“A view of the Thurston County courthouse from the bench”
“Brett Buckley is the Presiding Judge for Thurston County District Court as well as the judge for Thurston County Mental Health Court and Thurston County Veterans Court. He has been a judicial officer for 25 years.” Judge Buckley’s Op-Ed was published in The Olympian.
“The current courthouse opened in 1978 and was built to accommodate the needs of that era. In 1978 there was no Americans with Disabilities Act. It is expensive and difficult to retrofit these buildings to make them accessible. The county population has more than doubled since 1978 and so have court calendars. The 1978 building didn’t even contemplate desk top computers, let alone laptops, pads, phones, etc.
“Let’s talk about services we can’t provide because of the inadequacies of the current building. We would love to have drop-in day care for court users (one of the biggest reasons for failure to appear is lack of someone to watch a child) but there is no space for this service. I would love to start live-streaming our District Court calendars to make the judicial system more transparent to citizens but the lack of adequate cabling has stymied our efforts.
“We need a new courthouse.”