Tag Archives: Longmont City Council

‘Where is work ethic of young, healthy and homeless?’

Read the letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera here. Copied below:

Kudos to Preston Padden for his guest opinion (“On personal responsibility,” Daily Camera, Sept. 27) on the Sept. 20 front-page article accompanied by a photo of a homeless couple on the Pearl Street Mall. I thought I was the only one who thought this way! They looked young, healthy but lacked a work ethic that’s why they were sitting on the mall. Why would they even get any attention and be put on the front page of the Daily Camera! Do we have no other news! I, like Preston, grew up with a work ethic. And guess what, that’s how we raised our kids, and they too have a work ethic. All in Boulder need to stop funding these young, capable, entitled transients. Give them a power bar, water but no money. They will leave, and as Preston said, help your longtime working neighbor who has fallen on hard times, not these kids who have found out Boulder is rich and gullible!

Kelly Borden

Golden

Presumably, Golden is smart enough to move the BUMS from elsewhere on down the road rather than pampering them like Boulder, CO does. Longmont has become almost as bad as Boulder, but city officials there seem to grasp reality now; see Longmont City Council tours transient camps, ponders ways to address homelessness in the Times-Call here. Excerpt copied below:

Council this year has considered two ordinances designed to curb behavior that draws residents’ complaints downtown — banning sitting and lying on sidewalks outside the Civic Center and expanding no-smoking zones outside several city government buildings. The smoking ban passed while the sitting and lying on sidewalks ordinance didn’t draw a second vote and failed. Additionally, city staff have put in place stricter behavioral standards for public buildings, and given staff training on how to safely deal with someone who is violating the policy.

[Councilman] Bagley said that considering such measures is good for the city — especially downtown, where homeless people can scare off customers.

“The primary issue is getting a system in place and certain services have to stop,” he said, alluding to his view that HOPE’s evening meal van is doing more harm than good. “We can cause a dramatic reduction in the transient traveling culture and by doing that, we stop encouraging the migration of homeless individuals into our community. First, we start there, and then we’ll have more resources to focus on people who are members of the Longmont family.” (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

[Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement] Executive Director Lisa Searchinger said that her organization was “uninvited” from four of its five locations where they typically hand out food, including the Safety and Justice Center parking lot downtown. She responded to Bagley’s comments by saying HOPE’s data show the meals were primarily helping working, housed people who struggle to buy food. The HOPE model will change as Boulder County implements a countywide integrated services model in October.

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Poor dogs! They deserve good homes, and these young travelers need to be booted off the social services Gravy Train.

— MRW

‘Longmont Councilman Brian Bagley wants city to consider how to deal with transients’

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!

By Max R. Weller

Read the article from the Times-Call here. Copied below in its entirety:

Longmont City Councilman Brian Bagley listens during public comment at a City Council meeting in July.

Longmont City Councilman Brian Bagley listens during public comment at a City Council meeting in July. (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

Longmont’s City Council needs to consider what it can do to address the growing problems caused by transients converging on the community, Councilman Brian Bagley suggested on Tuesday night.

Bagley said that from what he’s seen and has heard from small businesses — particularly along Main Street — those problems include people urinating, defecating, sleeping in stores’ back and front entrances, using drugs and even illegally tapping into electric power outlets.

Some of those businesses report having lost customers, and their renters complain about the noise from blaring music in the middle of the night, Bagley said.

“I just think we need to come up with a plan” for dealing with the situation, he said during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. “It’s getting worse.”

Bagley suggested that the city staff present a report during a future meeting on “what we’re going to do with these transients.”

Other cities have probably had to deal with the issue, he said, asking: “What have they done? What works?”

Mayor Dennis Coombs, one of the owners of the Pumphouse Brewery at 540 Main St., said he’s also been contacted by the owner of one nearby business — the Dairy Queen at 616 Main St. — with complaints about the activities of transients who have been gathering in the area.

However, “I don’t know what the solutions are,” Coombs said.

City Manager Harold Dominguez said the city staff already has begun to look for “a more comprehensive strategy” for dealing with lawbreaking transients and had already intended to schedule a council tour of some of the areas frequented by transients — to be followed by putting the issue on a subsequent council agenda.

Dominguez said police and others are reporting that transients’ encounters with authorities “are becoming more aggressive.” (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

Programs to assist the homeless are intended “to focus on those who really want to change their conditions,” he said, as opposed to people who are homeless because it is “a lifestyle choice.”

The city staff has also talked about the need to engage Longmont’s business community and neighborhoods frequented by transients in order to come up with solutions, Dominguez said.

Based on other cities’ experiences, “It’s really a process that takes the community to resolve,” he said.

Bagley suggested there is a difference between problems faced by Longmont individuals and families who become homeless and require assistance to recover from that status, and problems caused by transients “who come to Longmont” but aren’t originally from here.

“We need to figure out what’s bringing them here and fix it,” said Bagley, who is in a three-way contest with Roger Lange and Sarah Levison for mayor in this fall’s city election. (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

Bagley said what he wants from the city staff is a presentation of what the city’s options are and then for the council to set formal policies for the staff to follow.

“What is our plan?” he asked.

Councilwoman Polly Christensen said, “It’s really a problem of very few people doing a huge amount of damage.”

She added: “That’s what we have to deal with.”

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I’m glad to see that they’re starting with the commonsense viewpoint that the Transient Migration to Boulder County is NOT something positive to be enabled, and certainly NOT deserving of millions of taxpayer $$$ to support it. That alone sets Longmont City Council apart from our elected leaders here in Boulder.

I hope Longmont will follow through and send the so-called travelers on down the road; paying for the bus tickets on RTD to Denver, and tossing in sack lunches to-go, is far more cost-effective than citing BUMS into court or tossing them into jail. BUT, if a particular troublemaker comes back after being given the chance to leave, THEN you can lower the boom.

Councilman Bagley seems like he would be an effective mayor for Longmont . . .