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


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays to The Inland Empire

UPDATE: The Riverside Police Department promotes at least four officers:

Lt. Jaybee Brennan
Sgt. Kevin Townsend
Det. Chad Chinchilla
Det. David Riedeman

To be continued...
.all ranked #1 or 2 on their respective candidate's list.

COMING SOON: The Forgotten Street: Sedgwick Avenue

Why it's important to drive safely in inclement weather...

[A car which went off of Arlington Avenue and flipped over is prepared for towing]

[Scene of a fatal one vehicle accident on Arlington Avenue]

[Construction crew is diligently working to tear apart and rebuild Chicago Avenue near Andulka Park due to a broken storm drain pipe which caused the street to collapse]

[The Arroyo River returned flooding and closing off the street]

[Portion of storm channel near Andulka Park collapses]

[Storm drain near Andulka Park peppered with well, fallen Pepper Trees]

[The winter storm restructured the storm drain adjacent to Andulka Park]

Ah, Riverside faced a deluge of rain from the heavens above for day after day, night after night and it left its mark on the "most livable" city with the third highest unemployment rate in the country in the form of downed trees, collapsed bridges and storm channels and flooding including in the pretty much bone dry portion of the Santa Ana River that passes adjacent and through Riverside proper.

Chicago Avenue near Andulka Park collapsed due to a broken storm channel beneath the street and the entire street has been ripped up to both repair the sinkhole and to replace the broken piping beneath it. An estimated time of the completion of the construction is not known at this time.

Many streets were flooded, bridges were damaged including an overpass on the 215 and other damage occurred. Connectivity of the city's Wi Fi system is quite spotty in many places due to wet equipment and possibly burned out street lights.

Riverside City Council and Mayor to Review Salaries

[Riverside's elected officials are set to review their salaries packages on Jan. 18]

The Riverside City Council and mayor will be reviewing their salaries in the wake of layoffs, budget cuts and an election next year. They must know that to award themselves pay raises in this economic climate is akin to political suicide.

The review is mandatory under the charter but many are watching to see what the city council and mayor actually decide to do about how much money they make and other benefits while city employees have been laid off, had their positions frozen when they left and many departments have experienced budget cuts.

Some elected officials grasp the obvious that this just isn't the time for the city government to vote itself a pay hike. Given that some departments had their staffing cut in half and others like the police department have vacancy rates over 10%.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

"I think as a council we need to hold steady with what we have," Councilman Andy Melendrez said. "Giving ourselves an increase at this time would not, I think, be financially prudent."

Mayor Ron Loveridge said in the article he wants to look closer at car allowances. Five elected officials use city issued vehicles and three do not including him. This comes in the wake of controversy in relation to both the city's issuance of vehicles to city management and elected officials not to mention the very selective release of information on these issued cars by City Hall.

The hearing's set for Jan. 18 probably at a time few people can attend.

Riverside to Just Say No to Hoffman Mayer McKann Auditing Firm?

Riverside is not going to be hiring any auditors from the firm, Hoffman, Mayer and McKann to do that work for the city, one elected official said. The firm won't be in the list of those to choose from by the city government. This firm gained notoriety for issuing perfect audits to the city of Bell and an investigation by the State Comptroller's office determined that the firm which has audited over a dozen cities in California didn't follow appropriate procedures when conducting the audits. Part of that reasoning was based on the vast experience of auditors being if that they aren't the complete picture or all the documents from a city, they should suspect something is seriously wrong, which is what I said to the Finance Committee last time in response to Asst. City Manager Paul Sundeen's assertion that the auditing firm can only produce an audit and findings with the information it has been given by a city like Bell.

I remember going to Finance Committee meetings and having a former city councilman tell me, see there's some good news when the auditor appeared and presented his findings and I said back to the committee members and the auditor from this firm that there's no such thing as a perfect audit. But they praised Riverside for being in the top four or five cities with its perfect audit but then guess what, so was Bell.

The city should hire from a different firm after a vetting process, put that firm and its auditors on probation for the first one or two audits if the city enters into a long-term contract (maximum five years) and they need to redo some of these past audits or at least extensively review them most especially some of the city's larger departments.

Riverside District Attorney Rod Pacheco Under Close Scrutiny

As the Riverside County District Attorney, Rod Pacheco gets ready to step down in early January allegations were raised that his books were cooked. Some have said this is only the tip of the iceberg for Pacheco and his regime and that the boom will be lowered in further coverage of this situation.

Paul Zellerbach is stepping into office around Jan. 3 and it's anticipated that at least 90 employees in upper management will be leaving. Some including those quoted in the article and Chuck Hughes, an assistant district attorney have already left the building as a wipe out of this county department is anticipated.

Hemet's City Council and what's left of scandal plagued San Jacinto's will be forming an alliance. Let's hope it's a productive one and not an unholy one.

Happy Holidays
and a
Happy New Year!

This blog posting will be updated until after Christmas

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