What's next Columbia County?
May 19, 2022
To the editor:
What is happening to the formerly friendly and welcoming Columbia County?
After various new members of our community government were sworn into office last January many beneficial, well-researched and planned projects were halted.
Available Port Commission land is no longer being considered as a potential location for a desperately needed, privately run, childcare center. Some of the commissioner’s objections to this project included their own personal opinions on the quality of the private entity that would staff the center and their own viewpoint on how other people should parent their children. It is not the Commissioner’s job to make moral judgments on private businesses.
Several years ago, our community requested to be included in the WA State Trail system. That opportunity has been halted by two Port Commissioners. The project had been well researched & potential problems worked out by professionals hired to do that job. Some commissioners think their own private research on the trail is more accurate than the work of licensed, experienced professionals. These commissioners had a lot of misinformation in their opinions while they dismissed the research done by the professionals. Two commissioners focused on the issue of Homeless people using the trail. Homeless people are human and have every right to be on a public trail. They need our compassion and help, not to be treated as troublemakers. Anyone who wants to access our community can use the public highways. Trails do not mean homeless people would invade our community.
There are problems with the public school system.
The Public Health Department had an unusually high turnover of staff during the peak of the Pandemic. Empty positions were not filled by County Commissioners, even with funding available. A new hire has been added that may not support the basic policies of the Public Health Department. Do the County Commissioners want to move the responsibility of many Public Health duties to Walla Walla County?
A well-planned and researched sewage wastewater system, that is required by WA State, has been blocked by some new City Council members. The city could be subject to heavy fines, paid for by the citizens of Dayton, if we don’t initiate a plan. Untreated sewage is a health problem for all people.
What will be eliminated next in Columbia County?
Citizens of Columbia County, we need to keep our community viable and moving on a forward path.