While Hope DeSmith attended the April 5 city council meeting, Councilman Kelly Seyarto defended his recent ‘letter to the editor’ about the senior citizen in the Temecula Valley News.
“[That letter] wasn’t meant for public release.” Seyarto went on to say that the Temecula Valley News was not familiar with Murrieta’s local politics, since they are a newer publication. The intent of the letter was to call attention to how some of the “players” are allowed to make comments that could be construed in a disparaging manner, said Seyarto.
He claims his utter shock when e-mailed a correspondence from the Temecula Valley News in wanting to publish his letter. Seyarto thought it was too long and offered to scale it down. “But I didn’t have time in the next couple of days. And I do have those e-mails if people would like to see them.”
Seyarto continued to recount the three times he saw DeSmith at the Ralph’s supermarket, when she was gathering signatures for the recall. His take on the situation is far different than DeSmith’s view.
DeSmith claims she was being harassed and delayed in acquiring more signatures for the recall. Seyarto disagrees with the allegations, stating he was at the market with his family and not targeting DeSmith.
Seyarto invited the public to read the publication in order to become better aware of each encounter with DeSmith. “I suggest that everybody grab a copy and read it, because all it has is exactly what happened.” Seyarto defends that at no time was anybody confrontational. He said that during his last run-in with DeSmith at the market, he offered to buy her mosquito repellent.
Seyarto said it’s his wife who sends him to the market and when he did bump into DeSmith, the meetings were friendly.
Seated in the front row at the meeting were DeSmith and her daughter, Debbie Marshall. While DeSmith grew agitated, Marshall was doing her best to calm her mother down during Seyarto’s lengthy comment. “It’s okay, Mom. It’s all lies,” said Marshall in a loud voice, touching her mother.
Seyarto ignored the fussing in the front row and continued. “There was no wish to disparage Hope in the paper,” said Seyarto. He again restated that he didn’t have the time to call the Temecula Valley News to write a condensed version of his previous letter. “I don’t want to embarrass Hope and I certainly don’t want to embarrass her family, but these are the types of politics that we have invited in.”
Seyarto compared the current political situation as a circus and finds it all unfortunate, since his past dealings with DeSmith before the recall had been good. He admits he would like to speak with her but realizes that those feelings aren’t being reciprocated.
“No matter what age you are — when you are telling something that is not true and you are corrected and you continue to tell it, that’s wrong. That’s all and that’s the point,” said Seyarto.
During the break, DeSmith was still dumbfounded over Seyarto’s speech. “It’s all lies,” she said. “The mosquito story never happened.”
In other council business, Councilman Warnie Enochs read a letter that his son, Garrett Enochs, wrote. Enochs didn’t want his son to get involved in the politics and promised to read it that evening. The letter was in response to Seyarto’s recent claims about Enoch’s son. Enochs unfolded the paper and read:
“My name is Garrett Enochs and my comment is towards Kelly Seyarto. You said in the newspaper my Dad was irresponsible while raising me. This statement is totally wrong. Not only that, but he has enough integrity that he won’t say things about other people’s kids like that.”
When Enochs finished and Mayor van Haaster started to speak there was a loud outburst. Enochs reacted to something that Seyarto quietly said toward him: “Shut up, Kelly! You don’t say anything about anyone’s kids.”
A wide-eyed van Haaster called for an immediate break, while the rest of the public remained stunned at the recent event.