Greg Spark’s staff has produced “Shelter Crisis Resolution” that is a far cry from what councilwoman Linda Atkins and many homeless advocates have been demanding for months. It looks like staff has managed to write it up so it will have little or no effect in actually helping any homeless people. Keeping them from “public trust lands” and “any area within 100 feet of any Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas … including, but not limited to, Humboldt Bay, any land held in public trust by the City, and any river, stream, estuary, slough, pond, or source of groundwater, within the jurisdiction of the City.” Those are pretty tight restrictions for something that supposed to be an “emergency resolution”. All this combined with the many restrictions and exceptions included by Development Services Director Rob Holmlund will result in little or no forward movement in addressing this crisis. In fact, the declaration literally kicks the can down the road and keeps the city out actually creating solutions. Instead, the city will encourage others to do the work of assisting those in need. From the agenda packet describing what the resolution accomplishes, along with our translation of what it really means:
1) Declares the existence of a shelter crisis in the City of Eureka under Government Code 8698 et seq. (Duh! Just look around and it’s pretty clear there’s a crisis. So now what are you going to do about it?)
2) Does not identify any City facility as part of the declaration. (Does not INCLUDE any City Facility as part of the SOLUTION).
3) Encourages the community to step forward and provide shelter either on private property or through a negotiated agreement with the City. (You’re on your own. The City of Eureka doesn’t want to do the hard work, or spend the money, so it’s all on you private citizens. We are going to show you our true libertarian spirit and put the problem right back in your lap. BTW-to all of you “homeless advocates” that we’ve been harassing for years about giving out free food or offering people to sleep in cars on your private property, now we want you to solve this!)
4) Excludes areas that are 100′ from any Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA-as defined by federal, state or local law or regulation), in order to protect fragile and local ecosystems. (All the places you’ve been trying to survive in are now off limits. Chief Mills, take off the gloves and move these people out of Eureka!)
As you can see, the insurrection in the un-elected portion of Eureka government is going strong. Linda Atkins put forward a resolution that would allow the city to start tackling problems….today! However, in the middle of the worst winter storms in recent memory the City of Eureka is making sure that there are no city facilities used to help people survive the elements. Shame on you City Staff! Linda said she wanted solutions, not the firing of city staff. Well it kinda looks like getting rid of the problems at city hall might just be a solution!
On another note, we wonder…….are Kim and Natalie going to back Linda up this time? We’re not holding our breath.