An email I sent today to Rep. Jim Fulghum (R-Wake):
You are obviously a thoughtful man, as evidenced by your letter-to-the-editor today. With all due respect, you may be missing some history, which I have had the opportunity to watch over my 20 years of lobbying in the NCGA.
Proper funding for mental health services has been an unattainable goal. We have seen many well-intentioned reforms of the reforms with only the patients being shortchanged. Over the years, the State of NC seemed only to respond to lawsuits in order to provide dollars.
If memory serves, among the only people who wanted Dix to close was former Rep. Jim Crawford from Oxford. Wake County legislators, local elected officials, mental health advocates and the public were vociferously opposed.
Wake County residents overwhelmingly filled the beds in Dix; so why move patients far away from their families? It was also fairly well known that the hospital in Butner was going to be too small before the ground was broken.
At the time, the town of Butner was represented by Mr. Crawford and he was one of the "big" appropriations chairs in the House. As witnessed in the current Legislature, the power of the majority is substantial and often not in the best interest of the people.
In my view, the sudden concern for mental health is, indeed, a smokescreen for the constant desire to delegitimate legal actions taken by former Gov. Bev Perdue.
As you heard last week, most residents of Wake County refuse to be played. I hope you will, too.
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