In this election, follow the money | Letters

Someone took a close look at the San Juan County Public Hospital District candidates’ public disclosure filings and discovered that at least two of the candidates are nothing more than shills for PeaceHealth and the unelected Peace Island Medical Center hospital board.

One of the newspapers published the numbers, then a few letter writers said, “Hey, what the heck is going on here?” and, almost instantly, a letter appears that says, “My wife and I had this wonderful experience at our new hospital but – be afraid, be very afraid – because if you don’t vote for PIMC’s candidates all that wonderfulness will go away.”

The truth is, PeaceHealth is not going away. The new hospital is not going away. And neither is its large annual operating cost. If you vote for the candidates who were not hand-picked by PIMC, the wonderfulness will not go away.  What you will get, though, is some improvements to that terrible 50-year contract we’re saddled with. So when you go to the hospital for ten stitches it won’t cost you $1,100. Or the minor dog bite that requires a little cleaning, a bandage and a tetanus booster won’t cost you $1,350.

The public disclosure reports show that the candidates who were recruited by the unelected PIMC hospital board are being funded by a handful of well-to-do people who are shipping money to PeaceHealth’s public relations consultant so that same consultant can manage a PR campaign for those candidates. If PIMC’s candidates are elected to the San Juan County Public Hospital District Board, they will not represent you, the taxpayer. They will represent PeaceHealth.

The people who really are very afraid are the people who are spending big bucks to ensure that PIMC’s hand-picked candidates win. But what exactly are they afraid of? It appears they’re afraid those “other” candidates will make PIMC disclose exactly where our tax dollars are going, what sort of profit the hospital is making and where the “charity” dollars are actually going. Heaven forbid that a tax-supported hospital should have to disclose such information.

Those “other” candidates, who want to represent the taxpayers, not PeaceHealth, are Barbara Sharp, Bill Williams and Monica Harrington.

Richard Grout

San Juan Island