Olympia recently passed the Home Fund tax. Time and again this community has demonstrated its compassion and kindness towards the homeless community and its willingness to try to solve the problem through taxation. I am proud of that.
However, compassion and kindness are not the same thing as leniency, and yet I fear this distinction is lost on our council and community leaders who seem to tolerate nuisance behavior to no end and in apparent disregard of the tax-paying citizens who elected them.
Downtown, particularly around the community center, is very much at a tipping point. Last I checked it was illegal to do drugs in public, defecate or urinate in public, block sidewalks with tents and tarps, steal bikes and litter. Yet our city leaders tolerate this behavior, which can be openly witnessed on any given day. Meanwhile, if my parking meter expires, I will likely return to a parking ticket.
With the passage of the Home Fund, I would expect to start seeing progress soon, and if not, that the lack of progress be remembered next time we are asked to raise our taxes, and the next time we vote. The last thing this great city needs is compassion fatigue towards a very real and growing problem.