In a long-winded and often exasperating discussion, the Hemet City Council finally came into the 21st Century tonight on the homeless situation that permeates the San Jacinto Valley. Following in the footsteps of neighboring San Jacinto, Hemet joined up with City Net, an organization dedicated to assisting the disenfranchised back into a working society. More on that later, but first the routine and mundane.

Coming out of the closed session, the City Manager stated no action was taken on two items and the council opened to the public. After the cursory prayer and pledge, public comments were accepted on items not on the agenda.

Sue Marklin spoke in favor of Valley Restart, which has expanded outreach to 75 persons per month. It was only temporary assistance to homeless families and something needs to be done to help them later on when their temporary assistance ends.

Jerry Ann Franklin exhibited excitement that the city is teaming up with City Net, which will soon be covering the entire valley.

Another gentleman, whose name we did not get, complained that our children are not being taught about money and the law.

Debra Scarcelli brought up a power outage in her park that ranged throughout the area on October 9th that blue out her DV player, all fuses and appliances throughout the neighborhood, including fuse boxes, etc. and that she personally sustained more than $1000 in damages and that others sustained even more damages, some who simply did not have the money to correct them as she did. A contract with Edison, she said, brought nothing but denials stating that an independent tree trimming service was to blame and that she should go after them for recompense but did not name the tree trimming company. She requested help from the city.

Mary Ann Duran complained that “the good old boys” supported Marc Searl for council seat four and inferred that his opponent Joe Males was being smeared. She closed by adding, “Why do we want the same old people on the council that were the cause of all the problems we have now.”

Mayor Meyer asked all to leave their numbers with the clerk and she or another council member would contact them and deal with their issue.

Councilman Lilienthal took care of proclamations endorsed by the Mayor and Council, i.e.:

1. Proclamation – That October 23-31 be declared Red Ribbon Week to concentrate on the pandemic of alcohol and drugs among our youth.

2. Proclamation – That October be declared Violence Awareness Month, pointing out that there has been an increase in domestic violence in the City of Hemet.

3. Proclamation – That a week of Fire Prevention be declared and that all citizens should have a plan in case fire breaks out in their home so that all can escape unharmed.

4. A highlight Real was shown of Recent Accomplishments in Hemet (available on the Hemet City Website). The consent calendar was approved (after two minor explanations) 4-0.

Discussed the overall Themes relevant to the Hemet City Council and Authorized the Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem approve a letter to be sent to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors Regarding the Redistricting Process and Adopting new Supervisorial District Boundaries. They specified that it should be made plain to the Supervisors that Hemet is separate from San Jacinto, that there should be no bifurcation, and included in Hemet should be the following:

The unincorporated area throughout the 92544 postal area to the East and South of the city limits.

• Southside of Hemet

• Homeland

• Winchester

• Idyllwild

• Diamond Valley Lake

This issue was passed 4-0.

Then came the issue at hand – whether to contract with City Net to assist with eliminating our homeless situation. City Net offered two options. The council, after a lot of back and forth discussion with the representatives of City Net, decided on Option 2, which is as follows:

Street Outreach and Engagement plus Emergency Shelter/Bridge Housing: This includes the street outreach and engagement component from option one and consists of a significant investment in renting rooms for those wishing to be housed. The proposal consists of ten rooms for the duration of 82.29 weeks which will ensure that the city has room space for those wishing to be accommodated.

Ordering funding to be utilized. Once a funding source is determined, the authorized Finance Director establishes a supplemental appropriation to support this program. Overall, the council seemed quite satisfied that City Net has a proven record of reducing homelessness with their programs and this program should begin in full force by December. The total cost: $1,108,000 or approximately $63,279 per month. City Net will be partnering with the Hemet Police Department and other organizations involved with the homeless situation.

Although not part of the council meeting, the following is pertinent to this story.

Under the banner of Hemet Police Officers Association, the following item was put out on social media:

Marc Searl for District 4 City Council

“People behind the scene of his opponents’ campaign support

defunding and disbanding The Hemet Police Department and

contracting our police services with the county.”

I’ve warned all of you before, and here is our Hemet Police

Officers Association telling you themselves – we do not need

puppets backed by deep pockets in office.

The publication so incensed Mayor Karlee Meyer that she issued the following statement refuting such an outrageous statement:

“My support for our Hemet Police Department is public record, but I will draw the line when lies are created to manipulate voters, even if it is a thin blue line. For the record, no sitting council member nor either candidate running for District 4 has said anything about “defunding or disbanding” our police department. You have my word as the Mayor of Hemet.

Signed: Karlee Meyer

Politics is unfamiliar with dirty campaigning but from folks I have spoken to since last night, this reaches a new low for Hemet. Voters beware of false prophets.

Just sayin’ [email protected]

Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

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