On Jan. 15, the Governor's Office made official the permanent closing of the New Castle Youth Development Center. Various requests were made by local politicians and union leaders to seek out viable alternatives in order to preserve hundreds of jobs in a struggling economy.
Looking past the more obvious devastating effect this closing will have on our community and the families residing within, how does an award-winning facility with the capacity to house 300 residents become so under-utilized that it must be closed? What justification or logic is employed to close the most equipped facility in the state with capability to sustain the entire Youth Development Center and Youth Forestry Center System staff as well as the students to be rehabilitated?
A genuine reason is a mystery that remains to be revealed, but not as long as the decision being made is a final one that does not allow for investigation. If there is a logical reason to close the largest facility with the most to offer the youth we are so desperately trying to impact and rehabilitate, then even I won't have an argument. I challenge the state to be thorough in the decisions being made that will impact hundreds of lives and livelihoods. The facility should not be closed until an investigation can occur by an independent group, which can seek unbiased answers and provide evidence this is the best decision for our state.
We the people deserve a thorough explanation that is transparent, not a smoke and mirrors pacification.
AFSCME Local 2353