Posts Tagged ‘riverside public utilities’

With the broom of justice sweeping the dirt of Riverside Public Utilities out the back door of the ratepayers’ new $40 million administrative building (complete with $600k board room with $120k of furniture), we find another one who has bitten the dust.  The housecleaning continues in earnest with the resignation of Deputy General Manager Kevin Milligan (a.k.a. Drunk Daddy Jr.) Tuesday.

First, lets all understand the origins of the nickname ‘Drunk Daddy’.  This endearing term was coined by the staff at RPU for their boss, General Manager Girish Balachandran.  To be clear, it does not connote a drinking problem per se, but that you would never know what kind of mood he would come with when he started the day, putting the line staff on edge, and leading to mass defections of talent from our public utility within the past year.  Pictured above, you see the dynamic duo high-fiving after they attempted to strong-arm our neighbors to the west, the City of Norco, over a potential water deal.

What IS evident by the following is that neither knew what the other was doing in their final days in full command.  In Balachandran’s departure speech, he states that Milligan will be taking over as Interim General Manager:

Once I leave, Kevin Milligan will be appointed as Interim General Manager. The City Manager has also retained a recruiter to initiate a nation wide search for a replacement General Manager and expects to fill the position not later than June 2018.

Hmmmm…..But then Balachandran only days later releases the following:

Dear RPU Team Member

Kevin Milligan has announced his retirement as of December 29, 2017:

Here is Kevin’s email that he requested I send to all of you.

“Colleagues,

After 33 years with the City of Riverside, I have elected to retire effective this month.

It has been an honor to work alongside each of you these past many years, collectively dedicated to building a better community.

I will be spending the balance of this month enjoying the holidays with my wife and children. I will work with the executive team to schedule a time after the New Year holiday for a very informal farewell.

I wish you all continued success professionally and personally. I am proud to reflect on what we have accomplished together at RPU.

God Bless,
Kevin

Girish was then told Todd Jorgenson will be interim General RPU Manager by City Manager John Russo when he leaves:

The City Manager has appointed Todd Jorgenson as the Interim General Manager, on my departure January 19.

Assistant City Manager Marianna Marysheva will be working with Todd and our executive team to assist during the interim period.

A press release with more information is attached. In the coming days and next week, starting with the Safety meetings tomorrow morning at the UOC, I’ll visit each of your office locations to be available to answer any questions you may have.

Please call me if you have questions.

Thank you,
Girish

What is the real story here?  Surely Balachandran told Milligan he would be christened interim RPU General Manager when he left and Milligan consented.  If that was the case, what happened from that point on?  Now we find he is retiring?  Guess these kinds of things happen during the chaos surrounding an unconditional surrender.

LEFT HANGING?

The questions residents are asking about their public utilities: what has really been going on over there and who was actually minding the store during the colossal failure of Balachandran’s tenure, culminating with a completely botched rate hike? Would Milligan like a mulligan over his support of Drunk Daddy, and was he left hanging by City brass? And, who’s next on the chopping block?  Stay tuned to TMC for the latest and greatest on the unfolding drama.

TMC EXCLUSIVE VIDEO OF RIVERSIDE CITY MANAGER JOHN RUSSO’S MEETING WITH SOON-TO-BE-EX-GENERAL MANAGER GIRISH BALACHANDRAN JUST BEFORE ANOTHER BOTCHED ATTEMPT AT A RATE HIKE TWO WEEKS AGO:

 

And speaking of recycled trash bureaucrats that have overstayed their welcome, is it time for the last of the disastrous legacy of former City Manager Brad Hudson to finally go…Chief Sergio Diaz?

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

The above video was from the November 28, 2017, Riverside City Council Meeting regarding increasing utility rates.  During public comment, former RPU employee Jason Hunter presents what is discernibly incriminating evidence that the General Manager and staff of Riverside Public Utilities was attempting to deceive the public with reference to rate increases.  Is this part of the reason why Drunk Daddy was just shown the door of their shiny $40 million dollar building (purchased with ratepayer money)?

                        

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE, THE FIRST IMAGE IS THE DRAFT REPORT WITH BALACHANDRAN’S NOTES,  THE SECOND IMAGE IS THE FINAL REPORT WITH THE ALTERED NUMBERS SUBMITTED TO THE RIVERSIDE CITY COUNCIL.  HIT THE HIGHLIGHTED LINKS TO VIEW THE FULL REPORT FOR BEFORE AND AFTER.

The markups and corresponding changes to the report display two items of concern.  One, RPU had significant input towards how this “independent” report was presented to City Council and the Board of Public Utilities earlier this year.  Secondly, the UCR consultant had no problem changing their “independent” report to coincide with RPU’s narrative…. the desire to raise customer rates.

Here’s the lowdown: RPU commissioned at a cost of $72,000 of ratepayer dough a research team at UCR, to determine the financial and social impact of RPU on the Riverside community.  It’s a little-known-fact that UCR procures it electricity and water at special lower rates from RPU than what the rest of us suckers, the community pays, leading some to wonder if tit-for-tat was in play.  Shockingly (sic), the crack team at UCR determined that RPU was the greatest thing since adding that third taco to the combination plate.  How uncanny that this report was timed to come out right before RPU was to call upon a rate increase!  Remarkable was a hand-written comment from General RPU Manager Girish Balachandran (a.k.a. Drunk Daddy) made while reviewing a draft of this UCR report. The note was in reference to numbers the UCR team gave comparing RPU with another utility company known as SoCal Edison. We will get to that Drunk Daddy chicken scratch in a moment.

First, you really cannot compare the two companies: RPU is publicly owned, Edison is not.  Secondly, the UCR team states that Edison customers pay 16.51 cents per kwh compared to RPU customers 16.08 cents. The difference between the two numbers in the draft report submitted by UCR are not wide enough to justify a rate increase for residential electricity customers. But the final report submitted a few months later tells a different story. In the same comparison between RPU and Edison, the numbers magically transform so Edison customers pay 19.00 cents while RPU customers pay 15.70 cents – a very significant difference we’d say!

Drunk Daddy’s handwritten notation states, in blue above in first image, “Check this, we cannot justify a rate increases for residential for next 5 years with this set of numbers, especially residential.”   Voilà! The numbers change in the final report to display a larger compelling disparity, hence, sets precedence and validates RPU’s argument of a badly needed rate increase!

Remember, we the ratepayers own our utility, and it sure looks as if your management team that you employ a very generous salaries and bennies to oversee the best interest of your company, is attempting to hoodwink you for an ulterior motive. What should you do to these employees who are handling your company and your money? I know what I would do.

THE GODFATHER OF RATE INCREASES..

THE GODFATHER OF THE GODFATHER, GREAT GODFATHER, CITY MANAGER JOHN RUSSO…WE’LL UPDATE AND FIND A PIC WITHOUT MAKEUP….DID YOU KNOW THEY BOTH WORKED TOGETHER FOR THE CITY OF ALAMEDA?  AS WE CALL IT, MORE RECYCLED TRASH!

So why does RPU need a rate increase?  Well this is what they are telling the public.  It is gloom and doom, it’s all about the infrastructure, and if we don’t get are antiquated infrastructure upgraded, trouble lies on the road ahead.  With this in mind, the public has asked why the ratepayers are paying for bad management decisions and certain projects which have no benefit to the ratepayer, such as gold plated conference rooms, a $40 million administrative building, excessive dispatcher overtime to the tune of $257,219.00, overcharges to the rate payer which resulted in $325 Million in stockpiled reserves, $72,000 paid to UCR to figure out how to convince the ratepayer of higher rates, $45,000 to Earthquake Lady to go out to the community and scare you into believing that higher rates are somehow a good thing, the fiber optic network and purple pipe being built with ratepayer monies only a handful of big guys will benefit from.  The list is unending.

Did we mention that Drunk Daddy hired a polling firm at a cost to us of $42,000, to determine key words that would help convince the ratepayers of higher rates. This is significant because Balachandran’s signature authorization is maxed at $25,000, so he had to go to City Manager John Russo for authorization.  Russo’s signature authorization is maxed at $50,000 (anything above $50,000 must go to City Council …and the bright lights of a Council meeting for approval).  Russo had knowledge of what was going on at RPU.

What we have here folks is obscene mismanagement with no accountability.  We have an executive management problem.  A problem that began with former Utilities General Manager Dave Wright, and continues now under Girish Balachandran, a.k.a. Drunk Daddy.

Another narrative line RPU is using toward the public, is that they didn’t increase the rates during the recession as to give relief to the taxpayer.  The truth of the matter is that they were increasing the amount of the reserves to the tune of $325 million by overcharging their customers.  But maybe the truth of the matter is that it is all about pensions.  Perhaps it’s all about the unsustainable pension contracts made without the best interest of the taxpayer in mind.  You the taxpayer were not lined with goldplated rewards, you were just simply given the bill.  My position: file for bankruptcy, as many cities in California have done, and renegotiate those unsustainable pension contracts.

GIRISH GRADES $72K UCR REPORT WITH B-, ARE WE IN CLASS?

FLASH FROM THE NOT SO PAST: GRAND JURY COMPLAINT AGAINST RPU:  Back in 2015 we filed a Grand Jury Complaint on the very subject of excessive reserves with the argument that it actually violated fiscal policy, which was passed by City Council.  In other words, the City and RPU actually violated there own policy that they agreed upon by collecting excessive reserves.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

I believe RPU needs to get out of the “engineer” mindset when it comes to explaining just why our utility needs more money in order to stay out of the red.  – Councilman Mike Soubirous

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, “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

TMC exclusive: just in, RPU General Manager Girish Balachandran, a.k.a. Drunk Daddy, is headed out on a rail.  It seems that the City Council just had enough of the embarrassment.  City Manager John Russo has new, high-pay contract coming up, and will do just about anything the Council asks, so just like that, Balachandran sleeps with the fishes.

Does this have anything to do with the recent Governmental Affairs request for an audit of RPU’s involvement with SCPPA (Southern California Public Power Authority) or the allegations that Balachandran marked up so-called “independent” consultant reports to cast himself and in a better light?  The timing would seem so.  It has also been purported that Deputy General Manager Kevin Milligan will be taking a few days off.  Remember folks, TMC didn’t coin the term, ‘Drunk Daddy’; his staff did, and why was that?  Did it have anything to do with the toxic working environment? What we do know is that Silicon Valley just picked up our ‘Recycled Trash’ and for this we must give thanks.  Below is Balachandran’s swan song to his near mutinous staff.

Dear RPU Staff:

With sadness I announce I’m leaving Riverside Public Utilities as of January 19.  I’ve been offered a job to be the CEO of Silicon Valley Clean Energy.  Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a community-owned agency serving the majority of Santa Clara County communities by acquiring clean, carbon-free electricity on behalf of residents and businesses.  Member jurisdictions include Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated Santa Clara County.

I’ll meet with all of you before I leave and we’ll have a chance to talk.

But before that happens, I do want each of you to know that I will miss you very much.  In the four years I’ve been here, you have made me feel welcome and have worked hard to ensure that RPU continues to be a great water and electric utility.  I am proud to have been part of a team that has improved RPU even more over my four-year tenure.  There have been many firsts in the last four years that I’m very proud to have participated in.

RPU is an award-winning utility that has distinguished itself over the years.  The American Public Power Association (APPA) awarded Riverside its Diamond Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation in 2017 that signifies leadership in reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement.  It shows RPU’s commitment to keeping the lights on for our customers.  Only about 75 out of more than 1,500 public utilities across the country achieved this status.

The water utility is one of a handful of the more than 400 water suppliers in California that can pride itself on being independent of importing water and also having rates that are significantly lower than surrounding communities.

RPU also maintains high bond credit ratings, keeping its cost of borrowing low and thereby keeping utility rates low.  Standard & Poor’s rates RPU’s water utility AAA, and the electric utility AA-, among the highest ratings in the country.

This would not be possible without your hard and dedicated work.  The utility business is changing and I have full confidence that you will continue be part of solving problems and creating value for all our customers in the years to come.

Once I leave, Kevin Milligan will be appointed as Interim General Manager.  The City Manager has also retained a recruiter to initiate a nation wide search for a replacement General Manager and expects to fill the position not later than June 2018.

A press release announcing my departure will be sent out later today.

Please email or call me if you have any questions.

Thanks,  Girish Balachandran

Phil Pitchford, City of Riverside spokeshole, released the following:

     

CLICK TO ENLARGE

More to come with Drunk Daddy’s eulogy and the damage that he wrought on RPU in his short stay in the ole’ River City.  In the end, he did nothing to actually improve RPU while collecting his $250,000+ salary… just read his letter.

JUST IN: ALVORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT SID SALAZAR OUT!

Alvord Board of Education took action in closed session to terminate the Superintendent’s employment contract. The vote was 3-2.  Ayes: Kaspereen, Wilson, Barragan  Noes: Schwandt, Moreno    More also to come on this story and Sid’s spending habits with taxpayer monies and his close ties to the Teachers Union President.  Good Job Ayes!  Sid is gone! Office empty! Sid has left the building…

 

                           

        Sid Salazar, Alvord School Superintendent                      Sorry, Sid Salazar, Alvord School Superintendent

It isn’t often you clean out two turds from the punch bowl in one day.  The TMC crew is calling it a day and heading out to celebrate a win for both the taxpayer and ratepayer.

We’ll leave this entry with one particular thought in mind, and will continue to post this quote by our 33rd U.S. President because of its relevance to today’s political circus of do-nothing but get paid excessively politicians and bureaucrats, whom never seem to have enough of our money: if you have nothing to bring to the table except a forked tongue, don’t sign up to do the work of the people.

No man can get rich in politics unless he’s a crook. It cannot be done. – Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The strategic narrative you will hear from RPU:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Rate Payers Need To Know:

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

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

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

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

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

Yep, Back at You Ratepayer!

What the hell is an ‘Utilities Integration Manager’?  We at TMC are still attempting to figure it out.  This job title is what government does best: six-figure patronage jobs awarded not on merit, but on loyalty to “the program”.  And exactly what is “the program”?  Well, if you haven’t figure it out yet…after the new library tax, the increased hotel tax, the continuation of the water tax, the new sales tax, the new school bonds, the new gas tax, and the slew of lawsuits lining up to sue Riverside back into the Stone Age for illegal taxation…”the program” is: taking your money.

But we have have a sense of humor.  Justin Scott-Coe is what we refer to in these parts as big government RECYCLED TRASH!  First at Monte Vista Water District and now he’s ours…

               

CLICK ON ABOVE IMAGE TO ENLARGE

…except there’s no 5 cent return fee.  Above is the employment letter from his new boss, Drunk Daddy, a.k.a. RPU General Manager Girish Balachandrin.  Mr. Coe sat on the Riverside Public Utility Board for 8 years while employed as a public affairs specialist for the Monte Vista Water District in Montclair, CA.  His responsibilities include creating and implementing water conservation and water education programs, customer communications, community outreach and special administrative projects most recently related to the recycled water program, development of budget-based tiered rates, and a landscaping design project for District facilities.  During his time on Riverside’s Board of Public Utilities, he was the ultimate Kiss Ass on that panel of so called “ratepayer advocates,” and would say or do anything to look impressive, good, or worthy in his quest for higher status…all while you payed for it!

He left his position with the Board of Public Utilities after 8 years of service, at the end of February 2017.  And voila!  A position was opened up in June, less than 4 months later, he would uniquely qualify for.  In reality, he served 8 years as an “advocate” to the executive staff at RPU, when he was suppose to protect the interest of the public…who just happen to own RPU.   He sold us – the absentee owners – out and advocated himself into a nice $132,000 a year job.  Bravo Justin!  Mr. Scott-Coe’s new job is to convince the public as to why Riverside Public Utility needs a rate increase (60% at that for low-use water users!  Merry Christmas!).  You see, Drunk Daddy needs new reliable and loyal troops to pander the old narrative (infrastructure!!!!!!!!!!!!) to get the Riverside community on board to give them more of our money (gotta pay them public pensions after all).  And it also seems that those employees who have actually seen Drunk Daddy’s dark underbelly have disappeared from employment, leaving some room in the budget for “Utilities Integration Managers”.

So why does RPU need a rate increase? Well this is what they are telling the public. It’s all doom and gloom, it’s all about the infrastructure, and if we don’t get our antiquated infrastructure upgraded, trouble lies on the road ahead.  If you believe their bullshit I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.  The problem began with lousy, inept management by former Utilities Manager Dave Wright and the skullduggery continues today with Girish Balachandran, a.k.a. Drunk Daddy.  The customer-owners have inferior infrastructure because RPU has a spending problem.  The executive staff at RPU recently purchased a new $40 million dollar building, complete with a $600,000 board, errr multi-purpose room, not to mention nearly 1/2 of the employees make over $100,000.00 a year.  For many years, RPU thought nothing of spending exorbitant and insane amounts of money on their employees overtime – as in the case of a utilities dispatcher receiving $257,719 last year, with a total take home pay of $373,235.  This is behavior never seen in the private sector: a phenomenon of the public sector, and like always, no one is ever held accountable…so it will happen again.

Another narrative to sell the rate increase we heard directly out of the mouth of Mr. Scott-Coe, is that they didn’t increase the rates in the aftermath of the 2008 recession as to give relief to the pitiful fools, us taxpayers. They did it for our benefit! The truth of the matter is that they were overcharging us the whole time and were able to increase the amount of their unrestricted slush fund, errr reserves, to the tune of over $300 million, which should have been returned to the ratepayer or could’ve actually lowered our rates years ago…because we, the public, own it!

Trust and loyalty is always important when dealing with subordinates at RPU, and Justin Scott-Coe embodies that very philosophy. He will do or say anything to play the game and climb the ladder of success. He is willing to tells half-truths, omits vital information, and create false equivalencies in order to separate you from your money with his soft monotone voice that puts most people to sleep.  Of course, this is not the first run-in we’ve had with our Wood Streets neighbor.  Questions arose back about his judgement and insider dealings in 2014, when former city employee Jason Hunter filed an ethics complaint against Mr. Scott-Coe.

In the end, TMC has to hand it to Justin though for selling out the public for his own personal gain…it’s the California way these days after all.  We’d also like to send a message to RPU Deputy General Manager Kevin Milligan: watch your back, because Mayor “Choo Choo” Bailey’s buddy Justin, “just” may take over your plush corner office before you know it!

Did Drunk Daddy and Kevin Milligan high-five the hiring of Scott-Coe, as they did with when they sent their nasty, extortion letter to our neighbor, the City of Norco?

 

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

THIRTY MILES OF CORRUPTION WANTS TO THANK THE FIRST THOUSAND PEOPLE TO HIT THIS ARTICLE BY 11:00 A.M.!

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Electric Prop 26 Law Suit

Subject:  Press Release for Immediate Distribution – Lawsuit filed challenging City of Riverside Electric General Fund Transfer as a violation of Proposition 26

In a complaint filed yesterday in Riverside Superior Court, the Law Offices of Raychele B. Sterling brought allegations that the City of Riverside, through its ownership of Riverside Public Utilities (“RPU”), violated Proposition 26, approved by voters in 2010, when the City Council in December of 2013 changed the formula by which it calculates the tax generated from electric utility operating revenues (known as the General Fund Transfer), so as to increase taxes paid by its ratepayers to its general fund.  The complaint contends that the City Council changed the formula to pay off a settlement agreement involving the City’s water utility, and did so without a public vote as required by the State of California Constitution.

According to the filing, the City of Riverside violated its City Charter for a decade by transferring a portion of the monies it receives annually as part of its participation in the California Independent System Operator system, referred to as the Transmission Revenue Requirement, to its general fund instead of keeping those monies at its electric utility.  Further, the City classified the Transmission Revenue Requirement as non-operating revenues for a decade before intentionally misclassifying them as operating revenues for the sole purpose of extracting higher taxes from its electric utility customers.

The plaintiff seeks to halt the approximately $40 million/year the City collects in taxes from its electric ratepayers as part of its General Fund Transfer and to return the $115 million in transfer taxes taken the past 3 years from RPU.

“For years city officials have ignored near-constant complaints by members of the general public that Riverside Public Utilities has been overcharging its customers in order to support the City’s general fund,” Ms. Sterling said.  “Today, we begin to shine a light on the hidden taxes the City of Riverside has imposed upon its RPU’s customers – particularly the elderly, poor, and disabled – causing them considerable economic and personal hardship.  It was particularly sickening to discover that this illegal tax increase was a scheme devised by the City to avoid having its general fund pay off a settlement agreement regarding an illegal water utility tax.  These financial shell games must end.”

Established in 1895, Riverside Public Utilities is a consumer-owned water and electric utility governed by a Board of nine community volunteers that provides services to over 105,000 metered electric customers and 63,000 metered water customers throughout the City of Riverside.

The Law Offices of Raychele B. Sterling is located in Riverside, California and provides law services to victims of government fraud, abuse and corruption.

Again I believe we have a disconnect between the ratepayers and the City.  The City created a situation whereby no one had any other choice but to bring forward a lawsuit due to concerns of RPU monies, it seems this is the only way they listen.  We cannot wait another 13 years before our voices are heard.  What will Michael Colantuono have to say about this?

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MICHAEL COLANTUONO, ESQ.

Again, most of this occurred under the watchful eyes of former Public Utilities General Manager Dave Wright, who left (maybe saw the writing on the wall) to ‘sin city,’ Las Vegas, then to Los Angeles, where recently they have had there own set of embarrassing problems.

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DAVE WRIGHT, FORMER RPU GENERAL MANAGER

But, Wright came back to write a contributing editorial, titled “Riverside Water for Responsible Development,” back in 2014.  Was Wright simply worried that what was concealed would be exposed? Why was he so concerned about the Prosecutorial Issue of Measure A?

DWworriedone  DWworriedtwo  DWworriedthree

And Don’t forget to VOTE for Vivian Moreno Mayor 2016…..She will definitely  keep everyone HONEST!

UPDATE: 05.02.2016: HUMAN RESOURCES BRENDA DIEDRICHS LEAVES THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE, TO BE RECYLED TRASH AT A NEW JOB IN ORANGE COUNTY.

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Will the City Attorney’s Office Audit show that her law firm, Law Offices of Brenda Diedrichs,  was paid indiscriminately with tax payer monies, due the fact there was no contract? While working as Human Resource Director?  This while on Councilman Davis’s and Mayor Bailey’s watch.  Which were told, but did nothing…

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Performance Audit2

What is really telling is that Senator Roth’s Law Firm is on this Audit, whom did legal work for the City.  His wife, Cindy Roth, Riverside Chamber of Commerce, was taking taxpayer handouts to keep her organization afloat.  The question, if you need hand outs to sustain your business in the form of taxpayer subsidies, are you a good business?  The rest of us, true entrepreneurs or business people, must make it within the free market by our own perserverance or just dissolve.

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

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

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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.

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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

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RUSS HISSOM, PARTNER AT BAKER TILLY VIRCHOW KRAUSE LLP, THE AUDITOR THAT DID THE AUDIT WITHIN THE AUDIT, OF THE ALREADY AUDITED NORTHSIDE PROPERTIES, THAT I HAVE A FEELING, WILL BE AUDITED AGAIN…

Bringing the truth to the North Side…….Vote Vivian Moreno Mayor 2016…..

Riverside hires Russ Hissom, Partner at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, to perform an audit (another outside auditor paid for by the ratepayer) of the Northside properties that the City, the Redevelopment Agency, and Public Utilities made a mess of.

This blog post examines the 5th or 6th audit (we think) conducted on the Northside properties that were once owned by our Water Fund; that were sold to the Redevelopment Agency, General Fund and Electric Funds; a portion of which were subsequently given to the General Fund; all financed by the Sewer and Electric Funds; and with one property sold back to the Water Fund.  Did you get all that?  We may have missed a transaction or 2.  These deals are to transparency what Miley Cyrus is to propriety…and both smell fishy.

About 2005, the City needed money and property to get into the full swing of Redevelopment and they had their eyes set on the Northside of Ward 1.  This was easy pickings:  apathetic Northside residents, surplus utility property, outsized utility reserves, and a staff all-too-ready to violate the law and City policy in the name of advancing their careers.  The endgame was simple: special interests and the City wins and the average taxpayer and ratepayer would be left looking for the license plate of the vehicle that hit them.

Today, we look at one piece of the Northside goulash: the former Riverside Golf Course.  The dialog starts in 2010 around the water cooler that we need a soccer stadium and it should be in the Northside, and the City just happens to have the “perfect” piece of property. Council Member Andy Melendrez started selling it to the community. Then, we get a new Community Development Director (CDD), Al Zalinka, who starts planning for a beautiful new soccer stadium with all the bells and whistles. The CDD spends about a year and a half putting this project together. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, goes into planning, designing and developing this stadium.

Let’s set the stage: the City has selected 2 main development teams to bid for this project. The Council is ready to hear the proposals from both teams.  The Council Chamber is full that afternoon with developers, architects, contractors, money men, and probably a couple of other scoundrels. Every one of them is dressed in their Sunday Best. The “Big” names of Riverside elitists were sitting there: Yeager, Tavaglione, Rubin, Singletary, Hunt… all ready, willing, and able to cash in on the taxpayer, as in this PE Article on the Soccer Complex back in September 2012.

We had repeatedly advised the Council and the City that this deal could not and should not go forward. But nobody wanted to listen as our electeds were salivating over each other and their proposed plans for futbol-for-all was within arms reach. THEN……….EVERYTHING FELL APART RIGHT BEFORE THEIR EYES.  WE WERE RIGHT, THEY WERE WRONG! (neener-neener)  The charade was turning into a legal liability nightmare for the City,  the integrity of Al Zelinka was in question, and the Council looked foolish.  In the end, nothing was ever done with the property UNTIL….2013/14

So what happened?  We were at the meeting that afternoon because we knew the dirty little deal that was planned to go down and we were dialed in to the State Controller and Department of Finance if it did pass. Everyone in those Chambers that day were all blindsided when they found out that no deal could be made. NONE, NADA, NO-WAY, NO-HOW……The land, at that point, was not owned by the City and was tied up in the dissolution of Redevelopment. Everyone was upset. The selected teams of developers had huge money invested in drawings and plans for the development to present to the Council. The soccer stadium died a slow, painful, very public death that day. . . and now we have another audit.

BACK…TO THE FUTURE: the City hires Baker Tilly to do another audit of the Northside. An audit within an audit — that is what the accountants call it. Mr. Hissom from Baker Tilley starts his comments by saying this site has already been audited by many financial firms and they had been done appropriately by some very highly quality firms. BUT… They were more than happy to take this task on again and perform another audit. Their scope would be looking at 5 issues.
1. Was the property properly recorded under accounting principals and were the rules followed?
2. Were the transactions all approved by council?
3. Was the purchase price appropriately supported by documentation?
4. Did the deed stay with the city?
5 Were the transactions approved by the policy of the City?
The Three main points that I got out of this audit were that:
1. Maybe we need 10 more audits until someone is willing to just tell the citizens the truth and the real reason we got into this fine mess.
2. Riverside Public Utilities recorded this property under OPTIMAL accounting principals instead of Best Practices. So what does that mean? If you grade Optimal vs. Best, Best is an A grade and Optimal is barely passing with a C-.
3. There was no formal appraisal performed on some of the transactions – it was all done by comparing properties in close proximity, if they were done at all.

So did the highly paid, well trained accounting firm of Baker Tilly tell the truth and get to the bottom of this mess? Lets go back and answer their 5 questions as they did:
1. Was the property properly recorded under accounting principals and were the rules followed?
BARELY: These principles were followed under OPTIMAL practices as stated by Ms. Susan Cash, Chairwoman of Riverside Public Utilities Board and the auditing firm.
2. Were the transactions all approved by council?
YES
3. Was the purchase price appropriately supported by documentations?
NO, there were no appraisals in some cases as stated with great concern by Susan Cash, Chairwoman and Andrew Walker, Board Member.  In one instance an $8.5 million property sold from the Water Fund to the General Fund in 2005, was re-purchased for over $9 million by Water in 2009…as if the great real estate crash never occurred.
4. Did the deed stay with the City?
YES
5. Were the transactions approved by the policy of the City?

What’s very interesting here is that this transaction was not a City issue, it was a Public Utilities issue between Water, Sewer, and Electric. So to answer the question its Yes and No. It all depends on what Administrative Manual you are reading, the City’s or Public Utilities’? Auditor, Russ Hissom, stated he was hired by the City and the Administrative Manual appraisal information came from the City’s manual. Board Member Andrew Walcker had no idea that RPU had its own Admin. Manual, and Chair Cash was a little concerned about what she read about appraisals in the RPU manual.  We know one thing: the City did not follow the laws or policy of the Redevelopment Agency.

The question should have been stated like this: Were the transactions approved by the policy of the Riverside Public Utilities and the former Redevelopment agency? The answer to my question would be NO and NO. An audit is only as good as the information provided and in this case the information or the scope had no strength or substance and didn’t address the real issues of this property.
Based on the very weak questions posed to the auditor we end up with three Yes’s, two No’s and a one Barely, or a C-.  At the end of this very short presentation Russ Hissom couldn’t stop praising the City using the City Hall and California League of Cities talking points. He closed his comments by presenting Riverside Public Utilities with glowing praises, so as to deflect from the real problems with this property.

So, what did this audit accomplish? NOTHING!! After all the hoopla, this property is still in the hands of RDA or the Department of Finance and tied up in the City vs. Dept of Finance on appeal. Undoing this property may take years and more audits. As of today, the note on this property is NOT getting paid. So, the ratepayers are getting the shaft AGAIN. Also, the City Council has approved 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space in the North Side which, by the way, was the original plan. It was the vote of Mike Soubrious and Paul Davis that stopped the planned moratorium until a strategic plan was completed. Once Paul and Mike shut down the moratorium, the City couldn’t move fast enough to get those warehouses approved. The Vote passed unanimously. The Northside Saga Continues…….

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

 

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SHOULD A PUBLICLY OWNED UTILITY BE ABLE TO MAKE A PROFIT ON A COMMODITY SUCH AS WATER, AND KEEP IT?  OR SHOULD IT GO BACK TO THE OWNERS THE RATEPAYERS?

Ownership of a fixed quantity of acre feet of Bunker Hill water per year is vested to the City of Riverside. Ownership of a fixed quantity of Bunker Hill water per year is vested to the Gage Canal. Gage Canal has transferred their Bunker Hill water rights to the City of Riverside.

The City of Riverside owns Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) and assigns them the task of delivering water to water meters throughout the City. RPU is assigned the service of delivery, billing, and maintaining the delivery system throughout the City. The revenue generated by that billing is retained, with the exception of Prop 218 and Measure A monies, by RPU to provide those services. In essence, RPU is a delivery system with no true ownership rights. All of their assets are owned by the City. That applies to everything in their possession from aardvarks to zebras. RPU possesses no water rights of water, they are merely the conduit for water that, by law, belongs to the City of Riverside.

The City of Riverside, through the RPU conduit has used 5,000 less acre feet of water in 2015 than they have protected rights to. The 5,000 acre feet belongs to the City of Riverside to do with as they please.  On November 3, 2015, the Riverside City Council directed RPU to deliver the excess 5,000 acre feet to Western Municipal Water District (WMWD), a member agency of Metropolitan Water District (MWD), for the sum of $1.6 million. RPU state during the Public Hearing of the agenda item providing that direction, that the cost to RPU of moving that water to WMWD would be $0.3 million, thereby leaving an excess of $1.3 million that is the City’s revenue on the sale of that water.  RPU’s mandate is to pay for their cost of operation through revenue generating billing.  The cost of moving that water is, by their own statements is $0.3 million. Being that the water is owned by the City of Riverside, not RPU, any monies above the cost of delivery should go to the City’s General Fund to be allocated by direction of the Riverside City Council. In fact, the City is essentially acting as a customer in assigning the delivery of the 5,000 acre feet to WMWD to RPU. As the revenue from the transferred water is for an item possessed by the City itself, the City is allotting $0.3 million to RPU to cover their cost and maintenance.

The monies going into the General Fund from this sale are found and unanticipated funds that are not allocated to any particular use. The City Council is free to disburse this money however they see fit, from returning it to ratepayers as a reward for their water frugality, or burning it, with proper permits of course, in front of the fountain at City Hall. I would strongly recommend they choose the former, rather than the latter.

Art Cassel

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S REGIONAL COUNTIES MOST, “NEGATIVE,” “RAUNCHY,” “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “FILTHY,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “STUPID,” “PATHETIC,” “DESPICABLE,” “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “OFFENSIVE,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” “FIT TO BE VIEWED FROM THE REAR” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO THE ACLU.  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVLY EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE (WE BELIEVE THIS WILL END SOON, SINCE THE FOCUS IS NOW ON THE IMPROPRIETIES OF MR. “Z”.  WE TRIED TO TELL YOU, BUT NOBODY LISTENED), AND DON’T FORGET WE ARE PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… A STRATEGIC LEGAL MANEUVER THAT CAN BE DONE ONLY IN RIVERSIDE WITHOUT A CONTRACT… AGAIN, THANK YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

frontpgWATER LAW SUIT AGAINST THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA (CLICK LINK TO VIEW FULL LAW SUIT)

On June 4, 2015, the City of Riverside, under newly christened City Attorney Gary Geuss filed suit against the State of California with regards to the issue of having to comply with a 24% cut in usage.  The city asked the state in the suit to include it in a program that lets Northern California entities get away with just 4% cuts because they are taking their water from surface sources, like rivers that are going to dump their contents in the sea if not snatched. The State ignored the City’s request. Riverside gets its water from underground sources, not the surface, and that’s a critical difference to the state.  The problem stems from the Board’s definition of a “reliable water source;” namely, the designation refers only to surface water and not groundwater, or water located underneath the earth’s surface.  So the City filed the above lawsuit in Fresno County Superior Court to stop the State Water Resources Control Board from commanding our City to comply.

In its complaint, Riverside asked the state why a “groundwater-sufficient entity” couldn’t be inserted and was told, “It would simply be too difficult to include groundwater in the 4% tier, but provided no evidence why including groundwater suppliers would be any more difficult than including surface water suppliers. No other reason was giving for listening to one class of water suppliers, but ignoring the other class of water suppliers.”  KPCC said Riverside’s lawsuit was the largest objection registered to date against the state’s water policy. Water districts are just now beginning to implement government directives which aim to implement Governor Jerry Brown’s order that water usage be cut 25% among statewide nonagricultural users. The cuts range between 8% and 36%, compared to comparable time periods in 2013.  Riverside wants a temporary restraining order and injunction to avoid $10,000-a-day fines for noncompliance with an emergency order.

Scott Simpson was former Chief of Enforcement for the California EPA Department of Toxic Substances Control, and also worked for the Department of Food and Agriculture in their Environmental Hazards Assessment Program specializing in ground water contamination.  Simpson tells City Attorney Geuss that he forgot the “winning” argument against the State of California!  The residents have a “contractual right” to water in the City of Riverside, therefore the State of California has no right to impose water restrictions!  The right to water in the City of Riverside is tied to every resident who owns property, for perpetuity.  What is important to note in this law suit is that the City of Riverside admits owning water rights pre-1914, which releases us from the constraints of the Governor Moonbeams imaginary drought emergency.  What people need to realize we are in the year of “El Nino” and we will receive a boat load of water this year, more than we can handle.  Unfortunately, the State of California cannot run a business, how can we allow them to run the State?

SCOTTVIDEOTWOCLICK THIS LINK TO HEAR WHAT CITY ATTORNEY GARY GEUSS FORGOT TO PLACE IN THE LAW SUIT TO PROTECT RESIDENTS WATER RIGHTS, WHICH IS THE RESIDENTS “CONTRACTUAL RIGHT” TO THAT WATER.

Simpson states that water is protected for the use and benefit of all Californians according to the California State Water Resources Control Board. California’s waters cannot be owned by individuals, groups, businesses, or governmental agencies. But permits, licenses, and registrations give individuals and others the right to beneficially use reasonable amounts of water. That’s paraphrased from the California State Constitution. The precise language states that the people of the State of California own the water resources of the State for their use and enjoyment.

scottvideooneCLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW WATER EXPERT SCOTT SIMPSON TALK ABOUT RESIDENTS RIGHT TO WATER

Water Expert Scott Simpson then states that the State of California is the care taker of the water, in charge of improving the quality and making more water available for their use. You are not selling us water you are you provide us with the service of transportation for our use and enjoyment.  So why has the State of California unfortunately betrayed the taxpayers?  Some terms come to mind, “greed,” “incompetence,” “over construction,” and “ineptness.”  Where’s the accountability?  Well folks that will never transpire.

stateofcaqa     stateofcaqatwo

CLICK TO VIEW IMAGES OR CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD SITE WHICH SIMPSON WAS REFERRING TO

Riverside Public Utilities deputy general manager Kevin Milligan said the city wants the water board to include groundwater in its definition of a reliable water supply.  “The only difference is surface water you can see and groundwater you can’t,” Milligan told the paper.  “We have our own wells and our own water resources,” Riverside Public Utilities spokesperson Heather Raymond told the Los Angeles Times. “No matter how much we save it has zero effect on the state water supply.”  Riverside gets its water from groundwater basins it controls and has a four-year supply on hand. That’s the minimum necessary to be included in the 4% tier. Over the years, the city has drilled wells, captured storm water, invested in a water treatment plant and spent millions on a recycled water infrastructure, Riverside Public Utilities Deputy General Manager Kevin Milligan told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

The question then became, the City of Riverside doesn’t really have to comply with the State Resources Control Board, since our water rights are pre-1914, and the Control Board was set up thereafter.  Further, the residents who own property in the City of Riverside have a “contractual right” to the that water, as a result of those water rights given to us by a court of law prior to 1914.  The city says it hasn’t imported water from the Colorado River or the State Water Project since 2008.  According to the Courthouse News Service, the city’s complaint says, “(A)ny water that Riverside does not extract will sit in the basin, and cannot be extracted or used by others. Riverside is truly ‘water independent.’ ”  This is something to remember folks, because the City of Riverside is mandated by law to harvest “x” amount of water.  Water cannot be conserved and sit in the ground.  If it does, it can go beyond the acceptable water table, and cause damage and weakness to surrounding infrastructure.

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Riverside City Attorney Gary Geuss, with double indemnity prior clown behind him, a tough circus act to follow!

Has anybody seen the moniker around town stating “I Own It?”  What does that mean?  It means that if you are a homeowner in the City of Riverside you actually have a “contractual right” to water and you therefore own the “public utilities.”  You may ask, “Why does the City state we are “shareholders” as a result of owning property attached to a home, and then be treated as we are not?”  The straight answer is that the Riverside Water Board represents City interest, therefore not the best interest of the taxpayers is considered.  The only way to protect your rights, your right to water etc. is to form a “taxpayer advocacy” group which will lobby for our rights as homeowners and property owners.

We haven’t even addressed those residents who own rights to the Gage Canal water etc., they can pretty much run there water down the street if they want. There is no drought restriction for them! The point is that are city forefathers made sure there would not be a problem with the access of this important commodity, and this was insured years ago, and pre-1914.  Therefore, are rights to that groundwater should be fought for with a vengeance.  It is as the squirrel who prepared themselves for the winter and stored his food supply early.  Another squirrel comes about, who didn’t prepare, and wants to take it away.  That is what the State of California is attempting to do.

RIVERSIDE PUBLIC UTILITIES ADMITS WE ARE PRE-1914 BY ADVERTISING PROMO.. CUSTOMER OWNED SINCE 1895.

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What City of Riverside residents must know about the drought misinformation, is that the residents have a “contractual right” to water prior to 1914. Which means that we as a City do not have to comply with the laws regarding drought mandated by Governor Edmund G. Brown, also known as “Moonbeam.”  According to Riverside Public Utilities own advertisement, we have been publicly and customer owned since 1895!  You therefore are not receiving correct information.  Every homeowner in the City of Riverside has a contractual right to water from the publicly owned Bunker Hill Basin in San Bernardino.  The next big question Riversidian’s should be asking is why we as a publicly owned utility should have to advertise to ourselves?  The Riverside Public Utilities spends multitudes of money to promote, which is technically, a public monopoly with reference to utilities.  WHY IS THERE A NEED TO ADVERTISE?  Is it to divert monies to those special clients in the advertising business?  Can this be interpreted as a gift of public funds?  It’s all wrong and should not be done!  Further, the ratepayers demand the utility overages refunded back!  Don’t attempt to try to craft new language and use are reserves to purchase another $40 million dollar building.

RIVERSIDE FORGOTTEN….

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RIVERSIDE & ARLINGTON RAILWAY CO. (CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST, “LOW CLASS,” “VISIONS OF GRANDEUR,” “FULL OF B.S.,” “IGNORANT,” “MISGUIDED,” “BULLYISH,” “FILTHY,” “SICK,” “PERVERTED,” “STUPID,” “PATHETIC,” “DESPICABLE,” “DISAPPOINTING,” “BELOW THE BELT,” “A NEW LOW,” “SHOCKING,” “OFFENSIVE,” “INAPPROPRIATE,” “HURTFUL,” “MEAN SPIRITED,” “DISTASTEFUL,” “EMBARRASSING,” HORIFFIC,” “SLANDEROUS” AND MEZZSPELLED, “MISSPELLED” AND “OPINIONATED” BLOG SITE!  TEMPORARILY BLOCKED BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE AT PUBLIC ACCESS SITES WITHIN THE CITY, THEN UNBLOCKED.  I GUESS YOU CANNOT DO THAT ACCORDING TO THE ACLU.  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVLY EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE (WE BELIEVE THIS WILL END SOON, SINCE THE FOCUS IS NOW ON THE IMPROPRIETIES OF MR. “Z”.  WE TRIED TO TELL YOU, BUT NOBODY LISTENED), AND DON’T FORGET WE ARE PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… A STRATEGIC LEGAL MANEUVER THAT CAN BE DONE ONLY IN RIVERSIDE WITHOUT A CONTRACT… AGAIN, THANK YOU COMMUNITY OF RIVERSIDE AND THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE EMPLOYEE’S FOR YOUR SUPPORT!   COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED, ESPECIALLY SPELL CHECKERS!  WE JUST CAN’T SPELL!  EMAIL ANONYMOUSLY WITH YOUR DIRT BY CONTACTING US AT:  THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM