal budgeting.  First you say we could have continued down this path for many years and now you say it’s unsustainable, WHAT? You sound like a crooked politician, maybe you should elaborate on (long term) and (many years).

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

While the projected deficit numbers may seem scary, they are not surprising – the city has had an expenditure problem for years. The very smart Perennial Critics recognized a expenditure problem years ago. The Council, over the last 10 years voted yes to all the expenditures. No one was listening to the very smart citizens who saw the writing on the wall. BUMMER!

All city departments will recommend cuts to the council, and, while it is management’s intent to minimize service reductions, those impacts are probably unavoidable in the face of a fiscal reckoning of this magnitude. Why? Because the only effective budgeting tool available to the council is service cuts; in California, most revenue increases require voter approval.  Are you going to cut the contracts for Government Entertainment? I can answer that NO! So let’s get this perfectly clear the Citizens have their services cut but we the citizens continue to pay for Government Entertainment. Most of the citizens of Riverside will never have the opportunity to afford to go to the Fox Theatre but they will still have to pay for it! We lose Police and Fire but we keep Rusty’s buddy.. Live Nation….REALLY! Is this because your band, Mr. Russo will be the ongoing featured act headlining at the FOX..It usually is self serving isn’t it!

Moreover, Riverside will now pass its budget within the context of a five-year financial plan.

This approach to municipal budgeting is bound to find more potential issues that demand attention.

As we hold ourselves to a higher budgetary standard, The real challenge John and Marianna is to wean the general fund off the RPU gravy train.

Unfortunately, some perennial critics of the city have confused the cure (early diagnosis of future budget challenges) with the disease (a negative imbalance between ongoing expenses and ongoing revenue). These folks have been frightening some Riversiders by proclaiming loudly that the city faces imminent bankruptcy. It’s amazing to me that we are labeled critics when all we ask for is the truth. When you make truthful statement like “Fiscal Reckoning, and while the projected deficit numbers may seem scary, they are not surprising,” these statements scare the folks. Even though you are in the driver seat Mr. Russo we will still demand the truth.

Let us state unequivocally that the city of Riverside is not going bankrupt; in fact, the city could have continued on its prior path for many years without suffering financial doom. But we believe that our standard should be higher than the very “low bar” of “just don’t go bankrupt.” We are committed to a rational budget in which ongoing revenue meets ongoing expenses, and long-term capital needs, like road repair and tree trimming, are properly covered.  Mr. Russo you cannot unequivocally state that the city is not going bankrupt. When you say the city need to be propped up. That sounds as dumb as Mike Gardner saying there were pots of gold.  We could not exist without the propping up of public utilities.

pot-of-gold

You also state very clearly in this editorial that, budgeting practices are no longer sustainable, We are experiencing a Fiscal Reckoning of this magnitude, projected deficit numbers may seem scary, and Residents and business owners may hear things that make them uncomfortable, and perhaps even a bit nervous about Riverside’s financial health. You can lay it out any way you like but what the critics are absolutely sure about 100% is that the life line to the General Fund is Public Utilities. The General Fund needs to be propped up. This is a scary situation to be in. We are one legal challenge away from a disaster….. BANKRUPT! That’s the truth.

As Riverside moves through weeks of introducing, refining and, ultimately, approving a budget for fiscal years 2016-17 and 2017-18, there will be some bumps in the road. Residents and business owners may hear things that make them uncomfortable, and perhaps even a bit nervous about Riverside’s financial health.  Mr. Russo you can make your case to the public any way you like, but there will be no new rate increases or new taxes. I can assure you of that. BRING IT ON!

We encourage everyone in Riverside to attend the council’s budget hearings or go to EngageRiverside.com to let us know what you think and be a part of that solution. Together, we will ensure that our city’s great past will be honored by an even greater future built upon sound and secure finances. What a joke! sound and secure finances were built on the backs of the RATE payers, overcharging and bilking Riverside Public Utilities has been going on for over a decade. The City Council is responsible for this entire fiasco. THEY OWN IT! The Perennial Critics encourage everyone to attend.

John A. Russo is Riverside city manager; Marianna Marysheva-Martinez is assistant city manager.

NOW FOR A LITTLE MUSIC TO SOOTHE THE SAVAGE BEAST…

VOTE VIVIAN MORENO MAYOR 2016, DON’T FORGET THE DEBATE TOMORROW NIGHT APRIL 28TH AT THE STRATTON CENTER (7:00PM TO 8:30PM), BORDWELL PARK, 2008 MARTIN LUTHER KING BLVD., RIVERSIDE.

According to RivPublic, anonymous contributor to Thirty Miles of Corruption, “And about Russo, the man rocks! Can play the electric guitar and keyboard (and kinda sing??). Maybe he could pull a rabbit out of his hat and find some $$$$ too!”

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,” “OBNOXIOUS,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” “FIT TO BE VIEWED FROM THE REAR” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  YES WE ADMIT WE OUR ALL OF THAT AND MORE, WHICH IN CURRENT TERMS IS KNOWN AS “UNPOLITICALLY CORRECT.”  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO THE ACLU.  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  … AGAIN, THANK YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!  CONTACT US:  thirtymilescorruption@hotmail.com