‘Dereliction of duty’: Business owner asks city for help in cleaning up area

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – The owner of several commercial buildings on Railroad Drive in Sacramento is asking the city for help, saying he has spent thousands of dollars maintaining the area. 

“There are stolen cars. There’s illegal dumping. There’s illegal camping. There’s fires. There’s arson. They have burned our fence down four times,” said Rich Eaton. 

Eaton says that is just a partial list of the crimes happening in the area. He says he has spent $127,000 of his own money on repairs. And he wants Mayor Darrell Steinberg to go take a look at Railroad Drive. 

“He would feel my pain. He would feel my frustration. He would feel how my tenants are afraid to drive to work,” Eaton said. 

Eaton also wants people to understand he has compassion for the homeless. He even offered one of his buildings as a shelter a few years ago. 

“Both sides need help. The homeless need help. The business owners need help. And the city has just buried their head in the sand and blamed COVID,” Eaton said.

Reducing unsheltered homelessness and lessening its impact on our communities is my highest priority as mayor. The problem has gotten worse throughout the state and the West Coast during the pandemic, and I agree that the current situation is unacceptable.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg

The mayor’s statement highlighted city programs that have given shelter to more than 2,000 people. 

“We are currently crafting a master plan for homelessness housing solutions aimed at getting thousands of people indoors citywide. Once we have beds, roofs and safe spaces to offer people, we will be able to tell them when and where they are not allowed to camp,” Steinberg said. 

He also urges all Sacramentans to get behind the effort. 

“This is not a question of families wanting beds. This is a mental health issue. And the mayor did not mention mental health in any of that statement. The city’s dereliction of duty has just come to a boiling point and I’m really just begging for help,” Eaton said.

Eaton says he has retained an attorney and is considering a lawsuit against the city, but he’d rather not have to do that.

He says he’d prefer the city enforce its own laws and codes, and also focus more on addressing mental health issues within the homeless community. 

Read Mayor Steinberg’s full statement below


Reducing unsheltered homelessness and lessening its impact on our communities is my highest priority as mayor. The problem has gotten worse throughout the state and the West Coast during the pandemic, and I agree that the current situation is unacceptable. We brought more than 2,000 people into motel rooms and trailers over the past year, and we’ve opened new shelters and permanent supportive housing projects. The City has launched a program that now offers hundreds of motel vouchers each night. But people continue to fall into homelessness. We are currently crafting a master plan for homelessness housing solutions aimed at getting thousands of people indoors citywide. Once we have beds, roofs and safe spaces to offer people, we will be able to tell them when and where they are not allowed to camp. I would urge all Sacramentans to get behind this effort so we can achieve a visible reduction in the people living on our streets.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg

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