A CLOUD HOVERS OVER HEMET CITY COUNCIL MEETING

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Hemet city council meeting 01/25/2022 Courtesy screenshot via Zoom, Rusty Strait

Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

You knew something wasn’t right. An atmosphere of silence initiated the opening as the Hemet City Council filed into the room from the closed session and took their seats and took their seats. It was like the lights had dimmed. The usual glow of sunshine was absent. Mayor Pro-tem Karlee Meyer was granted an excused absence.

During the invocation, a private request was made to the man upstairs – please let Karlee get through her current problem and bring her back to full health. Some time ago, she announced publicly that she had brain cancer, but it seemed to be responding to treatment. I spoke to her about a week ago and she was her usual blonde burst of energy and enthusiasm.

Her absence was excused, but she was on everyone’s mind.

There were several complaints from the public. First, City Treasurer Sue Savage assailed the council and city manager, claiming that they were not complying with California laws when it came to proper reports. She said that if they were investing as she suggested, the city would earn $100,000 but the money was sitting in the bank drawing zilch in interest. The council did not respond, but later turned down a request to add an assistant to the treasurer.

Pat Gregory spoke in support of Savage and claimed there was a lack of transparency in that there was only one treasury report in a year and that the public had a right to know what was going on with their money. The council did not respond.

A member of the Hemet Police Officers Association complained that there were less police officers than needed and that the Measure U taxes were supposed to take care of that, and why wasn’t it? He stated that there was $50,000,000 in the fund and where it is. He believed in essence that the police officers were being short-changed.

He claimed that the Measure U Oversight Committee is required to meet twice a year and that it has had no meetings at all. Measure U was supposed to bolster the HPD by not only providing equipment but new officers. Councilman Males said he would not vote to spend money from Measure U for anything that didn’t have paid for from Measure U unless it had “Paid for by Measure U Funds” written on the side of it.

Dave Prieto, President of the Hemet Fireman’s Association, discussed the mid-year budget asked why it isn’t money coming forth to provide the equipment the fire department needs.

Glenn Brock complained about a Riverside County proposed Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreational Park next to Diamond Valley Lake, claiming that residents nearby would be badly affected by the dust and air pollution from such an installation.

Then came the usual presentations as follows:

Proclaimed International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Proclaimed National Personal Self Defense Awareness Month. (This was followed by an outstanding demonstration of martial arts by several local young men.

Proclamation Honoring World War Two Veteran Robert Kozel.

Approved 4-0 Authorizing the Annexation of territory to Community Facilities District No. 2005-1 (Public Safety Services) as Annexation No. 20 and Authorizing the submission of the Levy of Special Taxes to the Qualified Electors of Such Community Facility District; calling a special election and submitting to the Qualified Electors of Community Facilities District No. 2005-1 (Public Safety Services) Propositions Regarding the Establishment of an Appropriations Limit and the Annual Levy of a Special Tax within the Community Facilities District; Making Certain Findings, Certifying the Results of an Election and Adding Property to Community Facilities District No 2005-1 (Public safety Services), the Annexed Territory, Generally Located Between Stetson Avenue, Palm Avenue, Chambers Street, and Lyon Avenue (Heritage Points).

Approved 4-0 with conditions, Consider Establishing City of Hemet Community Facilities District No. 2021-02 (Heritage Points), to establish and Appropriations Limit, therefore, to authorize the Submission of the Levy of Special Taxes, to submit the Establishment of an Appropriations Limit to the Qualified Electors of such Community Facilities District; “Calling a Special Election and Submitting to the Qualified electors of City of Hemet Community Facilities District No. 2021-02 (Heritage Points) Propositions Regarding the Establishment of an Appropriations Limit and the annual Levy of a Special Tax within the Community Facilities District; and, Declaring the results of a Special Election in City of Hemet Community Facilities District No. 2021-02 (Heritage Points) and Directing the Recording of a Notice of Special Tax Lien.

Approved 4-0 A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, adopting General Plan Amendment 21-001, a City-Initiated Proposal of a Revised Housing Element of the Hemet General plan, Updating the Current Housing Element in Accordance with State Mandated Requirements for the 2021-2029 6th Housing Element Cycle and finding that the Project is Categorically Exempt from CEQA in accordance with 150619(B)(3) OF THE California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines.

Approved 4-0 A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, Approving Quitclaim Deeds Associated with the Tres Cerritos East Development Area (Located in Northwest Hemet at the southwesterly Base of the Tres Cerritos Hills and is Bound by Devonshire Avenue along the south, Cawston Avenue along the East, Menlo Avenue along the north and Myers Street along the West), and authorize the City Manager to Execute all Quitclaim Deeds to Omni Financial, LLC.

Approved 3-1 Adopted a resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, approving a New Agreement for Services between the City of Hemet and Epic Land Solutions, Inc. For providing the Real Estate Broker Services for the property located at the Northwest corner of Stetson Avenue and Sanderson Avenue (APN 456-050-044), zoned Community Commercial, 17.83 Acres in size, authorizing the City Manager to execute the agreement through December 2022 for an amount not to exceed $50, for on-call services for additional city-owned properties in the surplus land list of the City of Hemet.

Councilman Males objected because he felt the contract should have been left to a local broker.

Approved 4-0 on a resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, authorizing Remote Teleconference Meetings of the City Council Pursuant to Assembly Bill 361.

Voted 4-0 on a Revolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California ratifying the Community Development Block grant – (CDBG-CV) Hemet CARES Business Support Grant Criteria and Funding Recommendations for Rounds One and Two.

Approved 4–0 A resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, a Consolidated List of Proclamation for the Year of 2022.

Continued 4-0 a Resolution of the City Council of the city of Hemet, California, Adopting City Council Protocols.

Approved 4-0 to write a letter of disapproval to the County of Riverside a plan for Regional Parks and Open Space District for the County of Riverside in partnership with the State of California for the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division’s Initiation of a Feasibility Study for Site Selection Choices fora Future Public Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Park. (The proposal near Diamond Valley Lake).

Approved 4-0, after a long discussion and limitations, a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, authorizing acceptance of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and Discussion on Proposed Projects for Funding.

Agreed 4-0 to send back for reconsideration of action On Net Energy Metering 3.0 for reconsideration.

Approved 4-0 A resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, Amending the Fiscal Year 2021/2022 Budget, Approving Appropriations and Amending the Budgeted Positions List. Request from City Treasurer for an assistant was removed.

Sent back to staff for further directions a recommendation to discuss funding options to address the Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEN) and Public Employee Retirement System (PER( Unfunded Liabilities and provide direction to staff.

Karlee Meyer’s spirited and often humorous input was sorely missed. This paper and this reporter support Karlee’s fight against her affliction and look forward to her full recovery and back at her seat on the council as quickly as possible. Come on Karlee – come back quickly and turn on the lights again. Just sayin’

rustystrait@gmail.com

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