What do they cost you?

Date:

This speech was given Feb 8, 2022 at City Council meeting. Last night, Hemet’s City Council, City Manager and City Attorney said nothing when I finished speaking.

Here is your Hemet City Treasurer’s speech:

My name is Sue Savage, I am Hemet’s City Treasurer whom the citizens of Hemet voted for and elected a year ago.

You overturned the vote of the people in March of last year and appointed the City Manager to invest Hemet citizens’ money.

Not a single City Council member has made an attempt to restore the vote of the people nor show some respect for the taxes Hemet citizens must pay.

Last January I gave four treasurer reports. One of the reports was: “ Hemet is not poor. Where is all the money coming from?”

First, A little history. Six years ago, Hemet was investigated for bankruptcy by the state of California. Then Hemet passed measure U, taking Hemet‘s portion of sales tax from $.01 to $.02, doubling Hemet’s share of sales tax. Back then Hemet had $57 million in the bank.

Everyone talks about how poor Hemet is. Our police department stands up here meeting after meeting and begs for a raise. Our city employees have marched with picket signs begging for a raise. All of us drive on our Hemet streets and we know what they’re like.

Does a city going from $57 million then to about $155 million now sound like a poor city to you? Two years of the pandemic has left other cities complaining about no money.

Last year’s Treasurer Report asked: “where is all this money coming from? And how do we know it actually isn’t even more?”

Hemet’s City Council appointed City Manager, Chris Lopez, and Staff, Lorena Rocha, to invest Hemet taxpayer dollars. Chris Lopez and Lorena Rocha have not made a report on Hemet’s money in 11 months. Tonight, as city treasurer, again I ask: “Where are the legally required Treasurer Reports for the last 11 months?”

The citizens of Hemet are forced by City Council to pay Hemet taxes. The taxpayers deserve a report on their money.

So, tonight, Hemet’s Treasurer is giving a “Mini-Treasurer report”.

Last year, $117,005.11 in interest was paid to Hemet citizens in January. Hemet had $107,601,742.42 million in the bank and I was investing as City Treasurer.

This year $66,505.61 in interest was paid to Hemet citizens in January. Hemet has $155,279,811.16 million in the bank. The City Manager, Chris Lopez and Finance Director, Lorena Rocha are doing the investing.

Hemet earned $50,499.50 less under Lopez/Rocha than when I was investing. Why? Because Malcolm Lilienthal, Joe Males, Russ Brown, Linda Krupa and Karlee Meyer overturned the vote of the people.

Hemet has more money in the bank, during the pandemic. This year alone, Hemet has $47,678,068.74 more in the bank. Christopher Lopez and Lorena Rocha earned half the interest on nearly $50 million dollars more in the bank.

What is Christopher Lopez, Lorena Rocha, Malcolm Lilienthal, Karlee Meyer, Joe Males, Russ Brown, Linda Krupa and Stephen Graham costing Hemet citizens?

The $155 million Hemet citizens have in the bank could be earning 2 1/2 million dollars in annual interest. This is costing Hemet citizens $208 Thousand each month.

Let me repeat, $208,000 every month is the cost to Hemet citizens.

It would be nice if the City Council, City Manager and Finance Director could show respect and earn Hemet citizens their 2 1/2 million dollars interest on their money. Better yet, put the Treasurer back in charge and put her to work earning the interest.

Sue Savage, Hemet City Treasurer working hard for Hemet citizens

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