City Council Meeting

Apologize for the length of this. Who knows how long it will take the City to put up their video. I tried sending a PDF attachment (which I thought would be easier to read), but FB wasn't accepting it. I had been trying to attach a video that was taken of a fire that took place a 7/4/2020 that was attended to by neighbors of the victim. Why not the fire dept you ask? Simple enough. Station 5 on Hemet St. is closed. So an engine had to come from out of the area & it took longer than usual to get there.......

 

07/14/2020 City Council Meeting

 

This was prepared as I was listening via live stream, which any of you can do if you have Internet. I don’t have all the items that were discussed right now. I’m posting the ones that are the most glaring problems. I haven’t done this in a while so I’m getting back up to speed. If you really care about the City of Hemet, where you live & want to take the time, you’ll listen to the live stream of the meeting. You have to go to the City of Hemet to get a copy of the agenda. You can print it up. I sat at my computer & ate my dinner while I was listening & typing. By the way, if you pull the agenda up, you will see links to various reports (which you can access) so you know what these guys are talking about. Here’s what I’ve got for now. I am attaching 2 pdf reports so you can get a feel for what goes on.

 

A presentation of WCE (Western Community Energy) Discussion of WCE electric alternative. There is no clear evidence rates are different from SCE. There was a "roll out" of WCE via mailers, social media, etc. You will have to call both utilities to get a quote but there were general rate comparisons in the mailers. The savings equal approximately 1-2%. If you chose to stay with SCE, you can do that. This new alternative is strictly voluntary. If you have solar, you can still make the switch from SCE to WCE. You'll have to contact them for details when you ask for a quote. If you are an income-based program (i.e. CARE), you will still have access to that program.

Communications from public: P

UBLIC COMMENTS ON & OFF THE AGENDA

Pat Gregory – she asked why is public limited to 2 minutes (it used to be 3 minutes & no one ever answered her question). She noted several council members were not wearing masks. She addressed a 12/13/2015 letter to council regarding Measure U (Eric Vail) 4731 is binding (it's a resolution which cannot be changed as it was voted on. (see my transcript of Saturday meeting). She went into detail about the way the money transferred by City Manager Why was budget even approved with public input. They never addressed it (they didn’t want to). AS AN ASIDE TO THIS, here are the details about Measure U. I don’t know how many of you were living in Hemet when this measure went on the ballot. I had a discussion with several people this week regarding this very subject. Measure U was based on certain representations of the former city council (2016) with resolution 4703 & ratified by 4731. There was an interesting letter from the city attorney (very overpaid Eric Vail). He misrepresented the information in this letter. This is pretty close to the quote saying ‘unless 4731 is amended or repealed, it’s binding on the city’ As it was explained to me, this is civics 101 LOL. Resolutions are NOT binding. What he said to the council is FALSE. That may have led the council members & anyone who voted for Measure U to believe that wheat they said is 100% true. The last Budget Oversight Committee recommended that $650,000 be transferred to the General Fund. The city Manager (Lopez) ,, without any resolution with 4731, moved $2.3 million to the general fund. The city attorney misrepresented the fact here.

 

A second public comment was made by Kal Solenki - Travel Lodge owner. Complained about the problems he is having with the city about verifying the fact that he is licensed to do business. In other words, Hemet is making it impossible to do business in Hemet. He is exacerbated? Building & Planning Dept. is not doing their job. City of Hemet refuses to issue a permit after any & all repairs to be done, were done. Karlee Meyers helped to resolved. Wasn’t it convenient that the permit was issued just 7/14, the day of the council meeting….really. The city is impossible to deal with when it comes to permit.

 

Matt McPherson - Downtown Business Owners (suggestion) re Xmas Parade. Bring parade downtown. Santa Fe to Gilbert is the only part of Hemet with no divides (barriers). Destination Coffee Shop - They can't accommodate all the business they have right now. Made some suggestions about a way to provide more dining space. That suggestion will go on the agenda for the next meeting! Good job Matt.

 

Participation under the County of Riverside's Entitlement Local Government Designation for the Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) Program through the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD); Years 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 - According to council members including Wright & Meyer, there were serious questions regarding what real value this program will have & the cost of participating in this program. There isn’t enough staff to really oversee the program. Deadline for participation is 7/27: Hemet didn't get a copy of the Agreement. Definitely not enough information or clarity on the obligations of Hemet to participation. To the listener, this was a very sloppy presentation. This need a lot more discussion. I’m sure at least one council member, who will remain unnamed (you can listen to the You Tube video) was thinking – all that money for that program, we need to try to get our hands on it. I don’t think so. There was a staff report (I’m attaching the PDF of the staff report so you can see for yourself). WATCH THE VIDEO!

 

Scott Brown (fire chief) talked about updates to the Fire Code.

 

They reviewed interest rates for Interfund Loan Agreements between the Fire Facilities Development Impact Fees Fund and the General Fund/Measure U and provide direction on whether to cancel the purchase of a fire engine. Presenter: Scott Brown, Fire Chief. Here’s the deal on this mess. Council shut down Fire Station 5 (Hemet St) but Chief Brown wanted a new fire truck to replace those that were beat to hell or out of service. I believe this particular new truck was designated for Station 5. If I’m wrong, someone please let me know. Karlee Meyer showed the council members a video (on her phone) of a fire that took place in Hemet. Residents used HOSES to put the thing out because the fire department couldn’t get there in a timely manner. In other words, an out of district truck had to come in because station 5 was closed. Lovely. What if there had been a family in that building, with kids? What if it happened in the middle of the night? The council discussed possibly cancelling the purchase of the truck. The cancellation fee would be $30,000 or to go through with the purchase. Recommendation: Review the interest rates for the Interfund Loans approved on June 23, 2020 and provide direction to staff on whether to continue with the purchase of the Fire Engine or cancel the order. Presentation revealed $30,000 cancellation fee on purchase of Fire Engine. Discussion following: We should NOT cancel the order according to Mayor. Karlee showed a VIDEO to show that residents had to try to put fire out while waiting for a fire truck to come from out of district. Point being, WHY buy a truck for a fire district that's not open. This passed passed motion 3-2. Guess who voted against it? Meyer & Purciful. Funding options - A decision to take the lowest interest rate info available. Then Mayor said we could take the money from Measure U. NOTE, that option was NOT included as an option in the report (Purciful). He questioned the way in which council wants to pay for engine. Kudos to Purciful on his comments. He is looking out for the way Measure U is spent. Voting: 2 no votes, guess who? Meyer & Purciful. We have GOT to change the balance of power in the city council. What I’d like to know is this: how much money is actually left in the Measure U account? Nothing would surprise me at this point. It was passed as a general tax so your guess is as good as mine.

 

Ratify Hemet’s Temporary Outdoor Dining Program Recommendation: Ratify the City Manager’s actions allowing the temporary use of parking lot spaces associated with restaurants to be used for the placement of tables and chairs for outdoor dining, under the authority provided in Hemet Municipal Code Section 26-6; and waive any permits/fees (City of Hemet fees) to allow restaurants to temporarily operate outside seating and service for customers in portions of their parking lots in compliance with the Governor’s guidelines/orders. Purciful asked what would happen if a restaurant doesn't apply for permit but decides to operate seating in parking spaces? What happens to "violators"? No clear answer. He is concerned about the time it takes to issue permits. Why add another layer of bureaucracy to business owner? How much good will this do? The reply was "protect the public". Shit, the average restaurant owner is already pretty much in compliance with their dining in & now you want to add a fee for outdoor dining? Unbelievably Wright made some comments against this permit process. That was a nice surprise. The issue liability came up. Is there a liability issue? If someone winds up using property that doesn't belong to him what is the potential liability? There needs to be a discussion with the insurance company. My view is at least the city is considering ways in which restaurants can remain in business with pick up only. Motion was passed unanimously.

 

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Declaration Update - 3 city employees have tested positive for COVID-19 City facilities will not be open in view of the spike in COVID-19. Police Chief will not arrest anyone for not wearing a mask :-) If a business is open that should not be, they will be referred to Health Dept or agency for appropriate action. A motion was made by Karlee to rescind the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration was mid. Michael 2nded it because everyone else sat on their hands.........waste of time & energy. Motion failed

 

City Council & Staff Reports – nothing of substance to report on.

 

SOME CLARIFICATION ON FIRE OF 7-4-2020

 

3 Hemet Fire pickups show up to the fire but they were not equipped with fire suppression equipment

The rest on engine is correct. The fire fighters had to resort to using a fire hose until the next closest engine arrived

Station 5 was reduced to just housing a medic unit for the city thus putting a strain on Engine 1 the business station in the city.