Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lack Of Transparency

Here's a letter that appears in today's LMT's editorial page.  It was sent in by Eva Ramirez. 

Residents were not informed that homeless shelter would be in their neighborhood

To the editor:
I recently heard the announcement of a permanent homeless facility that will be housed at the former women’s shelter in west Laredo.
Our political leaders are trying to present this project as a proactive measure to reduce crime and drug use.
Unfortunately, residents were not informed of such plans.
As a resident of this area, I am outraged that this location was chosen.
This facility is located in a residential area, across the street from a church and a block away from an LISD elementary school!
Other schools are nearby.
In addition to safety, other issues concern me.
Individuals with substance dependency or mental issues will be this facility’s primary residents.
I ask my neighbors to petition our city councilwoman, Cindy Liendo Espinoza, and our county commissioner, Jaime Canales, to look for another location to house this project.
Our city and county leaders talk about transparency.
Where is the transparency here?
I surely didn’t see this coming.
Eva Ramirez

(emphasis mine)
I was pleased to hear the news of another homeless shelter offering services to the community.  But in reading Ms. Ramirez' letter, I can see how people would have concerns.  Our leaders need to step up some more to let us know what's going on in our area.  If they can make it to the countless photo ops, ribbon cuttings, holiday celebrations, pachangas, etc, then they can make time for monthly town hall meetings.  And I don't mean town hall meetings where department heads do all the talking; I mean town hall meetings where councilmembers, commissioners, and representatives actually take questions from the public, even if there are only two people present. 

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