Welcome to Sequim
The Sequim that needs to be saved is the community that existed when those of us who were searching for utopia discovered the loving community here. That was what we all experienced when we first visited Sequim.
From the Chamber of Commerce website history of Sequim: “The area was home to the S’Klallam tribe long before the arrival of Europeans. The descendants of these Native Americans still make their home on Sequim Bay (Blyn). First homesteaded in 1854, the arid valley had a good natural port and abundant seafood. No doubt early pioneers thought they’d found paradise when they discovered this low rainfall valley. They soon discovered that the same sunshine and lack of water made the area difficult to farm. In 1896, a visionary pioneer proposed to irrigate the valley using water from the Dungeness River. The residents were organized and dug irrigation ditches by hand. These soon spread across the valley bringing life-giving water and prosperity.”
That combination of two communities that shared the common ground of living close to the land grew into a unified body of human beings with a tradition of caring for each other.
There is now an attempt to change that tradition by those of you who thought you had escaped the human conditions in your former communities. Instead of adopting the social customs of Sequim and showing gratitude and appreciation for the concerted two-year efforts of the tribe, the City of Sequim, the Olympic Medical Center, Jefferson County Healthcare, Peninsula Mental Health, concerned community members and state legislators to find a solution to the opioid addiction problem on the Olympic Peninsula, your fears have driven you to fund manufactured propaganda and disrupt informational community meetings with bully tactics.
The Sequim community spirit will survive your attack and will continue to care for everyone’s needs.
Clinic is ‘health issue, not a boycotting one’
This is why “Save our Sequim” does not speak for me:
1. We “run” on hearing many voices — especially on community concerns.
2. The local government system works. I’ve been on Salish BHO Advisory Committee (Behavioral Health) for more than two years. If you are knowledgeable in something and are willing to volunteer your time/effort in making government work, join a county advisory committee. Attend public meetings. Ask questions! This is the heart of government.
3. I’ve seen county commissioner Mark Ozias at work in these meetings. He is deeply attentive and well-versed on materials being discussed. He asks insightful questions and consistently appears to make logical/pragmatic decisions.
4. SOS does not speak for those in treatment or those who’ve found recovery. In fact, SOS has vilified people seeking help at their most vulnerable point in life. This is the opposite of what healthy communities do.
5. Despite all the pre-planning prior to the Jamestown forum, SOS was truly outfoxed by people in recovery and by those who know people can get better. Our voices were honest, open and proud.
6. SOS started out with the answer (“no MAT center”) rather than the questions (“what is best treatment/s for substance use disorder? How can communities help?”). Research questions lead to answers, not the other way around.
7. I did research. Do your own responsible research rather than assuming any one group holds the answer.
8. This is a public health issue, not a boycotting one. I could never support a group whose members think boycotting local businesses is the way to lead with integrity.
9. Community organizations build unity, not division.
10. When people engage in real dialogue (not argument) SOS will become marginalized.
Goodwick is chairman of the Disability Rights Washington’s Mental Health Advisory Council.
MAT effect on budgets
Opponents of the planned Regional medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic are concerned that it will import problems into the City of Sequim such as illegal drug dealing, homelessness, begging and loitering.
Proponents argue that there is no evidence that a MAT clinic warrants such concerns.
This complex controversy needs to be addressed based on facts.
I suggest that the City of Sequim, its police department, fire department, school district and hospital provide the public with an estimate of the projected effects of the regional MAT clinic on their operations and budgets.
If it requires increased net-expenditures by our public institutions, the clinic’s operator needs to bear these costs to avoid increases in our taxes.
Too many projects
So many people I have talked to are concerned about the direction this city is heading. The new roads from Port Williams and Brown Road to … who knows where, the MAT clinic, Seventh Avenue to be a through road, and on and on.
Do you think this is too many projects at once? I do. The only people that seem to be smiling about all this are the developers and investors. What is going on with our planning committee and city council? Save our Sequim.
Who knows better?
Pity those silly Sequim citizens railing against the placement of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) facility in their midst because, sadly, they obviously have no idea what’s good for their own community.
Believe it or not, these poor benighted souls have the idiotic idea that a facility whose clientele consists of drug addicts and which proposes to dispense daily “fixes” of addictive drugs to said clientele will somehow create a sub-population of drug-seeking addicts that will cluster around the facility in search of – would you believe – drugs.
Moreover, these well-meaning but woefully uninformed individuals contend that these addicts will become a blight on the community because they are, in large part, an unemployed homeless drug-seeking mob and, once ensconced close to their daily “fix” will stay forever. How crazy is that …
Thank goodness for elected representatives Van De Wege, Chapman and Tharinger who know what is best for the unenlightened – even if they don’t – and are therefore “helping” them find the “proper direction” by taking positions in favor of the MAT.
This “help” became evermore apparent when a budget allocation including the MAT funding was easily passed because, in the words of Representative Chapman, “It “helps” to have the chair of the capital budget committee (Steve Tharinger!) representing our district.”
And it is likely these three “public servants” will continue “helping” Sequim residents find the “proper direction” so long as they remain in office.
Unless, of course, Sequim tires of this so-called “help” and votes them out.
One can but hope …