The Mayor’s State-of-the-City address in its entirety
■ Michael Perciful / Contributed
Editor’s Note: Following is a transcript of Mayor Michael Perciful’s State of the City Address delivered to an audience of Hemet Chamber of Commerce members Nov. 1 at the Lodge at Four Seasons in Hemet. It has been edited slightly for print without changes to meaning. This is Part 1 in a series that will continue to run until the full transcript is published.
Our City has accomplished many highlights in the last year, and I am excited to share some of those with you this morning. Imagine yourself being one of the early inhabitants of this valley. Imagine the beauty and the natural sights you’d witness. This valley is home to some of the most amazing locations and many of us take for granted the gifts we have in our very own community. Today I hope to remind you of some of those gems.
In last year’s address, we highlighted some of the key enhancements provided to our community, and discussed some of the items to come in 2018. Thanks to the commitment of our City Council, and leadership throughout our community, we are seeing new businesses, new development, and new projects completed in our community.
Our partners, who are a key component of the positive work that goes on in our community, have continued to provide outstanding services and opportunities to our community. Through this commitment, we have set the stage for stability and long-term success. It is no doubt that this foundation sets the stage for the future.
The early foundations of the City of Hemet are marked by the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians who lived on what we now know as San Jacinto, Hemet, Valle Vista, and Winchester. It is without question that they enjoyed some of the same beauty that we see today. Today, many of the same families that established roots then continue to make significant strides in present day Hemet. Partnerships, collaboration, and a willingness to move the community forward remain evident today.
We are thankful to have such long-standing and visionary individuals in our community today. Families such as the Gosches, the Records, Searls, Domenigonis, Salgados, and Cozarts continue to move our community forward. Their commitment and desire to see Hemet prosper are clear and we are thankful to have these individuals in our community. Many of you that are in this room also fit this category, and we are extremely proud to have you here.
Some of the organizations in our community are preparing for the future by equipping our younger generation with the tools necessary to excel. Recent announcements out of Hemet Unified School District revealed that the International Baccalaureate program, or IB program, has officially accepted West Valley as a candidate and will begin preparing the freshman class, which will be the first students to begin the IB program at West Valley High School.
This program, which gives students a competitive edge in any career field they decide to pursue after high school, develops well-rounded students who can respond to challenges with an open-minded attitude and can think creatively to resolve complex challenges. Programs such as this prepare our students to solve the complex challenges of the future. The importance of preparing our future workforce is crucial when we talk about the economic sustainability of our future, and we are delighted to hear about this from our District.
In the last two months we learned of the latest addition to our very own Western Science Center. Dynamoterror Dynastes, once a top predator that wandered the plains of what is now New Mexico, is now housed at the Western Science Center. The new species was named by Dr. McDonald, curator of the Western Science Center and Alton Dooley —the executive director of the Western Science Center. The Western Science Center is doing incredible…work that truly makes Hemet shine. Education and investing in our future are crucial to building the city’s workforce.
Just recently, the city council adopted an agreement with Valley Wide Recreation and Park District to operate the James Simpson Center. The agreement continues the partnership and carries on the services offered to our community where over 300,000 participants have enjoyed the amenities provided. The center averages over 5,400 participants each month and provides the stable and uninterrupted services that our community values.
Every day you will find residents participating in Yoga, Zumba, Tai Chi, dance, and arts and crafts classes —a reminder at just how active and involved our residents are. The center remains a pillar in our community—a keepsake of the things that matter to our community including partnership, stability, and top-of-the-line programing.
In 1925, the chamber of commerce, and eventually the Ramona Pageant Association, bought 160 acres in the south hills of the city, which we now know as the Ramona Bowl Amphitheater. This location continues housing our beloved Ramona. The entrainment and educational programming offered here continue to enrich and add value, extending beyond just the borders of the City of Hemet.
The Summer Concert Series and the Summer Youth Theater add richness to the culture of our community. The setting in the beautiful hills of Hemet remind us of beauty that exists in the Valley and also that Ramona will continue to serve as a foundation for the City of Hemet, which will carry us well into the future.
Much of the work carried out by… the foundations [and organizations] in Hemet is coordinated by volunteers. There is no clearer evidence of this than in our police department and… library. This year marks the Volunteers 25th Anniversary of Excellence in Service in Hemet.
60 active volunteers
The Hemet Police Department boasts over 60 active volunteers who donated over 23,000 hours collectively last year while averaging over 1,900 hours per month.
The volunteers assist with the annual Christmas Parade, Tinsel Triathlon, Coffee-with-a-cop, Veterans Day celebration, National Night Out, and many others. While they participate in these community events, you will also find them within the station handling the business phone lines, document shredding, recruiting, and even providing citizen patrols. Many of the volunteers in the Police Department can also be found volunteering with other organizations in the community.
The idea of giving back to the community, and their commitment to Hemet, are common themes that are woven into the community fabric. It is no surprise that the tireless and continuous efforts of the volunteers in this community mold, shape, and define the future of our community, and we are extremely thankful and grateful for that. In our very own Hemet Public Library, our volunteers donated just under 24,000 hours of volunteer service in the past year.