No time for due diligence on hospital decision

I was a participant in the League of Women Voter’s forum the night of July 23 at the Log Pavilion, on the “con” side of the panel discussion. My position was mis-characterized in your article published Thursday, July 24. In fact I suspect your reporter left the event well in advance of its conclusion.

Two points I made that night bear repeating: First, it appears that our state legislators and the Grays Harbor Community Hospital administration have known for a couple years that the need for a public hospital district was a likely outcome. They did not bring this issue to the public they serve or the voters they represent until the last minute and have rushed it onto the ballot so that we have no way to make an informed decision or negotiate the terms.

Secondly, no “due diligence” has been done. Normally, in such a transition lawyers, accountants, bond experts and those who can evaluate hospital operations would examine the financial and operational conditions of the hospital and report to the “buyers” before terms of sale are negotiated.

I have already voted “No” on this proposal. Mr. Tom Jensen, hospital CEO, has said that if this measure fails it will be back on the ballot next year after some tough negotiation. Information and negotiation is exactly what Grays Harbor County needs before we are stampeded into a new Public Hospital District which may well hamstring county finances.

Claudia Woodward-Rice



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