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Reasonable editorial with an odd headline

The Sacramento Bee has published an editorial by Robin Epley entitled "Sacramento city and county can't get it together". It's a reasonably coherent piece about miscommunication between the City of Sacramento and the County of Sacramento at a recent City of Sacramento City Council meeting. It seems the City had expected a County representative to give a presentation on homeless services - something the County presenter did not know about until 2 minutes before the meeting began. The editorial gives the impression that the City dropped the ball and then accused the County of being unprepared; we're inclined to agree.

"Some council members implied County staff were shirking their responsibilities by not making a presentation, and that is unacceptable,", Supervisor Rich Desmond wrote in a statement after Tuesday's meeting. "That kind of criticism from a partner jurisdiction runs counter to the spirit of partnership we have created between the county and the city."
Robin Epley, "Sacramento city and county can't get it together", Sacramento Bee online edition 07/05/2023

The editorial goes on to describe the "4x2" meetings whereby a minority of City of Sacramento Council Members (4) and the Board of Supervisors (2) hash out joint policy approaches to homeless services. We concur with the editorial that the public deserves transparency on homelessness, not backroom deal secrecy. The editorial also chastises the Sacramento City Council for failing to identify where unhoused people should live. That makes sense to us, because there is a difference between where homeless encampments are and where the unhoused are supposed to live. Further, as we have pointed out, hastily-construed homeless facilities like the one at the City of Sacramento's remote property on Auburn Blvd. tend to exclusively burden our unincorporated community. We are also in accord with the editorial's dim view of bureaucratic in-fighting.

Overall, the editorial exposes the ineptitude of the City of Sacramento while also sort of hinting that the County could be doing a better job of working with the City of Sacramento. However, it was silent about what the other cities in the county - as well as the County itself with respect to its municipal service role for the unincorporated UnCity - are doing about homelessness. It is also not clear is why the Bee chose a headline for the editorial that makes it sound like the City of Sacramento is all there is. {...sigh...} If only the city and the county would get along {...sigh...}, nevermind anyone else. Here's a possible alternative headline: "Inept city shifts blame for its own failures."

We give the editorial 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. We would have given it a higher rating if it had noted that the County has two separate responsibilities: 1) the obligation to provide homeless services across the entire county and 2)  the municipal-level responsibility to provide for infrastructure, law enforcement, and housing within the unincorporated area.  Also, the editorial did not mention that there are 6 other cities in Sacramento County that (with the possible exception of tiny Isleton) that have to deal with homelessness and need to coordinate with the County as to its duty to provide areawide services. Plus there's that strange headline. Since the Bee hides its opinions behind a paywall, we have attached a screenshot of the editorial for you to read and judge for yourself.

May contain: text, adult, female, person, woman, page, face, head, and newspaper
Editorial published by the Sacramento Bee online on 07/05/2023.


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