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San Diego City Council Votes to Approve Purchasing Super 8 Motel on Palm Ave for a Treatment Center

Jul 18, 2017 09:57AM ● By Linda Heath

San Diego City Council Votes to Approve Purchasing Super 8 Motel on Palm Ave for a Treatment Center for Chronic Misdemeanor Offenders.

The proposed use for the Vacant Motel will be to house Chronic homeless offenders in a treatment environment.  These offenders are a drain on the system and are perpetually re-offending.  They are drug abusers, alcoholics and or psychologically impaired.  They are in a revolving door of the system and once they are released they are immediately involved in offending again.

The treatment Program to be utilized is SMART (San Diego Misdemeananys At-Risk Track). The SMART pilot program addresses an ongoing challenge of the criminal justice system:  low-level misdemeanor offenders who cycle through the system without access to services, coordination of care, or meaningful incentives to engage with social service providers. Many are arrested, taken into custody and released, only to be arrested again before the original charge comes to trial. To stop this revolving door, the City Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, created the (SMART) pilot program. 
SMART prioritizes chronic offenders with acute drug addictions and complex social service needs. These offenders have one or more drug offenses since Proposition 47 took effect in 2014, and have been arrested at least twice in the past six months for a quality-of-life offense.
SMART will safely divert chronic misdemeanor offenders, particularly those who are otherwise resistant to intervention, to a case manager and offered individualized treatment.

While this seems to be a worthy Program, many questions remain unanswered:
1.  Why was there no notice to the public and residents of the area?
2.  How will this effect the surrounding residents and families (large cluster of Mobile Home Parks)
3.  How will the surrounding small businesses be effected
4.  Will property values drop due to the presence of the offenders in the neighborhood
5.  What will happen if the inmates choose to leave the program and where will they go?  Into the community to offend again?
6.  What about safety issues for the area and prevention of more crime
7.  How will the community support such an effort, there are no available jobs to place these program participants into.
8.  Why was our small community assessed for this program instead of a larger city with more available services not selected?
9.  Why is this program which has limited data about program success )only 10 beds so far with one potential graduate) being introduced with no prior information or data
10.. Why couldn't the Motel be used to provide low=rate Motel services to tourists and locals who can't afford the current Hotels
11.  Why couldn't the Motel be used to house the number of homeless non-offending population in a safe manner?
12.  Why is this purchase and plan being run through the system so quickly and without prior notice or consideration for the community?
13.  Why hasn't the Coastal Commission been consulted on the matter?

These and other issues were brought forward by several members of the public who came out in numbers for this Council discussion.  There were at least 40 public speakers and an equal number who were against but chose not to speak before the Council.  There were only 5 speakers in favor and were not from the area in question!

A continuance was requested by Council member David Alvarez of District 8 which is the area for the proposed facility, but was rejected and the vote for approval was entered, seconded and approved by:  Barbara Bry, District 1, Lorie Zapf, District 2, Chris Ward, District 3, Council President Myrtle Cole, District 4, President Pro Tem, Mark Kersey, District 5, Chris Cate, District 6, Scott Sherman, District 7, Georgette Gomez, District 9.  David Alvarez, District was the only vote opposing the measure.  Please see the attached PDF's and Videos for more information.

As a final note, a positive event was presented to the council of declaring 7/17/17 as Sr Harry Shelton Day.  Dr Shelton is a 31 year Educator in San Diego and has been recognized as an example of Educator Excellence by students, former students and parents and the Education Community.  Congratulations Dr Sheltom!
Linda Heath, Senior Reporter Associate Editor,
Paul Spear, Publisher/Editor of Dig Imperial Beach


SMART PROGRAM is Explained at San Diego City Council Meeting

SD Police Chief Speaks In Favor of Sale

Dr. Matt Dickson of South Bay Urgent Care Speaks against sale of Palm Ave Super 8 Motel<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

San Diego City Council Meeting 7.17.17

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