Mayor Hales Emergency Declaration Bait & Switch

Tent-and-tarp city on the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge. (Joseph Rose:The Oregonian)
Tent-and-tarp city on the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge. (Joseph Rose:The Oregonian)

The emergency declaration was a bait and switch, and Mayor Hales has exceeded his authority. Mayor Hales sold the State of Emergency to waive zoning codes and convert city-owned buildings into shelters through an expedited. Source

The Impact Statement noted the need, which included “[homeless camps] pose potential health and safety threats for both the campers and the surrounding communities.”  Ordinance and impact statement here

Instead of removing threatening homeless camps and moving people indoors, Mayor Hales has expanded and multiplied the outdoor camps.

The emergency declaration did not waive laws that regulate public sidewalks or public parks. It waived zoning laws that apply to built structures.

Commercial and residential zones are not appropriate places for homeless camps. Renters and homeowners become victimized and scared. Businesses fail.

One of Mayor Hales’s other goals is to reduce rents. We suppose Mayor Hales’s tolerance of crime and misconduct will accomplish that goal by making downtown housing undesirable.

“Gentrification” is a rallying cry against upgrading a neighborhood. We suppose putrefaction is one way to counter that.

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