Interview with Hemet resident Doug Arent reveals leadership background
■ By Taj Shorter / Metro Editor
With the November election rearing its head, local candidates are preparing to go head to head against incumbents. One Hemet City Council candidate who is making himself known is Hemet resident Doug Arent who will be running in District 5 against Linda Krupa. The Valley Chronicle met with Arent at his home for an exclusive interview to gain insight into his campaign.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Arent says he had a good childhood in a tight-knit community. However, growing up he didn’t travel often (he told us his first plane ride wasn’t until he was 19) and that his family didn’t really emphasize education. After high school, he soon decided to enlist in the military to have the opportunity to travel and further his professional life. Arent served in the United States Marines Corps for 21 years, holding various leadership positions. While obtaining these positions, he furthered his knowledge of leadership by getting degrees in management studies.
Arent has a Bachelor’s of Science in Workforce Education and Development that he earned from Southern Illinois University. He later went on to attain a Master of Arts in Management from the University of Redlands. Finally, he earned a Master’s in Business (MBA) with a focus on management, which he says helped him gain the more technical skills of leadership..
Arent says his degrees taught him a different perspective on leadership and management from what he learned in the Marines. While in service, he said people used to follow his directives only because they had to – not because they wanted to. He further explained his education transformed his leadership style to be more understanding, especially when it comes to subordinates.
“Relationships are critical, and once you learn how to build relationships as a leader, your role as a leader gets much easier,” says Arent.
He currently teaches at the University of Redlands as an adjunct professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior.
“Trust breeds responsibility,” states Arent. “How do we expect the city manager to do his job if we don’t trust him? People aren’t going to take responsibility if they don’t feel trusted.”
Doug and his wife Francine McClemens-Arent moved to Hemet from Oceanside 12 years ago and have been residents of Hemet in the lovely community at McSweeney Farms ever since. They have recently adopted a 12 year-old son named Michael. Francine is a teacher at Little Lake Elementary, and prior to that she was in the newspaper industry for 14 years.
“I have a lot of leadership experience and I think that I can bring that to the council; I think council needs that…and I want to bring a long-term vision to this city,” said Arent.
During his discussion with the Chronicle, Arent talked about Hemet and what he’s learned from his more than a decade-long residency. “Hemet has a lot of good residents who need to be engaged.” One of his main campaign platforms has to do with community involvement. The other two are a functional city council and supporting the city manager, so the city can be run more efficiently.
“How are we spending our money? Are we spending it in the best interest of the citizens?” Those were two questions Arent is interested in posing to city council, if elected. He said he wants to enhance the interests of the citizens, which would further engage the community.
Some of his solutions for various issues plaguing Hemet, such as homelessness, involve using as many resources as possible. He suggests consulting with other cities to see what they’re doing to address similar problems as well as consulting with experts. One of his ideas for addressing the homeless challenge in Hemet involves employing the homeless population to do a variety of hands-on jobs such as landscaping or working on community gardens.
Arent went on to say that one of the main avenues for success in Hemet is by taking care of the issues to attract businesses and develop a more productive city. “How are we going to get those (businesses) here and how are we going to keep them?” These are questions residents and city leaders must address.
Arent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org