Support mental health levy, spend little to gain a lot


I urge your readers to vote their support for Issue 3 which is a modest tax levy for enhanced support of mental health treatment in Washington County. If passed, this tax levy will increase real estate taxes by only $17.50 per year on a home with a property tax valuation of $100,000.

The proposed levy will provide support for a broad spectrum of mental health issues, including specifically drug addiction, alcohol addiction, depression, thoughts of suicide and preventive services.

Caring voters cannot ignore the opioid crisis that has swept our region resulting in a singular purpose in an addict’s daily life — “How can I get my next fix?” Frequently, the addict answers that question by stealing from family members, shoplifting or burglary. These activities destroy lives and cause economic loss and safety concerns for our communities. The resulting demand for illegal drugs attracts unsavory characters from surrounding urban areas to fulfill this demand, adding another element of crime and danger to our otherwise peaceful communities.

Some of the funds generated by the passage of this mental health levy will provide enhanced preventative programs at all grade levels in our local schools and thereby counter many of these issues before they fully develop. These programs will assist and support school counselors in their work.

I urge voters to have empathy for the numerous local residents who face every day feeling that it hurts to live and wondering how they can go on another day. Please support the mental health tax levy to provide the help that these people desperately need.

Bob Kirkbride