Charles Samuels on the Monroe Park Occupation

A message attributed to 2nd District Councilman Charles Samuels was posted today on the Fan District Association email list:

There are several laws the campers are violating, including staying the park overnight, creating an encampment and trespassing. I have been in conversations with the Mayor’s office since last Tuesday strongly encouraging them to enforce the laws currently in place and to not be selective in their enforcement of this law, but to enforce it on anyone who violates it. I have stated I would support their decision to act swiftly to remedy this situation.

I am disappointed that the Administration has not taken any visible action on this matter to date. While I respect the idea of using dialogue over debate, there are times and instances where one must do the right thing and act expeditiously.

In my conversation with Byron Marshall yesterday afternoon, he informed me that the Administration will be providing those violating the law with notice that they are violating the law and that in the next few days they will begin to enforce the law, issuing citations or arresting violators. Mr. Marshall assures me that the unlawful activities will cease before this coming weekend.

I approve of the Administration’s desire to enforce the law and applaud them for doing so. That being said, I am very frustrated by the Administration’s delay. It is my belief that people who violate the valid laws regarding public park usage should not be treated any differently than anyone else.

I have expressed my frustration and disappointment to the Administration that no action was taken for at least 9 days and in their general handling of this issue.

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