Reading about the possibility of turning our county’s homeless situation over to an organization with less than $100 in assets makes it seem like an “anything to be rid of the responsibility” decision. Art Stockwell says his plan will eliminate the homeless situation in two years.
I read the homeless population is about 2,100. Assume we find homes and solutions over two years and the homeless are out of the camping areas, under overpasses and the variety of places they seek shelter. What keeps Gainesville from then becoming a continuing magnet for more? Why shouldn’t we expect, over time, to draw an additional 2,100 homeless back-filling all the places we’ve emptied?
My question begs a response from a person or organization with expertise that I hope might show up at a later date. What are realistic expectations? Please know my question isn’t intended to be anti-homeless, but a legitimate concern.
Ken Duffield, Gainesville
Path to citizenship
When I hear people talking about “Dreamers” needing “a path to citizenship” I wonder what they are talking about, since there already is a path to citizenship. It’s the same path my grandfather followed when he came here alone from Germany at age 14.
Instead of being a “Dreamer” he followed the rules. His parents were not line-jumpers. They helped him get training in skills this country needed. They found a sponsor who guaranteed he would not become a burden to taxpayers. He waited his turn.
He became a skilled engraver. He loved this country. He raised six children, of whom four served in this country's armed forces. He is a good example of what an immigrant should be. He was a patriotic American who was an asset to this country.
That path to citizenship is available to everyone. The problem is that illegal immigrants refuse to follow that path.
William C. Heithaus, Branford
Educated but ignorant
My parents immigrated to America in the early 1900s from Greece. Through hard work and the opportunities afforded by this country, they established a dry-cleaning, hat cleaning and laundry business, acquired a house and raised five children. They had little education but a strong work ethic and high intelligence. During the Depression years my father's business remained solvent and, indeed, he was able to help other families of his employees.
I remember an incident when some neighborhood children began taunting me calling out with insulting expressions heard from adults. Tearfully, I asked my father why they called me those things when I knew I wasn't any of them. Holding me in his lap, my father said in a sad voice, “Because they are ignorant.” That was enough for me then and it's enough for me now.
Some people, even a president, can be educated and ignorant at the same time.
Georgia "Pete" Vickers, Gainesville
Thank you for the thorough vetting of at least two City Commission candidates. Yep, they're flawed. However, their indiscretions are inconsequential contrasted with shameless malfeasance on the part of our current commission.
Let's give the newcomers a chance; no way it can be worse. It's a pity you deemed it frivolous to similarly scrutinize both presidential candidates.
Ronald Schoenau, Gainesville
The article on last Thursday’s real estate forum erroneously described bill HB 759. This bill would create an “independent authority” that would oversee all Gainesville Regional Utilities operations, and not “shift decision making to the utility.”
Essentially all decisions on GRU governance would shift to the “authority” of five city commission-appointed authority members. Susan Bottcher described how the authority itself would be ungovernable and unrepresentative of voters. Members could not be removed for bad decision-making, only for major malfeasance such as criminal activity.
Jeffrey Shapiro, Gainesville
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