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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Library that Riverside Renaissance Forgot

Who's the man in this photo and what's ahead of him in 2012?

Riverside picks its new city manager?

(and is anyone really surprised It's Scott Barber?)

More to come...though this one wasn't exactly the hardest race to call....even outside City Hall.

NEW RPOA Leaders:

President: Sgt. Brian Smith

Vice President: Officer Juan Munoz

[Riverside unveils the new K9 training center for fire and police dogs in Mission Grove]

[Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz pets K9 Officer Rocco as his partner Officer Brad Smith and K9 Sgt. Pat McCarthy (l.) looks on]

[Riverside Police Department K9 Officer Marco and his partner Officer Mike Carroll after a demonstration at the new training station. Marco was considered by David Reaver at Adlerhorst International Inc to be a top dog. ]

Readers sent this link with the above cartoon from The Truth publication which professes to attack me for using venom yet anyone reads it knows who's really putting on a display of what it means to really be bitter and miserable in life especially during the holiday season. I haven't written anything of this nature about him at all. In fact, I've hardly blogged at all since his bitter diatribes began.

It's ironic because I actually sent the publisher Mr. Santana of the Truth Publication an email with a template on how to do a California Public Records Act request because he had not received that information from the City Attorney's office. I also said that if anyone violated his free speech rights, I would defend him though I might not be the first person. I did so because despite his attitude towards me and his personal attacks, he still has free press rights that should be respected, that the state law on public records said should be respected. And if any publication doesn't enjoy that right then all of them are less free.

Yet this is his response in his blog:

"Yes, I do not deny it, I am a woman tramp full of hatred and envy. I cannot stand to see other people to be successful. I hate the government and the police department. This is why I write a blog and speak at the City Council meetings expelling my venom. Well, after all, that's my mission in life, which is frustrated, sad and miserable. How I do make a living is nobodies business. Oh, I also hate The Truth Publication Online."

The sad thing is that no one who writes something like this is anything but an unhappy person but I'm not going to respond in kind. After all, I just would rather focus on city and police issues and less on someone who clearly hates me because what I do. What else is to be interpreted from blog postings with derogatory cartoons that focus specifically not on the issues I write about but on me? If people are flocking to his blog because of it, then that's great for him and his advertising. If future politicians want to purchase advertising from someone who calls women "tramps" , then that's just a commentary on what they stand for as well and that's how they are choosing to spend their campaign dollars. I think they should keep spending their campaign money on advertising from him because of that reason if it helps them to win.

I don't really envy him because he must be so unhappy to behave this way to someone who hasn't responded and won't respond in kind. Why would anyone envy someone who's clearly so unhappy? And what can you do when someone's unhappy but extend sympathy and hopes that he finds happiness again?

I'm not taking his bait. I'm just going to continue to blog and whether or not I like or hate the city or the police department is subject to interpretation of whoever reads my blog or hears me speak. But exposing problematic and even scandalous behavior in both entities doesn't equate hating them. Anymore than standing by and watching silently while scandals take place that negatively impact so many people who live and work for this city is a sign of support of either the city or police department.

If it weren't for some people who paid the price and took risks for coming forward on these scandals, we still wouldn't have ever found out about what happened. Did it ever occur to Mr. Santana and others supporting these individuals who engaged in this behavior that there were those who didn't want dishonesty and bad ethics inside their police department? Not after all the hard work that they had done for over five years. The police department has its strengths and its weaknesses but you can't fault the work it put into improving and modernizing its practices during the past decade. But it deserved better leadership and management than what it got inside and outside of it.

How does it support a police department to ask for the police chief to get a pass or say what's the big deal if he gets a ride home instead of being cited or going to jail like anyone else? How does it support a city when illegal behavior is done and then just brushed away because of executive privilege? Some people would rather you not pay any attention when important people commit such actions that are a detriment to the city like purchase guns through an unlicensed weapons vendor which is illegal, they would rather you go along to get along.

This blogger would like to extend my prayers to Mr. Santana and his cohorts to cleanse their hearts of hate and embrace the same spirit of Jesus Christ that they expect in others. Because while he accuses me of venom, he gives a perfect showcase of what it really looks like. Why not debate what I write on the issues with factual information in his blog? Why not cite links that people can access information to make up their own minds on the issues? Why focus instead on hateful, vindictive personal attacks on one female blogger? I mean it's about City Hall right? I'm not even a politician just a blogger who's never made a personal attack against him.

That said, this blogger would like to extend prayers to Mr. Santana for his expression of hatred and misery and the best wishes for a happy holiday season. Merry Christmas to Santana and the staff of the Truth Publication and the best of a new year! May Christ heal your wounded heart.

As the Riverside Police Officers' Association election process cruises right along, Sgt. Brian Smith is in an uncontested race for president while the process for choosing the vice president to replace him continues. Contesting for that position was James Riedeman, Juan Munoz and a recently added and past president, Sgt. Pat McCarthy.

UPDATE: Riverside Finance Department reports to Charter Review Committee that proposed ballot initiatives like having an independent auditor report to the city council and a citizen audit committee aren't necessary. Nothing needs to be changed, they say but those measures receive enough votes from committee members to move forward. Those against it not surprisingly included former Councilwoman Maureen Kane and current Best, Best and Krieger Attorney Michelle Olette.

The meeting in La Sierra was well attended by those including Chiefs Steve Earley and Sergio Diaz.

Not surprising that the city doesn't want a citizen audit committee because essentially they already have one.

This will happen before Riverside ever grants a second ambulance contract

UPDATE: Alpha Ambulance Company has applied for a franchise agreement for Basic Life Support services and it goes before the Public Safety Committee. Expect Fire Chief Steve Earley to recommend in his "investigation" for this application to be denied. But is this application process part of a larger strategic plan to challenge the way River City does business?

And sure enough, the recommendation to the committee is for application to be denied. Isn't that shocking?

And yes, the Public Safety Committee did vote 3-0 to recommend that the entire city council deny the franchise license. But is this whole arrangement the city have with a single ambulance company complete with funding incentives in compliance with this federal law? Maybe it's time to give the Office of the Inspector General a call and ask it.

Chief Steve Earley

Under the gun once deny another ambulance franchise an agreement for BLS support...if the current franchise threatens to pull paramedic funding already guaranteed under the current ALS/911 contract.

Stay tuned....

Death Threat?

She does NOT work a single day of her miserable life... She gets money from a fund.

Mary KA-KA from 5 before KA-KA... has infiltrated the Police Dept. That's how she gets mud on everybody


Thanks for passing this threatening message to me from Inland Empire's Craigslist. Click the link and see what some anonymous person has written. My blog might be controversial but this is a bit much. I don't believe this person works for the city or the police department, as some information is coming in about who it might be but further information is still pending. However due to the nature of the suspect list, reporting it to the management of the Riverside Police Department isn't an option at this time.

I believe this might have been the person in the past who tried to post my address on Craiglist and did other postings there.

The link has been cached in case it's removed from the site or altered in any way. A photograph of it in the current form appears above. The writer has been tentatively identified through some helpful information provided by readers here and his possible identity and all relevant information will be provided to the authorities outside of Riverside including the FBI and the Department of Justice. I can tolerate a lot really, but threats to my personal safety and my life...No. That would just be stupid. I promised my mother she would not outlive me. Craigslist will also be notified, thanks for the person who provided legal information on how to do that in an expedient matter. I'm going to continue blogging and let the contacted authorities outside of Riverside handle it and the person responsible.

Now Moreno Valley's Interim Human Resources Director...hope someone keeps a sharp eye with him while he's on the clock unlike in River City

Riverside's Downtown Library

While riding or walking through town the past couple of weeks, I've noticed how many street lights were burned out and started counting them. Usually there's one here and there but lately there are many more of them including sometimes three or four of them in a row like on Central and on Canyon Crest on the way to Trautwein. Not to mention other places as well. Some of the outages stem from thefts or attempted thefts of copper wiring from inside the lamp posts and if you look on some streets, you'll see light pole after light pole that appears to have been broken into by thieves who are desperate enough to risk electrocution to get some copper and other metals to sell at scrap places.

And then there's other places where the antiquated sewer system has led to noxious odors seeping out of vents including on Central near the entrances into Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park and apparently causing backups and leakages in some neighborhoods including the Wood Streets. With $20 million dollars of the Sewer Fund being tied up in loans that were taken out to purchase properties on Market Streets through Eminent Domain to help out developers, it's not clear how much attention the city's sewer system is receiving.

But then in the mix, you have "Charles1" who has been patrolling the downtown area and keeping it safe from newspaper thieves who attempt armed robbery against news racks. When "Charles1" comes on the radio offering his assistance and asking questions about police calls, his gigs become the hottest tickets in town. But then every town has its town sheriff who walks the streets, including the currently being fertilized downtown, where Occupy Riverside tents stand not too far away from where an ice rink is being assembled. It's rumored that they won't be around much longer, the merchants having been assured and reassured by the city that even the memory of the city's Occupy memory will be erased from City Hall before the permits for the festival go into effect. But not every merchant resents their presence so that news rung through the mall quickly enough.

Occupy Riverside's response upon hearing the rumors is that they had a trainer come and teach them civil disobedience techniques and so it remains to be seen what will happen next in that ongoing saga. While not a member of that movement and not someone who really agrees with the whole "occupying"part of it ( and all the drama including splintering associated with its application), there are issues that have been raised that resonate with quite a few people from different backgrounds. Talking to an elderly man, a conservative Republican who lost his house to foreclosure and had only three days to leave it while nursing an injury. A family where one injury to one of the bread winners sent them spiraling into foreclosure as well, it's pretty scary how so many people in this country are one illness, one injury, one tragedy away from losing homes. Having a brother who's about to lose his home because pancreatic cancer has left him unable to work, at least he has a support system for him and his three sons but how many people don't?

And how many people reading this have at least $10,000 or more in credit card debt? Credit became the currency of choice when salaries failed to maintain pace or fell behind the increasing cost of the standard of living.

But their individual stories inside a movement don't flash headlines of riots in the mall and anarchy so they often slip by the wayside, maybe not great enough headlines but they are among those heard by many people in this country whether they belong to a movement like Occupy or the Tea Party or not.

Whatever happens to the movement, hopefully the issues will continue to be discussed and looked at including affordable housing (in a city that's 14,000 units short of its own HUD goal) and the high unemployment rate which still exists in a nation that's been under the Redevelopment Agency system for decades.

Issues that adversely impact the middle class that some feel is disappearing. Issues that many feel that neither political party in Washington, D.C. with all the infighting and comparison of caliber sizes inside the walls of power. The bailouts of the banks when many of them spent that money on luxury jets and spa holidays. When this came to light, were any of them required to give the bailout back, no they were just told that the next time they got money, it would be more regulated. An economy that used to be manufacture based back, then became more service orientated and now it's more about buying and selling debt, Riverside's become a microcosm of that way of doing business through its Redevelopment Agency which can't exist until the city accumulates debt. Because it needs that high debt to borrow money or purchase bonds and borrow against the future generations of Riversiders to saddle them with debt.

A good way to scare yourself is to look at the city's bond repayment schedule including for the next couple of years. To realize that the $9 million of the general fund won't be amended by outside tax revenues until about February when property taxes roll in from the December payments.

In a city with a 15% unemployment rate and the third highest property loss value in the country, a lot of people are wondering how they'll survive. What I have met downtown in the past week have been a lot of seniors, disabled people and quite a few military vets, because in this country many return back from war zones with PTSD, missing limbs and traumatic brain injuries while seeing their services including medical cut. Their foreclosure stories and battles with the health care system to even recognize their injuries are among the hardest to listen to. When people ask me I tell them, yes there probably people there to instigate trouble but there's also many people who have been there who could be like most of those who judge the movement as a whole based on the actions of a few.

It was difficult to talk to some of them because they had been burned by a "reporter" sent in by a certain local blogger who posed as one of them, showing them clippings of his own arrest, acting as if he were already a member. Solely it appears to have gained their trust to try to get information to take back to the blogger as a report to use against them. He didn't say anything about fully participating in their meetings, or trying to sell himself as a member even though his own publisher had already called the movement rioters, just that they were anti-establishment and it was total anarchy. After something like that happens, it made learning about them more difficult but you can't really blame them for that after they got burned by someone they trusted with their stories.

The Festival of Lights being barely one week away. So downtown Riverside is preparing as lights and decorations are being assembled by men in cherry pickers and ladders.

Still, what's very noticeable among the bright and shiny of the annual holiday festival is the continued deterioration of one of the city's prized institutions, the public library downtown.

That's apparent when you approach it and you see the entrance sign and notice that part of it is missing.

$2.1 Billion spent on the Renaissance (mostly borrowed) and I didn't even get a lousy new sign

Mothers now have to wing it when they change their babies' dirty diapers but at least the bathrooms aren't closed and patrons told to try their luck to relieve themselves at the Mission Inn

The Municipal Museum like others have signs advertising the Riverside Renaissance and/or Redevelopment but you'll never see one at the general public library just across the street

Of course you won't see one on the nearly empty Raincross Promenade either

Separate and Unequal:

The Downtown and her "sister" branches

[The abandoned cafe at the Orange Terrace Library but at least it had one]

[Not sure if this is the infamous $10,000 Cappuccino machine or not gate gathering dust at the Orangecrest Library but the downtown library didn't even get a coffee machine]

These photos were taken of one of what Press Enterprise columnist Dan Bernstein called the "sacred cows" of Riverside, its public libraries. Maybe through its collective vote, the city's residents sent a message to City Hall that it better not mess with the public libraries but when it comes to the main branch, the heart of the city's library system, it's clearly not paying attention. But hey at least the downtown library wasn't used by the city as "collateral" when it purchased bonds that it'll be making payments on instead of the latest developer to win this favor. That developer is the one who's building the downtown Hyatt Hotel, the same developer who given the high rate on hotel foreclosures in the Inland Empire couldn't borrow money from a bank or other legally recognized lending institution. It's hard to believe that any project that no bank or lending institution (as the city council freely admitted back in 2010)wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole could be viewed as anything but a high risk venture for the city. After all, when small businesses can't get loans, most of them are just out of luck.

Not so if you're one of Riverside's favorite developers, most of whom aren't even from Riverside at all. Because it's not libraries that are the "sacred cows" of Riverside at all at least not to the folks who really matter, it's the developers and their projects. The same ones who man many of the prominent committees on some of the downtown business boards and who when studying their projects and the generosity of the city towards them, you're left wondering how they got so many projects built or at least started with paying hardly any money at all. Even in cases, getting the land at a discount, even when their sole purpose of buying it is to clear it of "blight" in at least one case over 50 mentally ill and disabled people, before "flipping" it back to the city. The city must have been so grateful to the developer who did this to the Swiss Inn, that it managed somehow to pay the demolition costs for the leveling of a building on land it didn't own.

So Riverside's City Hall decided to be more than just his banker or his loan agent, it decided to play Santa Claus while the public library will once again see its own stocking filled with ashes and coals. Even as the city holds its fireworks extravaganza at the Mission Inn Hotel next door, the library will continue in its deterioration. Its roofs leaking in the winter rains, its plumbing antiquated and its fraying infrastructure inside. It's probably not even good enough in terms of its overall physical condition to serve as collateral on any bonds the city decides to take out and make payments on through "loans" to help out the strapped developers out there.

Another newer library allegedly gets a $10,000 Cappuccino machine which gathers dust while the downtown library can't even get a replacement letter on its sign.

However, the two libraries that were put up for collateral had been recently renovated during the Riverside Renaissance era. Maybe that made them both appealing choices to be put up as shoring for the city of Riverside's amazing generosity to yet another developer.

Casa Blanca's Library was put up as collateral when the city bought federal bonds for the developer of the Downtown Hyatt Hotel

The Arlington Library newly expanded is collateral for the federal bonds Riverside took out to build the Hyatt Hotel

Of course if Riverside makes the $1.6 million or so in bond payments, first on interest and then later on principle too, there's a good chance that the city might actually be able to hold onto its libraries and the fire stations #13 and #14 as well. And the president of the Riverside Firefighters Association assured me that the fire stations are safe because no one would want to buy a fire station because its use would be limited.

He's exactly correct in his assessment but the only problem is that it wouldn't be the fire station that would be up for sale. It'd be the land it's sitting on and to pay off the bond investors, it would have to be sold unless the city substituted a viable alternative property. Most likely after it was purchased, the fire stations would simply be bulldozed to rubble to clear away before the properties were put up for sale on the market. The reason why bonds are considered to be such safe investments with some more so than others is because the bond companies are the first priority for payback by those who owe them money on their bonds. That means that a city like Riverside has to pay back on those bonds before it pays its bills.

By the way, the general fund's bills were financed last month by a cashed in T note from apparently one of the small banks back East and also from one of the money market funds, according to information gleaned from the city's financial documents and summary reports. If it's hitting investments maybe that means that all the other funds which usually supplant the general fund when it's running low in cash are low themselves or tied up with other financial commitments. According to the city's own charter, the general fund has to remain solvent enough to pay the city's operational bills even if that means using inter-fund transfers.

Councilman Steve Adams Accuses Councilman Paul Davis Of Corruption without calling it that

Recently reelected Councilman says he doesn't want to head towards Bell

Councilman Mike Gardner: "No one's pointing fingers at anyone here."

(Um Mike, were we even at the same meeting and Steve, if you think we're heading towards Bell, you know who to call up in Sacramento...)

[The Moss Adams auditing team presented its work product for the Finance Committee]

[Adams (center) who claimed to have written the ethics code accused a councilman of misusing the legislative aide money, making illusions to criminal acts and Bell]

[Councilman Paul Davis missed the accusations that Councilman Steve Adams waged at him]

The Finance Committee met today to listen to reports issued by the auditing firm, Moss Adams which had spent the past couple of months doing audits of eight different funds in the city’s finances. The firm said that the city did quite well with no major problems yet some of the questions that were raised by people in attendance appeared to surprise them. The two auditors were asked about the depth of their audits in terms of whether or not they look behind the city’s financial statements and if so to what extent.

The city council diligently asked a few questions but the auditors discussed mostly their process rather than what they discovered. It’ll be much more interesting to read one of their annual audits when they go quite a bit more in depth involving the city’s finances rather than apparently limiting their scope. It's be nice if when I mentioned the proposed city and county swap of debt which became the $65 million in bonds the city bought from itself, the two auditors hadn't looked like they had no idea what I was talking about.

This meeting was a tea party compared to the one that followed it.

An hour later, the Development meeting was conducted in the city council chambers and Councilman Steve Adams took his gloves off going after Councilman Paul Davis and his use of the monies set aside for the legislative aides. No matter that the entire process of creating and then making these positions vested has created all sorts of issues which includes hiring campaign volunteers and managers to those now quite higher compensated positions. But the valid point is raised that there needs to be accountability for the money spent by any council member on a legislative aide or on community programs. The whole system of legislative aides should have included a documented financial trail and there should have been audits conducted of it since it started. Because these fundamental steps weren’t taken at City Hall, the whole issue of legislative aides and the monies allocated to council members has become a firestorm.

Still to listen to Adams claim directly and not that Davis was using it as a campaign slush fund, that it bordered on criminal acts and that the city could slide towards Bell, it was hard not to view it as something more than another chapter in the ongoing battle between the two councilmen. Adam speaks of transparency and accountability, two very important components of good government if overused terms at City Hall. If Adams were interested in preventing Riverside from sliding towards what happened in Bell, then all he has to do as an elected official is sit down, pick up a phone and make a phone call to State Comptroller John Chiang. Adams could then ask the state’s top auditor to come on down to Riverside and do a forensic audit of City Hall.

If he were truly concerned about corruption infecting the legislative aides fund and that it could pave the road to purgatory for the All American City, then he'd whip out his cell phone and call Chiang up in Sacramento asking for a forensic audit of the city's finances. It's amazing if all this was taking place with the fund that it wasn't picked up or commented on by the auditors of Moss Adams who had just presented their squeaky clean audit an hour earlier.

But while Adams is talking about accountability and transparency, perhaps he could explain why neither he nor other city officials told city residents about the guns, badges and cold plates scandals when the city council first found about them. Instead, they remained silent on those issues which attracted criminal investigators from the State Attorney General’s office until a lawsuit filed by two former Riverside Police Department lieutenants brought them to light.

Information that the city still won’t release pertaining to the assigned city cars given to some elected officials and their employees by City Hall. When requests were submitted to discover the monies used to purchase the five vehicles (all of which just happened to be cold plated), the city said it had no documents responsive to that request. So if Adams while he’s still feeling this spirit of accountability, transparency and wanting to stamp out corruption before it starts, then perhaps he could facilitate the release of this information. Not that the origin of the funds used to pay for those five cars is any real mystery except to most of the city’s residents, it would just be nice to see the city admit to where the funds were taken from through a written document.
At any rate, the committee appeared to agree to send it to the Finance Committee which is where it should have gone in the first place. The rationale for it going to Development Committee instead was apparently because all three committee members had legislative representatives so they could be impartial on the issue whereas those who didn’t have them including Councilwoman Nancy Hart and Davis on the Finance Committee apparently could not be.

Which naturally made a whole of sense to them but didn't make much sense to anyone else. But it remains to be seen how Davis will respond to what was tantamount to allegations of corruption made by Adams.

I mean when you sit in a subcommittee meeting expecting to hear a report on issues arising from the legislative aide program and hear a councilman strongly insinuate that another is a crook then is this going to be business as usual in River City?

This is the somewhat sanitized version of what happened. Hopefully the meeting was recorded for the public archives.

Life as a Tramp

[Maybe I'll get my mustache trimmed]

I got a flurry round of emails about people who read Salvador Santana's latest diatribe titled "Lady is a Tramp" that he wrote in response to the disclosure of the relationship between his endorsements or castigation of elected officials and whether or not they paid him to advertise for them during their political campaigns. Meaning that mayoral candidates like Michael Gardner who have payments to him showing up in their 460 forms can run for office while others like Rusty Bailey who has no such recorded payments on his 460 form get castigated by Santana in his blog and at the podium for destroying democracy for putting their "unqualified" selves on the ballot. Gardner did criticize Santana's position in writing.

Nonsense, Bailey has as much right to run for political office as Gardner does, the fact that he took his advertising business elsewhere shouldn't be used to penalize him for his choices but was that what happened? Democracy endorses an open competitive process for decisions made to run for election and though it's somewhat tacky for elected officials to file for "higher" office so soon after being reelected to serve as councilmen, both he and Councilman Mike Gardner have the right to do so. Neither one of them is putting the election process in jeopardy unless they are both doing that.

So that's apparently when the "lady" became a "tramp" when I wrote about that and how it gets tricky when political advertisements get mixed up with editorial content, an issue that many other media outlets have struggled over. I got over two dozen emails and comments in response to his cartoon and posting and I sent a link of his posting and myself being a "tramp" which is sexist language to women's sites including one that has asked me to blog about what it's like to be a woman who blogs about politics. I had the privilege of participating in that blog ring last year and my posting here on "blogging while female" received over 45,000 hits in just over a week. Which tells you a little bit about how that issue resonates for women who do blog, so as my theme for my blog posting I will borrow from Santana's "Lady is a Tramp" theme in my own posting.

Ironic that he actually chose to call me a "tramp" which is after all, a softer way of calling a woman a "whore" or a "slut" when on several occasions, I stood at the podium and wrote in my blog when his own free speech rights were violated by the same governmental body that pays him to advertise now. I stood there and spoke about how wrong it was when the city council tried to shut him down in public comment based on his topics and when the police stopped him to search the cart he used to tote around. Yet, I don't regret taking those stands at all, because more people should have defended him...just like people like Adams shouldn't distance themselves or "forget" him during election speeches or claim to people who ask they didn't pay him when documents produced state that they reported to the Secretary of State's office that he did.

When his free speech rights get violated again and they will if he ever takes one wrong step, or one incorrect stand, I'll probably be the first person out there defending his free speech rights. Well okay, maybe not the first person.

But this blog's never been about advertising for City Hall or the police department. It's intended to be about issues that impact both, a type of historical record of Riverside in the 21st century. How bloggers who do stump for City Hall, closing their eyes to what's wrong perhaps because they know if they criticize City Hall, their advertising revenue would dry up like grapes on a vine, well that's part of the historical record, well one view of it among so many out there.

When my blog posting is sent to the blog ring, I'll post it here.

But aside from that, what I have to say about my blog readership is that it's the best. And thank you Mr. Santana, for all the preaching you do about civility, kindness and emulating Jesus Christ, you gave me lemons with your postings.

I took them and made some lemonade. Have a glass on me.

Photo Album

Downtown Fire Station or Bond Collateral?

Too Early to Call so Far

Benjamin Franklin's adage on Free Speech and Expression right near City Hall

Public Meetings

Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The Riverside City Council will be meeting to discuss this agenda. First up is an item that states that it's closed session in this written report yet isn't presented like that on the meeting agenda. It has to do with the appointment of the city manager but does this mean the city council and mayor have picked one or is this just another stage of what up to know has been a rather secretive process?

Then there's this public hearing which though unstated in the report, includes whether the Riverside Downtown Partnership will raise its tax collection from 2% to 3% for its members. Hopefully the process has improved since they raised it from 1% to 2% and wasn't the same joke it was to all of the businesses who attended who aren't housed on the pedestrian mall. Participating as a representative of a downtown business about eight years ago, was truly an eye opening experience in taxation without much in the way of representation.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. The Finance Committee will be meeting on the seventh floor of the city council chambers to discuss this agenda. What's interesting about it are the items on the agenda pertaining to the city's annual financial audit and this somewhat incomplete accounting of city manager's discretionary contract fund for the first quarter of the current fiscal year of 2011/2012. On the latter, it just shows the amount spent by the city manager's office, not the contracts themselves.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 3pm. The Development Committee meets on the seventh floor to discuss this agenda which includes the discussion of the city council's legislative aides particularly the use of an employee from the city's development department.

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