Measure U committee wants to save money for a rainy day

Seven members unanimously decide Measure U surplus should not be spent

■ Sue Savage / Contributed

A public meeting was held by the Measure U Oversight Committee to determine what should be done with over a million Hemet taxpayer dollars at city council chambers on June 19. A decision made by all seven members determined that the money should ultimately be saved.
Measure U taxes produced $1.2 million more than what was projected for this year. The members of the Measure U Oversight Committee are responsible for making sure Measure U dollars are spent only on Police, Fire, and Paramedics. Measure U is not intended for the rest of Hemet’s city budget. One option is to spend the surplus on police and fire department pay raises and retention costs. The other option is to simply save the extra 1.2 million.
Measure U initially provided 18 additional police officers, but six more officers are needed to be at acceptable staffing according to Police Chief Rob Webb.
Fire Chief Scott Brown stated, “Measure U allowed the fire department to be fully staffed for the first time in five years, but there are still improvements needed.”
Both police and fire agree on the importance of Measure U’s ten year plan. It has made a critical difference in allowing public safety officers to improve service and fulfill a commitment made to our community to improve the quality of life in our city.
After two hours of discussion, the committee voted unanimously to save the $1.2 million Measure U overage for a future purpose. All eyes turned toward the Hemet City Council budget workshop that was held on June 20 at 4:30 p.m. to see what is going to be done with the Measure U Committee recommendation.

The City of Hemet needs to balance a $3.4 million deficit in the general fund budget at the workshop. What do you think should be done?

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