After all the ballyhoo predicting a crisis if Purple Cliffs were closed, including people dying, etcetera, I think we can all agree it went off quite well. La Plata County had it right. We should return to the policy of no long-term camping on public property and enforce it.
We should be fighting the American Civil Liberties Union with logical arguments that we are not making homelessness a crime, we are addressing public health, environmental degradation and fire danger concerns. Send ACLU the cleanup bill.
The cost of cleaning up these disgusting camps is phenomenal. Many camp residents interviewed admitted that they were there due to bad decision-making, but were waiting on the city/county to help instead of taking initiative and moving on.
I am not responsible for their bad decisions, drug addictions and desires to avoid the rules society forces on them. We should not be trying to be a model city for homelessness. We should be making it clear that there are consequences to making bad decisions and putting the onus on them, rather than counting on taxpayers to bear the cost. No homeless camps on city property.
Where are the tax-exempt churches? There are over 50 in the county. I challenge The Durango Herald and The Journal to convene a forum of church leaders to see what they can offer in the way of shelter and life assistance. They should. It's time for churches to walk the walk!
Ken Van Zee