Letter: City Hall Proposition – Homeless Shelter For Winter

Puyallup Now dot Com:
If as suspected, the Mayor and her allies get their way and bury the opportunity to move the municipal court to the 5th floor at City Hall, I have a far better proposition. The Interim City Manager has had ample time to move other city employees into the building and has not done so. Puyallup has a vast expanse of a 50,000 square foot facility currently hosting only 60 employees, which is a public embarrassment. We do not need another ploy by Mayor Turner donating even more space to her personal friends. Taxpayers are paying $40M for this place, and it should be used, for the common good. Today and for the foreseeable future, the facility is wasted.
So, I have a proposition.
The Puyallup Council pontificates at length about the need to do something for the homeless. But has done nothing. Also the new Comprehensive Master Plan fails to address a realistic solution for the growing homeless problem.
I propose that in good faith, the taxpayers of Puyallup (which Mayor Turner barely qualifies as a one sixth member) offer a temporary charitable donation to the homeless of Puyallup by giving up space at City Hall for the winter months (through April 1, 2011).  This winter has been tagged to be a particularly nasty winter with regard to weather. I would suggest two floors be assigned for this temporary shelter. One for male adults (16 and over) and the other for women and children. There is ample space in the city parking lot to accommodate any vehicles.  I am sure that the great people who run the local homeless organizations would serve as managers and provide a security presence. City Hall is also walking distance to local schools for the many homeless kids. City Hall is also easy walking distance to the Armory. (I assume meals for the needy are still provided there).
It is shameful that while these unfortunate citizens, yes they are citizens, are forced to live on the streets and by the river, while we have a well-heated barely used 5 story monolith that is an icon to waste and ego.
I call upon the council to enact such a plan and to initiate the facility use by Friday October 29 (the Friday before Halloween) which is generally the week of the first freeze in Puyallup.
If the council does not do this or some other equally charitable solution offering safe shelter for the winter, it will only cement the public’s view that their charitable words are purely hot air.  Somehow, I suspect the Mayor does not want this charity so close to her tax-abated home across from city hall at 400 South Meridian.
It is time to cease being self-serving and to serve the needy and unfortunate.
Dave Churchman

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