Dr. Ruiz’s Wildfire Prevention Act headed for Trump’s signature

<strong>Dr. Ruiz’s Wildfire  Prevention Act headed  for Trump’s signature</strong>
Bill part of disaster relief measures included in bipartisan budget deal FIle PhotoRep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36). ■ Chronicle News Service Last week, Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) announced that his bipartisan Wildfire Prevention Act passed the House and the Senate as part of the budget deal and will be signed into law. H.R.1183, the Wildfire Prevention Act, was included as part of a package of disaster relief provisions that will provide $89.3 billion to help communities in California, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and across the nation recover in the wake of the devastating wildfire and hurricane season. The bill was included in the Bipartisan Budget Act, which provides the framework (more…)

San Jacinto revenues up, expenditures down

<strong>San Jacinto revenues up, expenditures down</strong>
City manager’s mid-year budget update reveals 10% more in revenue, 6% less in city expenses Charts by Kyle Selby/The Valley ChronicleCHART 2.) General Fund revenues by source. Projected FYE 2017/18. ■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter San Jacinto City Manager Rob Johnson has presented a mid-year budget update for the 2017/2018 fiscal year, which promises a strong and financially stable future for the city of 47,925. Even before the adoption of the fiscal year budget in June, Johnson had been blazing a trail of economic flourishment for the city since he joined staff one year ago. “I like to use this tagline, ‘establishing a solid financial foundation, while prudently planning for (more…)

HFD’s Measure U spending comes in under budget

<strong>HFD’s Measure U spending comes in under budget</strong>
Photo courtesy of City of HemetFire Chief Scott Brown. ■ Melissa Diaz Hernandez / Editor Hemet Fire Chief Scott Brown delivered some good news to the Hemet City Council at the Jan. 9 meeting—$647,832 of the Measure U fund balance will carry over to FY 18/19. During the update, Brown laid the cards on the table. There are issues that need to be addressed such as: aging infrastructure, need for more dispatchers, and working to utilize technology for efficiency and cost containment. “I am not going to put the city in harm’s way fiscally by looking at short term—we are looking at long term and strengthening long-term sustainability,” Brown said in (more…)

SJ approves lower electricity rates

<strong>SJ approves lower electricity rates</strong>
San Jacinto Power expected to decrease costs by 3% Photo by Kyle Selby / The Valley ChronicleJohn Dalessi from Pacific Energy Advisors proposes the San Jacinto Power program to the City Council Tuesday night. ■ Kyle Selby / Reporter If you are a resident of the city of San Jacinto, expect to see a decrease in electricity costs very soon. The San Jacinto City Council adopted four resolutions Tuesday night; The first, to approve electric generation rates for the proposed Community Choice Aggregation program, San Jacinto Power. The second resolution approved Customer Confidentiality Policies, while the third approved a budget for San Jacinto Power for the Fiscal Year 2017/2018, and the (more…)

Melendez’s whistleblower legislation receives bipartisan support

<strong>Melendez’s  whistleblower  legislation receives bipartisan support</strong>
Reps. Garcia and Friedman sign on as joint authors File PhotoState Rep. Melissa A. Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore). ■ Chronicle News Service State Rep. Melissa A. Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) announced that Rep. Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, and Rep. Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), chair of the Joint Committee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response, have both signed on as joint authors to Melendez’s whistleblower legislation, AB 403. “I am honored Assemblywomen Garcia and Friedman have joined me in my effort to empower victims and to provide much needed transparency in our state’s capitol,” said Melendez. “Together we can end this culture of corruption and sexual harassment in (more…)

Young, gay and living on the street: LGBT youth face increased odds of homelessness

<strong>Young, gay and living on the street:  LGBT youth face increased odds of homelessness</strong>
Photo source: www.trinitycentral.orgAs the cost of housing continues to soar in California and elsewhere, an increasing number of young people, especially LGBT, have become homeless. ■ By Carolyn Jones / EDSOURCE Throughout high school and college, Alicia slept in cars, tents, friends’ couches, benches, on the bus, on the train and in group homes. Almost anywhere but a shelter. “My experience with shelters is that you’d go when it was raining. You’d go to San Francisco, wait in line and sleep on the floor, if you slept at all,” the serious, soft-spoken Oakland woman, who’s now 22, said last week. “It’s scary enough to be a young person there. But if (more…)

San Jacinto to maintain its status as a non-sanctuary city

<strong>San Jacinto to maintain its status as a non-sanctuary city</strong>
■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter San Jacinto has officially left the discussion of becoming a sanctuary city back in 2017. An agenda item regarding sanctuary city status — proposed by state assembly candidate, and San Jacinto councilman Andrew Kotyuk — was the topic of discussion amongst his fellow city council members Tuesday, Dec. 19. Following a unanimous 4-0 vote, San Jacinto’s status was left unchanged, vowing to never revisit the item again. “The agenda item was to discuss where the Council stood regarding sanctuary or non-sanctuary city. I was seeking a motion/declaration/resolution stating that we were not a sanctuary city,” explained Kotyuk in an email. Kotyuk expressed at the meeting (more…)

A snapshot of the valley’s real estate market leading into 2018

Things are not as bleak as a recent national article would suggest ■ Matt McPherson / Columnist Another year is upon us, and real estate values will continue to rise in 2018 surrounded by growth and development. San Jacinto persists in expansion with dozens of commercial and residential developments throughout the city, while Hemet struggles to escape the stigma of crime, poverty, and unemployment. From November 2016 to November 2017, Hemet home values averaged $231,740, up 10 percent from last year. One huge indicator of the prosperous Hemet real estate market was the 184 homes sold during the month of November. Usually during the holidays the volume of homes sold slows (more…)

Ballot documents whither under intense scrutiny

<strong>Ballot documents whither under intense scrutiny</strong>
Inconsistencies in the city council’s appointment to Measure U Oversight Committee raise questions Photos by Melissa Diaz Hernandez/The Valley ChronicleThe electronic version of Councilman Russ Brown’s ballot. ■ Melissa Diaz Hernandez / Editor Jim Lineberger, director of the Community Pantry, was appointed by the Hemet City Council to fill a vacancy on the Measure U Citizen Oversight Committee created when attorney Robert Davis, Jr. resigned to accept an appointment to the Hemet Unified School District (HUSD) Board of Trustees. Lineberger’s appointment, however, has raised questions about the care the council takes in conducting its own business. It seems there’s a little problem with ballot counting. In fact, the total number of (more…)

City of Hemet goes into reserves to cover budget shortfall – again

<strong>City of Hemet goes into reserves to cover  budget shortfall – again</strong>
City cites employee resignations/retirements and the cost of recent public safety MOU agreements as reasons Images courtesy of the City of Hemet ■ Melissa Diaz Hernandez / Editor Newly appointed Finance Director Lorena Rocha gave the Hemet City Council a year-end update on the fiscal 2016-2017 budget and reported the status of the budget’s first quarter at the Dec. 12 Hemet City Council meeting. The adjusted budget gives total revenue at $41,440,440 and total expenditures at $43,102,329. The actual to-date numbers have total resources [total revenue plus transfers in] at $40,080,394 and total uses [total expenditures plus transfers out] at $42,336,296. The city had received 96.72 percent of the total resources (more…)