Let the people elect Hemet’s Mayor

Date:

Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

Some rather reliable sources are telling me that the Hemet City Council may place a ballot initiative on the upcoming March 2024 Primary Election that would, at long last, allow the citizens of Hemet to determine who serves as their Mayor. It is about time. This popular move by the council has been talked about for years, but the prior City Council egos have never been able to give up the practice of selecting among themselves. Egos, I guess. I don’t have to tell those who followed the antics of the Hemet City Council that the annual chair-changing exercise every December has resulted in some very strange and disappointing choices.

Let the calls or emails to the City Council begin. We only need three City Council votes by December 8th to get this on the March Primary ballot. A special meeting will also be needed, but if the council can hold such a meeting to purchase some city vehicles (as was done quite recently), it can certainly hold one to place this very important initiative on the March ballot.

If passed by the voters, citizens of Hemet would then have their first opportunity to elect a “people’s Mayor” during the November 24 Presidential General election. From the conversations I’ve had with any number who have patiently waited for an at-large elected Mayor in Hemet, there is little doubt that the voters will pass this initiative by an overwhelming margin. More democracy and transparency will always prevail over less. And, you don’t have to look far to see how such a system works in other communities. The City of Menifee operates with an at-large elected Mayor, and it has worked very well for them.

Moving to a system where all the voters elect the Mayor will necessitate a reconfiguration of the existing council districts. Instead of five, there will only be a need for four. For voting purposes, the elected Mayor will serve as an at-large Councilmember. Not that districts have meant much to Hemet anyway. Hemet is far too small for individual districts to make much of a difference in how our City Council should be voting. The best solution for which district gets merged into the other four is to use the district of the Mayor selected by the City Council majority when they undertake their annual self-election process in December. If passed by the voters in March, there will be plenty of time to reconfigure the voting districts before the November 2024 election. The voters will also decide if the Mayor should serve a two or four-term. I’m all for four years. We need some stability at the helm of government in Hemet, and choosing our Mayor to coincide with the President of the United States every four years would make for a nice symmetry at the local level.

Kudos to the Councilmembers who champion this initiative. They show their unselfish leadership when they vote to let the people have this very important position. I’d rather you didn’t argue with me. You know how I hate fighting. Just sayin’.

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1 COMMENT

  1. No wonder the city went to s*** I’ve been here 25 years and we’ve been going downhill it’s time to get these people out of here so the city can go back the way it was

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