Posts Tagged ‘state controller john chiang’

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RIVERSIDE COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS GET’S SMART..

Councilman Paul Davis made the call to State Controller John Chiang’s office in order to initiate an audit this past Wednesday morning.  At City Council this past Tuesday, questions just seemed to abound in the audience, and when the answers to questions  just seemed not to be right, it just generated more questions.  The more questions that were asked specifically two Council member Davis and Soubirous, just seem to cause blow back by City personnel.  But why?  In July 2009 the rate for a single family dwelling was $14.94.  By July 2014, the rate was to be $28.55 + CPI (Consumer Price Index).  That evidently was not enough to cover increasing debt by a utility the public owns, and should actually get a divident in my eyes.  But who was running the store?  Because since it was not enough, Public Works had to pose an increase beyond $28.55 + CPI.  Councilman Mac Arthur motioned to pass the increase to $30.98 this July 2014, a $2.43 jump.  Many in the audience at City Council called out for a “recall.”  From 2009 to 2018 the sewer rate will jumped $16.04…quite remarkable!  Why did this happen?  Answers didn’t seem to fit logically into the template of rationality and the audience knew it..

The answers that were given was that CSD’s (Community Service Districst), such as the Jurupa Valley, Edgemont, Rubidoux and Highgrove were not paying their fair share.  The Sewer equipment needed to be upgraded because some of it went back as far as 1940.   Also, the recession, population growth rates, Federal requirement and as Councilman Adams suggested a “miscalculation.”  Of course, the one we know, is debt service from all the bonds taken out against the sewer.  Bonds that should have been used for the very sewer upgrade they are asking for.

The most significant points Council members Soubirous and Davis inquired about, how did the City of Riverside reach this pinnacle point of desperation?  In other words, how did it all happen?  Residents pay a sewer fee in order to maintain, repair and replace sewer related items.  If the fees were adequate over the years, maybe more than adequate, that the City borrowed/loaned/advanced monies to other City projects etc. etc., in the midst, did they inadvertently leave are sewer system to the back burner?  Therefore, are these rate hikes really necessary?  It seems to me, that someone was negligent at overseeing the property of the public.

While Councilman Gardner attempted to say that maybe we won’t need an audit, because we have CSD (Community Service Districts) revenue, reclamation water sales, rate hikes and more bond sales…   Councilman Mac Arthur said nothing was done for many years, but motions for rate hike increase, does Mayor Bailey motion to second?  Rate hikes are necessary in order for bond sales to occur.  Both Gardner and Mac Arthur did not address Davis’s comment of bringing John Chiangs office for an audit of the sewer accounts.

The Membrane Bioreactor is it really necessary?  The reclaimed water as a result is looked at as a commodity and a revenue source!  Therefore, shouldn’t the residents receive a divident or a lower sewer rate as a result of  this?  Isn’t a Membrane Bioreactor indicative of being part of a City’s Purple Pipe Program?  This is another question which we hope the State Controllers Office will have an answer for.  What are we paying for?  Did the City of Riverside sneak in the purple pipe project into the sewer master plan to get around Proposition 218 formalities?  If this is the case will the City of Riverside be set up for another Proposition 218 violation? I’m certainly beginning to feel as many in the community feel, that there “corruption” within the City of Riverside.

Remember, we are a City which owns are own public utilities, we own are water rights, we own the sewer.  So why should we pay for the purple pipe apparatus, whereby reclaimed will be sold at a profit and the taxpayer won’t directly benefit?

Some years back when Utilities Director Dave Wright was in charge, they tried to place a new charge on the taxpaying residents for the water reclamation program also known as the Purple Pipe Program.  The program never went through because there was never a direct benefit to the resident, a proposition 218 possible violation, and residents are wondering if this program was sneaked in the new Sewer Master Plan Project.  Tom Boyd mentioned at City Council that once the water reclamation is completed that we will be able to generate a revenue source from it.  Here’s a link to an article from Loudoun Water, which mentions the Membrane Bioreactor and it’s relationship to reclaimed water and the purple pipe.

Secondly, what appeared to be quite discerning, was when Davis questioned what appeared to be discrepancies in posting of accounting entries.  Whereby the post entry date was done first then the input date was done later, whereby it should be vise versa.  Further, there were several months between the entries which didn’t appear to comply with normal standard accounting.  According to Davis there was a significant number of backdated entries, not just one or two.  CFO Bret Mason explained it was a practice of closing the books for the fiscal year.  Fired former Construction Contracts Administer, Sean Gill brought this issue questioning how the city does contracts.  TMC did a story on this whereby checks were made fromFederal CDBG funds before expiration of those funds, then placed in a desk until they were needed.  Below is a document which appears to be post dated.

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“The city fired me when I tried to make people aware of their corruption. Its been going on for years. Brad Hudson, Siobhan Foster and Tom Boyd all deserve to be fired for their corruption along with half of the city council. People think Bell is corrupt, I hope they keep digging into the City of Riverside.”  Sean Gill, commented in the Press Enterprise back in May of 2011.

At a finance committee meeting on Wednesday May 14, 2014, Councilman Paul Davis asked the question at to why the staff seems to always go nuts every time we ask a question?  This is probably very telling.  Staff is not use to being ask relevant questions in TMC’s eyes and may construe this behavior indicative with interfering with city staffs work or creating a hostile work environment..  Thus, we now see two councilman who ask tough questions and are now being investigated.  Who are the suspects at the crux of this investigation?  Councilman Soubirous asked at this meeting that a Workshop Committee be formed, for the record, to look into a forensic audit by the State Controllers office.  Again, the appearance of this idea made everyone nervous.  If everything is on the up and up, why should anyone be nervous?

Residents in their district and all over the City of Riverside are calling the Councilman Heroes!  This is a big deal, National News Agencies are being contacted, and are keeping a close eye on the City of Riverside.  The majority or the residents will back up the forces of good which will challenge the forces that exist in the City of Riverside.  Many residents simply feel intimidated to challenge the forces of the City of Riverside, as many feel they will be targeted by Code Enforcement indirectly for frivolous charges, which will cost individual residents financially to much to fight.  That’s how the City wins.  More to come on this.

UPDATE: IS HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR RHONDA STROUT, A.K.A. LUXURY GIRL, LEAVING HER POSITION AT CITY HALL?

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CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW THE HUMAN RESOURCES BROCHURE.

TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “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 ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH ZELLERBACH’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… 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 OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM

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COUNCILMAN MIKE SOUBIROUS, WARD 3                           COUNCILMAN PAUL DAVIS, WARD 4

Tonight’s explosive Council meeting regarding the rate increases to residents, ended with questions regarding bonds, loans, advances and debt service to the taxpayer.   The new rate hikes were passed by Council, to replace the old.  According to Councilman Davis, this rate hike will be a 302% increase since the year 2008.  Councilman Davis also made a motion to bring  California State Controller John Chiang do to a forensic audit of the sewer.  Councilman Soubirous asked for same, but to include water and electric.  If we are to increase the rates we need to bring trust back to the community by having a independent entity evaluate the taxpayer’s books over the years.  Davis questioned CFO Brent Mason regarding posting dates and why some entries were backdated. The rest of Council and Mayor Bailey were visually disturbed and shaken by this call.  TMC was right, the ones who went for the rate increase were, Councilman Mike Gardner, Chris Mac Arthur, Steve Adams and Jim Perry.  When Councilman Jim Perry asked for a seperation of the issues, between the rate increases and forensic audit, the audience asked for a recall!  The audience was shocked at Perry’s position not to support the issue of a forensic audit, but he called for a workshop on it.  Councilman Soubirous and Davis can call the State Controller directly requesting an audit without the approval of council or a workshop!  Councilman Andy Melendrez was absent from council, was he glad he was?  What does this mean for the City of Riverside?  The end of corruption?  What is the Council afraid of finding?  A Swiss Bank Account?  It is evident that Davis and Soubirous find the atmosphere in the City of Riverside necessary to ask the State Controller to come in and bring closure for the taxpayer.  What is the nervousness of those council people who are against this.  Colusion?  Why wouldn’t they see this as a win, win situation for the taxpayer? Especially newcomer, Councilman Jim Perry?  Why would he attempt to divert attention to a prominent and relative issue somewhere else?  Did they get to him?  Coucilman Chris Mac Arthur asked the question to the City Attorney if it was proper to request the services of John Chiang’s office.  It was obvious that City Attorney Greg Priamos did not want an audit, when he told council that they should take CFO Mason’s word that the books are in order, but left to their discretion if an outside auditing should be requested.  This in lieu of a letter by an Code of Ethics Adjudicating Body Member, Keith Nelson, Ph.D, calling a local City of Riverside hired attorney Doug Smith a liar, and questioning the unscrupulous behavior of City Attorney Greg Priamos!  Why would anybody rely on the word of our City Attorney Greg Priamos, he has a track record of misinforming council.

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STATE CONTROLLER, JOHN CHIANG

FROM THE DESK OF SCOTT SIMPSON: SCOTT RESPONDS TO RIVERSIDE’S SEWER RATE HIKES:

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:

Some times what the city does not tell you is most important to the decision to raise the sewer rates.
1. Hudson changed the financing stategy for sewer capital improvements away from voter approval of municipal bonds or property assessments or special taxes. These would show up on your property tax billing. We are still paying off capital improvement bonds from pre-Hudson era on our property tax bill. Bonds in general are a 30 year repayment obligation. Hudson took away your right to vote No on ever increasing debt which is what is driving these outrageous sewer rate increases.
2. Remember last night, staff kept saying the sixteen year period of no rate increases was pre-Hudson and bonds were financed differently. The truth is the operation and maintenance of the waste water facillity doesn’t out pace the cost of living. Especiallysince we experienced a recession that left 25% of our homes and businesses empty and thus not Flushing. This is the real reason they kept saying they have less waste water to treat along with less customer revenue.
3. California courts have ruled that rates fees and charges for sewer sevices supplied to the land are only for the purpose of recovering the annual cost of operation and maintenance. The rates are to be set annually utilizing the accounting records of the prior fiscal year. The courts said, this is the true Variable cost of the sewer service.
4. California courts also say that Fixed costs and Capital improvement cost and infrastructure replacement costs are not to be included in the sewer rates, fees and charges. They (fixed costs) must be a separate charge on the bill. They have also emphasized that capital costs are only lawfully recovered by voter approved municipal bonds, voter approved property assessments and/or voter approved special taxes. All of which will be collected on your property tax bill. The court specifically prohibited the inclusion of debt service in rates, fees and charges.
5. The courts also said that all customers pay the same rate for the same service to their property. This includes tax-exempt educational customers and all governmental agencies recieving the service.
6. The courts have also ruled that You as the indiviual property owner/renter recieving sewer services provided by a municipality can only be charged rates, fees and charges that do not exceed the actual (variable) cost of providing the service to your property. This means the city must individually determine the (variable) cost of the service you impose upon them.
7. Finally, our courts have ruled that when a municipality enters into a new instrument of debt of any kind, this act automatically creates a new demand for new tax revenue which must be approved by the voters before the debt is entered into.

– Scott Simpson

WAS FORMER CITY MANAGER BRAD HUDSON TO BLAME FOR THE SEWER WOES?

It is appearing that much of the problems that the City of Riverside is experiencing may be due to former City Manager Brad Hudson.  When Brad was City Manager for the City of Riverside TMC asked for a forensic audit of the taxpayer utility books, but he just would hide behind the computer, as our City Attorney Greg Priamos currently does.

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FORMER CITY MANAGER BRAD HUDSON

All this activity was in lieu of both Councilman Davis and Councilman Soubirous being investigated for complaints, of which we are not really sure of.  We don’t know who the accusers are and why the complaints were filed.  We know that Councilman and Congressional Candidate Steve Adams signed both contracts with the same law first to initiate the investigation.  Incidently,  these contracts were signed at the the City Manager’s cap of $49,000.00, anything over $50,000.00 must go to council for approval.  Are we looking at the origins of a conspiracy?

We do know that there has been friction with these two council members with the Chief of Police Sergio Diaz, City Manager Scott Barber, City Attorney Greg Priamos and possibly some of the Council members, when pertinent questions were asked and not answered to the desires of the council.

Former City Manager Brad Hudson hired City Manager Scott Barber and Chief of Police Sergio Diaz.  Councilman Steve Adams and Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey were supporters of Hudson.

TMC did a story on Christina Cortez, Whistleblower, back in December 2011, regarding bringing in the State Controller to look into the books of Montebello, California, which ended up being investigated by the FBI.

HERE’S ONE FOR RIVERSIDE POLICE CHIEF SERGIO DIAZ, WHO WE FIND THREATENING LOCAL ELECTS AND POLITICAL CANDIDATES!  There are many instances of outburst and threats by this individual who formerly worked for the Los Angeles Police Department.  Questions abound on his qualification, not only by TMC but by the residents of the City of Riverside which have not been addressed by those at City Hall.

TMC did a story back in June 2011 regarding Costa Mesa Police Chief Steven Stavely with his impressions of City Council.

Over the years, I have had city councils I thought were smart and thoughtful and ones who were less skilled. In every case, I know they were trying to do the right thing – I did not always agree, but clearly they were trying hard to improve the communities we all served. I have never, however, seen a council such as this one. They lack skill, training, education, knowledge, they fail to study (or at least learn). The majority either lies or are so lacking in the necessary skills that they actually believe the junk they say. 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: MAY 21, 2014: NEW PE STORY BY ALICIA ROBINSON: INVESTIGATIONS OF COUNCIL CLOUDED BY UNKNOWNS:  New article ask the question regarding the Soubirous and Davis investigation, as to what policies or procedure is guiding city officials.  The City has been vague and secretive of the inquisition regarding the complaint and who are behind the filing.

    TMC, RATED RIVERSIDE’S MOST “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 ACLU.  NOW TAGGED LOCAL BLOGGERS OR LOCAL MEDIA?  RATED ONE TWO ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY APPROVAL RATINGS..  TMC IS NOW EXCLUSIVELY ON FILE WITH ZELLERBACH’S DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, AND PROSSIBLY POSSIBLY ON FILE WITH THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE’S POTENTIAL SLAPP SUIT LIST… WE WILL HAVE TO ASK GREGORY ABOUT THAT ONE ( OUR PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO CONTACT HIS PEOPLE)… 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 OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM                                               

THE PRESS ENTERPRISE HAS ALL THE INFORMATION ON THE ARRIVAL OF STATE CONTROLLER JOHN CHIANG’S AUDITING TEAM.  TMC WAS CONTACTED TWICE BY PRESS ENTERPRISE.  IT WAS STATED ON FRIDAY MARCH 2ND, 2012 THE ARRIVAL OF THE STATE CONTROLLER WAS INDEED COMING TO AUDIT STATE BONDS.  SO WHERE IS THE STORY? 

UPDATE: 03/04/2012: 6:00PM: PE RELEASES ARTICLE REGARDING STATE AUDITOR.  ACCORDING TO THE PE, JOHN CHIANGS AUDITING TEAM WILL LAUNCH A TWO MONTH INVESTIGATION WHICH THEY SAY IS A ROUTINE REVIEW OF A TRANSPORTATION PROJECT.  TWO MONTHS CONSIDERED ROUTINE?  ACCORDING TO TMC, WE WERE TOLD THEY BE IN RIVERSIDE TWO WEEK AS INDICATED IN A PRIOR POSTING.  IN ADDITION, TMC POSITION IS THAT THE STATE AUDIT IS NOT ROUTINE, TWO MONTHS IS NOT ROUTINE AND THE STATE JUST DOESN’T HAVE THE BUDGET TO DO ROUTINE AUDITS.

FIRED FORMER DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY RAYCHELE STERLING 15 PAGE SUMMARY ALLEGING FRAUD AND IMPROPER USE OF FEDERAL OBAMA BONDS BY THE CITY OF RIVERSIDE WILL BE POSTED SOON.  KEEP CONNECTED WITH TMC..

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 OR FOR CONTACT!   THIRTYMILESCORRUPTION@HOTMAIL.COM