February 8, 2016

City council tables resolution supporting federal detainees at Standish Max


STANDISH — After lengthy public comment regarding the issue of Guantanamo Bay detainees being transferred to the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility, city council opted to table a motion that supported bringing federal prisoners to Standish until next month’s council meeting.

“I’m not buying into the fear-mongering (surrounding the issue),” said council member Mark Winslow. He added, though, that until more information is available to the public, he felt tabling the motion was fair.

“In the spirit of compromise, I think we should reconsider it,” Winslow said. “I think that maybe it’s the right thing (tabling the resolution) to do right now.”

Residents at the meeting on either side of the issue spoke up during public comment.

“Bringing a bunch of terrorists into our backyard is not a viable option,” said Standish resident Kelly Kimball, adding the state, which made the decision to close the facility, should help the city out. “If they’re not going to help us, declare bankruptcy and shove it off on them.”

While many agreed with Kimball, not all felt the same way.

“I’m for it,” said Jeff Trombley. “Every rumor we’ve heard is the same rumor we heard 20 years ago.”

In recent weeks, as the prison’s date for closure was set, the prospect of Guantanamo Bay detainees being transferred to Standish Max has been the focus of several town halls statewide. Last week, city residents discussed the issue with council members at an informal meeting. Most elected officials and city residents, whether for or against the transfer of suspected terrorists to Standish, have all agreed that the lack of information from the federal government, which would control the facility through the Department of Defense has created confusion and disappointment.

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