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Questions raised by Judge Buckley’s guest column
I noticed in Judge Brett Buckley’s commentary on the need for a new courthouse complex that many of the current courthouse woes can be traced back to one fact: There appears to have been a serious underfunding of a maintenance budget for the ongoing needs of the facility over the past 40 years! It is a sad but unalterable truth of economics: pay less now on maintenance, pay more in the future. And the check always comes due.
My question is this: If we the taxpayers agree to build a new courthouse, can you guarantee that in 2060 we will not need to build a new courthouse (again!) because of a lack of ongoing maintenance between 2020 and 2060?
Judge Buckley’s column also listed a few other issues: accessibility, parking, and new needs that have appeared in the past 40 years. But novel issues will always appear, no matter the location of the courthouse. Here, there, or anywhere, they need to be dealt with and funded!
One final observation: There is an “economic ecosystem” built around the current courthouse. All I need do is thumb through the yellow pages to see that many attorneys’ offices and other services connected to the legal system are located close to the current courthouse. If the courthouse moves, this ecosystem will be disrupted, and many of these services will need to decide: to move or not to move?
Margi Mann, Olympia
More focus on our Western Hemisphere
Now in my late 80s, having served in the military and private business around the world, I think it is time to invest the lives of our nation and finances in improving the economies and living conditions in our very own Western Hemisphere..
I define that as South and Central America and our border neighbor Mexico.
In broad terms, our nation has given reconstructive and continuous financial aid to European, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Southeast Asian nations -- trillions of dollars for in excess of 100 years.
As an American, I am ashamed at how little we have assisted those in our own Hemisphere!
I am not so naïve as to suggest that we “write more checks” without more supervision and accountability. Rather, focus on doing something similar to the Marshall Plan following “The War to End All Wars.”
Our neighbors to our south need help and will want to stay in their own surroundings if they have jobs, security, food, shelter, education and dreams. This recognition/assistance will eventually (not in my remaining lifetime) reduce immigration problems.
I feel that our nation has invested, in some cases, more than enough on other continents.
Other nations -- China and Russia -- are already on the ground in our Southern Hemisphere doing what the United States of America should be leading!
I would like to ask my fellow Washingtonians and others to pick up pen/pencil (or stylus) and approach our Congress and Senators to focus attention on improving things in our own Hemisphere.
Joe Collard, Yelm