LETTER TO THE EDITOR – January 7th, 2019

Editor’s Note: A flurry of letters between businessman and community leader Howard Rosenthal and city officials on responsibility for the impending construction of the median down Florida Avenue is published in the Jan. 31 issue of The Valley Chronicle. The following is Rosenthal’s follow-up response to the city manager’s published reply to Rosenthal’s original complaint.

Howard Rosenthal responds to City Manager Allen Parker
Thank you for sharing your response. I stand by the factual comments of my letter with (four) council members, and the Fire Chief along with Assemblyman Chad Mayes, his chief of staff, legislative director, Malcolm Dougherty, the then director of Caltrans, and other officials to name a few in attendance at the (referenced) meeting.
I also stand by my assertion that the City Council and committee member (Linda) Krupa were left in the dark, that Mayor Perciful and Councilwoman (Karlee) Meyer and City Manager (Allen) Parker went off ignoring the Council agreement for (an ad-hoc) committee and did their own thing to negotiate with Caltrans in (the) complete opposite direction of the Sacramento agreement concept.
Mayor Perciful, at the Hyatt in Sacramento, after the Governor’s conference room meeting, asked me in the presence of Councilmember (Russ) Brown and others if I would serve on the committee. The Mayor also told me twice, untruthfully, that I was on the committee. The second time, I told him I did not need to be there, but the business community should be represented.
Caltrans commissioner Joseph Tavaglione personally confirmed to me that this was too late for the commission to stop. District (8) Caltrans became exhausted waiting for the City to perform (follow-up after) the February 2018 Sacramento trip! Why did the City ignore the agreed-upon course of action in Sacramento with the City Manager, Mayor Perciful, and Mayor Pro Tem Meyer starting negotiations again (unbeknownst) to the full Council or to the public, block by block (over) the median?
Why did the City wait (10) months to commence further action after we, (who) were in the Governor’s conference room, agreed in principal to work on relinquishment? The state said we will work with you for (6-12) months for relinquishment provided the city has a safety-improvement plan.
I hope and pray the current city effort is successful because the effort conducted in Sacramento was ignored for almost a full year after the City agreed in the Governor’s conference room with Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty to proceed to work in good faith for relinquishment. Nonetheless, the City did nothing until Caltrans was fed up with losing time!
We need a safer Florida Avenue, not a disaster by removing the extra lane that fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances use daily as documented by the city’s public safety officials! Hemet has had enough struggles, and the incompetency demonstrated by the story above is appalling, and the citizens deserve better.
I co-chaired Measure E & U (efforts) to fully fund police and fire. We accomplished this thanks to the churches, business community, and seniors, and it’s time the City of Hemet management wakes up!

Facts not opinions!

Howard Rosenthal, Hemet

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