City administrators to resign from task force

City Administrator John Roche and Mayor Jim Boles are planning to announce their resignation from the Intoxicated Street People Task Force to the group at their next regularly scheduled meeting, which will be held Tuesday, March 2.

Roche said his reason for no longer wanting to participate with the group was because they seemed to be going in a direction of a shelter.

“If the task force wants to go in the direction of a shelter, they should form their own grassroots and do it. The mission of the City is not to fund a shelter,” said Roche.

Roche added he thought the best way to deal with the intoxicated street people was to keep closing the alleys of the City and to purchase liquor licenses in the City.

This task force was created in October 2003, at the request of Roche. The City advertised for concerned citizens to join the Intoxicated Street People Task Force with 20 people responding.

During its inception, Roche reported the issue was important to the citizens of Winslow due to responses received when the City’s surveys were returned. The issues dealing with the intoxicated street people ranked number two for high concerns of the citizens.

The first meeting was held on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at the Winslow Fire Department under the direction of Mayor Jim Boles. Since then, the group has declined to elect a chair person for their task force leaving the Mayor to continue running the meetings.

During their meetings over the last few months, the group heard from the Mayor about previous task forces and also heard from the Chief of Police Stephen Garnett on the legality of the laws the police department has to follow when dealing with the intoxicated street people.

During the meetings, the task force has been asked to list suggestions on how they felt the situation with the intoxicated street people could be handled. They’ve also had to narrow down their 40 suggestions to five they felt were most important.

The solutions deemed of highest importance to the task force were:

* Support efforts to create a shelter/rehab/detox center

* Build a coalition with other border towns to develop a regional solution

* Purchase liquor licenses of some of the business

* Solicit funds from the tribes and from grants

* City sales tax on all alcoholic beverages

The City’s attorney Dale Patton that the fifth solution was not legal so the next solution was pulled up.

* Exclusion from the community if not a productive citizen.

It is currently unknown whether the task force will continue to meet twice a month or whether they will continue at all.

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