Enforce the county's panhandling law
The new sheriff who seems to take every opportunity to get favorable news coverage somehow cannot find it in his ability to stop violations of the ordinance that passed the County Commission unanimously to stop the epidemic of panhandlers. They have converged on our county and have not been bothered by law enforcement in their ongoing quest to impede traffic, endanger the motoring public, and litter all over the places they gather.
The ordinance is comprehensive but the invasion continues. What does it take for a properly passed ordinance to become enforced? The County Commission says it has done all it can do.
These people are now belligerent in their continuing attack on the motoring public. They learned fast that the sheriff is not going to bother them, so they continue their assault and laugh at any who dare to advise them that they are breaking the law. Some 10 or 12 of them gather every day as they take turns in shifts on the corners of Sunray Drive and U.S. 19 and the others sit behind a "No Loitering" sign next to the building on the corner. There they are every day with their beer bottles and cans, cigarette butts all over the ground and litter from the fast food places, talking on their cell phones. I have rarely seen such injustice go on and on with no enforcement even after the law has been passed.
We now have the distinction of being the slums of west Pasco, and now we have what appear to be prostitutes working our area all over U.S. 19. I hope the voters remember this do-nothing law enforcement, which won't even enforce the simplest of laws to protect our citizens and return some dignity to our neighborhoods. It's really sad to see our once beautiful neighborhood turned into a slum.
The irony is there is a community outreach from Metropolitan Ministries a block away from all this nonsense. The trouble is the panhandlers can't drink booze or abuse substances at the outreach, which provides food, clothes and job referrals. This is really disheartening.
John Coyne, Holiday