By Jason Pesick, Staff Writer
A flier attached to a letter signed by Councilmen Joseph Sampson and Ed Scott advertises an "Urgent Town Hall Meeting on Perchlorate" and touts a number of invited guest speakers.
However, many of the guest speakers listed say they were never invited - the flier and attached letter were the first they ever heard of the meeting scheduled for a Friday evening before a holiday weekend.
The councilmen explain that the letter and flier were intended to serve as invitations to the guest speakers, which included assemblymen, county supervisors, as well as school district and local water officials.
"I don't think anyone knew about it until the letter went out," said Davin Diaz of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, one of the few guest speakers who expects to attend the meeting.
"We don't think it's the correct way to run a meeting," said Manny Hernandez, chief of staff for City Council candidate Joe Baca Jr. Hernandez said he did not know if his boss would be able to attend due to the late notice, but would try to send a representative.
The letter was issued the night before a meeting between city and county leaders intended to discuss a lawsuit filed by the city against 40 corporations regarding perchlorate contamination in the city's north end. The chemical used in rocket fuels and other explosives has contaminated wells throughout Rialto and is believed to cause thyroid problems. However, that meeting quickly devolved into a bickering match that ended after 20 minutes with nothing resolved.
The invited guest speakers listed in the letter include Carole Beswick, chairwoman of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board; San Bernardino County supervisors Bill Postmus and Josie Gonzales; California Assembly members Gloria Negrete McLeod and Baca; Diaz; and Sujatha Jahagirdar of Environment California.
Jahagirdar and Diaz said they are likely attend today's meeting. Most of the other invited guests said that while they may not attend, they may send staffers.
The letter states that the purpose of the meeting is to hold "the responsible polluters accountable for the cleanup."
"We didn't try to do anything to hamper people attending it," Sampson said.
Scott, when told of the guest speakers' complaints, said, "They can either show up or not."
I had sent this report out earlier, and in my comments I suggested that the City of Rialto was not cleaning the water and spending all their time trying to get litigation to gain money so that they can perform water cleaning efforts. It was not until now that I found out that the City of Rialto has been cleaning water or putting forth and effort to clean water, but they also have been putting forth an effort to have someone else pay for the cleaning of said water.
Know this, Rialto should pay for their own filtering of the Perchlorate from the water wells that they have. The County and City's should work together to clean up a very potentially dangerous Water contaminant! I pray that my Child or my child's children don't have that problem if they decide to live in Rialto. However they might decide to live where it is cooler. I long for the very dry heat of the summer days of the high Sierra, Living up there during the summer as a child chasing Thunder Storms with my Two best friends in the whole world I would trade everything I have to go back to that right now. I am sorry, but I am crippled now, so of coarse I am going to want to go to a time when I was not Messed up with chronic pain. sucks to be me!!
I am sorry that I sent out the bad remarks about the City Council for thinking that they were out for money over the public Safety, in regard to the Perchlorate. I thank God that I was wrong about them on this manor. However the Limits for the Perchlorate was set to high, it needs to be set lower, I know that every notch lower is more expensive to clean out, but it is just that much safer for our CHILDREN WHO DRINK THE WATER @ School and the like!!
Again, I hope that the City Council accepts my apology when it came to the filtration of Perchlorate from our Six Wells in the City of Rialto. Thank You!!