The History of How Upland Got In This Bad of Shape ~ By Guest Contributor Ronald James

Editor’s Note: The Upland Report is very proud to republish this detailed and incredible history lesson, of how Upland got in this bad of shape. We have been avid fans and readers of this person’s comments and posts for quite some time, but from afar. That is because his comments were primarily posted on the Upland Community Website Nextdoor, that we have been permanently banned from, for no reason than to try to silence us! And what an epic backfire did that action cause, as it was solely responsible for the creation of this website, plus, NOT 1 but 2 other Upland Blogs! We should seriously have Suzanne’s Flowers send the Nextdoor UPD Administrator and the Upland Social Media Paid Monitor, some flowers!

State of Upland
Article Below Written By Ronald James 

I’ve been accused of negative posts on Nextdoor so I thought I would try a new social media platform. I’m not Facebook savvy, so bear with me as I learn the dynamics.

Truth is what it is independently of how we feel about it. The truth has no feelings.

Our perception of truth may be negative, our response to truth may be negative, but truth in and of itself shows no partiality towards our categories of judgement.

I would ask those that are upset with my posts, are you okay with the following?

November 2010 Gino Filippi elected to city council.

https://www.sbsun.com/…/filippi-hopes-to-help-city-through…/

August 2011 Debbie Stone elected to city council

https://www.dailynews.com/…/upland-voters-elect-stone-…/amp/

February 2014, Our trash and sewer bills rise….again.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-begins-process-…/amp/

May 2014, Stephen Dunn retires in lieu of dismissal and receives a severance package totaling $192,000.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/retiring-upland-city-m…/amp/

June 2014, Million Dollar Marty Thouvenell recommends that Marty Lomeli is hired as the interim city manager. Lomeli was paid $57,600. At the recommendation of Lomeli and Marty, Rod Butler is hired as city manager.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-turns-to-former…/amp/

May 2015, Marty sits on the citizen review panel and recommends LAPD’s Brian Johnson to be chief of police. After 2 1/2 years, the PD staffing is 15 below recommended staffing and looses 10+ officers to neighboring cities. The main reason for officers fleeing was Johnson. Thouvenell supports Johnson even after a vote of no confidence by rank and file and management.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-selects-lapd-ve…/amp/

http://sbcsentinel.com/…/upland-police-chief-at-odds-with-…/

June 2016, Thouvenell then used his ever growing power within City Hall and helped to orchestrate Butler’s demise. Butler was fired after a year of employment. Butler was paid $206,997 severance.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/fired-upland-city-mana…/amp/

July 2016, After pushing for the demise of Rod Butler, Thouvenell peddled his influence with counsel and had himself appointed the interim city manager. Thouvenell was paid approximately $220,000 for his time as interim city manager. Thouvenell will have served as the longest interim city manager in the history of the City of Upland.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-former-administ…/amp/

July 2017, Mayor Stone and her supporters can’t handle criticism or reasonable discourse and continue to force citizens to wait until the end of council meeting to speak. She even threatens arrest of citizens exercising their first amendment rights.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-cracking-down-o…/amp/

October 2016, Thouvenell signs up a homeless coordinator at the rate of $36,000 per year. The coordinator who lacks basic prerequisites for the job, later claims he had reduced homelessness in Upland. Does the issue look like it’s getting better? When questioned the coordinator become rude, demeaning and unprofessional.

http://iebusinessdaily.com/upland-resident-takes-up-the-ba…/

December 2016, Thouvenell then hired a consultant to assist with social media and the cities reputation at the rate of $45,000 per year.

http://www.the2020network.com/who-we-are/steve-lambert/

http://sbcsentinel.com/…/installment-two-the-sid-robinson-…/

December 2016, Closing of the skatepark for over a year without a plan to either fix the issue or raze it.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-skate-park-clos…/amp/

May 2017, Brian Johnson attempts to implement an after hours parking ordinance at the rate of $75 a year. Johnson claims that it was not a moneymaking venture.

Yet their was a profit of about $375,00 per year…

“Initially, the program would cost $82,283 to launch. Annually, it would have cost Upland $143,630 to operate, with revenues expected to generate $523,023 in fees and fines, leaving an annual surplus of about $379,400.”

Outrage brings some change.

“For starters, the $75 is gone. The new fee will be based on operating costs and feedback from residents.”

And finally after paying a consultant for 9 months the idea is dropped.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-considers-overn…/amp/

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/how-uplands-proposed-o…/amp/

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-to-abandon-over…/amp/

June 2017, Upset over a council persons social media outreach, Stone places Janice Elliott in the time out box and removes her from all her committees.

http://sbcsentinel.com/…/upland-council-set-to-yank-elliot…/

August 2017, Under Thouvenell’s leadership the Upland Fire Department is shown the door. Thouvenell claims that disbanding the department will save “The city“ about $50 million. In all actuality, money isn’t being saved, it’s been pushed onto the citizens of Upland in the form of a tax assessment on their yearly property bill. Now the citizens are saddled with an increase of $152 per year with yearly increases.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-moves-forward-d…/amp/

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-gets-ok-to-disb…/amp/

October 2017, Under suspicious circumstances Johnson leaves UPD and is paid a severance of nearly 6 months salary or $100,000 for not working.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/johnson-out-as-upland-…/amp/

November 2017, Thouvenell was forced to hire an interim police Chief at the rate of $62,400 for six months ($65 an hour).

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-moves-to-appoin…/amp/

January 2018, To assist Thouvenell on his day-to-day activities, Jeannette Vagnozzi, the Deputy City Manager earns a handsome bounty of $205,446 which includes salary and benefits. Shortly after Thouvenell leaves Vagnozzi received a 33% pay increase or $40,296 per year. Including PERS costs and other fringe benefits the total costs of the raise is closer to $55,000. The city justification for the raise is a new job title. A job title which requires no new job duties.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-makes-it-offici…/amp/

January 2018, Marty agreed to stay on as a consultant to help oversee the hiring of a new police chief and city manager (since he was so successful with his last hiring) and other “tasks.” Out of the kindness of his heart Thouvenell decided to do the work pro bono; just kidding Thouvenell will be paid $108,000 for his work.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-former-administ…/amp/

March 2018, During secret meeting with San Antonio Hospital, Thouvenell agrees to sell about 5 acres of Memorial Park for about $4.5 million. The money will be used to tear up existing baseball fields and rebuild new ones. The below agenda is the first time the sale is mentioned. Although meetings had taken place for almost a year. One council member had no idea of the pending sale and was kept in the dark about the meetings between Thouvenell and the hospital (according to her social media posts.)

I actually agree with the idea of the sale but the optics of a shadowy deal without public input is not the way a city with a checkered past should operate.

http://www.ci.upland.ca.us/…/packets/PACKET%20MARCH%2026%20…

March 2018, The mayor touts improvements on a few roads and trimming trees as a major successes and claims bold success for basic city services under Thouvenell. The city, Thouvenell and Stone don’t deserve credit for doing their jobs. What about the other 90% of roads that look and feel like Afghanistan? What about the 90% of other trees that are falling and or desperately need to be trimmed. The city didn’t come into a windfall of money, so why weren’t these services being done before. Same elected officials and except for the city manager.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-mayor-says-its-…/amp/

March 2018, Claiming water infrastructure is failing, the city now looks to raise our water bill by 50% over 5 years. Who just realized the pending disaster and why didn’t they see the issue until now? Should they still be employed?

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-to-consider-fiv…/amp/

March 2018, Crime continues to rise and we receive less service from our PD. Now we are asked to make an online report for many crimes. This wouldn’t be as much of issue so long as we receive a phone call or email about the status of the case, even if there is no news. Our residents have become disenfranchised and no longer report crimes.

No information about crime or what to look for on social media. Imagine how much higher our crime rate would be if all of the non-reported crimes were included. I don’t blame sergeants and below for many of these issue.

March 2018, During her state of the city address, Mayor Stone says the city is getting better but will not survive unless a new revenue source is found. She also states that employees are working at barebone levels so cost-cutting via attrition is not feasible. Stone states that she will not support a sales or public safety tax because it’s, “too divisive.” Isn’t it her job to effectively communicate to the citizens why this tax is needed? Isn’t it her job to bring the community together?

https://www.dailybulletin.com/…/upland-mayor-says-its-…/amp/

….so, if you’re happy with these choices then I guess my posts are negative. If you’re not happy with fiscal mismanagement then you realize that the posts are not negative, just factual. I can’t help that the city under the leadership of Thouvenell and Stone has been an abject failure and their actions have been negative.

I’m not against paying more money for services, but when we continue to throw money at consultants and go through city managers like a third world country it makes the proposition much more difficult. If you weren’t keeping track Stone and Thouvenell were directly involved in $1,083,600 of wasteful spending. All of this was found through the internet. What else don’t we know about?

Remember these issues at the ballot box. In the tone of Ronald Reagan, are you or the city better off?


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