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September 11, 2023

Location: Cactus Cantina                                       Attendees = 124

This meeting summary aims to capture the essence of the meeting, condensing its content into a readable and actionable document. It serves as a valuable reference point for attendees and neighbors to recall discussions and decisions and to track progress on action items.

The meeting covered several topics, including continued concerns about  water from WMWD, plans to address ballot harvesting, the posting of mission statements and bylaws on the group's website, attending the Citizens Police Academy, the possibility of training with the fire department, the need for a second main line connection to the power grid, the upcoming ballot measure, a recent lawsuit, the possibility of investing in electric unmanned vehicles, implementing Neighborhood Councils, improving community communication and leadership, the use of initiative and referendums, and promoting meetings with signs and banners. County supervisor Kevin discussed his public service history, the responsibilities of elected positions, county-operated departments and services, secure elections, and the issue of trash and litter in the county. The meeting also touched on the shortage of judges, staffing of the Indio jail, and the increase of warehouses in the county. The speaker addressed the limitations of expressing opinions on developments before a vote and mentioned a failed attempt to pass regulations at the county level. The city staff introduced a waste reduction program, plans to convert an old Kmart into apartments was discussed, and attendees were encouraged to come prepared with questions for the next meeting and sign up for email updates.

Topics discussed

  1. Redistricting, water issues, ballot harvesting, banner sign, mission statements, bylaws, Citizens Police Academy, dogs, firefighting, electric grid connection dispute
    The meeting discussed the issue of selling water to Western Municipal and buying it back at a higher price. It was mentioned that they have a meeting scheduled with Western to address this issue. They also discussed ballot harvesting and the need for forms to verify the collection and receipt of ballots. Plans were made to put up a banner sign to advertise upcoming meetings. The group has also worked on its mission statements and bylaws, which are now posted on the website. Two members attended the Citizens Police Academy and expressed interest in inviting the police department special groups to their meetings. They also met someone from the fire department who offered training in firefighting and survival skills. The group considered taking this training due to recent natural disasters.

  2. Jason Hunter, Second main line, Controversy, Underground connection Jason Hunter, the leader of Neighbors Better Together, spoke at the meeting about the city's need for a second mainline connection to the power grid. There has been a controversy over whether to put the connection underground or aboveground. Jason expressed the community's desire to have the connection underground to avoid fire risks and preserve the viewshed. He encouraged the attendees to advocate for the underground option to elected officials. Jason also discussed the upcoming ballot measure to appoint an inspector general for the city. He expressed concerns about the lack of independence if the position is appointed and suggested it should be elected. He encouraged attendees to voice their opinions to council members and the mayor.

  3. Lawsuit, police officer, ticket goals, California, electric unmanned vehicles, Australia, New Zealand, Chinese funding, Neighborhood Council, registered neighborhood council, funding, meetings, city council, nonprofit, feedback, Michelle Sabrina, Anton Development Group, Kmart apartments, Rebecca Spencer, register, county MD director, Bruce Barton, Sheriff Chad Bianco, businesses, raffle, Christmas party, goals and objectives, steering committee, communication, transparency, leadership, public interest, access to city officials and data, back and forth conversation, public trust, agendas, meeting minutes, transcriptions, city employees, city charter, personal agendas, initiative, referendums, community groups, ballot, monument, real estate signs, Mission Grove
    The speaker mentions losing a recent lawsuit for $2.8 million, filed by a police officer who claimed hitting ticket goals is illegal in California. The city is considering investing in electric unmanned vehicles with a company from Australia and New Zealand. The speaker also discusses the concept of Neighborhood Councils and how it could be implemented in Riverside. Various speakers and events are mentioned for future meetings. The speaker explains that they are working on improving communication, transparency, and leadership within the community. They also mention the possibility of using initiative and referendums to enact change. The speaker concludes by discussing plans for a banner and signs to promote meetings.

  4. County supervisor, volunteer fire captain, park and rec board, water district, state assembly, county government, board of supervisors, municipal board, property investment, rental properties, volunteer firefighter, government issues, city council, county budget, auditor-controller, treasurer, tax collector, county sheriff, county district attorney, county departments, unincorporated territories, county jails, district attorney, public defender, Department of Social Services, Child Protective Services, veterans services, county hospital, Department of Agriculture, Coroner's office, flood control, waste management, environmental health, freeways, Riverside County Transportation Commission, Caltrans, population growth, elections, voting machines, free and fair elections, trash cleanup, beautification efforts
    County supervisor Kevin Jeffries has a long history of public service, including being a volunteer fire captain and serving on various boards and committees. He spoke about his passion for helping people and fixing issues in government. He then discussed the structure and responsibilities of the board of supervisors and other elected positions in the county government. He mentioned some of the departments and services operated by the county, including jails, the district attorney's office, social services, and environmental health. Kevin also addressed concerns about secure elections and the use of voting machines. He acknowledged the challenges of balancing state laws and local decision-making. Lastly, he discussed efforts to address the issue of trash and litter in the county.

  5. Parole, road cleaning, firefighting hand crews, inmate labor, county jails, sentencing, alternative programs, staffing, jail, warehouses
    Various topics were raised during the meeting. These include the possibility of putting parolees to work cleaning roads, the shortage of judges in the Riverside County superior court system, the staffing of the Indio jail, and the increase of warehouses in the county. The speaker explains the challenges faced in addressing these issues, such as limited resources and the impact of changing societal dynamics. No specific conclusions or resolutions were reached during the meeting.

  6. West campus plateau development, vote
    Kevin states that they are not allowed to express their opinion on development before it goes to a vote. Violating this rule could lead to the decision being overturned. The speaker mentions a warehouse issue and their failed attempt at passing regulations at the county level. They thank Kevin for being present and invite him to return. The next topic is a waste issue that will be discussed by the city utility staff, with Alex being introduced.

  7. City implementation program, organic waste, recycling legislation, methane emissions
    The city of Riverside is implementing a program to reduce organic waste, specifically food scraps. Residents with a green waste bin are required to participate in the program, but collection dates will not change. The program involves separating food waste using different bin systems and encourages composting. Plastic bags are used for separation due to state legislation. Cost, storage, and enforcement are addressed.

  8. The meeting also discusses plans to convert the old Kmart into apartments and invites attendees to an open house event for more information. The construction of the project will not begin for years. Attendees are encouraged to come prepared with questions for the next meeting and to sign up for email updates.

Potential actions

  • Have a meeting with Western municipal next Monday to discuss the issue of buying water back for twice as much. September 18th.

  • Put up a banner sign on the old monument sign at Mission Grove in Alessandro to advertise meetings and provide website information.

  • Continue working on posting the bylaws and mission statements on the website for review.

  • Consider organizing a training session with the fire department for survival and firefighting in light of recent natural disasters.

  • Advocate for putting the second main line underground instead of running it through the river bottom, Hidden Valley Nature Preserve, and the risk of fires.

  • Encourage elected officials in the city of Riverside to support putting the connection underground.

  • Provide support for putting the inspector general position on the ballot in March 2024 as an elected position instead of an appointed position.

  • Voice concern and opposition to the city council's plan to appoint the inspector general position instead of making it an elected position.

  • Engage with Neighbors Better Together to advocate for these issues and communicate with council members and the mayor through letters, emails, phone calls, or comments.

  • Investigate the concept of Neighborhood Councils and determine if it is a viable option for Riverside.

  • Explore the possibility of implementing a new communication system that allows for back-and-forth conversations with city officials.

  • Continue working on the updates and plans, including organizing upcoming guest speakers and scheduling the steering committee meeting for September 26th.

  • Focus on the strategic areas of communication, transparency, and leadership, including improving public trust, access to information, and the role of committees.

  • Consider the use of initiative and referendums as a means to address concerns and influence city decisions

  • Address concerns about secure elections and advocate for free and fair elections in Riverside County.

  • Stay updated on new laws and regulations coming from Sacramento that may impact cities and counties

  • Continue to work on finding a balance between state requirements and local decision-making authority

  • Seek opportunities to restore confidence in the election process and explore potential solutions to ensure the accuracy and integrity of votes.

  • Advocate for additional judges in the Riverside County superior court system to address the current shortage.

  • Determine the priorities and necessary infrastructure to support warehouses and tractor-trailer rigs.

  • Assess and strengthen regulations related to warehouses at the county level

  • Schedule a meeting with city utility representatives to discuss waste.

  • Attend the open house at the Kmart site on East Alessandro to learn about the plans for the apartment conversion

  • Gather materials (durable plastic bags) and start participating in the food waste program by collecting and disposing of organic waste in the green waste bin.

  • Consider different options for storing food waste, such as using plastic bags in the freezer, using a compost pile, or purchasing a composter

  • Attend the open house event tomorrow and collect information about the Kmart Apartment project.

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