No comfort in health care district debt

King County money is already our money whether or not we lend it to the Vashon Health Care District.

I’m puzzled by the Health Care District’s cavalier approach to borrowing money. Lacking any clear plan for the future of health care on Vashon, the commissioners announced that job one for 2020 is to borrow $1 million from King County “to sustain itself until mid-2021.” While they aren’t exactly sure where and on what they will spend the loan money, finance committee member Don Wolczko assured The Beachcomber the district would be “hemorrhaging” money until their newly approved property tax revenue begins to trickle in sometime in May 2021. Wolczko’s estimated list of expenses ranges as high as $682,000 for 2020 alone, but fellow commissioner Eric Pryne cautioned that “islanders should not make too much of the proposed budget.”

OK, then. Let’s simply accept the prospect of the district “hemorrhaging” hundreds of thousands of dollars on something beneficial yet to be determined. While I don’t object to spending borrowed money for something necessary, I do object to Wolczko’s notion that the loan money to be hemorrhaged by the Health Care District in 2020 will just be “King County money” and somehow not real money that island property taxpayers will eventually have to pay back, likely with interest.

Here’s the problem for island property taxpayers: King County money is already our money whether or not we lend it to the Vashon Health Care District. If district commissioners hemorrhage that borrowed money in a cavalier fashion, it’s our money that gets wasted. Then, get this, we have to continue to cough up our own property taxes to pay it back.

Whose money is this? It’s island taxpayers’ money in both cases. Let’s hope our elected commissioners understand that and spend it wisely and seriously.

— John van Amerongen




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Recovery Starts Here

A third of us on the island is now at the front of the line to receive a vaccine. Do not delay.

x
A Return To Honesty, and Empathy, in Years Ahead

Now is the time to shape the future. It will certainly shape us.

x
After Capitol Unrest, Island Remains “Beloved Community”

I had a visceral reaction to the violent and riotous storming of the Capitol Building.

x
Vashon Is a Model for Hope, Building a Sustainable Economy

All this is a testimonial to our spirit being lively and unbroken.

How the Big Lie Unleashed a Horrorshow

The first thing we must do is continue to stand in the bright light of the truth.

x
Former Congressional Staffer Asks: Where Do We Go From Here?

Last Wednesday, I am sure I wasn’t alone in feeling heartbreak.

x
School District Preparing For “Year of the Comeback”

It’s time to maximize our student’s academic achievement gains over the last half of the school year.

x
Local Artist Brings Wit and Talent To Beachcomber

We are proud to showcase Moody’s inspired, imaginative artwork in The Beachcomber.

x
Savoring the Secrets and Science of Riparian Areas

You don’t have to be an ecologist to appreciate the vitality of a place like this.

Fire District Needs to Bargain with Union | Update

Firefighters shouldn’t have to worry if they have any sick time left if they are exposed to COVID-19.

x
I’m Dreaming of a Pink Christmas

The holiday will be different and diminished for so many of us this year.

Beware of the Power of False Beliefs

Here’s an idea: Let’s listen to public health experts, and get vaccinated.