If attendance is the gauge, the monthly Reedley Town Hall events appear to have a bright future.

More than 60 community members — leaders, business owners and every day residents and neighbors — came to the Reedley Community Center’s Senior Room the evening of Jan. 28 to listen to a presentation and voice their opinion about the city’s homelessness problem. Nicole Zieba, city manager, was joined by three Reedley Police Department officials — Chief Joe Garza, Lt. Marc Ediger and Sgt. Gary Kincaid — to give information on the new state and federal mandates that limit enforcement of homeless. They also fielded questions from the public — neighbors who have or currently live near some of the nearly 30 homeless around the city, more recently moved to tree-filled areas along the east bank of the Kings River.

I attended a portion of the meeting to shoot photos and get a feel of the community’s interest. With the homeless situation, the interest definitely is there among residents and particularly business owners. One concern shared by Zieba that could directly affect property owners is the possibility that state law could pass that may allow the homeless to camp out on private property. An example of these would be privately-owned business or shopping center parking lots.

What should be encouraging to Reedley residents is that the city is committed to continuing to enforce any laws being broken by the homeless. But as Garza often has stated, the police also will enforce and respect people’s rights.

If you missed attending the first Town Hall, the next one will be on Monday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. And it’s another provocative topic — “Why Don’t We Have a Target Yet?” As the title implies, the topic will be about economic development facts and myths when it comes to the city. Since many in Reedley have strong opinions about the business climate, it should make for interesting discussion.

•••

Another event I went to shoot photos at earlier this week was the Reedley College candidates forum on Jan. 29 in the college’s Student Center. 

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