Joe Motil

Joe Motil, former Columbus City Council candidate and longtime community advocate who has begun circulating petitions to run for Mayor in the 2023 May primary election stated that, “I attended the city’s promise to bulldoze the homeless camp at Heer Park this morning at around 8:00am. When I turned west onto Williams Road you would have thought there was another homicide or violent crime committed due to the heavy police presence. There was a combined nine police cruisers and paddy wagons on Williams Road alone. As I approached the parking lot to the south, I saw eight more cruisers nearby and two more parked on a service road just south of the camp. We are talking about 20 police vehicles and probably 25-30 police officers. Seriously? I haven’t seen this much police presence since the protesting in downtown Columbus in 2020.”

Motil further commented, “Talk about overkill and a complete waste of City tax dollars and the removal of officers from neighborhoods where their services can be better spent. And especially at a time when there is a shortage of officers while Columbus citizens have been advocating for more officers on the streets. And we also hear officers complaining about being taken away from their regular duties for these types of situations. It is this type of misuse of safety services that makes me and others wonder just who is in charge. And I would personally like to know and I believe the public has a right to know who ordered this type of unbelievable police presence in order to bulldoze a homeless camp whose four to five residents were out of harm’s way?”      

Mr. Motil concluded, “When you add into it the outrageous police presence and payment for the contractor who is performing the site extermination, the taxpayer bill for our City leaders answer for addressing another homeless camp cleansing is no doubt well into five figures. Tens of thousands of dollars that could be better put to use in helping these people and improving the conditions of such camps as opposed to playing a cat and mouse game with their lives and moving them from place to place.”