The Paso Robles City Council declared June 7, 2019, as Hunger Awareness Day. The proclamation honored the Food Bank of San Luis Obispo County’s work and commemorated its 30 years of operation. Doug Major, SLO Food Bank board member, received the proclamation on behalf of the organization. Major thanked the council for its support, saying that the food bank first began in Paso Robles and may not have become the far-reaching food assistance program it is today without the City’s support.
During the general comment section, the council heard complaints from Ron Cuff concerning the homeless in the Salinas riverbed. Cuff reported that he has rescued 12 shopping carts from the riverbed, cleaned approximately 1,000 pounds of litter and found piles of human waste in the area. He requested that the City strictly enforce all ordinances involving littering, shopping cart theft, camping and defecating on
In response, Paso Robles Police Chief Ty Lewis reported that in past years the City has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars clearing and cleaning
“We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorney fees, prosecuting folks with very limited results,” Lewis said. He admitted that during the past year “enforcement efforts haven’t been as robust as they have been in the past” citing “severe staffing challenges” as the main cause. Lewis also referred to a 2018 court decision that declared it unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment for a city to create anti-camping laws without providing sufficient shelter alternatives. Boise, Idaho appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which may hear the case later this year.
The City will embark on a collaborative partnership with The Sandbox to create a Business Success Center and co-working space to provide synergistic support and office space (other than coffee shops) to help entrepreneurs and small business owners to succeed. Cuesta College and the SLO County Office of Education have already committed to awarding selected graduates with a year membership in the business success center.
According to the council agenda, the Santa Barbara-based private company “provides expertise and proven success that the City could not provide on its own.” The council directed the City Manager to execute the lease for 1345 Park Street, Paso Robles, pending execution of the sublease to The Sandbox, and the associated financial agreements.