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Ballots out, rallies planned, residents watch live streamed debate in preparation for vote on new hospital

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(Images by GoLakeChelan.com)

Chelan County Elections have mailed out ballots this week for the upcoming Special Election for the Lake Chelan Community Hospital Bond Proposition on April 25, 2017. Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore says that registered voters should be receiving their ballots towards the end of this week.

Residents in the Chelan County Public Hospital District No. 2 will be analyzing their choice whether to support the bond measure or not. Election Day is April 25 and ballots must be dropped off at a ballot box by 8 p.m. or be postmarked by this day. According to Chelan County Elections, the first round of election results will be posted by 8 p.m. on April 25.

If you missed the New Hospital Levy Public Forum held on March 30, 2017, at Chelan’s PAC, we encourage you to watch GoLakeChelan’s Livestream of the debate at ANYTIME via your mobile device or home computer.

Go to GoLakeChelan.tv and watch the

New Hospital Levy Public Forum from March 30.

(Image courtesy of Lake Chelan Community Hospital)

Residents should also be receiving or have received mailers from both sides of the bond measure issue, and residents may also visit the websites of the two opposing groups for more information.

Citizens for a New Hospital Now  www.newhospitalnow.com

Lake Chelan Citizens for Fiscally Responsible Healthcare  www.chelanhospitalfacts.com  

Citizens for a New Hospital Now report that they will hosting two rallies this Saturday, April 8, 2017. Residents are invited to attend a rally and are encouraged to bring their ballots. Voters are welcome to cast their votes and drop them off in the mail together.

CHELAN:  10 a.m. – Meet in front of Riverwalk Park

MANSON:  3 p.m. – Meet at the top of Manson Bay Park

(By Christine Eagar)

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16 Comments on Ballots out, rallies planned, residents watch live streamed debate in preparation for vote on new hospital

  1. Well the choice is now up to the people. Build the shiny new Toyota Town Hospital and risk healthcare in the valley with this massive new debt, or VOTE NO, and protect out present hospital. The real estate land speculators, and hospital workers would have the voters think that the only way forward is to destroy, bulldoze, our present hospital and that is just not true. The valley does not need this shiny new hospital almost twice as large as the present one built out at the dump, and the incredible debt that will be incurred at this time is way to risky. Better to upgrade, modernize and stay within our budget than to go out on a limb. 12 of the 39 Hospitals similar to ours are in deep financial trouble, and it only takes a look next door at Quincy, Coulee City, and Kennewick to see hospitals that overextended themselves and are laying off people and in deep financial trouble. Now is not the time to take this unnecessary gamble, VOTE NO, maintain our present hospital don’t build new

    • The choice is up to the people. They can listen to the repeated false numbers of the naysayers or the comparisons to towns and facilities that are nothing like Chelan or LCCH or they can go to http://www.newhospitalnow.com for facts concluded by experts in the field of medical economics and medical construction. Do you have a pessimistic view of Chelan like the no voters or an optimistic view like the yes voters. Do you want to “take your chances” like the no voters or have quality healthcare for generations like the yes voters.

  2. Take note: Read Your Ballot Carefully. If this ballot passes: “This proposition would authorize the District to construct a new hospital facility, AND CARRY OUT ANY OTHER CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS DEEMED NECESSARY OR ADVISABLE BY THE “COMMISSION”

    In other words folks we, the taxpayers would be giving the commission 20 million dollars to use as they see fit. That is scary stuff and totally unnecessary, if they cannot get the federal loan the money should revert to the taxpayers, giving the Hospital Commission this kind of money is absurd. VOTE NO Lets not take this kind of chance with our healthcare dollars

    • The choice is clear, it is $20 million towards a new hospital with private rooms, larger OB suites, a larger ED, and a building that will be able to be flexible for the changing healthcare needs for generations to come. That is something the no voters do not want you to have. Vote YES with confidence!

  3. Don’t let people afraid to pay a few hundred dollars a year more on their large summer houses sway you from supporting your community for the future. Vote yes keep your heath care quality and local.

  4. Here we go again!! For the fourth time the Land Speculators and Hospital Employees are putting out another bond, sigh! When will they get the message, that the people in the valley like their present hospital looking out over the lake and don’t want a Mini mall type hospital out at the dump. Putting the community into MASSIVE debt by doubling the size of the present hospital with the same number of beds and personnel is a foolish and risky move, at a time when three local hospitals are laying off personnel, and 12 out of 39 similar CAH hospitals are in desperate financial straits in the State of Washington. Even Governor Inslee has cautioned smaller rural hospitals to stay solvent in this time of medical change in D.C., This is a shortsighted move, with long term consequences to the community when LCCH fails, Toyota Town Center comes to mind, but we will not have the entire county to bail LCCH out, it will fall on the backs of the local taxpayers if we want any kind of hospital. Finally , all costs will go up as landowners and business owners pass on this new tax to the consumers, that means rent, gasoline, and hardware prices will rise. Don’t let this expensive advertising campaign sway your common sense, it is much cheaper and better for the community to remodel and maintain our present hospital than it is to bulldoze what we have and build a Toyota Town Hospital at the dump. VOTE NO, (again) Maybe this time they will get the message

    • A majority approved the last two bonds to move the hospital to a sensible location. However, a super majority is required. That is the only reason it has not passed so far. And if it doesn’t pass the hospital will be $20 million in debt with nothing to show for it.

  5. All we see and hear are the same old tired arguments against by a group of naysayers that:
    A. Have no alternative plan.
    B. Do not know anything about Critical Access Hospitals, much less have any experience in how to run one.
    C. Do not know the difference between the financing of a sports arena and a hospital.
    D. Are only able to give statistics out of context, because only a “quick look” will support their baseless assumptions and arguments.
    E. Don’t really care about the comfort and care of the community because they will never use the facility (It is not good enough for them, but should be good enough for you).
    F. Have leaders that have personal grudges against the hospital so no matter what is actually best for the community, they want the hospital to fail.

  6. The reason that the arguments against the Toyota Town Hospital remain the same ones that three times previously have defeated this bond issue is that they are on solid ground and nothing has changed. There is absolutely no reason to nearly double the size of our local hospital and putting the entire healthcare of the valley at risk. The real estate land speculators and hospital workers don’t seem to fathom just how risky this shiny new hospital is, or they don’t care, it has to be one or the other because the financial data is in and it has shown to be a recipe for disaster. Nothing seems to convince them, the failure of 12 out of 39 CAH hospitals of similar size, the failure of Quincy, Grand Coulee, and Kennewick hospitals because they over extended. Not even a warning from Governor Inslee seems to get through to those who want this grandiose expansion of a hospital. A plea for restraint from the working poor of the valley whose rents, gasoline, and virtually every other expense will rise to pay for this White Elephant has gone unanswered, from people working at the highest paying jobs in the Valley up at LCCH. Time to “fish or cut bait” folks, VOTE NO, Lets keep out hospital on the hill, maintain it don’t bulldoze it

    • All we see and hear are the same old tired arguments against by a group of naysayers that:
      A. Have no alternative plan.
      B. Do not know anything about Critical Access Hospitals, their finances, much less have any experience in how to run one.
      C. Do not know the difference between the financing of a sports arena and a hospital. Nor the difference between a growing community like Chelan and other communities.
      D. Are only able to give statistics out of context, because only a “quick look” will support their baseless assumptions and arguments.
      E. Don’t really care about the comfort and care of the community because they will never use the facility (It is not good enough for them, but should be good enough for you).
      F. Have leaders that have personal grudges against the hospital so no matter what is actually best for the community, they want the hospital to fail.

  7. Bill and his well heeled friends don’t care about the economics of this valley or the viability of the hospital – they just aren’t willing to pay a penny toward it. They do seem to be willing to spend plenty of money and jeopardize their integrity to spread false information and put up signs that are actual lies.

    To date still no numbers from the naysayers derived from their team of “experts”. Pretty sure when self identified “experts”, sent by the naysayers, were discovered skulking around the hospital a couple of weeks ago, that even they were quickly coming to the same conclusions that attempting to do anything to that building, on that site, is beyond a waste of both time and treasure. They were asked to make an appointment and return to do their assessment. They never did. Bet they saw it was literally putting lipstick on a pig. Don’t waste the Hospital District’s and your money – VOTE YES!

  8. A quick look around will see that the folks opposing this grandiose nearly doubling of the size hospital, are the land owners and long term residents of the valley. With few exceptions those pushing this white elephant are newcomers, employees of the hospital, and real estate speculators who want to turn Chelan into Bend or Lake Tahoe, with the resultant crime, traffic, and congestion. We have a fine small hospital with plenty of life left in it, that easily satisfies the emergency needs of the community, always has, always will. If people want elective medical care they should go to a larger hospital with more resources and doctors that do those elective medical procedures regularly. Trying to make a small rural hospital into something that it was not intended to be, on the backs of a small rural populations taxes is unreasonable, when just down the road we have a hospital supported by a much larger population and tax base. The hospitals that have had grandiose plans are going broke, just look close to home in Grand Coulee, Quincy, and Kennewick, or look statewide at the 12 CAH hospitals out of 39 that are in desperate financial straits. Don’t let the media hype fool you into this financial mess, we don’t want to have to bail out this Toyota Town Hospital in a few short years just to keep a hospital in town. I never thought I would say this as a conservative, but listen to Governor Inslee, he has warned all the small hospitals of the dangers of going into debt. VOTE NO Save our small town hospital, don’t let the fanatics bulldoze out beautiful building overlooking Chelan and the lake

    • All we see and hear are the same old tired arguments against by a group of naysayers that:
      A. Have no alternative plan.
      B. Do not know anything about Critical Access Hospitals, their finances, much less have any experience in how to run one.
      C. Do not know the difference between the financing of a sports arena and a hospital. Nor the difference between a growing community like Chelan and other communities.
      D. Are only able to give statistics out of context, because only a “quick look” will support their baseless assumptions and arguments.
      E. Don’t really care about the comfort and care of the community because they will never use the facility (It is not good enough for them, but should be good enough for you).
      F. Have leaders that have personal grudges against the hospital so no matter what is actually best for the community, they want the hospital to fail.

  9. All those pushing for this shiny new hospital have to remember one thing first, they are the ones looking for the loan, not the opponents. The taxpayers already pay over $1,500,000 per year in subsidy to LCCH to keep their doors open as a local hospital. If the Hospital Board wants to spend that money, all of it, to pay for 6 management positions that is their business, but don’t ask the taxpayers for more. After all Confluence runs a much bigger hospital in Wenatchee with no taxpayer support, and they are a for profit hospital. When this small hospital in Chelan pays their CEO $201,600 per year and the average wage in the valley is $27,900 per year, they have a lot of nerve asking those same hard working taxpayers to buy them a shiny new Toyota Town Hospital at the dump. The burden is on the pro hospital group to ask for the loan, not on the taxpayers who are already supporting the present hospital. VOTE NO, the taxpayers are already supporting LCCH and they need to economize and maintain their present structure, not build some grandiose building nearly twice as big with the same 25 bed limit and same number of employees. VOTE NO

  10. Statement from LCCH Plant engineering.

    Ken Peters, Manager/Plant engineer, Robert Anderson, Tim Eggars, Scott Dietrich and Kim Gamelkoff

    I, Scott Dietrich, with the support of my Plant engineering co-workers, will work on setting the record straight as to the misconceptions that have been used against LCCH, the commissioners, the administration and the staff of this community entity, the Lake Chelan Community Hospital.

    The naysayers have come out vehemently against LCCH and wrongfully accuse the commissioners, that the members of this community elected to represent us, the administration and what we feel is a direct assault on past and present maintenance department personnel as to faulty maintenance over the course of the history in our hospital. We also feel they have made a mockery of our community’s intelligence by misconstruing and fabricating information that “Maintenance” has been poorly performed over the years at LCCH. They have purposely misrepresented a past report/survey to confuse this community as to the difference between “Maintenance” and “Capital improvements”.

    We as a Medical facility are governed by three (3) agencies, The Department of Health, The State Fire Marshall and The Department of Labor and Industries. There is no wiggle room with any of these (3) agencies. If we at any time had failed at maintenance, as we have been accused, LCCH would have been shut down by any one of these three agencies. The State Fire Marshall was just at LCCH last week and complimented us on the great job we were performing in an aging facility.
    The naysayers have used a 2005 survey from Botesch, Nash and Hall, (BNH) Architects P.S. to try to accomplish this. This report, that had absolutely nothing to do with maintenance, was, used at the public forum at Chelan High School as one of their examples against the upcoming bond election. The report was used, outside of the context of what the report was originally written for.

    LCCH was built in 1972 based on 1969 building codes. This BNH report that has been used against us by the naysayers was commissioned by the then Board of Commissioners and the CEO. It was only intended and utilized to get an estimate of what “Capital improvements” would need to be undertaken to bring LCCH up to the then current 2005 building codes. It was used to determine the most economically cost effective means of either re-modeling to then current building codes, or building new. Let me point out that this report was done by a true architectural firm in conjunction with an engineering firm that does reports like this as their professional business. It wasn’t an interpretation done by those who’s motivation is deceitful misrepresentation to this community as to what this report was commissioned to accomplish. It had nothing to do with maintenance or lack thereof.

    In laymen’s terms, I’ll try to put it in a parallel comparison. The Navy has a vessel that is 45 years old. This vessel has been well maintained. They do an inspection for a total refitting and determine the costs of upgrading propulsion, weapon’s systems, crew facilities, and numerous other improvement’s to be far greater than building a new upgraded vessel that will last for another 45 years or longer. What happens to the old vessel? It gets mothballed, sold as surplus, or scrapped. A new one takes its place.

    We have a facility that is 45 years old. It has been maintained. We can spend $56 million to refit our current facility and still not accomplish what is needed for the future of this growing community and our patients or we can spend over $13 million less and have a state of the art facility that can address this communities health care needs far into the future.

  11. I prefer to take the word of the professional builders and architects in the valley over the false numbers that have been put out by the employees of the hospital, real estate land speculators and janitorial staff. There is no question that the present building made of concrete and steel will be far superior to a wood framed mini mall type structure with a much shorter life span. But arguing is pretty much over, the voters now have to use their own common sense regarding their own experiences with renovation vs building new, and fortunately most of us who own homes and old cars know the answer. Tearing down a perfectly good building rather than upgrading and properly maintaining the present one will be far more expensive, and risks bankrupting the entire healthcare system in the Chelan Valley. Time to vote, and certainly common sense will prevail. VOTE NO, lets not bulldoze our classic hospital on the hill, and move our sick and injured out to the dump

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