Meyer responds to public commentary raising concerns over budget
■ Chronicle News Staff
Hemet City Council held a special meeting last Thursday, May 24, to discuss the preliminary fiscal year 2018-2019 operating budget. What should have felt like a normal city council meeting turned into something akin to a Rodney Dangerfield stand up, whose famous catchphrase was, “I don’t get no respect!”
Towards the end of the Thursday evening agenda, after a few presentations from members of the public, City Manager Allen Parker addressed the sense of mistrust between the public and Hemet’s elected officials.
While addressing this concern, Parker reassured the public that he and the city council will be doing everything they can to make the best decisions regarding the budget while being as transparent as possible.
“We have the job, we’re the elected officials…nobody else is doing what we’re doing, so a little bit of respect would be great!”
What should have been a conclusion to the discussion led into a complaint by Mayor Pro-Tem Karlee Meyer who took issue with certain members of the public telling the council how to do their jobs.
“This is gonna be a hard decision for us, for all of you, and for all of you watching, and it’s gonna hurt some of us, but you know all of us have to take it like a team and we really need to stop…the in-fighting and the backstabbing and the going around and trying to get people to do this and get people to do that…,” opined Meyer.
“We have the job, we’re the elected officials…nobody else is doing what we’re doing, so a little bit of respect would be great!” in an impassioned tone that was anything but encouraging.
An awkward silence fell over the audience followed by a few snickers that belied the pressure the council is under to, somehow, balance the budget.
Several communications from the public during the agenda referred to Measure U, which has accrued a surplus in its first year. During the meeting, concerns were raised that Measure U funds might be allocated to the deficit in the general fund and be used for other purposes besides what they were intended for – police and fire.