Respondents to an online Argus-Courier poll said that Petaluma should not cut the level it funds the Committee on the Shelterless. The city is considering a reduction of COTS funding in its upcoming budget.

Here are some comments:

“Absolutely not. This would only exacerbate the homeless problem in Petaluma. The city needs to demand that every development includes some low income housing. COTS is now not only dealing with the multitude of longterm homeless, but also the exploding number of new homeless who have lost housing due to rapidly increasing rental costs in this town.”

“COTS is an integral part of our community. The services they provide are invaluable from a humanitarian perspective. From a purely economic perspective, funding cuts at COTS will result in costs increasing two-fold in other areas such as policing and other emergency services all the while decreasing revenue from tourism and retail.”

“Fund only necessary services like police, fire, roadways, infrastructure. If they are in a budget crunch, all but the critical services should go.”

“Maybe not politically correct, but as long as we keep rolling out the red carpet for these no-local homeless, it’s only going to get worse around here. Sadly we’ve become another San Francisco or San Rafael because of this.”

“Sadly we’ve become a homeless magnet and have attracted people from way out of our area who are now flooding our downtown and every begging spot in the city. No more. We can’t use the parks and facilities we’ve paid for.”

“They provide an invaluable service to our community. The less fortunate depend upon assistance from this important program.”

“This is a vital service for the city. It helps the needy and homeless hopefully to turn their lives around. The city should look elsewhere for cuts to the budget. Thinning some redundant management would be a good start.”

“I find it unbelievable that they would even consider cutting funding to COTS.”

“Cutting COTS funding will cost the city more in the long run.”