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Its especially noteworthy that so much – two-thirds – of the County budget pays for the criminal justice system. As a result, “the budget calls for fewer deputies to respond to and investigate certain crimes, less help at the Permit Assistance Center and more delays in resolving court cases.”
Several building inspectors are to be laid-off, too.
The Olympian has already reported the County may end a drug court program which diverted low-risk, non-violent drug offenders away from the jail system.
It is especially ironic to see how deep some of these cuts will go, after reading (just a few days ago), “The amount that Thurston County must pay three women who won a sex- discrimination lawsuit against the county will total almost $3 million after attorney’s fees are taken into account.”
And, don’t forget, just this last August, when a public record request disclosed that “Thurston County paid almost $1.47 million over four years to process and defend against challenges to the county’s 2004 comprehensive-plan update.” The County largely came out on the losing end of that protracted court battle.
The new County Commissioners will have their work cut out for them. Then again, it might be good that, at some point early this next year, there will be not one – but two – new Commissioners on the Board.