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Friday, 02 September 2016 16:12

Menifee City Council Meeting Highlights Featured

Written by  Michelle Rivas
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The Council meeting started with a greeting from Mayor Scott Mann and roll call of all the council members, Lesa Sobek, Matt Liesemeyer, Greg August, and John Denver. The first highlight of the meeting began with Mayor Mann’s introduction of Darius Hughes, a resident from Menifee who was being awarded the Outstanding Citizen award. 

On June 11th, while Darius was working at the Menifee Lakes swimming pool regulating a water slide, he noticed a young boy having trouble staying afloat and although he wasn’t working as a lifeguard, he jumped into the pool to save the boy from drowning. It was a beautiful moment honoring a hero in our very own community of Menifee.

After Darius received his award, speeches were given by three women who advocated for higher wages for CalFire firefighters. Kelly Alvarado, Laura Sutton, and Kailyn Martino all spoke about their loved ones who are fire fighters and why they feel they deserve higher wages; they work up to 96 hours a week, are sleep deprived and are underpaid by 83% of the industry standard. 

Kelly Alvarado, wife of a CalFire firefighter that works for Riverside County, talked about the increased suicide rates of firefighters, low salaries even though they work 30% and she touched based on her husband and families own experience. In the following statement, Kelly explains her situation, “my husband works a 72 hour work week for CalFire here in Menifee and because his wages are so low, that we as a family of five need him to work overtime whether it’s forced or not. 

So on average, he is working about 96 hours a week and many of those hours are spent not sleeping, they’re on horrific calls where he is serving the public that he loves so much. In addition, we talked about insufficient injury/illness benefits for CalFire firefighters. 

These are very real issues that are affecting firefighters. It’s affecting me at home and my 3 children who don’t get to see their dad as he is working, so we ask for your help and to sign a petition on in support of wage and compensation based on industry standard for CalFire firefighter, thank you.” There is a petition created by Kelly Alvarado that can be signed to support the fire fighters. 

Another highlight that has created a lot of buzz around Menifee was the city council’s approval of a November 8th ballot measure that proposes increasing sales tax by 1%. The sales increase measure, if passed, is supposed to be used to fund public safety, the fire/police department, and for other general revenue sources. Menifee also approved the ballot measure because other departments in the city are seeing reduced funding just to keep up with public safety costs.

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