City council members passed motion to create advisory committee for Hemet taxpayer dollars
■ By Taj Shorter / Reporter
The City of Hemet has passed a motion to establish a committee to oversee the city’s investments.
At a special meeting held on June 20, the city council voted to establish a committee to oversee the City of Hemet’s investments. Membership on the Investment Advisory Committee for Management Investment of the City’s surplus funds will include City Treasurer Judy Oltman, City Finance Director Lorena Rocha, Councilmembers Karlee Meyer and Linda Krupa, and a soon to be appointed finance advisor.
The council also adopted a resolution approving the City’s Investment Policy for Fiscal Year 2018-2019. It’s the first time in four years that this has been done.
One citizen expressed concern over the fact that there wasn’t much citizen involvement on the new committee. Sue Savage of Hemet suggested that there be a committee consisting of as many citizens as are on the Measure U Oversight Committee. If seven citizens can watch over $10 million, certainly an equal number of them should look after the city’s investment portfolio as well, she asked.
At an earlier June 20 meeting, Savage had asked the council for two things among a list of concerns that she brought before the council. One of them was a meeting with the Bank of Hemet that she and her husband, Pat, attend. That meeting was agreed to and presumably took place with the bank’s president and CEO, Kevin Farrenkopf.
The other was to, “ask City Council to direct staff to incorporate citizen participation on the Investment committee to at least as many members as oversee Measure U. Measure U is $10 million with seven citizens watching it. Hemet’s taxpayer dollars exceed $65 million without a single taxpayer watching them.”
As this newfound committee opens a new chapter of transparency over invested taxpayer dollars, one can only wonder how far this advisory committee will go in regulating Hemet’s investments and involve the public in its decision-making.