Frequently when one writes the paper there is a level of anger or anxiety. If it is not bubbling up it is not too far beneath the surface. In this case I am happy to say there is neither. This letter concerns the position of Probate Judge and Ned Towell, and no, I am not going to speak ill of Harriett Pierce. I am certain that she has carried out her responsibilities to the best of her ability.
To say I have known Ned for a long time is an understatement. He and his family moved to Camden in time for him to enter first grade and I met him a year or two later. When he told me, at the ripe age of 11, that he wanted to enter politics, I was admittedly flabbergasted. When I asked him why, he said he loved living in Camden and if you were in politics you could keep things good. He even pointed out the house he wanted to live in when he grew up. I have attended his Confirmation at Grace Church and his induction as an Eagle Scout, with Johnny Burns. It was preparing to be an Eagle Scout that he found, cleared and made known the Joseph Kershaw grave site, now tended by the Camden Garden Club.
Speaking with Ned about this Probate position I learned a great deal about the mentally challenged. An aspect that I had not realized was such a major responsibility of Probate Judge. Ned, being one of the most compassionate people I know, was most enthusiastic about what he could do.
Apparently we do not have a Mental Health Court as the other counties do. We do have Children’s Court and drug addicts are also handled differently, but mentally handicapped are simply jailed. They may need diagnosis and be a schizophrenic or bipolar. Getting meds or therapy would be more beneficial for them, and the community, than continuing the cycle of in-and-out of prison. Apparently we have not upgraded our system since 1995, which may seem like yesterday to some, but in the “techno-world” we live in it’s a l-o-n-g time! Ned has studied those systems, and like those of his generation knows technology … and the good part is it would not mean a tax increase. I asked! Think about it before voting.