Mayor Alan Autry calls the ruling by Judge Oliver Wanger requiring the city of Fresno to respect the constitutional rights of its residents "cavalier." He then tries to paint Judge Wanger as being disconnected from "the real truth."
Judge Wanger's ruling is grounded in the Constitution and in case precedent. He merely blocked the city from engaging in the immediate destruction of the property of homeless persons. This is not a radical ruling.
Mayor Autry wants the City Council approval to appeal the ruling. Instead of wasting taxpayer money on a fruitless appeal, the city should devote time and energy to constructively addressing the homeless problem in the community.
A good first step for the council would be to sponsor a forum on homelessness that involves all stakeholders, not a select few, and encourages real dialog on the issues. Presentations of "best practices" from other communities should be included in such a forum.
Fresno should learn from the successes of others. The city should not spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on an appeal, only to be told the "real truth" from the higher courts that Fresno's cavalier destruction of the property of the homeless is indeed unconstitutional.
Chris A. Schneider