LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – June 1, 2017

HFD hits $2 million in overtime

Dear Editor,

Recently the 2016 compensation numbers were updated on the Transparent California website. (www.transparentcalifornia.com). If you filter by Hemet and sort by overtime, you will see that 39 city employees pulled in more than $34,000 just in overtime. The significance of the $34,000 number is that the median household income level in Hemet is only $33,942. The good thing is, out of these 39, it appears none are office workers, they are all public safety personnel for Hemet Police Department and Hemet Fire Department.
Last year during the E/U campaigns, overtime was pointed out as an item of concern. In 2016, Hemet Fire Department once again broke the $2 million overtime mark. I contacted Hemet Fire Chief Scott Brown with concerns that overtime payments were nearly the same amount paid in salaries ($2.8 million in salaries vs. $2.1 million in overtime). We had a short, cordial email exchange. I was not really concerned about the dollar figures as much as whether the one-third of Measure U monies will be enough to support overtime at these rates with higher staffing levels.
HFD Chief Brown informed me that around $300,000 was (or will be) reimbursed to the city. These expenses were for supporting other agencies in California. For example, Strike Team 6074C spent 11 days on the Soberanes Fire and three days on the Pilot Fire. Fire Chief Brown does expect some overtime to decrease as the staffing levels are increased. He also stated his department is around 88 percent expended and is within the allocated budget.
Chief Brown and I have communicated a few times over the past year and I would like to thank him for always answering questions in a polite, professional manner. He thinks his answers are long-winded but I have to disagree, because how else would one come to understand what is happening in his department?
I may not agree with the cost of the fire department; however I do think HFD Chief Scott Brown will do a decent job spending our monies wisely.

Sincerely,

Galen Hamerle,

Hemet


America is in a civil war

Dear Editor,

What is happening to America? When is this civil war going to end?
Yes, we are in the midst of a major civil war right here on our own soil! The liberal side, aka the Democrats, are determined to undermine everything President Trump has said and done prior to the election and everything since he was sworn in as president.
They continue to show their poor sportsmanship about losing the election in November. What part of “get over it” don’t you understand?
Meanwhile, nothing is getting accomplished. The country is at a standstill while all this is happening.
All past presidents were the “Commander in Chief,” holding the highest position. This title and authority includes President Donald Trump today. So why is President Trump allowing all these allegations, investigations, etc. to continue? Does he not have the authority to issue an executive order to put a stop or ban on their plan to destroy him and in so doing, the country?
This civil war is completely out of control. While we are playing cat and mouse games, the rest of the countries are not only laughing but some may be planning a major attack of sorts on us – America!
It is time for the Republicans who voted for him, those in all political seats, to stand behind President Trump, to put a stop to this nonsense and let the political leaders do the job to which they were elected.
Shame on all of you who continue to keep the political pot astir.

Sincerely,

Nancy Eller,

Hemet


Hemet lost a wonderful woman

Dear Editor,

This past Mother’s Day the Hemet community lost a very fine and unique woman named Georgia Hoffmann. She raised alone a son and daughter that were born in the valley, graduated Hemet High and are now upstanding adults. She came here in the 80s from Huntington Beach, unlike most, with no retired parents, family or friends here.
She was a child of the 60s, more Harley biker than flower child. She opened a hair cutting salon (Mane Control) and bought a house on a $4,000 loan from her sister. Later, after a divorce, he got the business and she got the house payment. She cut hair at home, delivered phone books, split and sold firewood and whatever else it took to support the family.
She cut my hair 25 years ago when I was stranded in Hemet. She didn’t lie, cheat or steal. She didn’t go to church; she wasn’t a doctor, lawyer or cop. She was salt of the earth and she made Hemet a better place and I loved her.

Sincerely,

Rod Drouet,

Hemet

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