Let me start off by saying that I am NOT an elitist. Far from it! I am a retired schoolteacher of 25+ years, teaching Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades. I am a Mother and a Nana. Currently I spend many days babysitting my Grandson here in Clayton.
I believe that those who know me might say that having “compassion and empathy” for others are one of the best qualities about me. I DO believe in forgiveness. It’s a part of who I am. I have lived in Clayton for 30 years. It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest if you’ve lived here all your life or just recently moved here. I only say this because I LOVE CLAYTON AS WELL!! I love eating at Ed’s, getting my coffee at Starbuck’s, and shopping at Safeway and the like. And I too enjoy having friends come and see our quaint, tiny city of just 4 square miles. I enjoy everything that Clayton has to offer and I don’t want to MOVE!
I have no desire in the least to “pull up the drawbridge “ and keep certain people out. That’s just not my style. My issue with the City Council has to do with parolees living right next to our park, directly across the street from where I live on Coyote Circle. While all other parks are exempt, just as are all schools (both public AND PRIVATE), Libraries, and Daycares, I believe that our park is considered “private” and therefore does not count. I have said repeatedly that A PARK IS A PARK IS A PARK. It does not matter whether public or private. Children are children. And I believe we must ensure the safety of ALL children, no matter where they live. Coyote Circle and Shell Lane were specifically targeted (again, in my opinion) because we are considered “Multi Density”. I might mention also that Shell Lane houses many Seniors, which is VERY concerning to me as well.
I know I will find out more specifics tomorrow night at the City Council Meeting, but it was my understanding that, in a home with 3 bedrooms (like I have) could actually house up to 6 parolees. In my opinion, that’s a lot. Is someone going to supervise these felons 24 hours a day? Can our small Police Department patrol our streets night and day? And yes, I do use the word “felons” because it is my understanding that this is exactly what they are. They are convicted felons who are getting reduced sentences because the jails are overcrowded. Please correct me if I am wrong. And I do not think any of us have the luxury to “hand pick” our parolees.
Now to the State’s requirements. And I will preface this last comment by saying that make no mistake: I am against group parolee housing ANYWHERE in Clayton. However, should the City HAVE to do “something” why can’t the ENTIRE city of Clayton be included? Does the State dictate only Multi Density Housing or does the City? It seems only fair that all of the neighborhoods, everywhere in Clayton, be held to the same regulations as do Coyote Circle and Shell Lane. We must ALL share in this folks. That includes everyone. Perhaps I am wrong, but I feel that many citizens would think a little differently on this issue if it was THEIR Street or Home or Park being affected. We are a community here. We must work together AS a community. We mustn’t single out certain areas merely to satisfy a State requirement. We must do a complete, thorough, and intelligent analysis of what our options are and how we best can protect the safety and well being of ALL children and residents of Clayton. Thank you for your time. ?