LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – August 24, 2017

Dave Brown’s legacy of increased taxes has not reduced crime

Dear Editor,

This week you asked readers to write their opinions of the legacy of Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown. In November we voted on Measure U, a 1 percent additional sales tax. Since that time, three individuals who told us how much we needed that tax have announced their resignations: City Councilman K. Paul Raver; City Manager Alex Meyerhoff; and Hemet Chief of Police Dave Brown.
They all pushed and sold this tax, got their wish and now jump ship, something I find very strange. One concern I had during the election was that we were sold a bill of goods from HPD and HFD Chiefs – what happens to the monies if they leave? How will the new chief use the monies? What if the new chief employs a different strategy that reduces crime for less money? But, I digress.
My view of the legacy HPD Chief Brown leaves behind is mixed – he is obviously well-liked and respected in the community, yet crime has gone up seemingly every year since he took the reins.
I watched a video of him (Aug. 10, 2012) when he took over where he talked about learning to “thrive in a new economy and under new circumstances,” yet crime continued to increase, and in April 2013 he presented his first plan, promising a reduction in the crime rate if he could get more resources. He even thanked the council for pumping more than $2 million into the Hemet Police Department. This plan was approved and supported by the council. Crime once again continued to grow.
Three years later he was back, hat in hand, after the violent crime rate increased nearly 34 percent from 2012-2015. He constantly has excuses for what some would see as his failure to keep crime down. He blames the economy, he blames Sacramento. I personally believe he is correct in these remarks. Yet as he is leader of the Police Department, these reasons come off as excuses for what some see as his failure to deliver on past promises. He should have addressed the issues and shared changes and adaptations to strategy that would reduce crime.
When he came out in uniform pushing the tax increase (a possible Hatch Act violation) he said more officers would reduce crime. When our local paper challenged him with figures showing that San Jacinto crime has decreased over the same period with the same number of officers, he referenced Benjamin Disraeli’s quote made famous by Mark Twain: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
I interpreted this as the chief branding the publisher a liar. Dave Brown then referenced the FBI and the value of clearance rates, which are really good for Hemet PD. However, clearance rates do not seem to lower crime. I spent some time and ran the numbers from the source HPD referenced. When the Sheriff took over San Jacinto, the clearance rate went down, yet the crime rate also declined. Now he is considering running for Sheriff? Or now that we need (yet another) city manager, will he be asked to fill the void?

Galen Hammerle

Hemet has caring people, organizations

Dear Editor,

So often I see articles from folks who decry Hemet life. My mom recently died after living in Hemet for many years. Some wonderful people assisted us in her later years, as she experienced the plague of dementia. Her family doctor, Dr. Macias, and especially his office staff gave us the first recommendation to a wonderful, low-cost assisted living home, Citrus Court, which was always neat and clean with caring caregivers and a listening administration. We appreciated their care so much.
He also suggested hospice services and Mission Hospice stepped in with caring nurses and caregivers who were attentive to her every need. Her occasional trips to Hemet Valley Medical Center’s emergency room were met with quick service and a caring staff and doctors who did their best. When she passed, Miller Jones Mortuary swept us up with their wonderful and loving activity. We appreciated the workers behind the scenes but their wonderful Olga helped us get through all of our concerns and needs.
Yes, there are wonderful folks in our city.
Frank Maitoza, Hemet

City officials should pass a litmus test prior to election or hire

Dear Editor,

Hemet has reached a population number whereby the citizens should be electing our mayor as well as City Council members. The City Council should consist of an odd number, thereby avoiding any ties when voting.
It also might not be a bad idea to add the position of city manager to a ballot vote because the city has had a real problem in keeping one.
It is more than obvious that all City Council members, the mayor and the city manager need to pass a math test to qualify for the position, especially since they are very good to excellent at hiring consultants in such matters as to how to spend grant money or to make decisions regarding keeping the city police and fire departments, et al.
Contracting to the county for both police and fire protection would save the city a substantial amount of money. The county would be responsible for salaries, adding to existing retirement pensions, medical, and more.  It’s just another issue that should be placed on the ballot.
Has anyone given any thought to recalling the entire City Council?
Nancy Eller, Hemet

Antifa’s goal is to strip us of liberty

Dear Editor,

When will the violent antifa tear down the Statue of Liberty because America is not left wing liberal perfect enough to suit them?
We have a new phenomenon with the antifa, crazy left wing people who shut down a lecture in Berkeley, home of the freedom to do anything, say anything, BUT, according to them, only if it is left wing, not conservative, as those people have no First Amendment rights. They are in cahoots with the “black lives matter” people…that shut down freeways to make some idiotic point. And, we have the ANSWER coalition of paid Muslim agitators whose only purpose appears to be to destroy America.
The South lost the Civil War; Southerners know that, but they still have pride that their people bravely went to war even if they were totally misguided in wanting slavery to continue. There would have been NO violence in Charleston, NO one killed, NO one injured, BUT the violent antifa…attacked those wearing KKK garb and the white supremacists.
If the antifa had screamed their heads off in protest but not used mace and clubs to beat the KKK/white power/Nazis…no one would have been hurt. IF the demonstrators were not determined to tear down every Confederate statue, there would have been no reason for the white power protesters to hold a protest in Charleston. There is a movement by the radical left to make the First Amendment ONLY for them, not for anyone else. Sadly, as many moronic things as Trump does and says, he was right that the violence was caused by both sides, but the fights were STARTED by the antifa attacks, and the violence ensued.
If everyone had ignored the KKK/white power/Nazis, if there had been no TV, no radio, no newspaper crews, no photographers, no antifa crowd, the demonstrators would have had no one to hear their message. They would have stood there alone and yelled, and no one would have heard a thing and they would have gone away defeated, but the antifa gave them a victory, they produced violence, one dead, many injured, and for what valid purpose? NONE. The antifa came for the Confederate flags and the Confederate statues; the day will come when they come for the Statue of Liberty so they can take away OUR liberty.

Bracha Sarah Meyerowitcz, Hemet

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