Ok folks, I have extended my summer absence from GT and may even skip this winter all together. However, I will post or bring up to date some issues that have come in from the Email Box:
Sounds or I should say SOUNDS like the Orange Show Raves are getting out of hand. If you hear a Rave in GT, there may be hearing loss at the actual Rave. Perhaps the Department of Health can turn down the volume if San Bernardino Code Enforcement is unable to dial it down.
Next City Council and Management hired an expert to negotiate the RDA Deal. We should ask why the City Manager is not skilled in RDA Management isn't some of her income draw because she is the RDA Director. If she is not qualified for that function perhaps the cost of hired help should come out of her Income Package. At least GT was smart enough to see it needed help and did not take a Schwabastic spit in the wind approach. That is good.
However, in the Nov 8 Packet for the Council there are glowing reports on the balance of accounts for the city. I don't question the account balance. I do question the representation of the report. The report does not identify the liabilities associated to the funds sitting in various bank accounts. The RDA Funds are obligated to pay back interest and principal of Bonds, In addition the City has retirement costs that are long range. Then a real and hopefully priority is the 1 or 2 contract the citizens really care about. One being the Police Protection the Other the Fire Protection. The water is not city water, power is SCE, Trash and Sewer are negotiated contracts that quite frankly the City has been just a pass through agency and not real tough negotiators. So just saying here are our account balances is a misleading picture of the City's reality. This is a Schwabistic Representation of Financial Reporting that leads to the Citizens and council to think.... oh we have plenty of money. THAT IS JUST NOT THE CASE.
Regarding Money. It is about time for the first quarter report on the INCREASED Sales Taxes that have resulted in the New Stater Brothers. Contrasted in that report should also be the figures of sales tax reductions for the stores impacted by the "New Stater's". All restaurants lost potential sales and foot traffic. Except Miguel may have seen an increase. In addition to the accounting for the "Sales Tax Windfall" promised we should have a public accounting of the number of employees working at Staters and the number of Part Time Uninsured and Full Time Fully Covered Employees. Are they in compliance with their obligation with the city. A default will return RDA Funds and fee waivers if I recall correctly.
Email reports the Stater's Employees are still parking on un finished parking lot surfaces. Isn't that a code violation? Try parking your car on the dirt at your house... See how that works for you.
Question regarding new occupant for the anchor store at Mt. Vernon and Barton Rd (Old Stater's Center) has that name changed? Let me know. Well, my understanding is Stater Brothers is blocking any new business that want's to move in until their lease option expires. Rent is being collected by the property owner however, the empty space is not good for businesses in the shopping center. I do hear parking for the restaurants is much nicer so folks are encouraged to enjoy that aspect of the change. What should go in there? Well Virginia has her speculation a Mexican Market or subdivided offices. It will be interesting. I think if there were offices being proposed Stater's would release the building as then the conversion would insure that they would never have competition for the grocery market in GT.
Email writer asked about CVS's and the two other shops on that corner. One pointed out that the picnic table and bench area is trashed and ugly and it seems the Code Enforcement is lax when it is a Commercial Property of Jacobsen's Development. There is still a Shipping container in the parking lot being used for storage. Again try that anywhere else in GT. I don't know anything about CVS's health. However, I've always said GT has not supported a Pharmacy in the past. Stater's at least did not double up with an additional Pharmacy as it planned, that would have killed CVS and the Wallgreens if that ever gets built.
Pay Jacobsen with State Money for a West Side Park. Jacobsen gifts 15,000.00 for a GT Kickback for operating funds. The obligation to build low income housing has not been answered and this was an obligation tied to Jacobsen and the Stater's Development. A park is nice, but somehow this one has a stink that will never be abated.
SDA Parents and Educators are writing mad about the Council member Hays's Beer Garden... I have directed them to the ABC board that issues licenses for this type of business. Let the ABC board know how you feel about an additional point of alcohol sale in GT. We already are considered to be saturated with Alcohol Licenses. Next to a School and SDA Church is also a bit of an issue. SDA's begin their Sabbath on Friday at sunset. When is this bar going to be open?
Looks like Occupy Redlands is focused on the bigger picture and not local issues. There should be a local assessment regarding excessively paid City Managers and City Management. I think it would be fair that a City Manager and City Management all employees should earn no more than 10 percent more than the Average Citizens income. This may be a level of compensation Citizen's Tax Contributions can pay for without going into RDA Debt Financing. It would also limit the Retirement Obligations in the future. City Managers should be realistic about living on a limited budget. Retired people on limited incomes in GT renting out a room should not have to pay additional inspection fees and so forth.
Well, readers, I will try to get to the email at least once a month... Good Luck