Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


My Photo
Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Friday, October 01, 2010

Riverside City Manager's Annual Salary Second Only To Bell's

UPDATE: Another Power Outage Hits Riverside? More details ahead...

[Riverside City Manager Brad Hudson is the second highest salaried in the state among employees in his position.]

It's time for us to stand up and tell city residents about what their police department has had to do because of the Hudson family. Leach's 23152 wasn't the only coverup ordered by RPD higher ups.


"I don't know (Hudson) from Adam. But I think to be over $400,000, and to be the highest paid (city) administrator in the state of California, that takes some doing."

---California State Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, who chaired a committee that did the salary survey on 12o charter cities.

City managers as a whole are a well-compensated group of individuals, and I really don't believe that Riverside's compensation for its city manager is out of line for the size of the city."

---Riverside Councilman Mike Gardner

"You're already getting paid more than most. And then on top you need a couple sweeteners?"

---De La Torre

"Obviously I'm proud of the work we've done here. We're one of the only cities that hasn't tapped into their reserve, we have a balanced budget, we aren't laying people off, and we're making a $1.5 billion investment in the economy. "Am I worth what I'm paid? I think so."

----Riverside City Manager Brad Hudson who allegedly received a phone call not long ago to pay his public utility bill within 48 hours instead of a written notification posted on his door.

If ANYONE ever had any doubt about the level of incompetence and corruption present in city governement in Riverside, this story nails it!

The idea a single individual is taking down this level of compensation for the level of responsibility he has and the level of performance he has displayed to date borders on criminal. The idea the City Council believes the level of compensation paid to him is justified is beyond all comprehension and leaves one with incompetence as to the only justification they would believe that .


Hudson makes that much when the lower level employees voted to take a pay cut for a year to help the city budget...somethings not right here.

I am glad he thinks he is worth it.

I don't agree though. But since the city council is wholly owned by him, I doubt we will get many changes any time soon.

"My son was making 8.25 an hour working for the City of Riverside when he was laid off. If the cities budget is so good, why couldn't they afford a part time minimum wage employee? Something just isn't right here. And to say he works 60 hours a week is a crock and unbelievable."

The information in this story really offended me. When these councilmen defend Hudson's stratospheric pay, what they're really saying is that they are not capable of running this City without him. Can this be true?

"The salary was provided in the context of the range of salaries city managers were receiving across the state. That's my answer."

---Mayor Ron Loveridge, who refused to answer the direct question.

The Press Enterprise did an article about Riverside's city manager, Brad Hudson being the second highest salaried in the state. That had been reported from a study that had been done by League of California Cities and another done by the California State Assembly and it came to light in the blog posted at the Los Angeles Times.

State Attorney General and governor candidate, Jerry Brown had pledged to investigate any city where the city manager was salaried and compensated for more than $300,000 annually but no word has been released on whether Riverside falls on any such list of inquiry. Even with all the antics that have come to light as taking place on Hudson's watch since he arrived in June 2005. But then if there are issues with the city's management whether in Bell, Indian Wells (a small but very wealthy city) or Riverside, a closer look needs to be looked at those elected officials oversee the management employee. Because the buck really does stop there and every four years the voting public has the ability to make that known loud and clear to their elected representatives.

Riverside's never had a problem of doing just that. Three city council members were voted out of office in the last two election cycles and another one was just a dozen votes away from being sent packing. This election cycle is expected to be more interesting in terms of the issues raised from all that's transpired (that's known about) in the past year. There's a lot of discussion and debate, some quite heated, out in the city about these issues and some of us certainly have heard it and it's hard to be dismissive in telling quite a large number of people that their concerns are invalid or they really shouldn't be worrying about what's been going on. This blog will leave it to other informative sources to do that. What's of major concern to many people is the lack of response from the elected leadership on these issues and what's clear is that many people who vote know who should be responding to their concerns, including on the eve of an election cycle that could reshape Riverside's political canvas even more so than has happened in previous years and in the past months.

But elected officials defended Hudson at around the time he reached his fifth anniversary working for Riverside, only days before the debate began over the guns, badges and cold plates scandals. About the use and later destruction of post it notes as the accountability method on record of documenting the assignment and use of city-issued vehicles to elected officials and management employees. The sudden announcement of the resignation of his right hand man, Asst. City Manager Tom DeSantis didn't really seem to impact his approval rating among his bosses.

Hudson's total salary package was reported as being around $420,000 yet is that really the correct total or is that still really only a conservative estimate? What about his total vacation pay, used or unused?

Still unanswered questions and more people asking them. Just not the elected officials or at least not most of them, the ones who should be taking the lead to ask these and other questions. The more scandals come to light, the more some of them appear to circle the wagons around themselves and their city manager. But people notice and many of those people vote.

[Hudson's right hand man, former Asst. City Manager Tom DeSantis cleans out his office after abruptly resigning after being thrown under the bus in the cold plates scandal by Hudson and being involved in working side deals with several former and current police employees.]

[Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge refused to answer the question about whether or not Hudson's salary package was still appropriate showing off his leadership skills in the process.]

[Riverside Councilman Mike Gardner believes that the compensation package that Hudson's receives is adequate for a city of Riverside's size.]

[Councilman Paul Davis has clashed with Hudson but said that Hudson appears to run a "tight ship".]

Hudson recently was allegedly notified by the Riverside Public Utilities Division that's under his umbrella that he had 48 hours to pay his utility bill or he would be turned off. It's nice that he received that perk whereas most people would have it posted on their property and some people would have their power turned off without even receiving a 48 hour notification. That perk is difficult to attach a monetary value to do in order to include it with his salary package but how many perks have there been including involving other city departments?

But then this is a guy who was able to get badges for himself and other management employees in his office, cold plates for his cars (which he blamed on others when it came out) and guns from the police department for himself and DeSantis. He's been given the power to dismiss ethics complaints filed against elected officials as shown in the case of a recent complaint filed against Councilman Steve Adams even though that violates a municipal ordinance. And without any response from those that employ him.

Riverside Renaissance itself begs many questions and further investigation in the areas of any change orders, bidding processes, funding sources, any double or triple billing taking place and duplication of the work on several projects including the lighting of one of the parks which was contracted out to a company which did it improperly so the work had to be done again by city employees. Riverside Renaissance was sold as being extremely popular yet three elected officials who ran on the platform of being heavily involved in its creation and implementation failed to be reelected during election cycles in 2007 and 2009. More questions are being asked about this program's actual costs for future generations of residents in this city.

Employees in Riverside have been laid off. Perhaps not to the degree of other places, but did Riverside rehire any of these people who lost jobs when they dug up those surplus millions from behind the proverbial couch? Hudson's salary has grown quite a bit in the past few years while other employees faced freezes in increases and some lost jobs including quite a few part-time employees among them, dozens of library pages. It's been interesting if somewhat troubling to watch the disconnect that exists between the elected officials who after all, are in charge of Hudson and what the residents of this city have witnessed unfolding in the past seven months. It will make for a very active political process next year including during the debates and discussions to take place while candidates, incumbents and otherwise, try to sell their platforms to the voters and wage arguments about why people should pull the lever for them.
But 2011 is shaping up to be a very interesting election year with candidates in at least two wards signing up to face off against incumbents Mike Gardner and Steve Adams and rumors of candidates in the ward currently represented by Councilman Rusty Bailey. And the much anticipated mayoral election in 2012 has attracted two candidates, Councilman Andrew Melendrez who just officially launched his campaign and former Councilman Ed Adkison so far with that election still two years away.

Riverside's not Bell but Bell's not Riverside. Each city has its own unique problems but they stem from whether or not the public is engaged in what their government is doing and the government is engaged in what its employees are doing. And how much accountability and transparency are involved in either case.

The politicians in this city might wish that their voters didn't pay so much attention to what was taking place behind the curtain but at this point, it's a little too late to unring the Bell.

Leon Phillips Remains a Lieutenant

The Starbucks in Canyon Crest Town Center was the scene of a robbery of a computer and what was interesting about the account is the person providing it was Lt. Leon Phillips. If you remember, not too long ago, there was news that Phillips was given a notice of intent to terminate for his role as a watch commander during the Feb. 8 DUI incident involving Former Riverside Police Chief Russ Leach. Then later it was revealed that he would receive two weeks without pay and a demotion to sergeant, the only involved employee who was subject to action that would likely reduce the annual salary which would factor into his retirement benefits. Whereas Leach and former Asst. Chief John DeLaRosa would not be impacted in the same way even though their actions were more problematic than those of Phillips, it appeared that the lieutenant would be taking the fall for the incident. And that Hudson had no problem with that outcome. The buck not making it up into the management level but stopping somewhere at mid-line supervision as far as Hudson's probe was concerned.

Asst. Chief Chris Vicino apparently told police union leaders at a meeting that he didn't agree with putting the blame all on the lieutenant and he wouldn't be the only one if that were the case. But Phillips remains undemoted because allegedly he and his attorney met with DeSantis and successfully got the discipline overturned after showing that there was dishonesty exercised by several who outranked him in the investigation against him, that "sweeping probe" conducted by Hudson that was anything but, and he received only a written reprimand. Meaning that why Hudson made disparaging comments in his investigative findings against Phillips while upholding the actions and veracity of his superiors, that what he said might not have been the full story. And since Hudson made those comments, he needs to come forward and set the record straight if it's true that Phillips was able to prove that others involved in the probe and not he had issues of veracity in their words or the way they conducted themselves. Allegedly he also received in writing an agreement never to be assigned to work with a certain police management employee for the duration of his career.

But as stated in the article, Phillips remains a lieutenant assigned to watch command as of the most recent shift change in August. And as of now, Hudson has yet to issue a statement about this development which is actually allowable under a sub-clause of the penal code pertaining to peace officer investigations. There are provisions within that state law to allow him to put a more accurate accounting of what transpired in the public record than what's been said or stated so far. But the situation with Phillips highlights problems with the city manager's decision to essentially investigate only select individuals in the police department (rather than other management or legal personnel outside the department) as well as to opt out of investigating itself in the mess surrounding Feb. 8.

News is coming out that former Riverside Police Department Det. Scott Impola who was arrested on assault charges last December has had his termination by Leach overturned and has medically retired. He was charged with forced entry into a noncommercial building, assault with ability to commit great bodily injury and unauthorized use of a confidential database, being in this case CLETS.

Eastwave celebrates cityhood.

Public Meeting

Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 3p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Riverside City Council Chambers, the city council will be holding one of its meetings to discuss this agenda and also receive this report from Community Police Review Commission Chair Brian Pearcy earlier at 6:15 p.m.

Public Forums

Riverside Asst. Police Chief Chris Vicino

Riverside Police Asst. Chief Chris Vicino has scheduled two community forums on the following dates or locations:

Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. at Caesar Chavez Center, Eastside

Saturday, Oct. 16 at 1 p.m. at Orange Terrace Center, Orangecrest

Ethics Review Committee Meeting Schedule

At last evening’s meeting, the City Council unanimously appointed the Chairs of City Boards and Commissions and Jennifer Vaughn-Blakely (representing Ward 4) as a committee to conduct a comprehensive and thorough review of the City’s Code of Ethics and Conduct. The Committee’s recommendations must be forwarded to the City Council Governmental Affairs Committee within 45 days for their recommendation to the full City Council within two weeks thereafter.

A tentative meeting schedule has been set to meet the timeline set forth by the City Council:

Code of Ethics Review Committee: Thursday, October 7, 2010, 5 p.m.

Code of Ethics Review Committee: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 5 p.m.

Governmental Affairs Committee: Wednesday, November 3, 2010, 4 p.m.

City Council: Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 6:30 p.m.

The City Attorney and City Clerk will provide administrative support to the Code of Ethics Review Committee and all meetings will be open to the public. An agenda and informational materials will be provided to the Committee members on or before Friday, October 1, 2010. The meetings will occur in or near City Hall and you will be notified in advance. If you need additional information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 951-826-5557.

Thank you,

Colleen J. Nicol, MMC

City Clerk

Some Time Away

I traveled to the huge city of L.A. and it's interesting how layered that city is compared to one like Riverside. Always so much to see, do or check out, whereas Riverside's nuked most of its events that aren't for its wealthier local or Orange County clientele.

L.A. has places like the Farmer's Market in its Fairfax District and its newer neighbor, the Grove which is an outdoor shopping mall that's very interesting in its design and implementation. Tourism is clearly down due to the worldwide recession but there were still many buses including those with visitors from countries like China, Germany and Japan. Unlike other shopping districts like some in downtown or Melrose Avenue, there's not a lot of unoccupied shop spaces in the Grove.

[A lot of empty buildings in Melrose Avenue's shopping district, fallout from the latest recession.]

[Now here's a shopping center. The Grove in West L.A. just adjacent to the Farmer's Market]

[Some dude named Mario Lopez, is he like some actor?]

[Some of the people being paid a couple of hundfed dollars a day to clap and cheer a lot.]

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older