Mayor Kelli Linville submitted a civic agenda report on Nov. 2 in regards to a Community Solutions Workgroup that was created to help address and solve community issues in Bellingham, primarily downtown.
“The purpose of the Community Solutions Workgroup is to convene selected community stakeholders and city staff to provide public health and safety solutions for various downtown challenges. Many exciting and positive things are happening in our city center, and the vision of this workgroup is to understand our challenges and to come up with solutions,” Linville said in the column.
The Community Solutions Workgroup’s first meeting was held on Oct. 24 to discuss challenges in the downtown area. The list of issues included homelessness, behaviors associated with mental health problems, pan handling, alcohol/drug consumption, cleanliness/beautification issues, alley responsibilities, Maritime Heritage Park programming and use, social service coordination, health-care access, police presence and community coordination, nuisance laws, street lighting and business vacancies, according to the column.
Linville ended the report by encouraging community members to contribute to the workgroup by addressing issues and to help be a part of the solution process.
In response to the column, the Bellingham Herald published a Community Conversation piece “Readers discuss challenges for downtown Bellingham.” This article was based on Facebook comments in response to Linville’s civic agenda report. Commenters addressed downtown issues ranging from drug dealing, loitering, pan handling, littering, parking and more.
So, now it’s your turn! Please let us know what you think about the following questions:
- What’s GREAT about downtown?
- What issues need to be addressed in regards to downtown?
- Is this Community Solutions Workgroup an effective solution to downtown issues?
- What other feedback/comments do you have in regards to making downtown a better place?