To the editor — The recent death of panhandler Douglas D. Budd is a sad end to a life that obviously went astray through bad choices or bad luck. But the story continues.
The city’s tolerance for people like Mr. Budd and its lack of commitment to keep our streets clear of panhandlers opens the door for many more Douglas Budds on our street corners. Hundreds of cars filled with children pass them daily. Which child will next be adversely influenced by what they see?
When Mr. Budd was young, I bet he didn’t say, “when I grow up I want to stand on street corners panhandling.” When found dead in his car from what appears to be an overdose, he had $1,725 cash and $83,000 worth of heroin, according to reports. This doesn’t sound like someone down on their luck in need of a couple bucks.
Truly needy people should be with their families, the church or in one of the many tax-supported programs, not on our street corners. Our elected and appointed officials must address this now.
Quit making excuses about lack of funds, manpower and the gang problem as reasons why this is ignored. Our children and grandchildren are seeing their future every day. They need good examples to shape their minds and their future.