Cord Bauer, San Clemente
I saw a post on Facebook recently, which stated, “My brother and sister-in-law are in town. What is the safest beach to watch a sunset and sit by a fire? Least amount of vagrants? I can’t believe I have to ask that question.”
If that question is a bit shocking, one of the answers is even more depressing.
It stated, “I’m 66, born, raised in San Clemente, live in the house my parents bought in 1954, my wife moved here in 1972. Never did we imagine this could happen to this beautiful city, words fail us.”
Words fail me as well because so many people saw this coming.
For the past two years, we’ve seen few changes to safety in town, and San Clemente was actually sued for non-compliance regarding plans for a homeless shelter within the city—not a shelter itself, but just the plans. It was also discovered that our sheriff’s department doesn’t have full access to the cameras placed in the busy spots in town. They’ve been given limited use by the city, but officers used to be able to pull up the cameras on their phones. Why?
The areas of town you might not visit now may soon extend to your own neighborhood. I saw one mother post about dropping a child off at a sports park, but seeing an addict/vagrant right at the drop-off point. Like other busy parents, she had to pick up another child from a different sport soon after. What to do? Leave your child and not worry about it? Call the sheriff about a vagrant just sitting? These are decisions no parent should have to make.
A month from now, San Clemente residents will get to decide whether they’re happy with the city as it is, or if they’d like to see a change. On the ballot will be people who represent the “old guard,” some well-qualified challengers, some with good intentions but the wrong skill set (my opinion only), and some with big dreams and frankly little else. Please get to know your candidates because, this year, whom you choose is important for all of us.