October 3, 2008 · Updated 2:23 AM
An open letter to hospital commissioner Dick Jones: Thank you for serving as a commissioner for Public Hospital District No. 4. Making decisions as large as the planned development at I-90 and Highway 18 is a huge responsibility. Your supporters state that your planned project is for "the public good." I'm sure you are doing the best you can, but do you really want to make these decisions without taxpayer support? Why would you want to do this without the support of the taxpayer?
Another thing: Why would you want us to look at this development only through rose-colored glasses?
I'm asking you to break your cycle of silence. Be transparent; inform the public of all the facts.
What if this doesn't work out? Will the taxpayer have to bear the burden without any input? You must admit, history is often repeated, and this hospital district has done nothing but struggle with financial woes for the last 25 years. The public has never supported it enough to make it viable. It has closed twice! What if this doesn't work out again? Will the taxpayer have to bear the burden? That is a very real and legitimate concern of those opposed to the move.
I'm asking you to put these plans on hold and put them before the taxpayers for a vote. If you should choose not to do this, maybe the hospital should become a private entity, not a tax-supported hospital. Many district hospitals have done exactly that; actually, very few are public supported.
In addition, I'm asking you to reconsider your appeal of Swedish [Medical Center's Issaquah hospital]. Swedish Hospital is a full-service hospital being planned just 10 minutes from your proposed new hospital. It is not tax-supported, yet you are appealing their building it.
Your supporters state that your planned project is for "the public good." I'm asking you to drop the appeal of Swedish's new hospital being built in Issaquah, for "the public good."