Tensions were high inside the Grass Valley City Council Chambers Tuesday night during a special study session and community discussion hosted by the council, which, according to the meeting’s agenda, was dedicated to “vagrant issues in parks and unimproved areas of the city” and “vagrants parking and camping on public and private land.”
Nearly every seat was filled during the one-and-a-half hour session, which was scheduled before the city council’s regular meeting Tuesday night. Despite objections from Mayor Howard Levine, members of the audience clapped, cheered, booed and shared opinions from their seats during a number of public speeches.
Grass Valley Police Chief Alex Gammelgard and Fire Chief Mark Buttron attended the meeting and addressed the need for more vegetation management enforcement in the city in order to reduce the fire risks associated with numerous homeless camps, among other issues.
The council and Gammelgard discussed one public speaker’s concern about the perception of poor customer service from 911 dispatchers. Gammelgard said his department doesn’t have control over the service given by dispatchers because it uses the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center. The discussion continued among the chief and council members, who were discussing possible ways to improve the issue, before it was interrupted by an audience member.
“We’re just pulling the information. If you guys can provide us what you’re seeing and make sure we have the data, then the data will say something different. But, regardless, we hear what people are saying, and we want to make a difference.”
— Alex GammelgardGrass Valley police chief
“If I could…
click here to read more.