Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pam Roach Leads Efforts To Save Rainier School From Closure...

Senator Pam Roach has formed an ad hoc committee for Rainier School and Respite Care

It's tough to run a reelection campaign and work other issues as well. I have done it before. One year I chaired a sussessful campaign to stop a hospital annexation. During another campaign I went to Honduras for my efforts there. :o) Ya do what ya gotta do.

Every year Rainier School for the developmentally disabled is targeted for closure and the 2011 session will be no exception. The only way to protect this asset is to advance a broadened agenda for the facility and publicize its value.
We must influence public opinion. Legislators who live out of our area need to have reasons to protect Rainier School. To this end, I created an Ad Hoc Committee* to promote Rainier School. We need to build a structured and pro- active approach to save Rainier School.

Closing Rainier School should not be an option. Rainier School is the keystone of Washington State residential habilitation centers. It is home to the most vulnerable in our communities. It constitutes 1/3 of the local Buckley economy and is staffed by kind, dedicated and professional people.

Our vision includes expanding the role of Rainier School to provide such services as respite care for in-home family caregivers; creating a research/learning facility in partner- ship with teaching programs at Green River Community College; re-opening closed facilities, like the bowling alley and the swimming pool to include public use. The pool, by the way, was not paid for by the taxpayers but by Friends of Rainier through donations.

This is just a snapshot of a new vision that is shared by many. I invite you to read the white paper, “A New Vision for Rainier School,” on my Senate web page or call the office for a copy.

We need to enhance the public’s appreciation for this community icon. (Note: this page was written by me. It appears in other places but is my authorship.)

* Members of the Ad Hoc Committee are: Pam Roach, Chair; Rep. Dan Roach; Rep. Chris Hurst; Buckley Mayor Pat Johnson; Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds; Pierce County Councilman Shawn Bunney; Tom Dean and Bob Gee (Friends of Rainier); Carole Dottlich; Sue Hendrickson and Matt Zuvick (Washington Federation of State Employees); Judelle Sonneson (Service Employees International Union); and the Enumclaw and Buckley Chambers of Commerce.

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