Rehab center proposal hurts overall community

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 26, 2014 

I oppose the proposed rehab facility on Main Street because it will have an adverse social and economic impact on all of the nearby businesses and customers who spill over to our library, park, and schools. I know this will happen from the experience in my hometown where a similar facility was permitted.

Here are the blunt, politically-incorrect questions the community deserves to have answered:

  • Will it bring loitering and vagrancy to the area?

  • If so, how will it be stopped?

  • The facility will treat criminals. What types of criminals and who will verify that they are nonviolent?

  • Irrespective of the patients' criminal histories, my former town's experience was that such voluntarily-enrolled patients abuse the community's sidewalks, library, restaurants, parks, and shops when they congregate. This required additional policing. But the entire community lost some of its peaceful ambiance in its public places, especially the library and parks. As part of its due diligence, Town Council should tell us what the cities, police departments, chambers of commerce and neighbors at the buyer's other sites report about their presence in their communities.

    Although vagrancy and loitering are no longer prosecutable crimes, there is little doubt that they detract from the social texture of a community, especially one built upon tourism, hospitality, and a family-friendly environment like Hilton Head.

    The town is on the verge of cutting a hole in our community fabric and creating permanent policing issues. So reject it.

    Daniel Westerbeck

    Hilton Head Island

    The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

    Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service