Re: “City knew of shelter users’ big bank accounts” (Feb. 25):

I am all for helping anyone who is in dire need of city- or state-funded services. However, when those same individuals have substantial savings that are not used for their needs, and the city just hands out the money requested without making any attempt to use the person’s savings, something is radically wrong.

The excuse the city offers – that many of these people have mental problems – is no excuse. In most cases, there are relatives or someone who must have legal access to the money for the person’s benefit.

This money should be used to pay their way for whatever the need is, and then when it is depleted, the city or state steps in. How many other similar scenarios are unfolding related to other programs, unknown to the public?

It is maddening to read that the city is after the state to reimburse them, and if the city does not get reimbursed, they may have to get the money from property tax increases. Can the property taxpayers ask the city to pay their taxes regardless of whether they have savings?

The excuse that this system was put in place years ago doesn’t mean it’s right. When spending on a particular program almost doubles, as General Assistance has, someone should demand a full investigation. It’s great that an audit found this absurdity, although there were other contributing factors!

Donald Delisle

Portland