Our new jail may not be built, but it should not fail to be built because it is held hostage by the City Council and mayor of Bellingham. A new jail for Whatcom County has been discussed for 20 years. In the last two years $1 million has been spent in planning. To suddenly assert that the entire jail proposal should not go to the public for vote in August because it hasn’t a separate mental health facility I believe is disingenuous.
I am in favor if expanding mental health counseling, hopefully preventing criminal activity caused by mental problems. But to deliberately hold the jail hostage, refuse to solve the enormous liability each tax-paying citizen of Bellingham and Whatcom County faces if there is a calamitous event resulting in loss of life, and finally to hold up a citizen vote in August by attempting to reduce jail size I believe is ridiculous. Councilman Terry Bornemann’s objection of the county failing to do more to help “drug court defendants find a job or place to live” is irrelevant to this discussion. Address the subject, councilman, not side issues.
Susan Blondell Kaplan