Hospital district best way forward

This is not a vote for Neighborcare. This is a vote for adequate primary care on Vashon.

After a fair amount of research, I’ve decided to support the proposed hospital district. Like some opponents, I’m concerned about the impact of additional property taxes on people of modest means. But what ultimately convinced me are two issues: The effect on Vashon’s social fabric if we do nothing and the quality of the candidates who are running.

I went to the standing-room-only forum at the United Methodist church two weeks ago and was impressed by nearly all of the candidates who sat before us. They struck me as smart, committed and sensible about what a hospital district can – and can’t – do for the island. They also are willing to work hard on Vashon’s behalf. I left feeling grateful that we live in a community where good people are willing to volunteer their time to take on the heavy lifting a project like this entails. This is civic life – and representative government – at its best.

The other issue is the cost of doing nothing. This is not a vote for Neighborcare. This is a vote for adequate primary care on Vashon. It’s true that if there were no clinic at Sunrise Ridge, islanders would still have options – but not many. And that paucity would be hard on parents of young ones, elderly people, those who are homebound – nearly everyone besides the commuter class and wealthy retirees.

Access to primary care is fundamental to the quality of life I want for myself, my family, my friends and my neighbors. I currently get my care downtown. But just as I support public schools even though I don’t have a child in the school system, so too have I decided to support the hospital district. I see it as a vote for the common good.

— Leslie Brown