Sparks Fly at Hemet City Council Meeting

Date:

Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

On Tuesday, February 28th, Hemet City Council Meeting turned into a free for all, with all standard procedures taking second place to three specific issues:

1. The proposed Mental Health Facility proposed at the corner of State Street and Menlo Avenue.

2. The proposed Bicycle lane up and down Palm Street. Seventeen or eighteen citizens took the floor to either protest or supported the Mental Health facility. The majority of those in favor of the project were folks involved in mental health. At times the evening took on the aura of an old-time Southern Holy Roller meeting with shouting and amens.

The council members were unified in meetings with their constituents who supported the project but not in that location. Most didn’t even want it in Hemet and it was the same old “Not in my backyard” excuse.

Stacie Olsen, initially for the Mental Health Village, spoke up about the need for the idea but not at that location. “That particular corner is a magnet for the homeless.” She said these particular homeless are a dangerous group of people, sleeping on sidewalks and worse. “This is not a safe location that is already out of control in a residential area.”

The next speaker said there was a misconception about the facility. “It is not a haven for the homeless. It is a crisis center. Coachella wanted the recovery center but there was some a conflict that prevented building it there. “The Center will be like a Village, a four-story building with a Cafeteria and a pharmacy open to the public. It will even allow patients to bring their pets with them.”

Another speaker insisted that the location would place additional stress on an already overworked Police Department. “No one says help is unnecessary, but not at this location. We know that most of the homeless have mental problems. Hemet is a catch-all for such people. Temecula is known to send homeless people here.”

The next speaker hailed the idea that 600 well-paying jobs would be created, boosting the Valley’s economy.”

Mayor Males wanted an accurate number of beds that would be at the facility. “I first heard 178 and then it shot up to 400. Why were we misled on the count?” The speaker admitted that all in all, there would be 486 beds.” The mayor also mentioned that patients would be free to walk away at any time.

Councilwoman Linda Krupa stated, “I am against it. I recently spoke to 75 people who are all against the project.”

Mayor Joe asked how long someone could stay at the center and was told 3 to 6 months.

The most prolific speaker against the center being erected anywhere in the Valley was Jim Lindenberger who operates the Community Pantry. “I’m not against the facility, but never in this city or the valley.” He accused the Council of having a meeting last March but kept it secret. The Council is not doing its job. Why aren’t we doing something now instead of wasting time?”

He also stated the Valley doesn’t need a Taj Mahal “Build it in the desert.” He ended by accusing the Council members of simply not doing their job.

By a 3-2 vote, the Council voted to rescind its support.

After much dialogue about the need for paving streets or installing bicycle lanes on Palm Avenue, the Council voted 3-2 to accept the Hemet Valley Bikeway project.

By a 5-0 yes vote the Council agreed to the following:

1. Open a public hearing and take testimony, if any; and

2. Introduce, read by title only, and waive further reading of an Ordinance of the City Council of Hemet, California, amending various sections of Chapter 90 (Zoning) of the Hemet Municipal Code, including Division 2 Nonconformities of Article II Administrative Regulations and Article III Special Uses and Conditions of Chapter 90 (Deemed Approved Alcohol ad Tobacco Use Nuisance Regulations).

By a vote of 5-0, the Council adopted a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, Approving the Second Amendment to the Agreement for Services between the City of Hemet and Wildan Engineering for $265,357.32 for a total amount not-to-exceed $435,357.52; and (w) the Finance Director to increase the Department of Life Safety budget for $265,357 to Contract Inspection/Plan Check (Account no. 120-3300-2610).

By a vote of 5-0, the Council adopted a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Hemet, California, Awarding C.S. Legacy Construction Inc., a Construction Agreement for the Construction of a Skate Park at Gibbel Park for $2,216,687 Excluding the Additive Bid Items, and waiving any minor bid irregularities, and Authorizing the City Manager to Approve Additional Construction Expenditures not to exceed 10% of the Contract Amount or $221,668 and Authorize the Finance Director to Appropriate an additional $519,055 of Unencumbered ARPA funds to the Project Account to fund the total project costs, and Authorize the City Clerk to Record the Notice of Completion upon acceptance of the work by the City Engineer, and Direct the City Engineer upon project completion to bring the final plans to City Council acceptance.

The Consent Calendar was accepted without change on a 5-0 vote.

One thing was evident throughout the evening, Karlee Meyer still has resentments against Joe Males being Mayor.

All in all, the Council settled some crucial issues, but not to everyone’s liking, especially the many who spoke in favor of the Recovery Village. Oh well, we can’t have everything we want., Just saying’

rusty [email protected]

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Why is it that the homeless crisis along with the mental health issues of many People in this city are always brushed under the rug? Come on people a frigging Skate park over the well being of our local Citizens in the Valley. It’s obvious that no one seems to care about the homeless but they sure don’t mind complaining all over Social Media about them. Well you get what you wanted so don’t complain anymore . You care more about yourselves then you do of others whom are freezing to death and dying of heat stroke and overdoses.I have lived in Hemet 30 years and have watched our tax dollars go into the pockets of companies and people’s pockets that don’t make a difference in this city. Bike lanes are a joke.

    • we need to do things that change the direction of our young people, so that they do not become homeless and drug addictive. They need wholesome activities, so maybe by putting our money into the skate park we can help turn this mess around for the future. The current homeless and drug addicted need to be held accountable, so they would need to show that they are being helped to get out of their current lifestyles, we should not just house them in order to make our city cleaner. That would just be enabling them to continue their destructive lifestyle.

  2. So…we can appropriate over $2 MILLION for a skate park, but a facility to help the mentally ill? No, can’t do that. Because the proposed area that it would be built has too many people who are, guess what, mentally ill. What am I missing?

    • Oh and it gets worse, Riverside University Health wasn’t asking the city for a DIME to build this facility. They received a grant and it would cost Hemet NOTHING.

      • Terrific! Find a place in Riverside then. It’s a bigger town and more space to spread them out. Then you can bus 485 of them to Riverside and out of Hemet. Do not house them here in this SMALL town while they “rehab” in 3-6 mos…and eventually release them on our streets. That is not fair!

        • I couldnt have said it any better!!!

          The purpose site is right across the street where I live. I DONT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, WANT THAT FACILITY ACROSS THE STREET FROM ME. IT ALREADY A NIGHTMARE JUST TO TAKE A WALK LET ALONE JUSK STEP OUT MY FRONT DOOR.
          I WENT FOR A VERY SHORY WALK WHEN I HAD A KNIFE PULLED ON ME!!!
          DO NOT PUT THE FACILITY IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD!!

  3. any body remember back when there was a proposal for the building a new Valley Restart? and there was 750K granted for this and only this purpose? and the same thing happened–“NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD” Hemet City Council you have been and continue to be privileged holes of the worst variety–

  4. Hemet population about 90,000….Coronado CA population about 25,000……Hemet has many hundreds (if not over 1,000) of “homeless”….Coronado has NONE!! Create a task force….study why and how cities like Coronado and othe rs have very low or O homeless folks on the street…….

  5. In 1979 I was a physician assistant student at USC just starting an “internship” at a general practice in Long Beach. I was waiting for the physician to return from lunch to start seeing patients…because the numbers in the waiting room were building up, I thought I would get started at least getting the histories of the patients so we wouldn’t be so far behind. The first patient was a large black man. I walked in the examining room after the MA had gotten his vital signs, introduced myself, and asked him how we could help him. He jumped off the examining table, slammed his fist into the wall and said “I killed a man 7 years ago and I’m feeling the same way now! I almost got someone with my car on the way over here!” With no idea what would happen next, I said “Get over here and sit down, quit tearing the place up, and let’s see what we can do.” He looked startled, but obediently returned to the exam table, sat down and started spewing his troubles. This was before managed care when providers could actually practice and patients could actually access medical care. Long Beach had a progressive mental health program with a mobile crisis team. I called them, they were there in 5 minutes, put him in a straight jacket for safety and took him to a center to be treated. What if Hemet had a program like this with the added benefit of actually being able to house these folks for a while? It may not be the whole answer to the homeless problem but I wonder how many of those folks lining the sidewalks against the walls of businesses that have moved on would be scooped up with a program like this, benefiting not only the affected individuals but also the surrounding community. It’s hard to imagine it getting worse. The newer drugs now have fewer side effects. Some of these can act very quickly and the change is dramatic.

  6. All right for one I’m getting tired of hearing people complain about the homeless problem,and then when someone tries to do something about it they do nothing but complain about that too. The same old not in my backyard crap. Almost everyone suffers from some type of mental hang up. Some are just much worse than others. I think very few people really choose to be homeless, or to be mentally ill. I’ll tell you what goes through my mind when I see a homeless person. It’s the old saying that”there but for the grace of God go I”.

    • I couldnt have said it any better!!!

      The purpose site is right across the street where I live. I DONT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, WANT THAT FACILITY ACROSS THE STREET FROM ME. IT ALREADY A NIGHTMARE JUST TO TAKE A WALK LET ALONE JUSK STEP OUT MY FRONT DOOR.
      I WENT FOR A VERY SHORY WALK WHEN I HAD A KNIFE PULLED ON ME!!!
      DO NOT PUT THE FACILITY IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD!!
      YOU PEOPLE THAT ARE SO WORRIED ABOUT THE HOMELESS DRUG ADDICT CRIMINALS, PUY THE FACILITY IN YOUR BLANKING NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!

  7. I’m not opposed to a Mental Health Facitlity or a Homeless Facility. I am opposed to the location mentioned ONLY because it is on the one main road that is used all day and all night. I don’t think it needs to be a desert either. There is plenty of empty fields in Hemet. Also, I would think that when a “patient” or a homeless person is receiving help, wouldn’t it be healthy to have an area where one could take a walk to just be by themself, thinking, singing, etc., while receiving the help from the facility. Obviously, restrictions have to be followed. My point is, I think both sides of this discussion could very well come together and resolve this issue if they take a minute to “pretend” in their mind “what would I like if I needed help.” I know I would like the freedom to wear clean clothes, read outside, help in the kitchen possibly, learn something new, etc. Two two sides make one, if you’re willing to listen to everyone’s concerns with fair negotiations. R. Brandenburg

  8. Why not allocate that money for cleaning up East Hemet in the form of trash removal, groundskeeping, painting, fixing broken sidewalks? Why is the east side totally neglected? Also, does anyone proofread anymore? The grammar and punctuation in this article was painful to read.

  9. It is a county facility, not a Hemet facility. Mental health persons from anywhere in the county will be sent there. 485 beds will eventually require ten times as many, since Coachella, Indio, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Temecula, Menifee, Mutietta and every other location in the county, will send them to Hemet.
    Federal grant money, county money has nothing to do with the location. We need to build the facility in the central part of the county, and make sure the security of the local population doesn’t have to pay for it, the entire county should pay for the security as well as the facility and maintenance.

  10. I couldnt have said it any better!!!

    The purpose site is right across the street where I live. I DONT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, WANT THAT FACILITY ACROSS THE STREET FROM ME. IT ALREADY A NIGHTMARE JUST TO TAKE A WALK LET ALONE JUSK STEP OUT MY FRONT DOOR.
    I WENT FOR A VERY SHORY WALK WHEN I HAD A KNIFE PULLED ON ME!!!
    DO NOT PUT THE FACILITY IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD!!
    YOU PEOPLE THAT ARE SO WORRIED ABOUT THE HOMELESS DRUG ADDICT CRIMINALS, PUY THE FACILITY IN YOUR BLANKING NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!

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