■ Chronicle News Staff
We read with keen interest and are informed thanks to the Letters to the Editor of The Valley Chronicle. Some of the writings are humorous, others highly caustic, but all of them from our vantage point are well supported by the facts. More importantly, these letters are written by the citizens of Hemet expressing their thoughts and fears about city government.
The main issues communicated in these letters have to do with: a) Conflict of interest and lack of ethics and transparency among the Measure U oversight committee members; b) Inappropriate use of tax money to pay attorneys in defense of Robb Webb, prior Hemet deputy chief of police and now Hemet Chief of Police; c) alleged conflicts of interest and an apparent lack of ethics by Eric Vail, contract attorney for the City of Hemet by hiring the law firm for which he is a partner to defend Webb; d) the disproportionate number of turnovers in city managers contributing to Hemet’s number-two spot among the worst managed cities out of 482 municipalities in California; f) Hemet’s number 16 spot in crime from the bottom of the list in the same number of cities, only to mention what in our mind are the most important.
“What are these elected officials hiding that no matter how much they are criticized, not one has come out to address the issues?”
With the same eager interest, we have looked for a reaction by city hall and those named in these extremely serious assertions, to no avail, almost as if to ignore them will exonerate those being accused of any blame. To expect a response is quite normal especially when someone’s reputation is being questioned, to remain silent, in most cases, establishes tacit acceptance of guilt.
The Mayor, the city councilmembers, city attorney, chief of police, the city manager and other lesser officials, as well as members of the Measure U Oversight Committee have been named of wrongdoing and as of today none of these individuals have said a single word by way of explanation or in their defense.
At this point, it would befit every tax-paying citizen to ask the question, what are these elected officials hiding that no matter how much they are criticized, not one has come out to address the issues. Independent statistics from reliable sources have been cited in all of the allegations and are not personal opinions. It seems to this writer that a change is needed come election time because it’s eminently clear that the existing city hall is being totally unresponsive to the people that put them there and will continue to ignore the electorate.