Letter to the editor: Councilmembers have a duty to protect our community


Last week’s council meeting without a resolution regarding the ordinance to hold transients accountable for refusing service for shelter, two councilmembers (subsequent to the meeting) posted unflattering comments on social media about our community and other councilmembers. It is my understanding that our city has both the code of conduct and the code of ethics to rein in such comments.

Both Laura Johnson and Susan Paine lowered standards of the City of Edmonds with their public comments on social media. Here is what they each had to say: Laura Johnson tweeted, “Vestiges of the ugly laws, sundown towns, and Bum Blockade persist in our current quality of Life ordinances. They create second-class citizenship, criminalize poverty and disability, close public spaces, and encourage vigilante justice. The corporate media arouses fear and dehumanizes the poor and disabled, business groups like the Chamber of Commerce demand the state protect their interests, and police overstep the constitutional limits of their power.” Councilmember Paine retweeted (coalition on homelessness): “CM Johnson motions the maximum on a first offense be $25. CM Paine seconds. ‘We are talking about those among us that have the least. If you don’t have housing, what do you have? $25 is extremely punitive as it is’. CM Buckshnis says she won’t support. Odd reasoning.” Councilmember Paine directly stated, “the CP was more concerned about the allotted time rather than talking about the civil rights and liberties of the issue”.

We can now add our State Sen. Marko Liias to the list of representatives who don’t seem to care what will happen to our Snohomish County neighborhoods. Here is what Sen. Liias had to say, retweeted by Laura Johnson, “As much as the headlines seem unrelated, they’re not. How we treat our most marginalized neighbors matters. Treating people like a public safety problem led to tragic outcomes. Let’s instead focus on building systems that help our neighbors in need, not criminalize them.”

Our representatives are asking us to turn a blind eye at what has happened to other communities who allowed encampments. Here is a recent report on violence in an encampment in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood.

The rhetoric being used has no place in our city politics. After we have been witnesses to the ongoing surrounding communities’ havoc that has occurred from allowing “encampments”/illegal loitering of park takeovers, sidewalk blockades, trash strewn, not just in the parks but wherever these takeovers are allowed to happen. All these public spaces have been paid for by the taxpayers. We have a right to stand up for rights and protections of these spaces to make them available for the enjoyment of all citizens. If we don’t protect our parks, streets and neighborhood communities we would be heading for an additional uphill battle that could take years to resolve.

The State of Washington has laws in place that are meant to protect these public spaces for good reasons. Two of our Washington State laws meant to protect us: WAC 6.36.020 does not allow for anyone to loiter on public spaces or parks to engage in drug use, possession of, or the sale of drugs. “Loitering for the purpose of engaging in drug related activity 1) it is unlawful for any person to loiter in or near any thoroughfare, place open to the public or private place in a manner under the circumstances manifesting a purpose to engage in drug-related activity…..”

One additional protection is RCW 9.66.010, which tells us: “A public nuisance is a crime against the order and economy of the state that 1) Shall annoy, injure or endanger the safety, health, comfort, or repose of any considerable number of persons’ or, 3) shall unlawfully interfere with, befoul, obstruct, or tend to obstruct, or render dangerous for passage, a lake…or a public park, square, street, alley highway…or, 4) Shall in any way render a considerable number of persons insecure in life or the use of property; shall be a public nuisance.”

We know, according to the Koné Consulting report on homelessness, the majority are substance addicted. To allow the takeover of our public spaces would be in essence be inviting much more trouble into our community that will cost us dearly far beyond a monetary expense and ends up with residents  feeling marginalized. All who live in this community would be aware that we are condoning substance and drug use in our parks, on our waterfront beaches and sidewalks, downtown Edmonds in alleys and sidewalks. Along with substance abuse there will always be a higher crime rate both in the community as well as inside the encampment.

Most of us have witnessed the reports on the takeover of the Ballard Commons where fights broke out, a serious fire was started, and an eventual death occurred. These reports and many others going back to 2020 should be our historical reminders of our duty to protect our community and the duty of our city council to uphold our community standards for safety, livability, workability, and peace of mind. For any councilmember to promote anything other than protection of the community they swore to uphold,  would be a serious breach of public trust of their citizens, taxpaying constituents, and would also be considered in my opinion, Dereliction of Duty — which is taking actions contrary to what was agreed upon in their oath of office.

Cynthia Sjoblom

  1. If the numbers are to be believed and we in fact have 400 homeless in Edmonds and 20% of our population 8000 on the verge of homelessness we need to stop work on civic park and immediately switch direction and create a 400 unit tiny home village. After all aren’t we supposed to have compassion and empathy for these people and as a society care for them indefinitely? How dare we put our own interests above those less fortunate. It’s not like we don’t have enough money in this town service before self right? This is the perfect location right across from the police station for security and really close to city hall for services. Close to the market to so they can use their food card on healthy food and a large crowd to panhandle from. Walking distance to the food bank also. Lots of things for them to do during the day like shooting up and passing out on all the nice benches and walking around town looking for a way to make a quick buck and only a short stroll to enjoy the beach. Maybe we could even get feed me hospitality to provide 3 hot meals everyday. We should welcome all these people into our community and provide for them unconditionally. Don’t worry this won’t be a magnet for homeless from around the region or country because they never migrate to places that tolerate and enable their behavior. And if you don’t want to do this you are a immoral evil trumpian Republican fascist that should be thrown in jail for thinking you have a right to have a nice safe place to live or that’s what the experts tell me. Or we could just pass this common sence measure to help the people that don’t want help moving along.

    1. Across from the police is a perfect spot, or all those in favor can open their sidewalks, yards and homes to campers if they think this is such a good idea. You will be first in line. Then we can be just like Seattle with fires and crime 24/7. That will be great…..

  2. Yes, All true. Very sad but true. One thing that is curiosity to me is what if these encampments with drug use open and very dangerous and well lots of no bathroom use but instead the beaches, the Bowl area were having the same on going issues as other parts of the city are? What would they all think then?
    As I have said repeatedly we NEED to find other places away from residential areas and parks etc. Where I don’t know. It is not my job to know and I don’t know how to find out. I do not hate the homeless in any way. I want to help all that we can. Some we can’t this is something we must face. I want places for detox and rehab and counseling. It could take years for some and months for others. The mentally ill well they deserve a hospital. A place they are safe and medicated. Not all mental illness can be medicated away either. So WE need a ton of cash from out STATE government to build and find someplace in the state where we can begin building tomorrow. This attitude is and will continue to destroy our city. Infact the Marsh is at risk too. The salmon, already the clams. Come on people use your common sense and help these folks don’t enable them. It doesn’t help them at all.

  3. CM Johnson’s tweet, which you have quoted out of context, was NOT an “unflattering comment” on our community or her fellow CM’s. It was a direct quote from a 2010 article in Street Spirit, a Bay Area journal that covers homelessness and poverty issues. The article was entitled “Ugly Laws, Bum Blockades, and Sundown Towns”. It is a history of America’s policies, practices, and responses to the unwanted poor and homeless in our communities.

    CM Johnson was doing exactly what any conscience community leader should do in discussing important policy decisions: bringing historical context and precedence to the table.

    That she and CM Paine attempted to reduce the proposed $1000 fine to $25 reflects the fact that the proposed penalties of 90 days in jail, $1000 fines, and mandatory community service are unworkable, punitive measures that will produce no deterrent effect on homelessness. Putting a person in jail for 90 days to punish them and then returning them to the street and the exact same circumstances is hardly sound policy.

    I understand that this is a complicated issue. I worked with homeless mentally ill people in Seattle for a half dozen years. But this town has provided no shelter and scant social service resources. That all we can think to do is arrest, fine, and jail our fellow Americans speaks to our failure, not theirs. It also speaks to a poverty in us as a community, not monetary, but a poverty of spirit..

    I have followed the thread from a previous article about this ordinance and heard my fellow Edmonds’ residents fantasizing scenarios about the homeless burning down Yost Park and about their dogs stepping on needles laced with fentanyl. I would urge them to reign in their imaginations. This kind of hysteria easily slides into dehumanization and demonization. It also leads to blaming our City Council members for trying to have an important discussion about where this town is headed in the near future instead of just passing a vote on a reactionary measure because the hour is growing late.

    1. I just wanted to clarify – again – that this is not fantasy. Replace Yost with Mathay Ballinger and the situations described (less the fire) have happened or are happening. How do I know? Because I live in the neighborhood and see it on a daily basis. And that’s just the parks issue folks. A drive along HWY99 should shed light on the other issues we are facing. I respect that people have varying views on this issue and I myself have my own, but to minimize what some have been dealing with as citizens for some time or to call us hysterical certainly continues to galvanize my own position on the matter.

    2. Ed that is the maximum penalty most likely they would only spend a few hours to a few days in jail and likely have little to no fines maybe some community service. For a first offence. Repeat offenders would likely have harsher penalties. This tool doesn’t automatically mean they get arrested they have the option to move along or take the services offered. I can agree we need more services but not like the ones we have today. 90 days in jail probably doesn’t do much good but 90 days in treatment or mental health facility plus some wrap around services would probably have the most positive outcomes.

    3. Ed I am the one that wrote about potential for a fire in our parks. Maybe you like fantasies and have a vivid imagination, good for you. I for one live next to Yost and have for 46 years and it is a concern. I was a volunteer firefighter for 6 years in Edmonds and helped in suppressing a couple brush/tree fires in our city and a fire in a park the size of Yost could be serious. And this goes for anyone using the parks not just homeless. So I guess maybe I have a little more concern about this then you. I do not hate the homeless but feel if this is going to be discussed all potential issues should be on the table.

      Have a good day

  4. Wow, this issue is so complex that no one answer will correct it! I have mixed emotions as a 30 plus year resident of Edmonds we worked hard to accomplish our dream of living in a “Edmonds kind of Day” environment, I am a worker that goes in and cleans theses encampments ,I have had the opportunity to speak with some who were being displaced, It’s not all drug related homelessness, Some feel they don’t belong in society having to meet expectations of others, Some can’t afford their own place and don’t want to live with their families, Some, money is not the issue they don’t like being told what they can and can’t do, There many complex issues but the biggest one I remember a gentleman answering when I asked why here?. Because they made it easy for us! I know we have to do something as a community, with that said their needs to be thoughtful planning that has to include social services and funding for years to come.

  5. Snohomish County is spending money on the homeless issue. But is that really the answer. Look at what Seattle has spent on the problem with absolutely no success. I think it is appropriate to have more than one avenue to correct an issue…laws that are enforced to protect the Citizens of Edmonds and and services offered to the homeless. But to think that using one solution is definitely not the answer. Ask Seattle. Our Council would be wise to provide the Police with laws to do their jobs. The Police Chief is asking for the Council’s help, we need to pay attention to those that deal with this day-to-day.

  6. Forget about Paine and Johnson, until the next election, they are irrelevant. They don’t care about the homeless they simply care abut woke politics. Their game is to create chaos in Edmonds similar to Seattle and Portland and other Democratic controlled cities up and down the west coat. Their game has been repeated over and over again and it has failed in every city up and down the west coast…open your eyes. They are relentless. They don’t care about the homeless it is all about money, power, and the leftist playbook.
    The other Council Members, including Mr Chen, need to stand up for what is right and not be intimidated by zealots.

    This is simple issue of right vs. wrong. Do what’s right for the community. If someone truly wants to improve their status the help is there. Numerous organizations are ready to assist. For those who break the law there should be punishment whether it’s a fine or detention.

    Pass the ordinance as written and increase police presence. As far as those addicted to drugs and the mentally ill are concerned they can get help and the police are there to help if asked. Support law enforcement and safety. Our families and those sleeping outside will be better off for it. Period!

    1. Why would you rather be unconscious, unaware, unknowing? Using woke as a negative, as rightwing extremists have long done with Liberal and Progressive, two other words abused and misused by Republican propagandists, is wrong. Wake up!

  7. We spend millions on the homeless. Has anything worked? No. The people in these homeless camp do Not want any sort of laws or rules. These camps are very dangerous. Have dangerous people hiding out in them. There will always be poor. What we need to ask ourselves is do you want needles in our parks? Do you want felons and killers hiding in these camps close to our homes? Have we seen an increase in theft? All about the drugs. Do you want open feces and urine on our streets? If you don’t you had better start get your laws in place because it’s coming. Building homes? The drug dealers will move across the street from it. Start thinking of our community and kids. What do we want?

  8. If criminalizing homelessness actually worked it would have been voted into law elsewhere. You think Edmonds is going to actually change anything with this law? All the people who like this proposed law really want is for any homeless people to move elsewhere. This acrimony against the poorest people in our community is disgusting.

  9. Cynthia,
    I also worry about where all of this is headed. I look at Seattle and my heart breaks to see how out of control this homeless situation has gotten. I am thankful our city is trying to figure out the best way for Edmonds to deal with this growing problem.
    I think this is an extremely complex issue and strongly support the approach Laura Johnson and Susan Paine are taking towards it.
    You and I agree on the problem we just disagree on how to solve it. I tend to look at things in the long term and try to address root problems. In this case there are multiple root problems which makes a general solution unsuccessful.
    The criminal penalty without other solutions is clearly not addressing the problem in the long run. Homeless people have very little. A monetary fee of any amount is truly like trying to get blood from a turnip. Placing them in jail removes them from the streets for a temporary period of time.
    I believe our Council Members are protecting our city when they slow down and really look at the issues. For me, living in Edmonds since 1978, I give a big thumbs up to Laura Johnson and Susan Paine.

  10. Thank you Cynthia Sjoblom. Very well said in every respect. I, and I suspect most reasonably-thinking citizens would agree with you. All those who expect nothing from these homeless folks are not doing them any favors. Is it compassionate to enable these folks to live in old wet tents, with the filth, rodent infestation, drug and alcohol addiction encampments? How about we do the compassionate thing for them and the public safety thing for the community? For example, as was suggested to me by a councilor: Give them three choices: 1) Move to a clean safe warm sanitary space provided by the community and go through detox and a rehab program or 2) go to jail where you will be subjected to detox and required to attend a rehab program, or 3) you have to leave the area and we will help you with the resources to do that. These are not cold-hearted evil proposals. The high moral ground types, such as these two councilmembers, believe- who are we who have so much to expect anything from these folks? Well, they may be poor, addicted, confused, angry, etc. but sometimes the most loving and caring thing you can do is to avoid being an enabler and not allowing a person to continue a self-destructive life. Change is hard and painful. But who would argue that we humans learn more from our pains in life than our pleasures? Those who denigrate the reasoned thinking of Ms. Sjoblom, I would ask you to let go of your self-righteous condescending attitude toward those who feel we must expect something from these homeless folks to balance the safety and livability needs of the whole community. And how about we stop the tired old statements about Trumpians and the evil Republicans? How is this helpful? We must, and we can, find balance in this situation here in Edmonds. A little tough love is needed and a lot less making it a morality play on good and evil. Good people are on both sides. Just because I disagree with you does not mean I’m evil.

    1. Agreed on all points, both residents and homeless need to considered but we don’t help anyone by enabling them to continue to live in these camps and not expecting them to do something to improve their situation.

  11. In any sane version of the discriminatory characteristics of a city ordinance this proposal would be considered a liberal activist’s dream of proper behavior by society and it’s police. Anyone can literally choose (you don’t have to even prove need) to sleep in a public space as long as there is no other viable shelter available for you to go to with or without assistance under this proposal. Our local liberal activists just can’t take yes for an answer on this one. These three so called public servants have lost all credibility as far as I’m concerned and they will never again get my vote. (I vote Democrat or liberal 99.9% of the time).

  12. Whether a person’s cause of being homeless is bad luck, mental illness, drug abuse or a combination of those factors, the compassionate approach is not to allow them to live unhoused when other options are available such as housing, drug treatment and/or mental health treatment. The proposed law is a common sense approach to getting help those in need. It is not criminalizing homelessness.

  13. It seems really bizarre, but to some council members allowing people the choice to use the public spaces such as sidewalks as a toilet even if other reasonable housing is available is a way to affirm Humanity. The suggestion that it should only be a $25 fine for pulling down your pants and doing your business while living on the street as opposed to taking offered housing seems like a crass contempt view of the community.

  14. I see that our elected are doing their jobs. They are trying to find and implement some ideas that relate to public safety and shelter. What council is doing is creating tools that can be used by those Edmonds entities that can address the issues. Police, Parks, staff who have a role in these issues AND our municipal court. Folks here seem to suggest there are 4 types of unsheltered folks with various conditions/motivations. 1. Mental 2. Drugs 3. Down on their luck. 4. Do not want to be told what to do. Stick with these for the moment and look at what tools council is working on for Public Safety and Sheltering.

    1. Providing the Police and others with the criteria to get folks to not use public space for sleeping. This primarily done by allowing the police to do the first assessment of the individual and sort out which category(s) listed above they may fall into. Then it looks like the police can look for a “shelter” that can accommodate the individual. If one exists it is offered and the individual is transported to the shelter. Council (7 to 0?) agreed that the shelter must be within 35 miles of city hall. That would be past Camino Island but short of Mt. Vernon, just past Gold Bar, and just short of Sequim. Council should share with the public what shelters exist within those boundaries that meet the needs of the 4 types. Hopefully we have some idea of “vacancy rate” as well. Question? Does a motel voucher qualify under the ordinance? Is one night enough to qualify?
    2. The other tools is our courts. Fines, jail, OR Community Service. Hopefully council can provide more direction on the notion of CS. Can that be paid CS doing something for the city or other public agency and can that be enough to pay for housing in someway? The key to all this may well be how the court uses its tools of fines, jail, or CS. Council should spend some time discussing the role of the court.

  15. This is about public safety and sanitation for everyone in town, not fixing homelessness per se. I agree with you Darrol in terms of needed actions, but you are conflating two different needs, just like some of the public officials, opposing passage of this particular ordinance.

    We overcomplicate and conflate every issue and either nothing gets done or the wrong things get done. This was a no brainer until the extremists and political opportunists put their hex on it for whatever unknown reasons and everyone loses as a result and everyone becomes a victim in the end, with no one getting the help they desperately need, especially when they don’t want the help. If these obstructionists were actually helping the overall problems with their biased protests I’d feel differently. They are accomplishing exactly nothing.

    1. Clint, The court will pay a huge role in what happens to someone who refuses shelter when it is available. They will end up facing our city municipal judge. That judge will have 3 options, jail, fine, or community service. CS provides an opportunity to help some folks dig out of their situation. I am only suggesting council consider ideas associated with CS to see what may be helpful.

  16. I thank many here who also understand what it means for a community to protect one another and look out for each other. Whether it’s something occurring on your street or mine that threatens the livability workability, and safety of our community, I care. Thank you Mark, Clinton, Brian, and others for understanding my concern. There’s no mistaking the greater good comments.

  17. I wasn’t quite fair to you my good friend and I don’t question anything you have to say on the actions needed to actually begin to solve some of these homeless and home challenged problems. You are a very nice and kind man; better than I will ever be.

    I’m just a little concerned when you say “they are doing their jobs, ” because I don’t think some of them are doing their jobs. They are grandstanding to the detriment of those they profess to be helping and that makes me angry. We demand the impossible from our police and public school systems then we attack them for asking for help. I’m literally ashamed of some of these politicians and the fact I once supported them. Mad at myself and them, not you.

  18. “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”

  19. This is a pretty tough issue, and we live under the 9th circuit that makes it a little tougher for Council to pass any laws or ordinances. The emotional side does not defer the responsibility of Council to protect public order. Maintaining parks and public spaces, safety, and the health of the citizens is paramount. We get to hear a lot about any ordinance and the words “criminalizing homelessness” creates more of a polar view versus actually focusing on the behavior that affects public order.

    Council is not criminalizing homelessness – they are making it illegal to behave in a certain way. Laws and ordinances can be effective and they are certainly better than the old “vagrancy” laws that were overturned. We have a new community services team, these laws afford them the opportunity to divert homeless persons from having to live in less than favorable conditions to available housing, mental health counseling, drug treatment, and other programs that preserve, protect, and progressively move the entire community forward.

    I believe we can get 4 or 5 votes and stay compassionate. The majority of us have compassion and empathy and put that into action for our fellow humans – to polarize us just continues to play to some emotional chord that does nothing to protect the public good.

    Anti-camping laws work – when there are available beds, people can be diverted to places that have high concentrations of services. Anti-panhandling laws work. Diverting cash goes to the services that are professionals at helping and healing works.

    In the overwhelming number of homelessness cases and studies from both sides of the political spectrum, it is agreed that effective use of these ordinances actually can divert and provide this segment of our population with much needed help and assistance. This is not an ordinance taking away freedoms, removing or restricting public speech, infringing on religious beliefs, or discrimination. It is an ordinance on public behavior that actually provides some direction to diversion/assistance programs and makes it punitive for the small group that just refuses help, aid, assistance or a hand up.

  20. You’ll notice that in my comments I am trying to avoid the rhetoric that surrounds this issue. There was way too much of that in the past, still too much of it now, and it halts effective legislation. In 2018, Washington State passed a myriad of laws that were intended to help stem the increasing problem and divert or increase funds (via new taxes) to battle homelessness. Since then, most of the studies show that the homeless problem has actually increased. We are left with new taxation, a bigger problem that will inevitably require more taxes (some sarcasm), and few new tools to battle the problems that exist in highly urban areas.

    The most compassionate Cities that choose not to legislate against public behavior out of compassion are the same Cities that receive the most funding, have the largest homeless problems, and have no end in sight to actually providing incremental solutions. It becomes a battle of ideology versus a program of real change and diversion away from homelessness.

    As far as the fine goes – you can make it $25,000 or $2. For me, it is an opportunity to divert – much like drug diversion programs seem to work, provides an opportunity for a public officer or service to make contact and offer alternatives that are healthier for the individual and the community.

    At the end of the day, we all need help to figure out certain things. Circumstances, mental illness, financial ruin, high costs of living, abuse, addiction, and the things that life throws at us are usually when all of us seek help – having an ordinance in place organizes an equitable system that directs individuals to that help. It is a compassionate law that actually targets a solution instead of (like it is labeled), throwing some Bum out of a park.

    Man, I thought I could stay in my corner for a couple of years until the next election cycle. I have failed at that. Council should move forward with the ordinance, leverage the new resources budgeted, and coordinate regionally to provide assistance.

  21. For those engaged in this conversation, please note I have heard from a credible source that there is apparently a protest being planned ahead or during the council meeting this coming week when most likely this ordinance will be being voted on.

    1. George, very well said! Tom, thanks for the heads up and I recall when this happened a year ago and this community is going to need to stand up, stand together and show up at council. Those being called in to protest will be from surrounding communities.

  22. Please outlaw camping on public property. Our property values will be severely damaged, and our quality of life will be terribly harmed, if this is not done. I moved to Edmonds from Seattle because homeless people were wrecking my neighborhood. I’ve already seen the poop on the sidewalk, used needles on playgrounds, smashed glass, break-ins, attacks on innocent people including children and women, when camping on public property is allowed. Please protect Edmonds and outlaw camping on public property.

  23. Let them protest. Just show up with a small army of counter signs and people saying SAFE AND SANITARY Parks for all. And/or Real Help For the Poor. Or just Save our Parks (for Everyone). Fight fire with fire. Invite King 5 to present both sides of it to the whole region to get the real truth out for a change. Remember Save our Beach and what that took to prevent an eyesore, marine degradation and fiscal catastrophe. This is the only way to beat our politically influenced and biased city hall and it needs to happen. Bring it on. We will all be better for it.

  24. FYI – I got a e-letter this morning from the Coalition for the Homeless (An organization I once supported personally). It was urging me to contact the Edmonds City Council about opposing this ordinance as an “implied assault on the homeless”). I informed the writer that I consider their position on this untrue and propaganda in nature as it misrepresents what the ordinance is actually about and the exclusion of any enforcement if adequate alternative shelter is not available.

    Cynthia and other interested parties commenting here; I urge you to start some sort of organized support group for the passage of this ordinance or, we are going to be steam rolled with bad publicity by this homeless coalition. At least one or maybe two of our Council Members are or have been part of this organization. I am not attacking the organization per se, they certainly mean well, but I am accusing them of a fraudulent representation of what this particular ordinance is about.

    I can’t be as active as I’d like to fight this injustice; due to a family matter which will keep me out of town for several weeks. All I know for sure is this is a powerful, well funded organization, that has decided we are the bad guys to further their noble cause at our expense. (Shades of “all those racists in Edmonds”). I hope a “Save our Parks” group forms and prevails as a counter balance to this groups effort. When people call me names or lie about me I prefer to fight back. Bullies come in many different forms and disguises.

  25. Good comment I hope you forwarded it to each council member. It won’t have any affect on two of them but hopefully the others will exhibit some common sense and not be bullied.

    1. I have a hunch all our CMs are highly tuned into this paper and reviewing the comments on this topic. This paper has done much to lubricate the machine of citizen activism in our town. I’m too busy with life right now to participate like I’d like to.

      1. Clint, thank you for sharing that as it is official now that they are using a “strategy” to fight against this ordinance passing. Thanks also for setting the record straight. Their efforts on this are actually disingenuous! They care more about criminal behavior falling on blind eyes and deaf ears then protecting the larger community. Dare I say it…….If they grow the problem, the “coalition for homelessness” stays in business! They keep their jobs, they get state and or federal funding, probably grants, donations etc. They don’t really want to solve the problem because their solution is to let them remain on the streets and other public spaces to loiter instead of getting them real help for their drug problems. Therefore, the real agenda is to create worse problems in our communities to keep themselves growing their own organization. Sad to say, but it’s true and I wish it wasn’t. What’s also sad is they may or may not even realize this. When people talk of “homelessness” they don’t ever seem to discuss drug treatment options! They don’t discuss work programs for those not using. I just don’t hear it. It’s like a card game, they show you only certain cards but some are actually hiding under the table. It’s our job to find those cards we are not being shown in order to make sense out of what is really happening. I’d like to believe with your comments you actually showed you can see their hand! Thanks again Clint and I do understand family things that have to be handled. I have a family member that just cleared cancer treatments. Some with an agenda want to portray us as heartless yet, they don’t see us caring for an elderly parent in the family or spouse etc. It’s pretty appalling and I don’t like their tactics.

  26. If you are reading this hang with me for a second. As a young man I was taught from the Old Testament. As I recall, the bible commands the Israelites to not harvest the “corners” of their fields. The bible could have commanded all growers of food to provide unlimited food for the poor and even housing, but it did not, why? A moment’s thought brings forth the conclusion that respect for the poor who would glean the corners demanded only that they have food available. How does this relate to our quandary? Well, it seems to me that many good and charitable people have chimed in on both sides of this debate and not being a religious person but one who respects the logic and wisdom of much, but not all, of the biblical prescriptions for a just and, well functioning society, I think it is OK to require people to follow ordinances such as this. As in the bible, charity is NOT limitless and people who need help have to be responsible in their thinking and actions. The maxim that ” the road to hell is paved with good intentions” has a universal appeal for GOOD REASON. If we provide, within our county, safe and warm shelter, and resources to help find employment and medical services, then what more do intelligent and charitable people have to do? To demand that our citizens sacrifice their own security in order to offer help goes against human nature and, in the end, will chill the desire to help the homeless.

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