Homelessness Task Force unable to elect new chair and vice chair


To start off the Homelessness Task Force meeting on July 19, Public Safety Commission member Josh Spiegel was sworn in as a task force member. Spiegel was appointed by Councilmember Karen Farrer during the City Council meeting on July 11.

Public Safety Director Susan Dueñas provided a report from the Outreach Team and said there were nine homeless individuals moved into temporary housing, four of which were a family from out of state.

“The team continues to do good work and move people out of the street as fast as they can as you know there are not many places to move people so that is the big challenge, but that’s good news that they moved nine people,” Dueñas said.

At the last Homelessness Task Force meeting on June 21, members of the panel expressed their concerns with parking enforcement, fines and ordinances, but it was not agendized. The panel motioned to have the legal ad hoc committee review the restricted parking ordinances and report back to the task force. Councilmember Bill Sampson said the legal ad hoc did not meet and review the parking ordinances.

Dueñas provided a report on the Public Engagement and Outreach Plan.

“This part of the charter was specifically requested that we come up with a way to better get community input that we can use for solutions because there was a feeling at least from one council member that we don’t have a very good mechanism for getting broad public input on these issues,” Dueñas said. “So the task was to come up with a way to come up with a way to get broader input so as we move forward with different strategies, we have better consensus of the community.”

The panel reviewed charter challenges of moving meetings forward and keeping others accountable and motioned to continue the discussion to the next meeting. 

Committee member Scott Dittrich said they have been waiting for the decision from the City Council to move forward with agenda items.

“We’re going to take a look at what the City Council decides we’re going to discuss that and that will give us the foundation to move forward, I think that’s what we’ve been missing,” Dittrich said. “And then we can move forward.”

With three committee members absent, the panel was not able to address parking ordinances or elect the chair and vice chair of the Homelessness Task Force committee. The panel will address items after they are addressed at the City Council meeting on Aug. 8.

The next Homelessness Task Force meeting is scheduled for Aug. 16.