OMG! In the last council meeting before residents vote on Nov 3rd, it was no holds barred at the 10/26 council meeting. Plus, in what seemed like a desperate act to soften Debbie Stone’s horrendous voting record, the topic of whether to raise water rates for the third year in a row, towards the goal of a 57% rate hike in a 5-year period, was on the agenda. While we can always be sure that residents will come out swinging is a given but a sitting councilperson, was most unexpected and welcomed. And the topic he choose to devote his 3-minutes of council communication time to, was none other than the founders of the West End Leaders PAC, who is Montclair City Council Candidate Ben Lopez and the infamous Rancho Cucamonga resident, Linda Nani Trawnik. All I can say is they deserved every scathing word in my opinion and everyone should hear what was said about them on live TV!
I don’t need to tell Upland Report readers that we’re in the final countdown, to remove Debbie Stone from her throne and change the direction of Upland on November 3rd.
The Upland Report was the first publication to disclose the actual water rate hike would be a whopping 57% at the 4/23/18 Upland City Council Meeting, that didn’t adjourn until 3:40 AM the next morning. That’s because the Debbie Stone cartel, which included then Councilmembers Gino Filippi, Sid Robinson and Carol Timm, tried to hinder the public’s participation in that meeting by crafting an agenda which filled the council chamber to maximum capacity with out of town residents. There was an estimated 180 people forced to wait outside behind caution tape, so they couldn’t gain access to the building! The Sentinel’s article, “Over 100 Excluded From Chambers As Upland Solons Vote To Up Water Rates,” did a beautiful job covering that ungodly nightmare.
Personally, I know Upland residents that waited over 3 hours to enter city hall that night and completely missed the Water Rate Hike Public Hearing and didn’t get to speak out against it! I almost suffered their same fate and was trapped in the courtyard with 180 others. I begged several UPD officers to please let me go under the caution tape so that I could speak during the public hearing. One of them was kind enough to bring me a speaker card to fill out. Then, about an hour later one of UPD’s finest lifted the caution tape and allowed me to enter the overflowing building. I had missed everything up until then and the next thing I knew, my name was being announced as the next speaker.
I was so pissed off knowing how many residents where still trapped outside, who would never get to speak that night, that I unloaded on the council and gave one of the angriest speeches ever below, which sets the tone for what happened on Monday, October 26th, at the very last council meeting before the general election.
At Monday’s council meeting on October 26th, there was an agenda item to halt adding anymore annual water rate hike increases, as of 2020. You see, the 57% water rate hike approved on April 23rd, 2018, was to be staggered over a 5-year period and looked like the below. The only councilperson in 2018 who voted against the below, was Janice Elliott. Let’s also keep in mind, that these monster water rate hikes below, were the brainchild of then Public Works Director Rosemary Hoerning, who is now the Upland City Manager, unbelievably!
WATER RATES As of 4/23/18: Tier 1 Rate was $1.52 + Water Meter Fee of $39.85 = $41.37
1ST INCREASE Went Into Effect On 5/1/18: Increased Tier 1 Rate To $1.76 + Increased Water Meter Fee To $46.90 = $48.66 (17.6% Increase From The Rates We Paid On 4/23/18).
2ND INCREASE Went Into Effect On 1/1/19: Increased Tier 1 Rate To $1.91 + Increased Water Meter Fee To $52.25 = $54.16 (30.91% Increase From The Rates We Paid On 4/23/18). So from 5/1/18 to 1/1/2019, residential water bills rised by 30.91% in only 7 months!
3RD INCREASE Was To Go Into Effect On 1/1/20: Would Increase Tier 1 Rate To $2.07 + Would Increase Water Meter Fees To $57.85 = $59.92 (Which Would Be A 44.84% Increase From The Rates We Paid On 4/23/18).
4TH INCREASE To Go Into Effect On 1/1/21: Would Increase Tier 1 Water Rate To $2.18 + Would Increase Water Meter Fees To $60.80 = $62.98 (Which Would Be A 52% Increase From The Rates We Paid On 4/23/18).
5TH INCREASE To Go Into Effect On 1/1/22: Would Increase Tier 1 Water Rate To $2.34 + Would Increase Water Meter Fees To $62.75 = $65.09 (Which Would Be A 57.34% Increase From The Rates We Paid On 4/23/18).
So at the 10/26/20 council meeting on Monday night, residents complained how they couldn’t afford to pay their outrageous water bills at all and begged the council for their help and intervention!
District 3 City Council Candidate Carlos Garcia, asked the council to halt anymore annual water rate hikes, as they are unaffordable and hurting residents citywide!
I don’t know about y’all, but Allen Nicely’s remarks below made me bust a gut laughing out loud, repeatedly. He said things that made my whole family spontaneously and involuntarily laugh such as, “Gino Filippi a known couch surfer” and “I doubt that you even pay any rent, when you’re shacking up with the President of the Upland Chamber of Commerce.” There were so many memorable one liners in Nicely’s speech, he had everyone in my household nearly rolling on the floor, when we were live streaming the meeting. Although Nicely’s comments where a scathing summary of Debbie’s performance as Upland’s Mayor, his delivery was so funny, I would seriously buy tickets and gladly purchase the two drink minimum at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, if Nicely ever decides to try standup comedy. After the video, you can download his entire speech below, because it’s a keeper.
I hope everyone heard Debbie Stone say, “I have no financial interest in Downtown Upland!” And Nicely is right again, that Debbie doesn’t own a home in Upland either! If all of this wasn’t spicy enough, it was just the opening act for what was to come, as Councilman Bill Velto took the mic next and unleashed an utter indictment against the founders of the local West End Leaders PAC being Linda Nani Trawnik and Ben Lopez. That PAC (Political Action Committee) is trying to get Mayor Debbie Stone and Gino Filippi elected, by attacking Bill Velto and Carlos Garcia. Holy hell, it will be literally impossible for Linda Nani Trawnik or Ben Lopez to duck or take cover now, as Velto just threw down the gauntlet in the video below and lobbed everything including the kitchen sink at Trawnik and Lopez, which they both totally deserved!
Because Bill gave us so much to unpack in his 3-minute assault regarding the PAC’s two “trash talking peddlers” and “buffoons,” I have included the entire 3-minute transcript of everything Bill said below so you don’t miss one delicious word!
To elaborate on everything Bill Velto referenced above, I would recommend this prior Upland Report and a shocking new webpage that is exposing every detail of those behind the West End Leaders PAC. I was given this link and after visiting the website HERE, I can now fully recommend it to all of you! Below are a few of the screenshots from it and it is not to be missed!
I am thrilled to report that the city council on 10/26, voted to suspend the annual water rate hikes for 2020 and 2021 and that residents can finally get a break from being hosed.
The 10/26 council meeting ended with public comments and residents pleas to VOTE NO ON MEASURE Q & save all of Memorial Park.
Be sure to watch this awesome Candidates Meet & Greet which was hosted by former District 3 Candidate Irmalinda Osuna, because at the beginning of the event you can hear Natasha Walton sing, “They Paved Paradise & Put Up A Parking Lot.” Finally, the 10/26 Upland City Council Meeting ended with Candidates Lois Sicking Dieter and Carlos Garcia speaking one final time to residents watching on live television, asking for your votes on November 3rd.
To wrap up this report, let’s make sure that both Debbie Stone & Gino Filippi come in dead last in their bids to get back on city council. Let’s reach out to our Montclair friends and ask that they make sure that Ben Lopez comes in dead last, in his bid to get on the Montclair City Council. Please research the 13 candidates running for local Upland Public Offices. Our 2020 Meet The Candidates Report has tons of details and information on most everyone running in the City of Upland. Please VOTE because in presidential election years, Upland has a historical record of a 80.57% voter turnout rate.
That means in District 1, with approximately 11,823 VOTERS & 80.57% TURNOUT = 9,525 Uplanders will be deciding who the district’s first councilperson will be. In District 3, with approximately 7,173 VOTERS & 80.57% TURNOUT = 5,779 Uplanders will be deciding who their new councilperson will be. For the Mayor and City Treasurer Races, with approximately 38,716 VOTERS CITYWIDE & 80.57% TURNOUT = 31,193 Uplanders will be deciding who the next Mayor and City Treasurer will be. Please make sure your voice is counted because all of you are the city’s highly educated voters, who know what is at stake here. Thank you for being readers of these reports and for caring enough and realizing, no one should have to take another four years of the failed Debbie Stone regime. Make sure she knows, NO ONE IS GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!!!
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