, June 26, 2022

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Commission to consider demanding Vallejo City Council evict homeless encampment near downtown library

  •   2 min reads
Commission to consider demanding Vallejo City Council evict homeless encampment near downtown library
The plaza outside the downtown library. Photo: John Glidden.

VALLEJO – A city commission will vote on whether to urge the city of Vallejo to evict a homeless encampment outside the John F. Kennedy Library in downtown Vallejo that a proposed letter says “poses a public menace.”

The McCune Collection Commission is scheduled to meet Monday and decide whether to approve sending an official letter to the Vallejo City Council requesting that the city remove the encampment and install a fence to prevent people from living on the lower plaza outside the library.

The letter says the encampment, which is composed of about six persons, is filled with trash and discarded objects creating a fire hazard and unsanitary conditions.

“The area beneath the staircase is used as an open latrine – subjecting visitors to a nauseating stench that is simply indescribable,” the letter reads. “Vallejo Code Enforcement has made several attempts to offer assistance with relocation; however, the occupants have been repeatedly uncooperative, even flat out refusing any aid.”

The commission oversees the collection of rare books housed on the lower level of the library. Its proposed letter says the plaza is the front door to the collection and the encampment is making the public apprehensive about entering the area.

If approved, the commission would recommend that a black iron fence be installed at a staircase that leads down to the plaza.

“A gate on the staircase will make it sufficiently difficult or impossible to bring objects and material into the lower plaza; thus eliminating the incentive for individuals to occupy the area,” the letter reads.

The letter, as posted on the commission's Monday agenda,  would be signed by six of the commissioners — including former Vallejo councilmember Joanne Schivley. It doesn’t state where the people living in the encampment should be relocated.

Last month, the Vallejo Sun published a report which found Vallejo’s response to homelessness included empty hotel rooms, police evictions and wasted money. Oftentimes, those evicted from encampments have nowhere else to go, eventually relocating to another unsanctioned encampment.

Vallejo Councilmember Katy Miessner, who serves as council liaison to the commission, couldn’t be reached for comment. City spokesperson Christina Lee has yet to respond to a request for comment.

The McCune Collection Commission is scheduled to meet at 4:30 p.m., Monday, inside the Vallejo City Hall Council Chambers at 555 Santa Clara St.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that the letter is a pending action and has not been voted on by the full commission.

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