By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Emergency declaration urged in response to homelessness

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Less services = less city campers.


It’s the same old excuses we have heard for a couple of years. The derelict’s know we have a bunch of liberals on our city council that ban plastic bags, cater to tourists instead of the people that live here and have provided services for the derelict’s instead of running them out of town. These people will continue to abuse the rights of the taxpayers till the council takes a stand and gets rid of them. About 10% of these people need help and the rest are living off the taxpayers. It’s time to get a backbone McMinnville or these people will own this town.


Jim--I have no doubt that some of these folks are indeed "freeloading" but it certainly isn't 90%......Many actually have jobs so they are also taxpayers. I'm not sure what your legal justification would be for the council to "get rid of them" but giving them a place to set up would be a start to control the problem.
It's disappointing to me that there is no real plan in place to change the situation...As I have stated before, if the city would identify an approved location for these people then the campers and the city wouldn't need to play a continuing game of whack a mole.


Tagup till these people want to work and take care of themselves the taxpayers should have no responsibility in supplying a place for them to continue to live like they are. A lot of people say we don’t have affordable housing and they are right. But what is affordable housing? It’s earning what you can afford. If I want to move to Beverly Hills and want to live are they going to supply me with housing I can afford? I don’t think so. If these people want to live like the rest of us they need to earn it. Most of them camping in our town want to live like they do and could care less about normal society.

Bill B

“We are taking enforcement actions within the resources we have to address those kinds of behaviors, but there are limitations,” he (Koch)said.

I'd like just one example Mr Koch!


Jim- I think you are painting this group with a pretty broad I said above, many of these people do indeed have jobs.
Housing availability and costs are an issue no doubt. I think you are correct that a portion of the group are satisfied with getting free meals and sleeping on the street. That said, our focus should be on the people that wish to change their situation. I think it's our responsibility as a community to assist the people that want to break the cycle and not treat the entire group as freeloaders or "derelicts"....
Regardless, somewhere along the line we (and the city leaders) need to face the problem on the ground, and develop a strategy to get the issue under control. Find a place that's acceptable and then use enforcement for those that don't comply...without some course of action nothing will change...


Tagup I don’t think my brush is to wide but that’s not the point. The city has set on their hands and ignored the issues except for the down town parking structure . This town has become known in this community of people as an easy mark. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Instead of calling for a health emergency the city needs to call for a safety emergency and call in the National Guard and clear the streets.


Is it asking too much to expect that all of us, including the so-called "campers," bus our own tables and pick up our own trash? Frankly, many people driving by these areas are pissed off by the garbage and detritus floating around. A hint of enterprise might make a difference.


What confuses me on this issue is how this problem ever got started in the first place. Back during the "great recession" of 2007 we had no problem with any of this. Although the left leaning media is very quiet about it, we are currently experiencing the best economy we've had in decades. Why would all of these homeless people suddenly show up during this booming economy? Seems like the first step to solving a problem is to diagnose how the cause of the problem. What caused all of these people to suddenly show up in our town during a booming economy??


If I could not afford to live in McMinnville, I would move to a less expensive area instead of becoming homeless. Housing is cheaper in Salem.


The question was asked "how did this get started?". The area churches started it - wanting permission to let people camp on their properties and feed them.

Word got out quickly and they migrate here. Campers like services and McMinnville likes the $ they get from them. First counting heads each year and now asking for emergency $. Give them needles food and a place to campin exchange for $ at the taxpayers expense

Vote them out of office. Too many liberals that simply want to enable these people vs help them.


PS. I know a business owner who offered a room/board to campers in exchange for looking for work/living clean... offer declined

Wake up McMimmville and vote for change


As I keep up with the homeless issues in McMinnville and as ex mayor and now county commissioner I must commend Sal for thinking of ideas that may be out of the box but could help provide some solutions although they will not completely address the issues. For those that are not aware, in 2008 Yamhill County formed a 10 year ending homeless advisory committee and work plan to address the homeless issues by 2018. In 2011 the prior commission decided to de-activate the committee although to my surprise as reviewing all our county committees when I became Commissioner Chair in January that this committee is still in existence by Board Order but is inactive with no members because at that time the Commission felt that homelessness was the responsibilities of the cities and their partners.

I am interested in answers to the following

What role should Yamhill county play in the homeless effort.

Should yamhill county as a representative of all cities and rural areas take the lead and provide leadership for all homeless efforts

Should yamhill county reactivate the ending homeless effort

Over the past several years, I have attended numerous meeting with a lot of good discussion. But unfortunately good intentions and discussions do not necessarily lead to action and outcome.

Please feel feee to contact me through my email link on the Yamhill County Website.

I am very interested in everyone’s input.

Rick Olson
Yamhill County Commission Chair


Cut the services and you will not have a camper problem... expand services and they will come by the continue to increase.

The "Ten Year Plan To End Homelessness" expires in June. Now let's enforce the ten month plan... zero services, enforce and create quality drug treatment programs.

Do gooders your not helping them - your enabling


The bums are expanding the camp. This morning, they are on Riverside itself. Any approach that isn't geared to removing them from our town is doomed to have poor results.


Rick Olson

Did you vote "yes" to hand out free needles to addicts?

Did you vote "yes" to give away tax foreclosed properties for pennies vs selling them and using the money to hire more police officers?

How will you vote on Dog Control? These campers have dogs and our police are out chasing and picking up dogs vs answering other important calls.

Watch "Seattle is Dying" - you have the answers! Question is.... what will you do?


Enough is enough, cut all services! Camping is camping, homelessness is a choice. We can not park our RV's just anywhere we want including RV parks. There are rules and regulations, follow them! Agriculture, Landscapers and construction are clamoring for workers to the point of using government programs to bring people here to help. Unemployment is low, work is everywhere! Stop falling for it and confusing lifestyle vs. livelihood.


If councilors can't problem solve with out big brother government help, get new councilors, DO YOUR JOB!



Looks like Commissioners spent big money on the 10 year plan 4 years after it began....


Rick Olson

The plan was adopted in '09 (created '08) so you as a commissioner are officially still ending homeless problems until June. Handing out needles was the Commissioners most recent "great idea" as the ten year plan comes to an end in June 😁

Bill B

Can't access the site you referenced Stella


Yeah throw more tax payer money at it where does Sal think grants come from? Does he think more money will make people not lazy if they are provided for? Does he think money will make people not be addicts? Please....... Enforcement works. have higher expectations for people instead of the liberal victimization adoration we have come to expect from the D's.

Of course Commissioner Olsen is going to fall all over himself for Sal's "solution" because it has "free" money, it coddles the capable and vilifies the productive.


I here the same excuses about the homeless problems from the Portland Mayor and city council. This ride does not end well. They have been working on this for three years at least. I must say they are doing a fine job. I think it’s time we demand the resignation of the mayor and counselors.


I would like to thank each of you for your feedback.

Stella is correct regarding the 10 year homeless plan. A pot of money was spent until 2012 when the committee was deactivated and the plan abandoned by the commission. Regarding Councilor Peralta's. I was not necessarily eendorsing the plan itself, but commending Sal for looking for solutions.

As for needle exchange and dog control i would be more than happy to discuss in person.

My last comment to posters is how many of you have attended a Council or Commission meeting in person to provide testimmony?



Rick Olson

I have spent way too much time the last six months attending your meetings. The informal sessions are far superior entertainment wise although you are not allowed to speak at this public meeting?? At one informal I attended a new attorney was hired in a couple of minutes. "Hey we need another attorney and I recommend Strong" and questions about do we have to interview him... it was crazy

Then the generator issue. You agree to pay for a generator without including installation in the bids?!?!

Then the worst ever is the Commissioners voting for something but the County Counsel writing up a BO that doesn't even reflect what was voted on!!

Then the meetings aren't noticed within 24 hours as required and, finally the houses given away!

Mary Starrett wanted to give a house to the Gospel Mission but they couldn't accept it cause they are a non profit and her house bill hasn't been approved so.... our County counsel rewrites their organizations Status so they can accept it ahead of the house bill possibly going thru..,, Multiple tax foreclosed properties are given away! 5 at a time in January with a contract that does not match the ORS used to give them away!!!!!

It's hard to watch frankly and if at this point in our camper crisis you ask who's responsible for the mess.. really???????

Quit paying HHS whatever they ask for. Quit looking at grant money as free $

Consider we are a County in crisis but the last thing we need is more money. We need strong leadership that quits enabling and protects the rights of the tax paying public.


PS. Please give us the BO# that outlined the deactivation of the "Ten Year Plan To End Homelessness".


If speaking at a formal session = "You can't ask the Commissioners a question" per County Counsel what good is it??

Rick Olson: Arrange a Town Hall on Campers. People can speak AND the Commissioners can answer questions



You ask very good questions and for the most part there are answers that I would love to sit down personally or with a group to discuss. Since you use a posting name it is very possible that you have attended several meetings but not being able to put a name with a face I do not recognize everyone that à the past 6 months, there have been several changes made to enhance meetings, provide more transparency, citizen communications etc to address some of the issues that you raise and as an ex mayor, city councilor, and now commissioner who firmly believes in people, process, and policy i never shy away of communicating with any citizen.

Again I would be more than pleased to sit down and have coffee with you and have a good discussion on your issues or any topic you would like to discuss.



But not in a town hall setting? With, say a weeks notice so that people can change schedules if needed and attend.


Furthermore, you work for the citizens, we don’t have time to attend the meetings. If we did we wouldn’t need you. And I don’t need to sit in the meetings to see three drunk dudes dancing on the corner by the library at 6 in evening.


We would like a Town Hall regarding campers. Can you arrange this Rick Olson as the Chair?

While we wait for it to be scheduled please read this (hopefully my link works). Long but worth the read.


Come on Rick, The whole "let's have coffee" so you won't be on the record gets really old and now you are rubbing that off on Kulla. You don't want to be held accountable.



Quite the contrary. I believe topics dealing with public issues should be on record when they are required to be by Oregon revised statutes. The reason I always over to meet one on one is that many citizens do not feel comfortable talking in groups or in public settings. I do not refuse requests to meet with any size group as ALL citizens deserve to be heard in whatever forum they feel comfortable in. If you personally do not mind providing comments in a group settings or public meeting that is admirable for your part and I commend you, but everyone does not have the same comfort level.

I will not speak for commissioner Kulla as each of us have our own communication style and Casey’s dedication to our citizens is top notch.

Chris Chenoweth

I commend Commissioner Olson for engaging in in this forum. However to pat Councilor Peralta on the back like the NR is doing for a scheme to redirect funds from much needed coffers is perplexing. The state is going bankrupt due to mistakes made by Democrat controlled legislators for the last 30 years in Oregon and predictably those aligned with their policies continue to try to find ways to put the burden on the taxpayers for their mistakes. The solution isn't to throw more money at it. As I understood it we are well underutilizing the resources already available in Yamhill County. The problem occurred because of inaction when it was small. Predictably it has grown as the elected representatives have done almost nothing. I have said it repeatedly if the City would simply enforce the laws then the NGO's, County, State and Feds will (and have been) provide all the social safety nets we need. The breakdown lies squarely at the feet of the City.


Yep, more services, more campers, less service less campers.


Homeless is bad all over sanctuary west coast. My job has me traveling frequently to Bellingham and Santa Cruz. Homeless is just as bad in those areas as here. Wake up people, we can’t keep giving away “the house” to the illegals and neglect our own! We need to massively grow all the cities out of we are going to be so welcoming to all the illegals.

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