A previous letter writer has serious misconceptions about our mayor, downtown eateries and homeless problem (“Letter to the Editor: When will there be something done about the homeless problem?” Aug. 21). Contrary to what was written, our mayor is not the “city’s chief law enforcement officer” as stated.

In fact, our mayor has such limited power that she can only exercise her power to break a tie vote at a City Council meeting. Our mayor performs mostly ceremonial duties. She is our biggest cheerleader and certainly instrumental in the progress of our city, but let’s not look solely at her to address a homeless population problem.

As far as the effect on downtown eateries, the writer asks how downtown eateries can thrive with so many homeless people hanging out in the area. Have you tried to get into Tina Marie’s Cafe at lunch? Homeless people abound around this restaurant; you still have to wait for a table. The same can be said for The 18hundred. The 24th Street Café frequently has a visible line outside as well. I call that thriving.

My job frequently takes me to big cities like Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Chicago. Our city doesn’t even come close to the homeless population seen in these cities where tent communities exist with hundreds of people living together. It’s all part of Bakersfield growing up. With the growth of any city comes increased traffic, entertainment venues, restaurants and, of course, homeless population.

Jim Luff, Bakersfield