Vagrants, RV use topics at Pelzer work session

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By Stan Welch
A supposed ‘workshop’ of the Pelzer Town Council was held Tuesday night. The announced purpose of the ‘workshop’ was to receive input and comments from the town’s citizens about the issues they see as needing to be addressed.
Current Mayor pro tem and recently elected Mayor Will Ragland thanked the audience of approximately fifteen people for coming, and turned the floor over to them for their comments.
At first, the discussion centered on the question of whether the town had enough personnel to maintain the grass cutting operations; and if not, whether to add employees or contract with someone to provide those services. Ragland pointed out that any additional employees would result in an amended budget.
The issue of the town’s homeless population than came up. Several citizens mentioned a situation adjacent to the monkey park, where some homeless people have reportedly established a tent community. The possibility of fencing the park arose, but Ragland dampened that idea, saying instead that continuing the cleanup of the park might be more effective. “We want to make the park welcoming to our children and families, and not welcoming to vagrants.” He also raised the question of the exact parameters of the park. “Just what are the limits of the park?” he asked.
The discussion quickly moved to the matter of portable, or recreational vehicles being used as residences. Several comments were made about citizens who allegedly rent their RVs to undesirable elements. Additional comments were made about individuals, stating that they rented those units in order to support their drinking habits. After explaining that such comments, without proof, constituted slander; and that slander, once published, became libel, the reporter covering the meeting left.