Letters to the Editor

Says city tax doomed adult care program

A number of writers have expressed frustration over the termination of the Peace Health Adult Day Health program. I share that concern. Truly, the community is losing a significant blessing.

However, several of these writers have mistakenly assumed that Peace Health arbitrarily and unsympathetically axed the program. I believe that’s completely wrong. Peace Health subsidized the program for years because it cared deeply about its clients. A few years ago it reduced staff in an effort to keep the program afloat. The fatal blow came not from Peace Health but from the Bellingham City Council, who I believe coldly, arbitrarily decided to tax Peace Health (a not-for-profit charity), $1.2 million a year. All complaints should be vigorously directed to the council.

One letter writer recently wrote “I’ve read that Peace Health would like to have the current users travel up to Lynden where a new facility is being built.” I believe the truth is that Peace Health “would like” to keep the program in Bellingham but can’t afford the large subsidy that would be required. Peace Health, as a last, desperate resort, is referring clients to the only other program available. There’s no other alternative.

The same writer accuses Peace Health of not living up to its mission. I believe that’s grotesquely unfair.

Gary Hardaway