The Kodiak City Council brought up the issue of transient people loitering downtown and harassing business owners at its work session last night. The council agreed that a number of homeless people gather in the small park in front of the Sun’aq tribe headquarters and discussed a variety of solutions.
Councilmember Terry Haines says one idea is a law against loitering.
“I agree with loitering laws. I think a good, well-framed loitering law – I think its time has come. A note of caution, a lot of what fishermen do could be defined as loitering,” says Haines. “So, I think you have to be kinda careful about that, because you’re just gonna constantly be moving people place to place who aren’t really causing harm.”
Kodiak City Mayor Pat Branson says they need to be able to see inside the park.
“I think that with what you’re saying, and clarifying some direction here, I’d like to see either the shrubs out or cut down way low,” says Branson. “We’d like to have some greenery there, leave the big trees, I’d like to get rid of the benches, I’m just throwing this out, I know that was John was saying we need to keep the visibility line open so we can see what’s going on out there.”
The Council did agree to bring up trimming the shrubs at Thursday’s regular meeting, which will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Assembly Chambers. It says the more permanent solutions will take money and time, and it will be something to continue to discuss in the future.