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What readers had to say this week about local stories, Sept. 24-29

People weigh in on Durango’s financial audit and using the fairgrounds as a managed homeless camp

Each week we highlight some of the most insightful, passionate and witty comments shared on Facebook in response to stories in The Durango Herald.

This week, people weighed in on Durango’s financial audit and a suggestion that the La Plata County Fairgrounds could be used as a temporary managed camp.

We enjoy readers’ input and reactions to local stories: People can weigh in on our Facebook page, at the bottom of local news stories at www.durangoherald.com and by writing a letter to the editor.

Here are a few comments that stood out this week:

Story: Durango receives ‘best possible marks’ in 2021 financial audit
Durango City Hall

“The unmodified opinion of the auditor is the exact same opinion the auditors gave every year Julie Brown was stealing money ... even after a whistleblower brought it to the auditor’s attention. This is a very low bar to get over. Remember all the awards the city would use to deflect constructive criticism – here we go again. But another $13 million, after a banner 2020 year. Why is council spending money on question 2A to get more money from us? Why not let the citizens keep a little of the excess to pay some bills from the last couple years of inflation? Vote no on 2A!” – John Simpson

Story: Durango City Council to discuss temporary site for Purple Cliffs residents
A Durango City Council special meeting to discuss temporary placement of Purple Cliffs residents was called one day before La Plata County’s self-imposed deadline to close the homeless camp south of Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

“As per usual, the city has dithered forever on this issue like they do with every other issue. They have had three years to figure this out. And why is it up to the county ‘to provide temporary housing, including motel rooms for children, families and pregnant women who lived at Purple Cliffs’? The city has a responsibility as well. I drove by the Purple Cliffs today and it is a disaster. Who will provide funds to clean up this waste dump? I’m sure the City Council will have to have a closed door session to figure out how they can avoid any responsibility.” – Ed Lehner

“I am aware of no ‘new laws.’ The ACLU is a coastal elite interest group attempting to hoist Los Angeles/San Francisco/Portland/Seattle values and practices on our community. Their threats are cheap. There is no reason to think anything our community is doing, or not doing, is illegal. When the ACLU picks a fight, they waste their time and money. Let’s not have the fear of a fight cause Durango to lose its identity. Let’s not have the indolent, drug-riddled, aggressive, law-breaking, obnoxious homeless grafted onto our community by threat by elites. Their damage to our environment and community is obvious. Their abundant use of taxpayer funded services of police, EMS, and health is not how we should spend our resources. The choice of private charity to shower the homeless with benefits, means benefits not spent on taxpayers. Thank goodness the Council knows the homeless must neither be encouraged or tolerated. Crowdfund a litigation budget to oppose the ACLU if needed. Redirected the $1 million-plus that the City was going to spend on real estate for the homeless (a silly idea) to a litigation fund if needed. Keep Durango as Durango citizens want it – not as coastal elites would have it be.” – Robert Evans

In response to Robert Evans: “The sole purpose of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution. The fact that a nonprofit must be the one to step up for the legal rights of citizens says a lot about how we treat each other in this country. Calling it a ‘coastal elite group’ is nothing more than an attempt to diminish its value by attaching negative stereotypes. Asking people to fund ‘opposing the ACLU’ amounts not only to asking us to fight upholding the Constitution, but to spend huge amounts of money to fund a legal fight destined to lose. Yes, the homeless crisis we face here and all over this country is challenging. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and any solution is expensive. It’s way too common people prefer to dehumanize the homeless, describe them with derogatory terms and buzzwords while claiming they are 100% accountable for their plight, then, instead of taking any action, simply wish they would go away. But the only solution is to explore workable models from other similar communities and accept some responsibility as a community to act. The worst move possible is to ignore their Constitutional rights and get into an unwinnable lawsuit.” – Larry Darrell

Reader Comments