SEQUIM — Members of Save Our Sequim have presented the Sequim City Council with a petition they said was signed by 2,600 people opposed to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s proposed medication-assisted treatment facility.
Jodi Wilke, chairman of the board of Save Our Sequim (SOS), told the Sequim City Council on Monday that the signatures were from residents in and near Sequim and visitors to the town.
While she spoke before a full house in council chambers, SOS supporters unrolled a scroll of the signatures on the petition that called for the council to oppose the facility planned on 19.5 acres on South Ninth Avenue.
“We’d think you’d listen to the people you’re supposed to be representing when something like this comes down the pike,” Wilke told the council.
Wilke said the clinic would add costs for medical, housing, and law enforcement expenses to the public.
She said after the meeting that SOS members obtained the signatures at local businesses and through SOS members seeking signatures.
Their intent for the unveiling was for state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim), and state Reps. Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles) and Steve Tharinger (D-Port Townsend) to see the list and hear their concerns after a work session where council members shared their legislative priorities.
However, Tharinger was unable to attend, and Chapman and Van De Wege had obligations after the work session, they said, and missed the presentation.
Wilke, who lost an election bid against Chapman, said the state officials don’t have an interest in Sequim because they left through the back before the public comments.
The public comment was timely as the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe held a private design unveiling for its medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic/healing campus on Dec. 5.
There, Brent Simcosky, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s health services director, said the tribe plans to file the MAT application with city staff in the next month.
Currently, if the application comes into the city, it requires administrative staff approval rather than approval from the planning commission and/or City Council because of the way the property on Ninth Avenue is zoned.
Wilke said SOS members are watching and waiting for the application but would not comment on their actions if the plan is filed.
“It’d be better for the community if we could resolve this before it gets too far,” she said.
“But my expectations may not jive with hopes.”
Other public comments were contentious as those for and against the clinic spoke over one another.
After the meeting, Wilke said, “SOS is not against people getting treatment. We want the treatment to be appropriate for Sequim.”
The next meeting of the Sequim City Council will be on Jan. 13.
To speak with City of Sequim representatives, call 360-683-4139 or go to the Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].