Posts Tagged ‘mike gardner’

Again is this another display of our culture favoritism and selective treatment within the gates of emerald city? (Item #9).  The ambulance debacle, government again interfering with the free market system to the point of allowing a monopoly?  City councilman Paul Davis was right to ask the question if it’s the cities policy to allow one ambulance company, American Medical Response, in the city.  Does this violate antitrust laws?  What’s quite interesting is that the city issues franchise agreement to control who runs non-emergency ambulance services.  Any ambulance company is allowed to apply, but the clincher is AMR is the only company to be issued one.  The city firefighters union opposes Mission Ambulance’s bid to serve Riverside.  Why would a firefighters union get involved in the business of rendering an opinion?  Questions are continually raised in regards to union influence in the city, and to the extent of special interest request.  But you have your answer as to why no other franchise agreements were ever issued over the last 50 years.  But again, the city can save money by placing more services up for bid.  (Item #9) Again, is the city and the firefighters union involved in a monopoly? And are the firefighters unions really looking toward the health and safety of the public?  In City Council session,  The Public Safety Commission will be recommending that the Council deny Mission ambulance from attaining a franchise agreement.  Get this, the Public Safety Commision is made up of the City Council, Chris Mac Arthur, Nancy Hart and Andy Melendez.  Further, Fire Chief Steve Early will actually be conducting the assessment of Mission ambulance’s application, and rendering an opinion to the Public Safety Commision.  Yes, I’m not making this up, it’s incestuous.  Can you guess what is going to be their decision?  In addition, the City pays AMR for certain training services to the Firefighters etc., in addition, AMR has had their own set of problems.  But it appears that according to the references in favor of Mission Ambulance, that the city would turn a blind eye to the health and safety of Riversidian’s in favor of alleged special interest.

UPDATE: COUNCIL VOTES TO DENY MISSION AMBULANCE A FRANCHISE, EXCEPT FOR COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS.  AMR HAS CONTRIBUTED TO THE CAMPAIGN’S OF CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS, INCLUDING DAVIS.  MISSION AMBULANCE CONTRIBUTED TO DAVIS ONLY.  BACK IN 2009, CONFLICT OF INTEREST CHARGES WERE FILED AGAINST AMR’S PETER HUBBARD, WHO WAS ALSO CHAIRMAN OF THE RIVERSIDE POLICE REVIEW COMMISSION.  MISSION AMBULANCE WAS CORRECT IN SAYING THAT MISINFORMATION HAS BEEN FED.  MISINFORMATION SUCH AS CHIEF STEVE EARLY STATEMENT THAT MISSION AMBULANCE MAY NOT RESPOND, IF THEY WERE CALLED, BECAUSE OF A COST FACTOR.  COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS ALSO STATED MISSION AMBULANCE REFUSES TO RESPOND TO PEOPLE WHO CANNOT PAY.  AMERICAN MEDICAL RESPONSE IS CONTRACTED FOR 911 SERVICES WITH THE CITY, AND YOU ARE ONLY CALLED IF CONTRACTED FOR 911 SERVICES.  MISSION AMBULANCE WOULD LIKE TO SERVE THE RETAIL END, AND CONTRACTS INDIVIDUALLY WITH PROVIDERS, AND SHOULD AND COULD HAVE THE OPTION TO CONTRACT FOR 911 SERVICES AT THE STANDARD CONTRACTS RATES IF ALLOWED.  MISINFORMATION ON THE DAIS?  CHIEF EARLEY RECOMMENDED THE APPLICATION BE DENIED, BUT WAS AT A LOSS OF WORDS TO RATIONALLY EXPLAIN IT.  WHEN ASKED BY PAUL DAVIS AS TO THE DETAILS OF THE DENIAL, CITY ATTORNEY GREG PRIAMOS WAS THEIR TO RESCUE AND SPIN, AND REMINDING EVERYONE OF THE ISSUE AT HAND.  THIS WAS REMARKABLY DONE MORE THAN ONCE AS TO CEASE COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS’S QUESTIONING.  IN RELATION TO THIS PROTECTIVE BEHAVIOR, A CLOSE OUTSIDE FRIENDSHIP IS ALLEGED BETWEEN CITY ATTORNEY GREG PRIAMOS AND PETER HUBBARD WHO HAVE BEEN SEEN AT FAMILY GATHERINGS, NOW RAISING QUESTIONS AGAIN OF CONFLICT INTEREST.  FURTHER, COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS WAS ALLEGED SEEN HAVING DRINKS WITH PETER HUBBARD AT RIVERSIDE’S SALTED PIG RESTAURANT ON 10/11/2011.  WOULD THIS HAVE ANY EFFECT ON HIS DECISION MAKING ON THIS ITEM AS A COUNCILMAN?   HOW ABOUT THE CLOSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COUNCILMAN AND MAYOR PRO-TEMP CHRIS MAC ARTHUR, EVEN THE MAYOR HIMSELF, RON LOVERIDGE?  AND LET’S NOT FORGET THE INFAMOUS BAD BOY’S THEMSELVES, BRAD HUDSON AND TOM DESANTIS.  WHAT ABOUT THE MILLIONAIRE’S CLUB?  WOULD MISSION AMBULANCE HAVE A LEGAL CASE AGAINST THE CITY UNDER THESE GROWING CIRCUMSTANCES?  DOES THIS NOW MEAN ONE FOR THE FIRE CHIEF, AND ONE FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE INTEREST OF THE UNION BROTHERHOOD? WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE CITY’S INCESTUOUS RELATIONSHIPS EFFECTING THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THE THE COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE, WITH POSSIBLE GRAND VIOLATIONS OF ANTITRUST LAWS?

Talking about firefighters their still negotiating their salaries and fringe benefits in closed sessions again under (Item #5), with you guessed it , the firefighters union etc.  Hopefully they’ll be negotiating low, because the city can’t afford to pay them more.  After all, the city will be at a standstill by next year 2012 when bonds come due. Maybe we should do as Norco did, dissolve their City Fire Department and bid out. In their case they went with Cal Fire/ Riverside County Fire Department,  or another alternative for saving money is go back to the Volunteer Fire Department. Another idea would be to dissolve RPD, and bring in the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in order to save money.  Excessive pensions is placing a large dent in the Cities budget. It’s no secret that 70% to 80% of a cities budget goes to payroll. (Item #5, Closed sessions of course).  This is a good reason that the City Charter needs to be modified, and whereby items as this should be in open session to be scrutinized by the public, and these closed door sessions leave an open door to abuse, at taxpayer expense.  And that my friends is how the city rolls..

Parking Citations Amnesty. Parking always a problem in Riverside and excessive violation fees at $41.00 a pop is another.   Won’t work, people have no money, honest! (Item #16)  The idea proposed by Public Works Director Siobhan Foster is that the end result of the amnesty program, the city will bring in $33,925.00 in revenue.  The actual total revenue expected from the amnesty program is $125,025.00.  But this figure will be offset by the initial expense of the taxpayer have in the amount of $91,000.00 to implement the plan.  THE BOTTOM LINE, IT ORDER TO BRING IN 27% BACK IN REVENUE, IT WILL COST THE TAXPAYER BY THE OFFSET COST, 73%.  I WOULD ALSO ASSUME THAT THE PERCENTAGE IS HIGHER DUE TO THE COST AND ATTEMPT TO RECOVER PRIOR COST TO THIS PROPOSAL, THEREFORE THE REVENUE BROUGHT IN FROM THE AMNESTY PROGRAM WOULD ACTUALLY BE LESS THAN 27% AS INDICATED.  NOW WE KNOW WHY SIOBHAN FOSTER IS MOVING PLACES, AND PASADENA PICKED HER UP LIKE A BAG OF CLEAN SOCKS!

One more week to go on naming city hall!  But after the item #9 debacle, we all know how that is going to turn out as well…  Bad news for Rin Tin Tin…

UPDATE:10/18/2011: A VERY SENSITIVE AMR CANCELS LEASE AGREEMENT WITH MURRIETA OVER A COUNCILMAN’S STATEMENT.  MURRIETA URGES COMPETITIVE BIDDING ON AMBULANCE CONTRACTS.    DID THEY ALSO HAVE A PROBLEM TAKING $1.4 MILLION IN “BLOOD MONEY” TO LOWER RESPONSE TIMES AS ALLEGEDLY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE TOOK?

UPDATE:10/29/2011: WHILE COUNCILMAN STEVE ADAMS BELIEVE OUTSIDE AMBULANCE COMPANIES WOULD NOT PICK THOSE WHO CANNOT PAY WITHIN THE CTY, IT APPEARS THE COUNTY HANDS OUT A STIPEND, AN ENCENTIVE ETC. TO COVER THAT COST. 

UPDATE:12/08/2011: ACCORDING TO THE STATE AGENCY THAT OVERSEES COUNTY MEDICAL SERVICE PLANS, RIVERSIDE OFFICIALS DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO STOP QUALIFIED AMBULANCE COMPANIES FROM FROM PICKING UP PATIENTS IN THE CITY.  THE QUESTION MANY CITY RESIDENTS ARE ASKING, IS THE CITY VIOLATING ANTITRUST LAWS?

UPDATE:02/13/2012: THE STATE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES AUTHORITY (EMSA) STATES THAT THE CITY AND COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE OVERSTEPPED IT’S AUTHORITY IN LIMITING AMBULANCE SERVICES.  COULD THE $1.4 MILLION AMR PROVIDES RIVERSIDE EACH YEAR FOR PARAMEDIC TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT CONTRIBUTE TO HOW THE CITY VOTES ON ISSUES THAT IMPACT AMR?  OTHERS HAVE MENTIONED THAT THE $1.4 MILLION ALLOWS AMR TWO MORE MINUTES TO THEIR MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE RESPONSE TIME.  JUST LIKE HAVING A BAD BURRITO, IT JUST DOES’T SIT WELL IN THE STOMACH’S OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS.  BRUCE BARTON, DIRECTOR OF THE RIVERSIDE COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES AGENCY, ACCORDING TO THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENT PREVIOUSLY WAS IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF AMR AS OF 2004.  COULD THIS CONTRIBUTE TO A CONFLICT OF INTEREST OUTCOME?

UPDATE: 05/11/2012: COMMMENTER ON THE PRESS ENTERPRISE REGARDING THE AMBULANCE MONOPOLY IN THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE..

No,  what’s going on, you’ve got three mayoral candidates who already know from debates and feedback this is a major campaign issue and they don’t want to have to make any decisions about it before the June election. Gardner must think that most of us just got off the turnip truck yesterday based on his comments. But you know what? People in this city are capable of independent thought without being patronized. This whole ordinance was written back in the late 1980s to protect Goodhew Ambulance which was tied in heavily through the people connected to the city council and mayor at the time. It’s a shame that nothing’s changed since even though the city’s grown both in size through annexations and through its population.  The ambulance companies should call the Office of the Inspector General and ask him or her to initiate an investigation of the Federal Anti-Kickback statute. At best, there’s potential for a huge conflict of interest including financially in this case, but looking at the lettering of the statute, it might be more than that.   Exceptions or “safe reservoirs” for this law pertain to trying to avoid monopolies in high-need areas not create one. I’m sure if the inspector general has to start an inquiry into what’s going on, the City Council will be in a rush to reschedule its workshop.   – Mary Shelton, University of California, Riverside

WHO WILL BE HIDING BEHIND THE COMPUTER NEXT WHEN THE AUDITOR COMES ASKING QUESTIONS? CHECK BACK WEEKLY…THAT IS, EVERY CITY COUNCIL TUESDAY! WE’LL EVEN PROVIDE THE DIRECT LINK SO YOU CAN CHECK THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL AGENDA. CALL YOUR LOCAL ELECTED COUNCIL PERSON AND THE MAYOR AND REQUEST THAT A FORENSIC AUDIT BE DONE BY STATE CONTROLLER JOHN CHIANG OF THE CITY HALL BOOKS.   WITH A NEW INTERIM CITY MANAGER, SCOTT BARBER, THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE NEEDS BASELINE NUMBER AS DONE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN ORDER TO ASSURE BALANCED NUMBERS AND TO CLEAR POSSIBLE DISCREPANCIES OF THE GENERAL LEDGER BOOKS. IF THERE IS NOTHING TO HIDE, THE NUMBERS WILL ALWAYS COME UP RIGHT! 

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT, NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE RIVERSIDE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND THAT’S ALL TMC HAS TO SAY ABOUT THAT ONE FOR NOW… THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S MOST “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE.

Have you thought what you are going to say to your constituents, and ready for the debates?  It’s your turn to respond, or will you need a time out?  It will be tough run in 2012, with bonds payments due, tax increments decreasing, the city will not have a penny to spare.  It’s coming soon to a voting booth near you.  TMC welcomes the democratic process and the vote of the people to bring fresh new leadership to the City.  Candidates entering the fiery race are battle harden veterans of Riverside politics.  Councilmen, Mike Gardner, Andy Melendrez and William “Rusty” Bailey.  In addition, Former Councilman Ed Adkinson will entering, as well as a few surprise late comers.  Criticism has been propagated toward Councilman Mike Gardner and Councilman William “Rusty” Bailey of whom recently ran for Council postions in April 2011, but then decided the Mayor’s position was one to be attained.  One blog has venomously trashed Councilman Bailey for interfering with the voting process, to the extent of calling his actions treasonous and unpatriotic. I wasn’t sure what country I lived in for a moment, I was assured it was still the USA.  We all have had family members who have fought in foreign wars,  all to maintain the freedoms that we have today.   It is not my belief that anyone can upset the vote, this simply is part of the democratic process.  To claim that it will, would imply fixing the vote.  We cannot be as other countries and allow are system of government to go to hell in a hand basket!  The more people that take an interest in government, studies it, learns and understands the process, the better government will be, which means, the better leadership we will have.  This campaign is not going to be an easy one, people are down trodden, and it will take a lot more than the usual political rhetoric to win their vote.  TMC wishes all the candidates the best of luck.

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

CLICK ON THE PICK FOR THE HD EXPERIENCE!

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

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

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

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

Is it true that the Redevelopment debt is increasing incrementally $100,000,000.00 per month?  According to the Enforceble Obligation Payment (EOP) in June 2011 the RDA debt was $1.5 Billion, The premliminary draft of the Enforceable Obligation Payment (IROPS-Initial Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule) as of September 27, 2011 states total RDA debt to now be $1.7 Billion.  Much of the the debt is being paid with bond proceeds as a revenue source.  How long can it sustain itself?  This would be as if one pays a debt with a credit card, then later uses another credit card to pay the first credit card.  Instead we are using bonds. Bonds are loans.  A bond is a formal contract to repay borrowed money with interest at fixed intervals.  Will this unsustained failure to deal with lead to banckruptcy?  Illegal or just Bad Business?  Where does the actions of the council breach their fiduciary duty to the taxpayer?  Is there a point whereby bad fiscal decisions just becomes illegal?

“Lying rides upon debt’s back.” -Benjamin Franklin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Husing
Commissioner, CA Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission

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

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT, KEEP CONNECTED WITH TMC…

Riveriside City Councilman Mike Gardner said he disagrees with the characterization of the lease as a backroom deal, but for some people, “I don’t think anything anyone will say will change that perception.”

THIS WEEKS CITY COUNCIL AGENDA WAS THE GIFT THAT KEPT GIVING, AND ONE OF THOSE GIFTS WAS ITEM 40 OF THE CITY COUNCIL AGENDA.   THE “ASSIGNMENT AND ASSUMPTION” OF A LEASE BETWEEN PUBLIC UTILITIES AND BEST, BEST & KRIEGER.  THIS MEANS THAT THE CITY WILL TAKE OVER BB&K’S VERY EXPENSIVE LEASE, SO THEY CAN GO TO A NEW LOCATION THAT IS CURRENTLY IN CONSTRUCTION.  SOUNDS LIKE DEVELOPER MARK RUBIN’S PROJECT, THE CITRUS TOWER BUILDING.  QUESTION IS WHY DOESN’T PUBLIC UTILITIES JUST GO THERE, WITHOUT ASSUMING A BAD DEAL SUCH AS AN EXPENSIVE LEASE? PRIVATE SECTOR PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU IT MAKES NO BUSINESS SENSE!  THEN IT VERY WELL MUST BE POLITICAL.  MARK RUBIN’S RAINCROSS PROMENADE HAS NOT PANNED OUT AS THE CITY EXPECTED EITHER, WITH THE MAJORITY OF UNITS REMAINING EMPTY.  COUNCILMAN MIKE GARDNER STATES,”IT’S A GOOD OPPORTUNITY THAT FELL IN OUR LAPS, SO WE TOOK IT.”  LET’S SEE HOW GOOD OF OPPORTUNITY THIS IS.   FIRST, IT APPEARS THAT BB&K’S LANDLORD STILL HAS BB&K’S SECURITY DEPOSIT, SO IT LOOKS AS RPU/CITY WILL GIVE THEIR SECURITY DEPOSITY DIRECTLY TO BB&K IN THE AMOUNT OF $151,104.00.   THEN BB&K CAN LEAVE AND RPU/CITY MOVE IN AT LOAN SHARK PRICES REGARDING SQ. FOOTAGE.  YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THE MARKET IS DROPPING, BUT THE COUNCIL IS CONSIDERING PAYING $1.00/ SQ.FT. OVER THE CITY AVERAGE AND RIVERSIDE MARKET TRENDS, WHICH BEGINS AT $2.49/SQ.FT. IN 2012 AND ENDS WITH  $2.75/SQ.FT. BY YEAR 2016!  MONTHLY RENT IN 2012 WOULD BE $175,234.00.  IF YOU GO AROUND TOWN THERE ARE MANY SPACES AVAILABLE AT HALF THAT RATE WITH A BOTTOM LINE SAVINGS TO THE TAXPAYER.  MIKE GARDNER STATES, “WE HAVE TO FIND SOMEPLACE TO PUT RPD”.  SOUNDS LIKE RPD WILL BE HOMELESS AND ELGIBLE FOR FOOD STAMPS SOON!   BUT THE CURRENT BUILDING RPD RESIDES IN IS CURRENTLY OWNED BY THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE, AND LEASES THE SPACE AT A LOWER THAN REASONABLE RATES, AS IN $1.00/ YEAR.  WHY MOVE AT ALL?  BUT NEWLY ELECTED SECOND TERM COUNCILMAN MIKE GARDNER, WHO INCIDENTLY  CHANGED HIS MIND MONTHS LATER TO RUN FOR MAYOR,  DOESN’T THINK THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG OR SINISTER IN THIS CHANGE.   I CAN GET A WAREHOUSE FOR $0.65/ SQ.FT TO HOUSE RPD OR PUBLIC UTILITIES IN THESE TIMES, WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?  SWEET DEAL FOR BB&K, I’M SURE THERE IS NOTHING MORE THAN THAT OR EVEN A CONFLICT OF INTEREST, EVEN THOUGH WE ARE USING THEM FOR DIFFICULT CASES SUCH AS UNLAWFUL DETAINERS TO CLEANSE MAIN STREET OF MERCHANTS…. AND IT MUST BE WORKING BECAUSE ACCORDING TO ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER DEANNA LORSON WHAT THE CITY SEEMS TO OWN THE MOST, STOREFRONTS ON DOWNTOWN MAINSTREET.   AND I GUESS IT DOESN’T HURT TO GREASE THE GLUTEOUS MAXIMUS OF THE LIKES OF DEVELOPER MARK RUBIN.   WHY DID RDA UNDERWRITE CITRUS TOWERS IF IT COULDN’T MEET IT’S OCCUPANCY GOALS?  WHY WOULD ANYONE GIVE UP A $1.00/YEAR IN A RECESSION?  BUT IT MAKES YOU WONDER WHY THE CITY CONTINUES TO TERRORIZE THE TAX PAYER, AND THE MORE REASON THAT REDEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED. 

It’s possible Ex Costa Mesa Chief Steven Stavely said it best regarding his city- They act as if they are owners of the business that is the municipal government of the City of Costa Mesa, but they are not, they are merely trustees of these public assets both human and physical and they fail in that role completely. They are in my opinion incompetent, unskilled and unethical.”

UPDATE: 08/03/2011: Back in June 18, 2008 City Council approved the purchase to the Gateway Building at a cost to the tax payer of 3 million.  Public Utilities was then housed within the Gateway Building  and the Orange Square Building.  Once Public Utilities moves to take possession of the current building BB&K resides, the Gateway Building will become empty.  Even though the city mentions the Federal Courts have expressed interest, there is still no current commitment.  This musical chairs  of alleged favoritism will cost and continue to terrorize the taxpayer in higher taxes, waisted money and more wasted unoccupied city owned buildings.

If you haven’t received your  Brad Hudson Farewell Invitation, here it is.  It appears that the City’s restaurant, The Grier Pavillion will be providing the food in order to support Rodney Couch, and at what cost to the taxpayer? Is this even legal in this public arena?  In the past, employee’s would contribute food and drink to such events.  Currently the Community and City of Riverside has yet to receive City Manager Brad Hudson’s official resignation letter.  Does this mean that the taxpayer is obligated to pay the remaining two years of his contract, especially with days left before he leaves?

UPDATE: THE PARTY HARDY WITH BRADLEY PARTY BRINGS ABOUT SOME DISTURBING REVELATIONS WITH REGARDS TO CITY BUSINESS. THE JOKES OR THE ROASTING JOKES ARE A  CLEAR  PROCLAMATION OR A REVELATION OF THE DYSFUNCTIONAL CULTURE OF CITY HALL AND THEIR ABILITY TO CONTINUE  TO CREATE AN ECONOMIC SUBTERFUGE OF DISCEPTION, WHICH IN TURN REFLECTS ON THEIR ABILITIES TO PERFORM AS EXPECTED BY THE COMMUNITY WHICH HAS ENDOWED  THEM WITH THE POWERS  TO GO FORWARD AS INDICATED….

UPDATE: 08/22/2011: Councilman Paul Davis asked that the issue be revisited after questions were raised about the total cost of the move, which entails relocating owntown police and public utilities workers.

UPDATE: 08/23/2011: Councilman Paul Davis first told colleagues he’d heard concerns about “the general perception of the gift of public funds and creating a monopoly”to benefit a private developer, but he ended by saying it was a moot point because the city already has signed a lease.  There is no doubt as to brazen display of conflict of interest displayed perpetrated by the City of Riverside in approving this deal between Best, Best & Krieger, Developer Mark Rubin and the City of Riverside.  “Three peas in a pod.”  How long will the City of Riverside continue to terrorize the taxpayer with shear imcompetance and their breach of fiduciary duty to protect the coffers of hard earned taxpayer monies?  It is not a secret of the contractual agreements between BB&K and the City of Riverside;  even though hard copies don’t exist.  Our we to believe that as taxpayers that we should expect anything less than a written contract?  While the city implies to the community that “we don’t need no stinkin contracts”?  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 should we try to request a rational answer from our Chief Financial Officer, Paul Sundeen, which would be the same.  Is Best Best & Krieger therefore dictating carte blanche on their legal fees to the taxpayer?   Then there is developer Mark Rubin’s connected liason with the City of Riverside and the City’s alter ego, the Redevelopment Agency.  Is is at all possible that BB&K deal was orchestrated and designed to provide a lease revenue stream for the bonds held on the Citrus Tower project?  Paul Chiang are you hearing the Raincross Bells?

UPDATE: 08/25/2011: One source of criticism has been the $20 million loan the city provided the Hyatt through a special federal bond program; the deal leaves the city on the hook if the developer defaults on debt payments.  The timing of the hotel, as far as the expansion of our convention center, is good. Having the hotel is a key to being able to do the expansion,” Gardner said Wednesday. But has Gardner asked the Marriott and Mission Inn of their current already dismal occupancy statistics?

TMC’S PREDICTION IS THAT THE FOX THEATRE WILL BE OUT OF BUSINESS BY JULY 2012, BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PAY THE 2 MILLION DOLLAR YEARLY DEFICIT ON OPERATING COST.  THIS IS BECAUSE THE CITY SHOULD NOT BE IN BUSINESS OF DOING BUSINESS.  THEY SHOULD NOT BE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS, THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS, THE FUTURE HOTEL BUSINESS, PROPERTY MANAGMENT BUSINESS AND REAL ESTATE BUSINESS.  THEY SHOULD BE IN THE BUSINESS AS A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, OF FIXING OUR SEWERS AND REPAIRING OUR POT HOLES!  WHO KNOWS, H.J. “JOE” ZIVNAK MAY BE ABLE TO THEN PICK UP THE FOX THEATRE FOR A COUPLE OF MIL, BECAUSE THAT MY FREINDS, IS HOW THE CITY ROLLS….

According to Brad Hudson’s planned Guccism for Riverside was to transform Downtown into a major entertainment mecca.  But if that was the plan, what is Downtown Riverside going to do now that the New York Style Theatre is non-the-neder?  What are we going to do without Nederlander?  Well, the City of Riverside figured it was a format problem, therefore the new idea is that the format needed to be change according to the geographics.  Well, neder mind, why didn’t we just do that to begin with?  Should we have just kept it local?  It does appears that’s exactly what the prior owner of the Fox, H.J. “Joe” Zivnak, wanted to do until it was taken by eminent domain by the usual suspects at City Hall.  At the time, the then Riverside City Council stated the current owner had failed to restore the historic vaudeville stage and cinema and turn it into a cutting-edge performing arts center.  Well, neder-the-less, it is what it is now, a cutting-edge government runned underperforming arts center.  The next confusing question, is the unreachable Nederlander really out of Riverside?    Not at all, says Fox General Manager Bill Malone. “It’s just a new relationship”, and “they’re (Nederlander) are affiliated with McCoy Rigby Entertainment”.   Malone says he will now pick and choose from Nederlanders’s traveling shows.  Won’t have to take them all.   This sounds sort of like ordering theatre tickets from the internet, you can pick and choose the tickets you want.  Well, I guess there is an internet site where you can pick and choose traveling shows from a list, then add to the cart.  But further, did it ever occur to management why so many Nederlander shows were being cancel?   He goes on to say, “together we can conclude from experience what will be viable.”  But the delusional new relationship is non-existent, and far from viable, consider the yearly 1 million dollar deficit to the taxpayer in operating cost since The Fox Theatre opened.  

Again, as written in the Riverside Outlook on Page 2, the statement that the City of Riverside is bringing in Nederlander affiliate McCoy Rigby Entertainment  from La Mirada on board to the Fox Theatre is also misleading.  The term “affiliation” brings about the understanding that McCoy Rigby is somehow connected with Nederlander as a business associate, or further, that Nederlander has an interest in McCoy Rigby.  Neder is true!  McCoy Rigby does not have an interest in Nederlander or the reverse.  But as I was told from McCoy Rigby per phone conversation is that they work together as colleagues, and will use one or the other as a referral if the other decides neder to take a gig.  Therefore, McCoy Rigby was more of a business referral per Nederlander, if that’s what really happened. So, now let’s stop with the affiliation part and the denial, Nederlander really is gone, but good try on the spin.

Nederlander officials also told the city they were losing money in Riverside, though they didn’t provide figures, according Assistant City Manager Deanna Lorson.    But what Deanna didn’t tell you was that The Fox Theatre was losing money on operations since it opened and the very night she walked the red carpet of the grand opening.  But here are the figures according to the Annual Budget of 2010-2011.  Malone calls it a primary win for the Fox and a secondary win for Nederlander. And let’s not forget there is a third win, too, because this is truly a win,win situation, that is, replacing Nederlander with Orange County’s McCoy Rigby Entertainment.  Well Malone….if you really look at the whole picture the Fox Theatre is also not winning when it is losing money.  Nederlander left because is was losing money. And  McCoy Rigby Entertainment won’t know just yet if it is a win, till they tell us they’re making money. We realize the city meant neder to be misleading, but neder-the-less, you say tomato, I say tomahto, why don’t we just call the whole thing off?  Well Nederlander did, and they meandered right out of Riverside, but neder mind the incidentals!

But how did this all happen? How did the City of Riverside decide they wanted to be in the business of entertainment? As Ex Chief of Police Steve Stavely stated when referring to Costa Mesa City  Council, “They act as if they are owners of the business that is the municipal government of the City of Costa Mesa, but they are not, they are merely trustees of these public assets both human and physical and they fail in that role completely”.  Does Riverside City Hall believe they are the owners of the business they called their Fox Theatre, of whom they have access for meetings and events, and whom receive free tickets for their personal use each month? Which council people were at the top of the list for free taxpayer paid government entertainment tickets? Councilman Paul Davis? maybe Nancy Hart? How bout newly re-elected councilman and candidate for Mayor Mike Gardner?  

Well, an article isn’t an article without an insult or two regarding Riverside.  Emil Marzullo, economic development chief for San Bernardino, which owns the California Theatre, says Nederlander may have “overestimated this market area. I see this area as an immature theater market. Not that the people are immature, but they’re not used to going to theater here.”  Thanks for that analytical synopsis, Emil.  But we could have also said Nederlander was just giving Riverside a trial run, afterall, they are Nederlander! And Riverside is Riverside, not Neanderthal Land! 

Well neder mind the above, the point is they should have kept it local and simple to begin with, and their is no reason why the Fox Theatre should have some sort of entertainment venue every day, especially during the summer.

COME ONE, COME ALL, GOVERNMENT ENTERTAINMENT AT ITS BEST SINCE NEDERLANDER LEFT,  THE GOVERNMENT HIT PARADE BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE TAXPAYER…  THE MAYOR AND I, BYE BYE BRADLEY, THE PHANTOM OF SEVENTH FLOOR, THE BLUE COUNCIL GROUP, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, SINGING IN THE SEWER, SEVEN COUNCILS FOR SEVEN CONTRACTORS, MISS HART GON…..IT IS A BETTER VENUE!

UPDATE:07/20/2011: The theatrics continues when drama king Fox manager William P. Malone told party guests that he is in “partnership” with McCoy Rigby on the Fox’s Broadway season and that he approached the couple to step in after the Nederlander Organization closed its Riverside operation. This is quite different than what was quoted last time, when he stated it was just a new relationship, insinuating that Nederlander never really left, because they are “affiliated” with McCoy Rigby Entertainment, which of course, is not true.

I wish the Fox good sailing. I wish the City government would get out of private enterprise businesss. Socialism.  Management chosen by a private enterprise organization would bring back some of the historic pride of Riverside. The Mission Inn was not built by government. Since 1955 Riverside government has spent (invested) hundreds of millions of dollars trying to push water uphill. Government is the business of mile square. Services to support all those government employees, hundreds of millions in payroll should be the quest of planning for downtown. Bringing a night life to milesquare might be desirable for some but that should be the agenda of private enterprise.   Riverside City Government should not be in any business that competes with the private sector. That is unfair  competition and discourages economic progress.         -Ron, PE Commenter

UPDATE:05/26/2012:  HAS THE FOX LOST IT’S PANTS?  NEW ARTICLE IN THE PE REGARDING OPERATING COST WERE GREATER THAN EXPECTED LEAVING THE FOX IN THE RED, OR SHOULD I SAY, “THE TAXPAYER”.

According to Chief Financial Officer Bret Mason the expected deficit will be $900,000.00 for fiscal year 2012-2013.  While some of the council disturbingly feel the deficit is acceptable, no one in their right mind within the private sector would consider this acceptable.

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

What’s quite disparaging is asking the support, trust and vote of the community to be elected to City Council, but two months later  you decide to run for mayor.  You originally say you are not, but then you do, well how close can you get to weasel?  But there is a secondary weasel in this game, William “Rusty” Bailey who suddenly overnight, also decided he heard the vague calling for the mayor’s seat, but hasn’t jumped into the kettle just yet.  And third, current Councilman Andy Melendrez decided to give a try at Emerald City’s Mayor.  Do we have a underlying breach of trust by these council people to the community? The question is, was this planned and orchestrated? Because if it is, what is their true agenda, more political leverage?  You see, under the city charter, section 404, if a council seat becomes vacant the city council must then appoint someone to fill it.  Two for the price of one!  A strategic political move if you are on good terms with fellow councilmembers.   Once you are Mayor of Emerald City, you may have the support of that chosen council minion for life.  A corruptible offense? Good question, it’s left to be seen.

But we can also assume that the intended council replacement may have already been strategically groomed for that position. Who will it be? Someone close to the council and newly christened mayor? ..an ex-police officer, or even the mayor himself? Or we can we just imagine the perfect replacement?  But what we have is a breach of trust by Councilman Gardner and Bailey toward the community they promised to serve.  When these planned political moves take place it hurts the community by minimizing importance of the community they asked to serve, and it gives the impression to the community that they simply don’t care.  And in times when cities are being financially scrutinized, trust is needed. What is a council to do if they just can’t see themselves with a favorite councilmen?  HUBO the councilbot, is rumored to be Gardner’s replacement if such actions take place.   Could this possibly be a conflict of interest?  Well, there is one thing for sure,  he does like Mike, permanently, it’s been programmed…

UPDATE:07/09/2011: VIDEO: AT THE WARD 1 RAINCROSS DEBATES HELD APRIL 20, 2011, WARD 1 CANDIDATE DVONNE PITRUZELLO ASK THE QUESTION TO DOM BETRO AND MIKE GARDNER IF THEY HAVE INTENTIONS TO RUN FOR MAYOR.  MIKE GARDNER STATES EMPHATICALLY, ” I HAVE NO SUCH PLANS.”  WATCH THE VIDEO AT TIME 1:38:00

UPDATE:07/11/2011: “I HAVE NO SUCH PLANS” COUNCILMAN MIKE GARDNER’S REASON FOR ENTERING THE MAYORS RACE: “….my constituents and supporters have encouraged me to take this step. I have been heartened by the number of people who have said. ‘Yes, do it, ! you are exactly who we need as Mayor.’ No one has said they were disappointed and see this as just a move up in my political career. They understand that I love being the Ward 1 Council member and am running for Mayor because I truly believe I am the best candidate. “I have those skills and traits. It will be a challenging campaign, but I am confident I am the best candidate and that I will prevail.” Well, O.K. Mike, so you are willing to leave the City Council seat because you feel you are now a better candidate for the Mayor’s seat.  But according to a statement in the Press Enterprise,  “Riverside’s mayor is the ceremonial head of the city and gets full-time pay, but he’s not the chief administrator — that’s the city manager — nor does he have much legislative sway beyond setting the council’s agenda, voting to break a tie, and the power to veto council actions.”  Loveridge has never used his veto. So wouldn’t one want to be the City Manager? Or will he attempt that position now that it may soon be open?  And due to the power and control over finances, I believe the City Manager should be an elected position, this may circumvent abuses we currently our seeing, but allow accountability for their actions.  The Mayor of Riverside is the ceremonial head of the city, that would be similar to the King and Queen of England and whereby the Parliament actually holds the power, or at our city level, the City Council.  A commemorative position that reflects the inhabitants of the community, but again a position with no real power?  Well I guess there are ribbon cutting ceremonies, the mayor’s ball and dinner parties to attend… Now that I think about it Mike, the Mayor’s seat probably is a better fit for you.

UPDATE: 07/22/2011:  “People are looking for something that I don’t think exists,” Gardner said. “I  think people are reading perfectly innocent things as something sinister.”  Gardner’s response to allegations of contract favoritism.

The CITY always seems to amaze me, I think Mike Gardner said it best responding to a question regarding high salaries of appointed officials at one of the campaign debates, “We have to pay for talent”.   Regency Tower was bought first with too much money from $126.5 million to $131.5 million.  Now the Orange Street Garage is in the news again, thats the one that looks like the Bellagio in Las Vegas and was built on Redevelopment money.   The sale of the Regency Tower to the County of Riverside included 400 parking stalls from the Orange Street garage.  Zellerbach now states we don’t need all of them anymore and we can sell the city back the rights in the form of a lease for 150 stalls, for a mere $90,000.00.  According to the City Council Memorandum for Tuesday May 24, 2011, the city will pay the county $25.00 a month per stall, that comes to a total of $3750.00 for 150 stalls per month, therefore $90,000.00 for a two year period. It seems quite nominal for a city employee to pay $25.00, where others are paying$35.00 and upwards to $65.00 in some cases and save the taxpayers $90K.   As I’m understanding it, County employees are paying for their parking, as opposed to City employees who don’t.  Regardless, the city states that this mere $90,000 will loosen up parking around the city for the public at large.   Well, anyway, this whole mess originally started before the Regency Towers were built, where city officials thought with new construction, the developer would be bringing in new business to the city and city tax revenues would be boosted.   So they reduced the parking requirement by one-fourth to the developer as an encentive, and agreed to sell him 400 parking stalls from the Orange Street garage for $4 million, that’s $10,000 per stall.   But in January 2007,  the city figured out that it actually cost you and me, the taxpayer,  $7 million for the 400 parking stalls.  That’s $17.500 for each stall, Ouchh!  But it gets better, by October 2008 that number became $8 million and $20,000 per stall.  So the $3 million faux pas become $4 million.  Now what?  Well it appears, that’s why government created Fuzzy Math, Creative Financing and the word “Subsidize”.

Leasing parking spots for government workers is just totally asinine!  If they are incapable of finding a place to park on their own – just like the rest of us manage to do  every day – then let them take public transportation to work. Government workers need to pay for their own parking, just like everybody else.  

 -Comment from PE by Dave’s Not Here

So at the time, Councilman Schiavone knew if the Regency Tower was sold to the County, their would be no intended benefit to the city.  No new business’s or no new workers would be coming to Riverside, and the subsidy would be waisted.  Schiavone said, “I don’t care if it is in writing or not”.  “Make us whole. Give us back the incentive that wasn’t meant to be used like this”.    By then is was just to late, nothing could be done, the city didn’t even think of placing this clause in writing. Now when the county of Riverside bought the Regency, this additional $4 million faux pas then became a convenient  subsidy for the county, the other $4 million was probably added by the developer to the total sale price of the Regency Towers.   Of, course Mike Gardner said this would not happen again, but that’s talent for you.   Parking has always been an issue in Downtown Riverside with merchants and their customers, as with Arts Bar and Grill, which their parking was displaced by city construction.  The city’s less compassionate attitude toward struggling merchants doesn’t help either.  Why doesn’t the city care for merchants?  They suffer the most, having their life saving tied up in their business’s and their future income.  Many around town have been damaged by city redevelopment construction, and many merchants have left with no support effort by the city.  For many of the merchants parking meters were an issue which fell upon deaf ears of city officials.  Now the  issue of parking meters comes up again, shall we now remove them, maybe it was a bad idea to begin with?  First, Smart Park by Dom Betro, then removed and replaced with Parking Meters by Mike Gardner, all at taxpayer expense.  And I understand the parking fund is still running at a deficit which I’m beginning to believe is the standard for city run business’s.  I realize talent can be a good thing.  Bell had their talent in City Manager Robert Rizzo with his benefit and salary package of $1,500,000.00 per year,  but we won’t go into the falsifying public records part.  Regardless, I’m not sure if the city knows what talent is, or what their persception of it is, but I’m still optimistic that my City of Riverside will one day become what it should be, but I believe it will be done without the great talent and expense we now have in city hall.

UPDATE: 05/24/2011: COUNCIL PASSES $90,000.00 FOR CITY EMPLOYEE PARKING, IN LIEU OF PASSING OF $50,000 FOR A CONSULTING FEE FOR A CITY WIDE MASTER BICYCLING PLAN.

Legally we can do whatever we want there,” Hudson said. “The city wasn’t required to preserve any of it.”

It’s a sad day when each day the integrity and history of our once beautiful and fare city falls .  The Ol Press Bindery was on life support until the death rattle was heard by the final falling of what was left of the frontal façade.  And down it went biting the dirt of progress by the iron fist of City Manager Brad Hudson, while the council below him were none the wiser.  Every time an element of historical significance is demolished, the city loses a little bit of who we are as a community.  People travel to cities because of their history, and it would be in the City of Riverside best interest to stop this practice, and in this situation a case of incompetance.   This ultimately is reflected in a lack of leadership and a breach of trust toward the community by sworn elected officials.  The Stalder Building may be next, with a stipulation that if the cost to repair escalates over 350K, it can be torn down.  What do you think will ultimately be the result?  Well its on paper folks!  True shenanigans going on? My opinion it just can’t be anything else, the good ol’ boys will be boys.  As Dave Leonard stated, Chief of the Old Riverside Foundation, “Knocking down a concrete building is not a mistake, this is a major problem for the city”.  And he fears it will get worse, “The Stalder Building is next”.   I guess, now we will rebuild the facade of the Press Bindery with plaster and fiberglass like some movie set prop, and onward, tear down the Stalder Building, will just rebuild the facade.  This will become our city, facades of what was and maybe just a little bit of Disneyland and Moreno Valley?

UPDATE: MAY 29, 2011: The Press Bindery was designed by Henry L.A. Jekel and constructed in 1925 in the Spanish Revival style.  Someone told me that it even housed the Press Enterprise at one point.  There is no doubt there was incompetancy all around, from City Hall to the construction company.  “Legally we can do whatever we want there,” Hudson said. “The city wasn’t required to preserve any of it.”  What should be bothersome and disturbing to Riversidian’s is the arrogance of that statement.  According to the Certificate of Appropriateness, page 3, the city was to preserve the “ENTIRE Spanish Revival portion of the Press Bindery”, not just the frontal wall facade.  It goes on to say on page 4, that “the Press Bindery consist of the original Spanish Revival front portion of the building AND the poured concrete rear work area of the building. This plan will preserve the highly stylized Spanish Revival front portion of the building.” This gives validity to the argument that instructions were not followed.  No mistake here!  It’s part of the cities agenda or Hudson’s agenda.  It’s obvious the City Manager is responsible.  The Mayor and the council members, who also play a part in state redevelopment decisions, are equally responsible as well.  Another play on the community with use of semantics?  These are people who do not care about our city.   We can place new policies in as Councilman Mike Gardner indicated, but what is worth when current policies are not followed or honored.  When someone turns their head for a second, we find ourselves asking, “What happened to this wall, and hey, and what happened to that wall, it was there yesterday”?  Mike, you cannot tell us, “The city made a very serious mistake by tearing down that building the way they did”.  The chain of events that led to the press bindery demolition should be investigated and responsible parties terminated, afterall, it appears employees at City Hall have been fired for lesser offenses.  You carry two positions of responsibility,  City Councilman and as as an agent of Redevelopment, you are the City.  The investigation should be initiated by Ward 1 Councilman, Mike Gardner, this was on his watch and it went right by him.  Or we can hire at outside law firm as Brad Hudson did to investigate the allegations of favoritism by himself.  We all know where that will lead.  The more that the community understands the truth through documentation, Brad Hudson’s arguments simply begins to become more disingenuous, revealing himself, as just a paper tiger.  If you Like Mike call him, and Especially if you Don’t Like Mike, ask him to investigate Brad Hudson’s actions and recommend he vote for his termination, let him know how you feel, 951-826-5991 (office) or 951-941-7084 (cell) or by e-mail at mgardner@riversideca.gov     Let the City Manager, Bradley Hudson know how you feel directly at 951-826-5771 (office) or by e-mail at bhudson@riversideca.gov    There is the story you read, then their is the real story you don’t read, but is yet to come.  Keep in tune, TMC investigates, check for updates. Please give your comments!

UPDATE: 03/12/2012: WHAT REMAINS OF THE PRESS BINDERY REMAINS IN LIMBO ACCORDING THE PRESS ENTERPRISE.