A basic principle that can be applied to the assignment of authority is the principle of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity means that decisions are best made at the lowest practical level of authority: family decisions by parents; local decisions by local authorities, etc. Only as necessary are higher authorities brought into the decision-making process.
With this in mind, I would like to see a governing body like the Kennewick City Council given the authority to grant a clean record to local people with a background of addiction to alcohol or drugs after they have achieved 10 years of sobriety.
Last Christmas, I attended a children's party that included many wonderful parents, many of whom were clean and sober for over 10 years, yet they still carried the label of past addiction-related offenses.
This can make it difficult to find work and stay on track. If the city council could erase the past records of such people, it would help them to remain clean and productive and lift them up morally, economically and socially.
In a word, the city council could practice the golden rule of subsidiarity. Giving good parents a chance to overcome their past is the right thing to do.
D.P. DILLON, Kennewick