Starmna; We have strong housing assistance program. We assist 1,500 families with housing so they don't find themselves in homeless situation.
Starman: Redding and county have worked well with providing health care.
Starman: We need to bring all the groups who work on this issue to work together.
Starman: There's the issue of accountability. Regardless of you have home or not, if you commit crimes, there needs to be accountability for that.
Starman: In the Blueprint it brings up more effective ways to deal with homeless camps, etc. Not up to police to handle that. It's a social issue.
Starman: It's healthy that in previous month that there are other was to deal with that. There are ways to have rules to ensure accountability, but also to provide help and assistance.
QUESTION: When you think back, has continuum of care done as well as it could have?
Starman: COC provides excellent services to the community. But it's up to city and county to facilitate services to those who need it.
Starman: Where I think it hasn't done so well is that coordination among service providers. Instead of just bringing people and saying what we're doing, but taking it to next level about what people can do now. How can we collaborate better?
QUESTION: Has the city done a good job administering the agency?
Starman: The COC is not a city or county creature. We provide funding to help hire a consultant to hold meetings and send out grant applicants.
Starman: The COC is a venue for us to gather together to share information.
QUESTION: The City Council on Tuesday is expected to act on the second reading of an ordinance that would require operations like the HOPE van to obtain a temporary use permit. Dean Germano says taking out that process will result in objections from businesses and residents and likely denial of a permit.
Les Baugh went on Facebook to say, “We need more solutions not more impediments.”
What’s the intent behind the ordinance?
Starman: Planning staff keeps track of things that happen in real life over time. They consider what's working well, what isn't. Is the ordinance clear or is it not? The criticism was there was no way for comments from public for things like the Hope van and those popup tents that sell phones, etc. There was flaw in our process where there is no opportunity for business owners and others to give input on do they like this at this location.
Starman: The way we deal with mobile businesses is to use temporary use permit. It affirms that use like HOPE van is an allowable use. No. 2, it basically says that there is a process as part of democracy that people have seat at table and can give their opinion.
Starman: For example, the HOPE van puts in for permit and will say where it will operate when. That gives people a chance to weigh in on the hours they will operate, where and when.
Starman: I can understand where Mr. Germano is coming from. I like him. The Communuity Health Center is a good part of our community. I see that the HOPE van's permit will be approved, but there will be some conditions placed on hours, etc.
QUESTIONS: What are your thoughts about some of the ideas in the blueprint for public toilets, a tent city, homeless outreach team?
Starman talks about temporary use permits, like for HOPE van, which is an eligible use: Now the city wants people to have a voice and express their opinion when someone applies for a temporary use permit. Calls it a fairness issue. If someone getting a temporary use permit for a neighborhood, that neighborhood should have a voice.
Starman: Some will make sense for our community and some may not. As a general comment, I'm open minded about a lot of the recommendations. Some will make a lot of sense, some won't and others will bring a lot of conversation. As for tent city, or organized encampment, that would be a policy decision for city and county.
QUESTION: The day center did not make the final version of the blueprint. Is that idea dead?
Starman: I think that idea morphed over time from a day center to something more focused like a sobering center. I don't recall talking to consultant about that specifically.
Starman: Just because it wasn't in Blueprint doesn't mean it's dead. I think there is interest in the community about concept of that. Community is still having that discussion and will have that in other places and in other groups.
Does it make financial sense for the city to operate the day center?
Starman: The city, for the most part, doesn't have a lot of social service programs. I don't envision the city owning and operating a day center. If others stepped forward to create one, then the city may partner with that.
QUESTION: Can you update us on the status of the former police station. Are there any interested buyers for that property?
Starman: Council had discussion on that in closed session on Jan. 19. Backing up a bit, the council had made it priority to build a new police station, and it was a major accomplishment and kudos to the council for making that happen.
Starman: The former station is vacant and we are preparing for it to be sold. Building is being appraised. Years ago it was used as collateral for a bond issue. We need to change that.
Starman: There is an entity interested in purchasing it and we are in the process of talking with them about it.
Starman: That company has some innovative ideas on how to redevelop that property to make it an asset for downtown Redding.
Starman: Since redevelopment was ended by state in 2011, we've had limited opportunities to address downtown. Now we have a private company coming forward wanting to make changes with private money.
Starman: the company is Building Adventures. Jamie Lynn is the key person there.
The interested buyer is Building Adventures owned by Jamie Lynn.
Starman: Within 60 days we should have appraisal done. The bond asset transfer will take a little longer.
QUESTION: Where is the appraisal process at?
Starman: I don't envision the city owning or operating a sobering center. There's a lot of interest, however, in the police department and in the community.
QUESTION: Regarding the sobering center, is there anything new in the discussions?
Starman: The sobering center concept originally came from April LeFrance in early 2015. And her suggestion was for the city to provide seed money for it.
Starman" One idea when we built the new police station, the proceeds from the sale of the former police station would go to help that. But the council recently voted to look at possibly using some of the funds toward starting a sobering center. But it would be seed money, not part of an ongoing commitment.
Starman: I'm not aware of any definitive plans by local organizations to open one in the future.
We’re going to wrap up our chat with Kurt Starman. We thank him and you for spending an hour with us. Stay tuned for the next live chat. Later today, listen to today’s audio recording here: soundcloud.com