Letters to the Editor

Unhappy with delay on new jail plan

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