Clallam County is reliably one of the top two counties in the state when it comes to suicide. It's always in the top three for rates of opiate overdoses and substance abuse. Unemployment rates are persistently higher than average. Graduation rates are consistently lower than average. These are but a few of the long-term and painfully obvious realities that map the contours of hopelessness and desperation in Clallam County.
That being the case, what are we to make of the blasé attitude of the local elected officials? The City likes to spend itself into oblivion on stupid projects, while turning a blind eye to the wolf at the door. On the other hand, the County likes to try and brag about how little they spend, how tight their belts are. Meanwhile, the junkies shoot up, the jumpers fall down, and the bodies continue to pile up.
How can this cycle be broken? Can it be broken at this point? Is this an epidemic of despair that can be treated, or an endemic situation that, at best, can be managed? And what is the role of elected officials in all this? Should they focus on the budgets and leave the rest to sort itself out? Or do they have blood on their hands?