Hold councilwoman to her word on center

info@islandpacket.comFebruary 15, 2014 

Hilton Head Island Town Councilwoman Kim Likins is completely convinced that Sunspire will meet all of its commitments to the public as operator of a new rehabilitation facility for addiction and depression. Thus, it only seems fair for her to monitor its compliance since she assured us that Sunspire could not "in any way be harmful to the citizens of our community."

Sunspire's public commitments are:

"Only nonviolent clients"

No "recently released prison inmates"

No one "participating in a court diversion program"

No indigents

No one "suffering from chronic mental illness"

"Supervised around the clock"

Will "use discreet fencing and security cameras"

Only two clients released at a time for no more than two hours at a time.

Clients "not allowed to leave the property without staff supervision."

Questions abound (define nonviolent and recently, for example.) But one requires public clarification. Does Sunspire commit to the promise that clients will be accompanied by staff when released? Licensing by state and local governments does nothing to enforce these promises.

Councilwoman Likins can meet her obligation to her constituent voters that Sunspire will not be harmful by meeting monthly with them and Sunspire. The sole subject: Sunspire's compliance with its promises. Based on her belief in Sunspire, these meetings should last little longer than a cup of coffee.

If she is wrong in her assessment and problems do arise, she will have to deal with the consequences of her decision monthly, just as the Main Street merchants and her voter residents will.

Dan Westerbeck

Hilton Head Island

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