Committee: Health & Public Safety
Chairperson: Ms. Jo Broden
Present: Ms. Jo Broden, Mr. Tim Scott, Mr. Oliver Davis, Jr, Mr. John Voodre, Ms. Karen White
From the Mayor's Office - Ms. Laura Sullivan, Chief of Staff
Council Attorney Bob Palmer, Presenting
Opening Comment by Councilman Davis - "A chain is defined by its weakest link. We are defined by how we care for our most vulnerable."
* There has been no Bill crafted, this is the start of the process to gather information and receive input from the public.
* Some of these are called "Right to Rest" bills. The right to sleep or rest in public.
* First one was written in Rhode Island in 2012
* In the case of South Bend it is not to "right the wrongs of laws criminalizing resting or eating in public"
* Mayor wants "Unity of Purpose"
* This is not a complete solution
* Nothing can force people to take shelter
* People have the right to be free from opression
* This is a starting point
* Puerto Rico has the most extensive rights. They classify the homeless the way we classify minorities here with rights.
They have 7 main rights:
1. To move about freely
2. Equal access and treatment to municipal agencies
3. Employment without having to have a home address
4. Access to emergency care
5. The right to vote without having a set address
6. Right to privacy about their information
7. Right to privacy and not have their items stolen or taken
* No harassment from police
* Right to give and receive food
* Worked on a Bill of Rights for 3-4 years and it was vetoed by their Mayor
* Later passed one that had less in it
* Protected to live in camps
* Given 15 days notice to keep and store their belongings
* If removed, the City most store the belongings for up to 60 days and catalog the items.
* Items must fit within a 90 gallon container size
* Duty to find them services to help them with their issues
* Enforcement Proceedings
At the State level agencies and revenues can be created to address the issue.
Whatever SB does, it can't go against existing State Statutes
Suggestion is to insert it into the Human Rights Commission area as a classification based on housing status
Councilman Varner wants to add a "Responsibilities of the Homeless" component. (See slide)
Concerns expressed were:
* Criminal Activity
* Reduction in Business
* Lowering of Property Values
* Creating fear in people
Councilman Tim Scott Comments:
* How many other cities have been looked at for examples?
* Are there performance metrics for cities who have implemented a Bill of Rights?
* Look at the 15 Day Notice
* Learn what the health concerns are to the community
* People living in cars - perhaps have a designated lot
It's easier for a State to address the Homeless issue
South Bend shouldn't shoulder the whole responsibility - County needs to assist
Councilman Oliver Davis, Jr. Comments:
* Homeless come to the larger cities seeking mental health treatments, jobs and entertainment activities
Councilwoman Jo Broden Comments:
* Wants to know about the past bills introduced at the State level, even if they didn't pass
* Have there been any legal challenges to the legalities in other areas/
* Records and data in other areas like Indianapolis
Ron Parker - the "Cass Communities" in Detroit have been successful in addressing homeless issues
The problem is that mental health facilities and County Homes no longer exist
Henry Davis Jr. - Likes there is a public forum since we need to protect people, not punish them.
Expressed concern the Homeless experience discrimination like he does when not wearing a suit and tie.
John Shafer - Michiana 5 for the Homeless - Reminds us the Homeless are already Citizens with Rights. They need to know the count and matter. He detailed an incident where a man had a diabetic issue and had hurdles receiving the care he needed.
Nate Levin-Aspenson - Is pleased to see South Bend showing Moral Leadership. Granular concerns include: The Homeless Constituents may not know about it and doesn't want the wording to be too broad or it just becomes a "Vanity" piece of legislation. Wants things more defined than "Reasonable".
Rebecca Burton - Wants the panhandling signs removed and is disgusted by the humiliating treatment of the Homeless. Does not like that the items such as sleeping bags they use to keep warm were thrown away. Kevin Hoggard held the banner, "Homeless Lives Matter".
Sue Kesim - Expressed the need for specific rights about using public facilities since those at Transpo and the Hospital are closed or they are denied at times. Joy Johns were removed. If they need to have a place to relieve themselves, cleanup and shower, as well as do some laundry so they can be presentable. It is practical and a health issue.
Charles Smith - Doesn't like the indignity of them having their belongings thrown away. Did appreciate some of the officers were considerate.
Councilman Oliver Davis - "We have to take care of our own. This makes us a strong city."
Councilwoman Broden suggested there be future meetings at the FUSE Center. She commended the "Continum of Care" and "Rennaisance Working Group" for their efforts.
More information is available in the Common Council Dropbox or the City Clerk's Office.
For more meetings and articles: #MichianaObserver #MySouthBend
December 14, 2017, 9:30 am, 13 Floor, County-City Building
Present: Ben Dougherty, Dave Relos, Marcia Jones, Don Inks, Gavin Ferlic, Kintae Lark
Absent: John Anella
A. River West Development
1. Issued a Certificate of Completion for Xanatek Corporation for 402 S. Lafayette
2. First Amendment to Real Estate Purchase Agreement with Cressy & Everett Commercial Corporation)
45 more days extension concerning the Shops and Garages for Leighton
3. First Amendment to Temorary License Agreement for Site Examination with Great Lakes Capital Development LLC
This is for the property at Jefferson and Main
NOTE: Instead of getting independent appraisals and bidding the property, Community Development is looking at selling the property to them for $50,000.
Proper procedure would be the independent appraisals. This is the same development project receiving a FULL 6 YEAR ZERO TAX ABATEMENT for $1,269,000.
Common Council approved this ZERO TAX ABATEMENT. Dr. David Varner was the only "Nay" vote.
4. 933 Lincolnway East INDOT is planning to Repair and Stripe the roads between Sample and Twychenham
The City is looking at expanding the sidewalks at the same time to connect the River Front Parks and Trails
B. River East Development
1. Budget increase request of $2,800 for boring for the skating rink at Howard Park because of soil issues
2. Development Agreement with Greater Lowell Holdings (Frank Perri)
J.C. Lauber Building will have about 8,300 sq ft after some parts are torn down to provide more parking
There will be a minimum investment of $2M
Plans are for Retail and Restaurant spaces
LaSalle Body Shop will become "The Garage"
It will have about 5,300 sq ft of space for events and office space
There will be around $1.4M of private investment
J2 Marketing is planning to move into this space
Taxpayers will provide $400,000 in TIF money to pay for parking lots, facade improvement and stormwater
"Stormwater" was not clarified as to if it will be physical improvements to deal with it or a waiver of the onetime fee or both
NOTE: We do not know if Tax Abatements will also be given for this development.
Community Development is pleased the Common Council agreed to the FULL 6 YEAR ZERO TAX ABATEMENT of $1,269,000
For more meetings and articles: #MichianaObserver
December 3, 2017, 2 pm at SBACC
Presenter: Jenn Gobel, Shelter Director
Improper Tethering -
* Rope/chain/cord attached directly to the animal's neck
* Tether is not tangle free
* Unaltered animal tethered outdoors
* Animals tethered after 11 pm and before 6 am
Animals running at-large -
* Running off their own property
Lack of food/water/shelter -
* Igloo plastic dog house is not enough shelter without straw in it and SBACC has straw available
* Water has to be fluid, not frozen
* Food has to be fresh (not moldy or tainted)
Animal appears to be neglected or abandoned - people are moving out and leaving the animals behind
* Citiations that document violations having occurred on 3 seperate dates within 2 years - (Can't be 3 days in a row since they need to be given time to comply)
* Witness accounts and/or testimony
* Any supporting evidence such as photos, call logs, Animal Welfare Alerts (AWA)
* Documented conversations and/or incidents in Pet Point Software System
Animal Control Commission hears Civil cases - 5 members from the community and 1 Vet.
They can revoke animal ownership for up to 5 years in the City of South Bend.
Goal - Get other local jurisdictions to honor the ban with ordinance changes
* Death of an animal due to cruelty or neglect
* Neglect of an animal that is detrimental to the animal's health and well being
* Acts of torture
* Dog Fighting
* Witness accounts and/or testimony
* Documentation of Vet records and assessments plus Vet testimony
* Any other physical evidence needed to prosecute
NOTE: Landlords can be fined for tenant violations. Landlords need to include in their lease they can make unannounced visits to aid enforcement.
Crime is "Place of Occurance"
PHOTO/VIDEO DOCUMENTATION of animal(s) and/or scene(s)
NOTE: These need to be taken with the geolocation, date and time turned ON.
DO NOT put yourself in danger to get these photos/videos.
Also, NOT sent through FB since the Meta data is not available.
If you do a screenshot, you need to include the URL. For Craiglist posts, be sure to get the "Posting ID Number". The posting number is critical for getting a Search Warrant.
NOTE: If the phone # is spelled out, that is a clue the seller may be dishonest.
Both kinds of Offenses - These need to have solid EVIDENCE that can be proven
PUPPIES - They can't be sold before 8 weeks per State Law and 10 weeks per SB Law. They must show proof of vaccinations and licenses.
SBACC will be getting 2 day training to use more of the Pet Point Software and upgrade it to handle Dispatching
SBACC will be talking to Officers at Roll Call about updates and they also have trained Postal Carriers on Bite training.
SBACC gets frustrated when they can't see a violation and therefore can't enforce it. They need the PUBLIC to help with photos and video.
NOTE: You cannot Trespass on private property to get the photos. If you get permission from a neighbor to go on their property this is admissible.
CHALLENGE #1 - Animal is not present at the address given or in the area when the officer arrives on the scene.
CHALLENGE #2 - We must allow the owner time to obtain compliance regarding the documented offenses.
NOTE: If there are financial challenges for the owner, there are resources such as the Franz Fund for spays, vaccinations, etc.
CHALLENGE #3 - Animals are considered "Property" and taking an animal without being able to prove exigent circumstances is a violation of the owner' civil rights.
CHALLENGE #4 - Building a case to present to the Animal Control Commission takes time. We must prove that we have given every opportunity possible to help them comply.
CHALLENGE #5 - We can only enforce what the laws and ordinance allow us to. "Bare minimum requirements" is not always agreed upon.
CHALLENGE #6 - Staffing - We only have 4 officers that service a population of 101,735 and approximately 41.5 square miles
NOTE: Not being up-to-date on Rabies is a Misdemeanor
SPOTTING POSSIBLE DOG FIGHTING:
* Using barrels as dog houses
* Torn ears
* Scars on the face and front of the body of the dog
* Spring Poles - Spring with a rope to have the dog tug and strengthen their jaws
* Small dogs being stolen in the neighborhood
NOTE: Be sure to have LOCKS on your fence gates, motion sensor flood lights and watch your dog at bedtime or go out with them.
* Invite SBACC to speak at your Neighborhood Meetings
* Make sure your animal is chipped and the chip has your CURRENT address and phone #. If you need a chip, they are available to anyone (in the City or not) for $20
* Make sure your animal has a 10 Digit Phone # tag on their collar. These are available at Meijer, PetSmart and Pet Supplies Plus while you wait and are around $10
Questions or leads - Ms. Jenn Gobel, Director, South Bend Animal Care & Control
For more articles and meetings: #MichianaObserver
Citizens attending community events to inform other Citizens.