Category Archives: Open Government

UNA Meeting Agenda June 2017

Map and Directions To Crest Community Church

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Every Second Thursday

1. Welcome – Introductions                                                                              5 min.

2.  UCR Update – Jeff Kraus                                                                            10 min. 

3. Santa Ana Bike Ride & Festival Jacqueline Rodriguez                           10 min

4. UNET Report                                                                                                 10 min.   

5. Council Update – Andy Meledrez                                                                10 min.

6. Next Steps: __??                                                                                           45 min.

7.   Next Meeting: Thursday, July13 th, 2017      

8.   Northside Specific Plan Meetings  June 7, 10, 12th.                                                                        

Thank you for creating the neighborhood of your dreams.

Measure Z Community Meetings

Flushing Tax Revenue AwayThis is the only resident sponsored forum being held on this measure.
It’s Wednesday, Oct. 12. Here’s the link:

Still time to ask questions at these upcoming meetings:

Measure Z Community Meetings

The No On Measure Z Facebook page plus Dan Bernstein’s Video.

It’s a teachable moment and a good place to start asking questions at the upcoming meetings.

Budget Presentation to the Community

You are invited to attend a 2 year budget presentation to the community for May 5, 2016 at 6pm at the St. Andrew’s Orthodox Church on Canyon Crest Drive.

Budget BlocksPlease share the following information with your neighbors and neighborhood groups.

Presenter of 2 year budget:       Adam Raymond

Where:  St. Andrew’s Orthodox Church

                                                                                                                                               4700 Canyon Crest Drive

Riverside, CA  92507

When:     Thursday May 5, 2016       6:30pm – 9:00pm


Proposal To Disband UNET?

Indict The System Sign Held By Man Protesting Next Tuesday, April 26th  at noon, the City Council is having a public meeting to discuss the proposed budget cuts for the Police.

All departments are being asked to  cut their budgets by 4%.

One area they have included is the termination of UNET.

Please inform your neighbors to attend and express their opinions about the need for the Police presence that UNET provides and any other issues they may have.

Since this meeting is a noon ‘workshop’, our best option is to use eComment. Send your thoughts, comments, ideas or concerns about the wisdom of this proposal.

Here’s a link to the agenda.

Police, Fire Public Utilities and Public Works are justifying their proposed budgets. Nobody wants to give up any money. Every department wants to keep operating the way they have.

Threatening to cut services to the neighborhoods is a sure fire way to drum up public comments and hopefully, public support for the departments. After all, we are talking about essential public health and safety services here.

What we don’t ever seem to talk about is how those essential services are being delivered. Take the fire department for example. Most of their calls are medical emergencies. Yet they roll the big equipment with full crews to answer calls that could be more appropriately addressed by a two man paramedic crews. Lots of unnecessary wear and tear on very specialized and expensive equipment.

I’m sure the voters don’t appreciate the prospect of a cut in services. After all, wasn’t it just a year or so ago when we were told that if we didn’t pass Measure A, an armageddon of lost public services would result?

The voters passed it and two weeks later, the Parks Department was threatening to reduce hours or close the City’s pools at the start of Summer. Fortunately, neighbors showed up and embarrassed the Council and we avoided a long hot, dry Summer.

The Police got an extra boost that year as well. We got to see really fast response times for rousting the homeless from the Blaine Street off ramp. In the meantime, the types of service calls the University Neighborhood has, are now coming from Sycamore Highlands, Canyon Crest, University Knolls, and parts of unincorporated Riverside County as well.

So maybe we should all do ourselves a favor and take a look at the budget proposals for Tuesday’s workshop. They’re easy to read. Most of them are going to be power points for the Council. Then share your thoughts via  eComment.

Everybody’s suddenly talking about fiscal responsibility. I say that starts with us. After all, we own it, don’t we?


Our Downtown Library Needs Your Help

About Our Historic Main Library

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This Tuesday, February 23, our City Council will vote on moving the Main Library to a new location and to authorize the City Manger to enter a contract to negotiate with Discovery Science Foundation to establish a Discovery Cube children’s science center the old Main Library location. We believe these proposals are flawed and need your help in opposing them.


Riverside Downtown LibraryRiverside has had a Main Library at the current location for 114 years. Over the last 8 years there have been discussions to either remodel the current building, demolish and build new on current location, or move to a new location altogether.  The current building was actually solidly built and in such a way to accommodate future expansion.

The city has neglected the Main Library for years.  Public meetings held to discuss the Main Library have been well attended and the overwhelming sentiment has been to keep the Main Library at its current location.

The need for a new building has been driven by the Library Director and city staff.     

The proposal being considered Tuesday is to move the Main Library to a small lot at Mission Inn and Chestnut.  City staff has been promoting this because the property is Redevelopment Agency which must be disposed of by June or it reverts to State control. It would have limited parking and any future expansion would require taking adjacent residential properties.

The second proposal, which comes from the new City Manager, is to allow him to start negotiations with the Discovery Science Foundation from Orange County to occupy the old library building at a cost to the city of up to $10 million. The Discovery Cube model is for daily school buses children and the Main Library is not suited to this use.  This proposal was only made public 10 days ago and has not been vetted by any board or committee. We are only being offered one choice. How do we know this is the right fit for Riverside?


The public has, at meeting after meeting, stated a desire to keep the Main Library at its current historical location. The city should honor the wishes of the community.

The addition of a science center or museum is a worthy concept but should be thoughtfully developed in a committee. We should examine several examples and consult with our local Universities. Careful consideration should be given to location, needed facilities, and the compatibility with adjacent uses.

Actions to take:

Call and email each of the Council members and the Mayor. We are including direct cell phone numbers.  Also email a copy of your comments to the City Clerk so they can be included in the official record.

Mayor:   Rusty Bailey               

Ward 1: Mike Gardner  951-941-7084 c          

Ward 2: Andy Melendrez       951-453-5371 c 

Ward 3: Mike Soubirous  951-515-1663 c

Ward 4: Paul Davis     951-453-1625 c             

Ward 5: Chris Mac Arthur      951-990-9719 c 

Ward 6: Jim Perry 951-741-8239 c       

Ward 7: John Burnard  909-262-0753 c

City Clerk:  Colleen Nicol                    

Talking Points:

Here is what to say:

  1. Please keep the Main Library in its current historical location. The public has asked this many times.The least expensive action to take, is to clean and restore the current building. The current building has more than enough room so there is no reason to build a new building. (The Director has actually stated they have too much room)
  1. Do not authorize the City Manager to enter into a Exclusive Negotiating Agreement.
  1. Ask that a committee be convened to developed the concept of a Science Center/Museum for the City of Riverside.We should seek participation from the local school districts and Universities.

Most Important Action- Attending and Speaking at the Council Meeting!

We need you to come to the City Council meeting and give public comments.  This is important. The Council pays close attention when a large number of people show up and speak.  The Main Library is at one of the most historical and sensitive locations in our city.  It is surrounded by the jewels in the crown.

Please join us at City Hall this Tuesday, February 23 at 6:30 PM at 3900 Main St., Riverside.

There will be two opportunities to speak. Once during regular public comments, and then again during the public comments for this specific item.  You will have 3 minutes per public comment. There are Comment Cards in the back of the Chamber. You must fill one out for each item you wish to speak on, putting your name, ward, and item number on the card, and then hand it to the city clerk at the front right of the dais. Then you wait to be called.

You may also submit an e-comment (which is limited to 1000 words) and find the full proposal attached to the agenda here:


Kevin Dawson

University Neighborhood September Meeting Agenda

Map and Directions To Crest Community Church

Note: City Manager John Russo had to reschedule. New date TBD. 

1.  Introductions

2.  UCR Update – Jeff Kraus                                                                              10 min. 

3.  RCTC Update                                                                                                10 min.

4.  Box Springs Trails Master Plan                                                                     5 min      

5.  STEM Academy Traffic Update                                                                     15 min.

6.  UNET Report                                                                                                   10 min.

7.  Meet Your Neighbors – Sat Sept 26  10- 2   Be a Host House.                    5 min.

8.  Big Springs – Valencia Hill Median Make Over Planting Party                    5 min.           Sunday, Sept 13th, 8 a.m.       

9.  UNA Oral & Video History Project                                                                   5 min.

10.  Moratorium Update                                                                                         5. min


Sycamore Highlands Warehouses

Ag Park Update

Good Public Participation Results In Better Decisions

IAP2 – the International Association for Public Participation – is the preeminent international organization advancing the practice of public participation.

So what do the residents of Riverside have to say about public participation? Read on and find out.

Hands Raised For Public Participation‘Public participation’ means to involve those who are affected by a decision in the decision-making process. It promotes sustainable decisions by providing participants with the information they need to be involved in a meaningful way, and it communicates to participants how their input affects the decision.

The practice of public participation might involve public meetings, surveys, open houses, workshops, polling, citizen’s advisory committees and other forms of direct involvement with the public.

IAP2’s mission is to advance and extend the practice of public participation.

IAP2 advocates on behalf of members and is building an international reputation for the public participation practice and profession. It supports international research and offers professional development training and services.

IAP2 members work in industry, civil society organizations, universities, government and more. They are involved in the public participation process by supporting clients, colleagues and citizens for improved decision-making.

See IAP2 Core Values Award Winners for successful examples of public participation in the decision-making process.

A number of Riverside neighborhood leaders have been meeting to discuss this. This group is called: NBT – Neighborhood Brain Trust  or, No Big Thing. Here is a draft of what we think the public engagement process should include.

Proposed Community Outreach Concept
for the City of Riverside Overview
Community stakeholders have identified a need for the City of Riverside to develop / enhance / clarify the procedure for Community outreach and engagement on projects and policies that impact City residents. The proposed concept outlined below is consistent with our Seizing our Destiny pillars, and the Riverside 2.0 Strategic Plan.
This concept advocates for an open, transparent outreach process focused on providing the highest level of customer service to all residents. This proposed policy outline is aligned with the Core Values for Public Participation developed by the International Association for Public Participation (
Concept Goals:
Thinking Ahead:
No Surprises:
All On Board:
Facilitate robust, timely communications between city and community
Enhance trust between government and residents
Fully engage community in city decision-making
Concept Principle
There tends to be 3 different modes of engagement to choose from by local government. Here they are in progression. We hope that we would aspire as a city/community to practice the most evolved of these three approaches
Active Participation.
We would like the opportunity to work with City Staff to develop an official process/policy that integrates active participation into the community development process and general mode of operation for the city
•  Provide timely and broad-based notifications of city plans for upcoming projects, using existing government and community communication networks
• Engage the community through direct communications, public meetings, social media, local print media (Press Enterprise), online surveys and portals (e.g., Engage Riverside, Survey Monkey, etc)
• Keep the community informed of all projects from beginning to end – from concept and design through all stages of implementation and post-completion evaluation
• For every project, follow up with the community on what worked and what didn’t
• Engage the community prior to finalization of a project’s concept, design, and scope to ensure consistency with the community’s vision and self-identity
• Ensure consultation with all community stakeholders, including neighborhood groups, the business community, and special interest and civic groups
•  Acknowledge that agreement / consensus of community members is not required for projects to move forward, but all views must be heard, understood, documented, and responded to by the City
•  Consult with all appropriate city and community organizations and groups, including city boards/commissions, neighborhood and civic groups, churches, HOAs, schools, PTAs, etc.
Active Participation
•  Facilitate ongoing community participation through all stages of project implementation, including regular updates and check-ins
•  Provide for an annual review of the implementation of this concept
•  Seek constructive feedback and criticism, and be willing to change direction when needed
• Challenge community groups to accept responsibility for participation and assisting in facilitation of public meetings.
• Support a civil and constructive process for community participation to insure all sides of the issue or a project are heard, debated, documented and communicated to all stakeholders
•  Encourage and empower residents to collaborate and participate in all aspects of city decision-making
•  Dedicate city resources to support the development of an informed, engaged, and participatory citizenry