Sid Roberts / herald forum
My reason for writing this article is to publicly communicate my change of opinion regarding the proposal to build a mental health facility on land owned by the Tulalip people north of Stanwood.
Earlier last year, the Washington State Department of Health proposed a mental health facility for inpatients on land owned by the Tulalip tribe. My understanding at the time was that the facility was located on NW 80th Street in unincorporated Snohomish County, just north of the Stanwood city limits. It seemed to me that the project was too close to our city borders, in a rural but residential area, and that the project was thrown at the public without proper due diligence by the parties.
Last February, along with two other elected officials, I signed a letter of opposition. Neither myself nor my co-signers felt any animosity toward the mentally ill or the Tulalip, but I felt that the state was rushing the project and that there might be a better place to consider. Also, my objection to the project at the time was not a formal objection as Mayor of Stanwood. The City of Stanwood does not have an official opinion on this matter. I signed the letter as a citizen who happens to be the mayor of Stanwood.
After signing the letter and doing some personal research, I learned a little more about the project. I know it’s close by. Additionally, only a right turn is required to exit the project, routing traffic east of his 300th Street NW toward I-5 away from the Stanwood city limits.
Eventually, I was able to meet with state and tribal representatives to hear more of their vision and have some additional questions answered. I have time to process. Based on these factors, I no longer oppose this project.
Mentally ill people are sick just like any other sick person. Unfortunately, they are stigmatized psychopaths. I personally wouldn’t be overly concerned about safety in the area if this facility were built. I think it’s worth managing.
Sid Roberts is the mayor of Stanwood.