Hemet ‘State of City’ speech focuses on restoration efforts

Hemet Mayor Linda Krupa delivers her “State of the City” address during the annual event Thursday, Oct. 26, in the Four Seasons Active Adult Community’s banquet room Hemet. Tony Ault photo

The city of Hemet, now 108 years old, was described as a “City for All Generations” by its Mayor Linda Krupa and city council in 2017.

Krupa was the keynote speaker at the 2017 Hemet “State of the City” breakfast event at the Four Seasons in Hemet, Thursday, Oct. 26, and said to Hemet San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce members and invited special guests that “It has been another exciting year in the Renaissance of Hemet.”

A city department by department video presentation with other members of the city council explained the areas of growth in housing, retail business, industry, health care, education and public safety that have taken place in the city in the past year. Most notable were the added police and fire department sworn personnel and safety equipment gained through the revenues of the one-cent Measure U sales tax, which was approved by the voters November 2016.

“The Measure U revenue is coming in higher than expected,” Krupa said. “We have increased the staffing of our police department by 20 percent.”

She said the city now has $20 million in reserves for emergencies or unexpected contingencies, but she said, “It is unacceptable to live with deficit spending.”

She said the city has a 10-year plan that should improve the quality of life for all residents.

“But, we must look past the 10-year period and look at cost containment, increased economic development and efficiencies in delivering services to residents. This must be in forefront of our discussions,” Krupa said.

On the brighter side, she said the city has permitted 109 new business certificates of occupancy in the past year, approved 3 million square feet of industrial, commercial and retail space and have 6,500 new homes in various planning stages.

“This should meet the many housing needs in the community for generations to come,” Krupa said.

In looking ahead for the city, she described Hemet as one of the older cities in the county with a tremendous potential to grow from its current 84,000 to well over 120,000.

“It is easier to paint a new canvas than to restore an old masterpiece,” Krupa said. “Ladies and gentlemen, Hemet is an old masterpiece. It will take time to restore it to the luster and beauty it once had. However, we are well on our way, and with the continuation and active participation of the citizens, businesses, city staff and city council, we will restore our masterpiece and once again enjoy the quality of life we all desire.”

Krupa received a warm applause from those gathered at the breakfast. Some dignitaries attending included representatives from the offices of state Assemblymember Chad Mayes and state Sen. Mike Morrell; 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington; tribal leaders from the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians; members of the San Jacinto City Council; Physicians for Healthy Hospitals administrators; Hemet and San Jacinto school district leaders; Hemet City Council members; business leaders from the Hemet San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce; Hemet Fire Chief Scott Brown; Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown and many others.

The introductory address was given by Andy Anderson, chamber CEO, with the invocation by Gary Fowler. The Hemet Police Department presented the honor guard for the event. The Four Seasons Active Community staff prepared the buffet-style breakfast.

The 2017 State of the City event was conducted by the Hemet San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce with the sponsorship from many business and service organizations in the Valley. They include presenting sponsor Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors, The Bank of Hemet, CR&R, Southern California Edison, Hemet Valley Medical Center, Burke, Tri Lake Consultants, Western Riverside County of Governments, Altura Credit Union, Crazy Daisies Flowers, Eastern Municipal Water District, Al Abbasi Construction, Riverside Transit Authority and Rancho Family Medical Group.

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