On Friday, the LostCoast Outpost reported on an anonymous email that was sent to the Eureka City Council. The email was in regards to “Eureka Citizens” feeling unsafe because of the (eeooww!) panhandlers in Eureka. Part of the email read:
“PLEASE review this (redundant) proposed panhandling permit ordinance! Citizens, and businesses, are asking why City Council appears more concerned about providing for the homeless, rather than protecting citizens’ personal, and business, safety.”
What???? Being uncomfortable is not the same as being unsafe. Sounds like a group Robin Arkley could head up. They don’t seem to recognize the difference between poor houseless folks and the Housed criminal dirtbag tweekers wandering our streets at all hours.
The real truth is that the City of Eureka has some pretty stringent laws on the books regarding “aggressive panhandling”. The ordinance prohibits a laundry list of behaviors, including how close a panhandler can be to a business, blocking sidewalks, fraudulent claims, and many more. Adding more legislation that won’t be enforced by the already overburdened police department is a complete joke and a waste of time.
The person who wrote the email claims that, “This proposal is the result of a group discussion, involving over 45 Eureka citizens. We will soon make a formal request to the city council. If a Permit to Panhandle ordinance is not passed by the Eureka city council, we plan to circulate a petition to force a ballot vote of the people.” Good luck with that, most attempts to legislate by ballot windup being thrown out by the courts.
We’re glad that there may be a group of people meeting with concerns about public safety in Eureka. Now, if we could get them to focus on real crime problems instead of annoying but minor problems like unsightly folks begging for money, that would be encouraging. A good place to start is violent crime and property crime. Those crime rates are among the highest in the country. How about pressuring the City Council and Manager to try and address those problems?