One of the voices I had hoped to have in the story about methadone clinic zoning the council will consider Wednesday was Ron Jackson, director of Evergreen Treatment Services. I called him and he called me back three times and we never connected. Jackson, you will recall, was the one who wanted to locate a treatment facility here, at the request of the Kitsap County Health District and with the blessing of Mayor Patty Lent.
“Ironic, isn’t it?” Jackson said when I mentioned that two of the zoning proposals the council will consider Wednesday would allow a methadone clinic to go in the Skookum Building, which was Jackson’s idea.
Since Bremerton made the location of methadone clinics the subject of a six-month moratorium, Jackson has looked at three other locations in other counties, but state funding, or more accurately the idea that state funding could be withdrawn, has him putting on hold any expansion plans. “I need to see what the Legislature is going to do with the budget, because the mission of the agency is to provide services regardless of someone’s ability to pay,” Jackson said.
Jackson also is not sure there is an appropriate building in the Bremerton areas the council will likely approve. He looked for property up in the freeway corridor area and near the hospital and did not find something he thought would work. Skookum was the right place, he said, but as it turned out it was missing a key ingredient, too. “The one characteristic that it didn’t have was neighborhood support,” Jackson said.