The mayor’s obligation

Chico’s leader owes an explanation for comments about homeless community

If accurate, a community member’s portrayal of comments Mayor Sean Morgan made during a meeting this week are troubling on a variety of fronts.

For some, they will serve as confirmation of what many believe to be his goal when it comes to addressing homelessness locally: that the city and other charitable groups should not provide anything. The desired result: to drive the population out of town by making life more difficult.

Morgan has already indicated that he believes certain efforts to help homeless people only serve to enable their lifestyle. We also know he has been a driver behind city ordinances that criminalize behavior associated with life on the streets.

But what was shared during Tuesday’s City Council meeting reveals something different: an openly hostile and cruel position.

We’d love to hear directly from the mayor on this issue. We’d like to confirm that he said these things, and hear the context of those and other comments, including his alleged insult to the county seat. But Morgan refused to speak with the CN&R following a meeting in which a local woman outed him.

And that’s unacceptable. Morgan owes the citizens of Chico, including those who live unsheltered, an explanation. He’s a political figure and, like it or not, has a duty to answer questions from the media and those he represents—which is everyone in Chico, regardless of their politics or socioeconomic status.