Karen Goh was in a tight race and promised to devote time and attention to the Bakersfield homeless problem. While campaigning, she said she might sometimes be seen walking among the homeless or she may be observed sitting on a street gutter with a homeless person. With such an intrusive homeless problem, I wonder if this is the correct strategy to be used to remedy this problem. Having read the homeless articles in The Californian (“Police have limited enforcement powers to deal with those who camp in city parks,” Aug. 13 and “Slice of Italy vandalized Monday night, costing the restaurant more than $7,000 in damages,” Aug. 14), I believe this problem is already out of hand.
The mayor is the city’s chief law enforcement officer and has full administrative control over all departments. So, the mayor is the person responsible for setting the tone for police interaction with the ever-growing homeless population of Bakersfield. If local businesses are being vandalized, and the homeless are hanging around storefronts and restaurants driving customers away, this should be of primary concern to the city mayor, but it seems to have been pushed to the back burner.
How is it possible for eateries to thrive in Bakersfield when the homeless are also using nearby alleys and doorways as toilets, not to mention the health concerns? All of these current problems should be a priority for our current mayor.
Now to borrow a cliché, but I wonder if Karen Goh is playing the lute while downtown Bakersfield burns?
William Davis, Bakersfield