This is what Stacy Olsen (sic) did to us!
In September of 2016 our electric bill for the riverbed property was extremely high. When the property is not leased out for farming, the monthly bill is only for a standby charge associated with the well. Larry and I drove over to see if we could determine the cause of the increase. We were shocked to find a squatters encampment and were stunned at how extensive it was. It was not visible from the street and only discoverable by driving onto the property.
It was sad to see our property being destroyed. There were several kinds of make shift (sic) housing where people had broken and cut branches from the trees. Several trees had a platform in them. There were tires, couches, blankets and debris everywhere. The most disturbing was the Johnny pots and the grave with the name Angel on it. Was is a baby? Was it a animal? We walked and located over 18 encampments totaling approximately 100 people. The riverbed was covered in trash, food debris, aluminum cans, needles, clothes and various appliances that had been stripped of all wire and recyclable value, and of course shopping carts. It was odd to see white roses growing in the riverbed. These were roses that had been stolen from Alta Nursery.
Upon inspecting our property, we noticed the water from our well was running freely. The electrical panel to the well is 480 volts, not easily accessible, they figured it out and broke into it. We immediately took out the breakers and disabled the pump. It is no guarantee that they wont (sic) figure a way to turn it on, if they do; there is the possibility that it will severely damage the pump system. We continue to check it regularly. We noticed a young man standing by himself away from the groups. We asked him (his name is Danny) why he wasn’t in among the rest of the groups. He explained that his mom had dropped him off a couple of days ago. She had heard it was a place for the homeless to go. He was afraid to go any closer to the encampment. We asked him why. Danny replied,” So many of them rape and beat each other every night. I am afraid they will try that with me.” We asked him “Why don’t you call your mom? My phone is dead.“ We let him use our phone, he called his mom and we waited until she picked him up. He thanked us. As we walked we notified each group they would have to leave. And informed them they were trespassing. We understood that not all of them could leave immediately and we gave them two weeks to find somewhere else to be. We offered them a list of resources for housing, but few of them took the information.
A week later we returned to check their progress. Some had left, but we were surprised to see so many still there. Even more surprised to see that many of the them had containers of fresh water. We asked a very friendly lady (Sophia) “Where did you get the water?” Sophia answered from the water hydrant by the bridge.” We asked her “How did you get the tool to turn the water on?” (This is an air vac hydrant) Sophia replied, “Stacie Olson brought it to us. We like Stacie! She brings us things all the time. Whenever we need something, she brings it to us. Food, drinks, clothes, blankets and even a few tents. We just call her, and she comes.” We reminded them all that they were trespassing, and they had to leave.
Again, we went back a week later to measure their progress and were disappointed to see many still had not left. That is when we realized we had to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s department. A date was set, and the raid took place the first part of October. Stacie Olson soon arrived and fought for the homeless to stay. First, she admonished the deputies that the rights of the homeless had not been appropriately considered. They had not been given an eviction notice. The deputies responded, “This is not a tenant issue, this is a trespassing issue.” Then she challenged the deputies and us to provide proof that this was our property. We provided a copy of our parcel deed. Stacie took a picture of it with her phone to research the validity of our ownership.
We asked MWD to be at this raid as well. When we asked Stacie Olsen (sic), “Where did you get the wrench to turn the water on at the hydrant and who gave you permission?” Stacie replied “MWD supplied the wrench and the authority.” The MWD senior field representatives were in attendance and denied the claim. Water municipalities do not give water away for free.
We went back a few days later, only to be dismayed by the number of homeless still on our property. Sophia was very cordial and told us that Stacie Olsen had sent them a text message stating that “you don’t own the property, we don’t have to leave”. Sophia showed us the text she had received. We stayed there and called the Sheriff’s department to come one more time and inform them they must vacate the property. The deputies came out a second time and so did Stacie Olsen. Stacie Olsen became very aggressive and told us we didn’t own the property, that we were lying and that the homeless did not have to leave. The deputies reviewed the parcel deed again and said, Yes, they are the legal owners of the property, the homeless must leave.
A week later, we went back to start the daunting task of the cleanup. As we were working we walked up the riverbed to check if there were any more homeless still there. We found a young woman living in a tent. We told her she would have to leave. She showed us another text message with a copy of the parcel map we had presented to the deputies and Stacie Olsen. She said, “I can camp anywhere south of the X.” The property she referenced, south of the X, belongs to Jim Connors of Alta Nursery, is also not public land and Mr. Connors did not authorize Stacie Olsen to allow anyone to live on his land. Stacie Olsen has no right to move her homeless friends onto private property she doesn’t own!
For many years our family frequented our property to enjoy the serenity and beauty of the area. We had several parties, family gatherings and get togethers with fellow jeep enthusiasts. We have also rented it to farmers and bee keepers (sic) over the years. Aside from the monetary loss, our ability to enjoy our property has been taken away. Thanks to Stacie Olsen and her self serving “Project Hope”, our rightful use of our land, and our joy has been stolen from us.
Despite Stacie Olsen’s aggressive efforts to prevent us from removing these vagrants from our private property, she publically (sic) denies any involvement, except admitting to offering two of her clients a way home. Those clients left in May and the truth is that she was still soliciting donations and taking food, tents, clothes and other items onto our property until September. Stacie was not helping the homeless, she was enabling them at our expense.
I appreciate Ms. Olsen’s (sic) compassion for the homeless, the addicted and mentally ill. She no doubt has a calling of some kind, but I don’t think “Council Member” is that calling! Managing a City Government requires that you balance your compassion with the rights of the Taxpayers, property owners, law enforcement officers and related municipal institutions. It requires the maturity to understand that one persons (sic) rights end where someone else’s rights lawfully begin.
Ms. Olsen hasn’t even mustered the maturity to apologize for her participation in the wrongful damage done to our land, the costs to clean it up or offered to pay for any part of the cost of the utility bills for services she bootlegged for the benefit of her “project”.
Larry and I truly believe we need local leaders that have compassionate hearts for the underprivileged in our community, but also believe they must possess a profound respect for the rights of property owners and the rule of law.
Stacie Olson answers critics
Homeless encampments are all too common these days. Unfortunately, property owners must mitigate these type of encampments immediately to prevent an increase in the encampment population. In order to get someone off the streets, one must begin with kindness and trust. Then, a great deal of education and encouragement is required, which eventually break down the walls. At this point, some will accept placement into programs that will support their transition into functional members of society. Pulling people from desperation and watching them succeed is very emotional. However, more importantly, is the continued follow-up. I understand this major issue plaguing Hemet’s ability to thrive and prosper.
If elected as a City Council member, I understand that I will represent and serve the needs of many. I will not serve ONLY the business community, as I am pro growth. I will not serve JUST the HOA’s of the wealthy. I will not just serve CERTAIN government employees. I will not just serve the “Out of Towners.” I will not just serve the internet antagonists. I will not serve exclusively the less fortunate. I will SERVE all of you.
We need to make some changes to become a thriving, well-functioning community. Fear has created the situation that Hemet is in today. We must start dealing with our problems head-on. We have all chosen to call this Valley our home, and we must start treating each other like we would want to be treated. Let us join together and BE a community.
Hemet City Council Candidate, District 2