Last Friday, we met at the Mayor’s office for a little over an hour with Mayor McGinn, Jerry DeGriek, and Deputy Mayor Smith. We took a team of 5 people. We had one neighbor speak to the Mayor about his experience living right on the greenbelt, we had one woman not involved with HPAC directly speak to the Mayor about her experience volunteering at Nickelsville over the last two years and what she’s witnessed as to the quality of the camp over time, and we had one neighbor speak to the Mayor about why moving the encampment before the summer starts would be beneficial to the Mayor and Council, to the neighborhood, to Food Lifeline, and to the homeless camping at Nickelsville. He listened attentively and understands that the situation is not sustainable and is deteriorating.
Two things that we did learn from our meeting that were new: the council can pass the transfer of the property for Food Lifeline WITHOUT passing the encampment legislation. We thought those two things were tied together- so that is essentially a third option on the table. The council could just approve the sale, and NV will have to run its course until Food Lifeline’s deadline, which is probably the fall before they begin their permitting process. We were very vocal about why before summer would be better. The second thing we learned is that it doesn’t sound like anyone is advocating or speaking up at all for his “second option” – making NV permanent where it is, not even Nickelsville. It seems that he put that on the table as an option for them, but no one is advocating for it among the public or within the City Council.