Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter
No matter the agenda – short or long – Hemet’s City Council meetings come off like an unruly college seminar. Tuesday night was no different as the night went on. Some issues were resolved; others were not.
The council came out of closed session a little past 7 pm and reported that a conference with legal counsel – anticipated litigation had been settled by a 5-0 vote. There was no comment regarding a conference with labor negotiators.
After the invocation and pledge of allegiance, the meeting was opened up to public comments and that set off fireworks not often heard at a council meeting.
The first person to the podium was City Treasurer Sue Savage, who had pretty much been shut out of a part of her job by the council when they brought in outside consultants. Savage went beyond her usual complaints by making personal accusations against the council and city manager, accusing the council of breaking the law. “Hemet,” she asserted, “is a miserable city known for crime, etc., etc., etc. She quoted Google as the source of her claim.
Other speakers assailed Savage for her “improper accusations and attacks on council members.”
Both City Manager Chris Lopez and Mayor pro-tem Karlee Meyer were quick to respond in blunt language. Meyer referred to Google; “People need to stop lying to Google.”
One citizen spoke of a development going up in San Jacinto. He said that he and his neighbors live in Hemet, on the border of San Jacinto. “New Century Homes is building 150 homes behind my home. I’ve contacted the developer who promised to get back to me but never has. How long must we wait? They are ready to break ground. Will our access road be eliminated? The developer claims there has been no opposition. He simply ignores me and others in Hemet.”
The City Manager said they would contact San Jacinto to see if the matter could be resolved satisfactorily.
Some items in the agenda were sent back to staff for one reason or another, but others involved long explanations by staff and even longer discussions.
Passed 5-0: Open a public hearing and take testimony, if any; and introduce, read by title only, and waive further reading of an Ordinance of the city Council of the City of Hemet, California Amending various Sections of Chapter 90 (Zoning) of the Hemet Municipal Code Second Story Design Criteria for Residential Construction. (As amended)
Passed 5-0: Open a public hearing and take testimony, if any; and Waive full reading, read by title only, and introduce an Ordinance of the City council of the City of Hemet, California, Amending Various Sections of Chapter 90 (Zoning) of the Hemet Municipal Code for Outdoor Seating Parklets for Restaurants, Including Design Criteria.
Passed 5-0: Open a public hearing and take testimony, if any; and Waive full reading, read by title only, and introduce an ordinance of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, Approving Zone Change 21-004 Amending the Hemet City Zoning Map to Change the Zone District designations for thirty-three (33) parcels totaling 25.06 acres to change the Office Professional (OP) and General Commerce ©-2) zones to the Multiple Family (R-3) Zone. (State Street Corridor; and Adopt a Resolution of the City council of the city of Hemet, California, Adopting A Negative Declaration (Nd) (State Clearinghouse No. 2021120350); For Change of Zone No. (Zc 21-004). Amending the Official Zoning District Designation of Thirty-Four Parcels Totaling 25.06 Acres to Change the Existing Zoning On Properties West of State Street From Professional Office (Op) to Multiple Family Residential (R-3) North of Oakland Avenue on the, and From General Commercial (C-2) Between Oakland Avenue and Menlo Avenue to Multiple Family Residential (R03). With Certain promises.
Approved 5-0: Open a public hearing and take testimony, if any; and Waive full reading, read by title only, and introduce an Ordinance of the City Council of Hemet, California, Specific Plan Amendment 22-001 Amending the Downtown Specific Plan (SP 16-001) on 360+Acres Located Between Gilbert Street on the West, Oakland Avenue on the North, Santa Fe Street on the East and Acacia Avenue on the South (APN Various).
This would include drive-through restaurants (Like we need more drive-through restaurants).
Mayor Pro-tem Meyer was displeased that no letters were sent to all concerned about this. “Advertising in a newspaper does not do the job. Many people no longer take the paper..” She said she felt the taxpayers involved were being short-changed if they were not individually notified what would affect them. She was quite adamant about it.
Passed 5-0: Adopt a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, authorizing the Submission of the SB1383 Local Assistance Grant Application to Cal Recycle for $111,882.00 and authorize the City Manager to execute all related documents necessary to obtain the grant.
Passed 4-1 (Mayor pro-tem, Meyer dissented) Adopt a resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California Authorizing Submission of the SB619 Notice of Intent to Comply with SB1383 Requirements and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute all Related Documents Necessary to Support the Submission of the Notice to CalRecycles by March 1, 2022.
Mayor Pro-tem Meyer said the Governor of California is applying an undue hardship on local governments and doesn’t understand local government. “How can we comply when our recycle bins are somewhere on a ship in the Pacific Ocean?”
Passed 5-0: Adopt a Resolution of the City Council of the city of Hemet, California Awarding the Purchase of two (2) Fully Outfitted 2022, Ford Utility RWD for the Amount of $124,141.33 from National Auto Fleet Group Utilizing the Sourcewell Master Vehicle Contract #981521-NAFG Competitively Solicited Purchasing Contract and Authorizing the City Manager to Execute the Agreement and Purchase Orders in Support of the Agreement.
It was passed 4-1 (Mayor pro-tem Meyer dissented).
1. Discuss AG #21-0042A1 The Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act and add one of the following
2. Direct Staff to bring a resolution to the City Council at the first meeting in March 2022 to oppose AG #21-0042A1. The Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act.
3. Direct staff to take no action on the item.
It was suggested that a motion to oppose be brought forth at the first meeting in March 2022
Passed 5-0: Adopt a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California adopted a Policy on Admonishment and Censure of Elected Officials of the City of Hemet.
Passed 4-1. (Mayor pro-tem Meyer dissented). Adopt a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California approving a Pension and Other Post Employment Benefits Rate Stabilization Policy. Councilwoman Krupa was quite adamant that the workers should be protected when times got hard so there would always be money to take care of their retirement funds. “They have earned it,” she said.
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