Hospital District requires fixes before island vote

Commissioners should be required to seek voter approval for specific actions and plans.

Yes, I want better health care. I think the hospital district proponents are well-intentioned and earnestly acting in the public interest, but here is why I am voting “no”:

• I have no idea what programs or services I am voting for. I doubt that all the items on people’s wish lists — from urgent care to visiting cardiac specialists — can be supported.

• If I were a commissioner, I would want to meet as many people’s expectations as possible. Given the ever-increasing costs of health care, I’d feel responsible to increase levy amounts up to the maximum rate of $.75/$1,000 — no voter approval needed.

• Levy rates over $.52/$1,000 would imperil our parks district, its trails, playfields and pool, which directly benefit our health.

• I want the right to vote on hospital district spending plans, just as I do for schools and parks.

I don’t like to just say “No” — and I think there’s a better way. I commit to working with our legislative representatives to authorize the creation of public health districts in communities across the state of Washington. These districts would be empowered to do the kinds of things we want — support primary and urgent care, etc. — and would require commissioners to seek voter approval for specific actions and plans.

—Dan Carlson