The San Clemente City Council will hold a special meeting Wednesday, June 26 at 1 p.m. to renew their contract with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) before their current agreement expires July 1. This abruptly-scheduled meeting comes after council members failed to adopt the 2019-20 agreement June 18.
Residents expressed frustration with what they said was an increased number of homeless people loitering in the park during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, where the dais unanimously agreed to put an expiration date on the encampment. Jinhy Yoon, a San Clemente resident, said she no longer feels safe bringing her five-year-old daughter to the park.
Residents in the audience voiced concerns about the budget item not being made public to them until the meeting, and some cited possible Brown Act violations committed by the city. Public commenters called for transparency on the dais. The Brown Act is California’s government open meeting law.
San Clemente pushed ahead with anti-camping enforcement Friday when county healthcare workers and Sheriff’s deputies asked North Beach homeless camp residents to pack up their tents and move to a city lot, despite a fresh lawsuit against south county cities.
San Clemente residents will vote in a special election Nov. 5 to fill the vacant city council seat left by Mayor Steve Swartz, who died May 8. The resolution for a special election passed 4-0 at San Clemente’s City Council meeting Tuesday, May 21. In the meantime, the dais will consist of four members until an application process is discussed for appointing someone to fill Swartz’s seat until the election. Swartz died while on vacation in Palm Springs.
The nearly 7,000 people officially homeless n Orange County should be a wake up call to the County and all 34 cities to start building affordable and permanent supportive housing, in addition to shelters, according to experts in the field.