|Councilor Nordyke explaining to Maggie Vespa/KGW that she voted for a designated camping area|
I think that's a great question for the council and the mayor. I know where I stand on the issues. I am one vote of nine. And my vote was to create a designated camping area that was safe, secure, clean, dry with access to bathrooms, and it did not take effect.
Presumably, Councilor Nordye was referring to her second of a motion by Councilor Andersen at the December 10 City Council meeting "to direct staff to move forward with all possible speed, using contingency funds, to develop a designated overnight twelve hour model temporary-staffed camping area at Wallace Marine Park, the term of the camp will be effective until May 15, 2020, with a City Council review at its first meeting in April 20." See the minutes of that meeting here.
After discussion, Councilor Hoy offered a substitute motion "to provide expanded low-barrier shelter operations on a nightly basis" which passed 7-1, with Councilor Nanke voting against, and Councilor Ausec absent.
|Councilor Nordyke on January 27, 2020|
"I liked the idea of organized camping because I believed that it would provide a safe and secure and a clean place for people to go. But when we talked to folks who work with the homeless every day, I'm not hearing them telling us to support organized camping, which leaves us with the possibility of unorganized camping...So with the limited money that we have, I want to use it towards strategies that are proven to work, that are cost-effective, evidence-based, and no expert has stood up here and told me that organized camping is evidence-based. We understand it to be managing homelessness and that there are significant drawbacks to that."
Monday night, City Council again will be looking at a costly organized camping proposal -- in CANDO -- that's intended to secure a crucial fifth vote to enact sit-lie. See "Sit-Lie Could Cost City $30K to $75K a Month" Has Nordyke changed her mind (yet again) on organized camping? She did not respond to our request for comment. Might she provide that fifth vote, even though she's also stated she thinks sit-lie is unconstitutional and could embroil the City in costly litigation? See "Power to Punish: why Salem police don't need more discretion." Does she no longer care about cost-effective, evidence-based strategies, or what experts think? Does she not care what CANDO thinks? (CANDO opposes City-sponsored organized camping for the reasons set out in CANDO Resolution 2020-1.) Tune in tomorrow night, and find out.