For the life of me, I fail to understand

W■ By Emmett Campbell / Contributed
e found out who voted for whom for the Measure U General Fund Oversight Committee in a May 4, 2017 article written by Melissa Diaz Hernandez, reporter for The Valley Chronicle.
“The top 11 candidates for the Measure U Oversight Committee were Marion Allen, Richard Biber, Robert Davis, Daniel Goodrich, Eric Gosch, Brad Hyman, Suzzanne Kozma, Marie McDonald, Jeff Retmier, Robin Rickert and Charles Steadman.”
“The final seven selected were Jeff Retmier, Richard Biber, Marie McDonald, Robin Rickert, Robert Davis, Eric Gosch and Suzzanne Kozma.”
Robert Davis, Eric Gosch and Suzzanne Kozma contributed cash to the election campaigns of City Council members Karlee Meyer and Bonnie Wright. Michael Perciful voted for the other four members: Jeff Retmier, Richard Biber, Marie MacDonald and Robin Rickert. “The City Council selected oversight members who pushed for the tax, funded the tax and/or contributed to council members’ election campaigns.”
For all of those citizens who can make a difference if only they will participate in the affairs of the community, who have not been listening, Measure U is all about paying an extra 1 percent sales tax on purchases made in Hemet to be deposited in the city’s General Fund exclusively for matters related to public safety, like police and fire.
According to the proponents of this tax, the $10 million a year, to be collected for the next 10 years, will be used to hire police and fire personnel as well as purchase the equipment needed to support them.
Not so fast. As it turns out, the new tax money can be used for other items that have nothing to do with increasing police presence on the streets of Hemet and thereby theoretically reduce crime, like legal fees in case the city gets sued by a citizen who feels his/her rights were violated or for risk management.
“As Richard Biber pointed out during the meeting, depending on the volume, these two line-items could detract from the ability to hire the necessary ‘boots on the ground’ to hit the target of 1.2 full-time officers per 1,000 Hemet residents, which Rob Davis stated, ‘was the entire reason for passing the measure in the first place.’”
For the life of me, I fail to understand why the Hemet City Council has to have its own costly and inefficient police department when it has been proven that contracting with the county sheriff is much cheaper and effective. Dozens of municipalities in California and many other states have already taken this important step, resulting in substantial savings and increased police efficiency with a considerable decrease in crime. Our neighboring city of San Jacinto has contracted their police services with the Riverside County Sheriff, reducing the rate of violent crimes to 2.5 per 1,000 residents compared to 7.3 per 1,000 in Hemet.
Thus far, the Hemet City Council and Police Department have not been able to wield a reasonable argument for not contracting police services with the County Sheriff. In the meantime, taxpayers have to continue to “foot the bill” for the City Council’s inaction.

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