Dear City of Hemet

Young man asleep against Walgreens Pharmacy at Florida and San Jacinto at 1PM recently in broad daylight. It gets worse at night. | Courtesy Photos of Rusty Strait

Perfect City?

Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

Anybody who peddles the lie that Hemet is the perfect city needs to be taken out any evening or early morning and given a tour of Hemet from east to west and north to south; show them the boarded-up shops, people sleeping in doorways, being approached by hoodlums demanding money, etc. Listen to the back-biting among those who claim to be “cleaning up the city.

It is not safe for the elderly or mothers with young children to walk the sidewalks, window shop or just go strolling. Go a block or two north or south of Florida Avenue where people fear going out into their own yards because there is no proper street lighting. All too often, we do not have sidewalks. It is the city officials who are responsible for the safety of our streets.

Safety is a lot more than paving or sealing the pavements. The air from City Hall is going with excuses or placing blame on somebody else. Try reporting overhanging tree limbs that cover up stop signs and then checking it out next week – see what you find. This is not fantasy. I personally have reported one bushy tree that hangs over a stop sign in the City of Hemet – not just once, but year after year. The minute Spring hits, the branches return and stay until winter weather sheds the leaves.

Check it out; the Southwest corner of Central and Harvard St. This reporter has been approached a number of times with questions as to why doesn’t paper report these things. This past week I wandered around the city taking pictures and asking questions. We can only pose your questions. You should attend City Council meetings and pose your questions to the Honorable City Council. Here, in essence, are some of the questions I receive:

Q: How long can a police firefighter work before having a rest or break and how long is that rest period?

Q: How much of the overtime pay is for street officers, office staff and management?

Q: Same questions to the Fire Department?

Q: How much is the actual amount collected by the extra 1% Measure U tax by the year since it was imposed by the voters?

Q: Can the City Pass any type of regulation to allow code enforcement or another department to move the sidewalk sleepers out of eyesight?

Q: In 1998, the Council promised a skate park in the city. Since Bonnie Wright retired and moved away, we have heard little or nothing about that. Are the plans still undergoing for this project?

Q: When is the Council going to do something about that monstrosity of a building with broken windows and no top going to be repaired or torn down located at the northeast corner of Florida Avenue and State Street?

Q: Why isn’t something being done about the empty storefronts on Harvard Street and along Florida Avenue in downtown Hemet?

Business owners complain that they are unable to do business in many instances because of the homeless situation. Mass theft is another subject I’ve heard about.

One Walgreens clerk told me, “I have stood and watched thieves walk through the store, load up and then walk out the door scot-free. I’m not about to jeopardize my life by going after them.

Where is all this police safety for the businessman? We’re a corporation and can absorb a good deal of loss, but what about the small store that doesn’t have such corporate backup?” On and it goes.

I ask you, the Hemet City Council. How will a rehashed Measure E, Measure U and now Measure H change anything when we still do not have an increase in cops on the street as promised? So $65,000,000 of taxpayer money on top of all the other taxes and we still have a city living in fear of crime, homeless and drugs permeating our streets??? Just saying.

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