EDITORíS DESK: Time to serve the true citizens

       Hey, Westside, you're on your own. That seemed to be the message from our civil servants at the Avenue Merchants meeting Sept. 29. I don't mean that our elected officials or hired administrators acted rude or disrespectful in any way. They listened to the often-impassioned concerns from citizens, never interrupting or claiming that anyone was wrong-headed. Nor do I think they were hiding anything, working some secret agenda. Actually, the agenda was right out there for everyone to see: Vote for the property tax increase Nov. 3, and maybe we'll have some resources to throw your way. But otherwise, the public officials' message could be summed up pretty much in one word: Can't. We can't replace your infrastructure, we can't send over extra police, we can't tell the vagrants by the creek to move on or even to put out their campfires.
       True, Police Chief Richard Myers did suggest a taskforce, saying he would meet with the Avenue Merchant leaders to start working on ideas. That was the only time I felt a little insulted - that maybe he looked on all those citizens who have put up with so much grief and who had taken time out of their lives to come to this meeting as mere buzzing flies getting in the way of real progress.
       And what is that progress, really? The problems that practically everyone identified seemed to be connected to this proliferation of transient camps along Fountain Creek, yet the chief never mentioned a possible ordinance that could help greatly - a prohibition of public camping which has been in the works by police and the city attorney for months. That's what really stuck in my craw, as if our public officials are more worried about offending shiftless bums than serving the citizens who form the backbone of this town.

- K.J.