DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!
By Max R. Weller
Read the latest news about BUMTOPIA, CO in the Daily Camera here: Boulder adds port-a-potties, increases sweeps of Civic Area homeless camps. Copied below in its entirety:
A bicyclist rides past a new port-a-potty along Boulder Creek on Friday. The city has placed four portable toilets in areas around the creek in a new attempt to cut down on human waste in areas frequented by the homeless. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)
Under pressure to address the abundance of human waste and trash along Boulder Creek downtown, the city is installing temporary bathrooms, adding overtime police patrols and performing more frequent sweeps of homeless encampments.
In a memo sent Thursday to the City Council, City Manager Jane Brautigam, police Chief Greg Testa and other Boulder staff members described the various measures Boulder is taking now — and may take in the future — in response to a recent rise in citizen complaints concerning homeless activity by the creek and in the Civic Area.
Boulder was set to add four portable units today — one at the western edge of the Boulder Creek Path, one near the Boulder County Justice Center and two in the Civic Area.
They’ll stand for 29 days, which the city says is the maximum allowable pilot period given that they’ll be in a high flood hazard area. The pilot will cost an estimated $3,700, and the city will re-evaluate its options after observing potential success and failures during the trial period.
During discussions in February specifically about the problem of human waste, council members directed city staff to consider a range of options for longer-term solutions, including temporary restroom trailers, mobile units and permanent facilities.
It was decided then that portable toilets would not be used. Brautigam broke a 4-4 council vote on that matter — Councilwoman Jan Burton was absent — and said emphatically that “port-a-potties are not a solution.”
She joked that portable toilets were so far out of the question that she would not even speak the term “port-a-potty.”
Some homeless advocates criticized the vote and Brautigam’s comments, arguing that portable units provide an immediate and inexpensive stopgap above which city government should not fancy itself.
Asked why Boulder is adding portable toilets after the council, with Brautigam’s tiebreaker, did not support them in February, Alison Rhodes, district services manager for Parks and Recreation, said, “It’s not a desired alternative; it’s just an effort to be solution-oriented.
“While port-a-potties are no one’s longer-term interest, can they help meet a short-term need? That’s our hope,” she added.
The memo to council also stated that city staff’s request for proposals from providers of long-term bathroom solutions resulted in just one response. So, the city is pursuing the mobile restroom option, which Denver deploys at a rate of about $16,000 per month.
“Staff is also exploring the Portland Loo,” the memo also said, “a flush toilet kiosk that can be located on public sidewalks or other hard surfaces.”
This action is primarily motivated by community frustration with human waste commonly showing up in a high-traffic area that’s right along a waterway where many go swimming and tubing.
But frustration is high with trash in general, and the memo released Thursday describes a number of efforts to clean up the area.
City staffers are proposing spending $150,000 in 2017 for weekly sweeps of encampments along “high volume areas” and biweekly sweeps in lesser-used spots.
Since Feb. 4, the city says, Boulder police have been providing overtime patrols in the Civic Area, along the creek path, on the Pearl Street Mall and in the University Hill business district. All have high concentrations of homeless people.
The homeless are legally prohibited from camping within city limits, and the increase in police presence and sweeps would seem to indicate that sleeping and maintaining possessions outside will now be more difficult for those in violation of the camping ban.
For what the memo calls “increased patrol and enforcement” by the police, the city will pay an estimated $315,840 in 2017.
Boulder will also spend an estimated $10,000 this year on replacing and increasing signage along the creek path and in areas with encampments. The city says it has placed 50 signs concerning park hours and closure periods, the smoking and glass-container ban in parks and “other compliance-related issues facilitating enforcement.”
This article is amazing in that it does NOT address getting rid of the worst-behaved transients from all across America — the very people who are causing most of the problems citizens blame on the homeless in general. As I’ve pointed out many times: The bad actors are no more than 20% of all the homeless here in Boulder, and the other 80% of us are not only disgusted by them as much as anybody else, we’re most frequently the victims of the crimes committed by these sociopaths (crimes including theft, assault, rape, and homicide).
If the BUMS from outside of Boulder County, CO are allowed to hang around, I predict the following consequences as they relate to additional port-a-potties:
1) Peeing and pooping in and around Boulder Creek will continue, because this is how the BUMS give the finger to society;
2) BUMS will sleep in the port-a-potties both night and day, locking themselves inside to do so;
3) Guzzling rotgut vodka and smoking dope will occur in the port-a-potties as often as peeing and pooping;
4) Remember the Boulder “potty peeper” from a few years ago? There is at least one other pervert with the same psychiatric disorder who might be lurking in the port-a-potties to get his jollies (he is notable for being the homeless candidate for city council in 2011, sponsored by then-Carriage House);
5) Vandalism to the port-a-potties is a sure thing, probably to the point of making them unusable. They could even be torched like our local forests!
C’mon, Boulder City Council — please address the REAL ISSUE and let our police officers move the troublemakers on down the road . . .
(This post e-mailed to Boulder City Council.)