Hospital or taxes

Letter to the Editor

For all this weeks letters, subscribe to the Valley Record (425) 888-2311

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 2:37am
  • Opinion

I read with interest Jim McKiernan’s editorial (in the Oct. 10 paper). Jim and I are on opposite sides of this issue. He wants a new hospital; I don’t want a new hospital. He did, however, bring up a valid question. Was the vote against taxes or against a new hospital? Just who was it that decided that the vote was against taxes and not a new hospital? Probably the same person who decided we needed a new hospital.

Personally, I don’t want either. That’s not to say I don’t want a small community hospital. But critical to my way of thinking, the hospital must be fiscally responsible.

I finally got a look at the 2006 profit-and-loss statement for the hospital. The way I read it, the hospital lost $10 million last year alone. Holy cow! And they want a bigger hospital! With no more beds! What’s the point? How much, in taxpayer’s dollars, did it cost to promote the “higher taxes” vote? And now, they’ve decided they didn’t need the new taxes after all. They’re just going to build it anyway. How is it going to be financed? Did they sell or mortgage every asset we’ve got?

I think Jim has it right. We should ask a few more questions before proceeding. I’ve found it easy to ask questions, but very hard to get answers.

Herschel Backues

North Bend

Editor’s note: According to Don Galer, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital chief financial officer, the hospital has a $10 million cumulative operating loss since inception. Last year, the hospital had a one-time $2 million operating loss due to start-up costs of new practices, including acquisition of new equipment and staff.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Should the King County sheriff be elected or appointed? | Roegner

In addition to candidate races this November, there will be policy questions… Continue reading

A large webset offset printing press running a long roll off paper over its rollers at high speed. File photo
Editorial: Tax credit proposal would aid local journalism

Bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House would offer tax credits to advertisers and subscribers.

Richard Elfers is a columnist, a former Enumclaw City Council member and a Green River College professor.
Age of insanity for the left and the right

Do you feel that, like the COVID-19 pandemic, insane behavior is spreading… Continue reading

Don Brunell
Coronavirus comeback for Alaska Airlines?

It is no secret that airlines were clobbered by the coronavirus pandemic.… Continue reading

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Reopen schools in fall, but do it safely

Don’t bully schools into reopening. Protect our students.

Ranked choice voting would strengthen our democracy

Although our beloved democracy is facing many challenges (voter suppression and attacks… Continue reading

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Stopping COVID is now up to each of us

With a resurgence threatening, we need to take greater responsibility to keep the virus in check.

Why this newspaper is capitalizing Black | Editorial

Moving forward, the Snoqualmie Valley Record will capitalize Black when referring to… Continue reading

Doreen Davis, left in mask, waves at parade participants on May 2. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Wear your face-hugging, ever-loving mask | Editorial

“Don’t make me come down there.” — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo,… Continue reading

Bob Roegner
Democrats have the edge in WA’s 2020 elections

Last year, most political insiders thought 2020 would be a big Democratic… Continue reading

Superintendent Robert Manahan
We must stand up for justice, equality and respect | Guest column

Dear Snoqualmie Valley students, staff and families, It’s hard to put into… Continue reading