After two months of ugly haggling, the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District and local homeless advocates reached an agreement to go on arguing forever. The plan resolves everything by resolving absolutely nothing.
IVRPD General Manager Derek Johnson said that homeless living in I.V. is a very complicated and sensitive issue and that anyway, the board didn’t know what to do.
“You remember when you were little and in bed and monsters were like all around you. You ducked under the sheets and they couldn’t lay finger on you. It worked every time man, like charm. That’s the strategy we’re pushing for,” he said.
The new policy took effect as soon as the board approved it by a 4-1 vote at Thursday’s meeting. At a Friday afternoon ceremony in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park Johnson and local homeless advocate Chris Omer shook hands over flaming trash can as gesture of goodwill.
According to the new policy, the I.V. homeless debate will now rage on in perpetuity. On the first and third Thursday, 10-15 homeless people will storm the IVRPD board meeting to demand campground rights. The following week, the board will take public comment and vote to do jack shit.
“Really, we got all we were asking for,” Mr. Omer said. “After the decision I ran out and bought a shirt that says ‘Will Bitch for Squatting Rights.'”
Dianne Conn, who cast the only dissenting vote, said the board should cut the charade. Instead of wasting time with a mock dispute she proposed setting aside five minutes each week to hold hands and hope that the problem goes away.
“I can sympathize with an honest wino, but the last time those activists walked in here I though I was having a goddamned flashback. My nerve aren’t wired for this kind of politicking,” she said.
Community members are welcome to take part in the now never-ending melodrama on behalf of either side, though the board is hoping that ultimately, people will just forget to pay attention.
“The hardest part is watching the weather patterns and staying upwind of those campgrounds,” Mr. Johnson said. “But with that done, you’ll hardly know they’re there.”
Local residents, however, continue to complain about camping in the parks, especially around the I.V. Frisbee golf course. Local golfer Jack Bluegrass said that the tents are a major hazard, which have caused him to break par on many occasions.
“The other day I hooked one into some dude’s tent and had to take a drop from his sleeping bag while he was passed out inside. He drooled on my shoe and then his dog caught my disc mid-throw,” he said. “Shit man, that gave me a bogie.”
The next IVRPD board meeting will take place on April 4 at 7 p.m. in the park offices on Embarcadero del Mar. Local residents are advised to lower their expectations.