We are lucky to have spent the last 25 summers on San Juan Island. What a special place. Because we are part time residents we are not able to vote. We do however pay taxes as homeowners and work hard to stay informed of issues as we hope some day to live here year round.
The island residents who were responsible for bringing the hospital to the island did a remarkable job. The job however is not done. We believe there is room for improvement. There are significant complaints about the affordability of care. There are too many islanders going off island for medical care that was previously available on island.
There is a 50-year contract governing the relationship between the hospital and the island. There is a commitment of not less than $75,000,0000 of tax money over that period from the community to support the hospital. That is taxpayer money that must be used carefully and in compliance with the law. We have read the letters to the editor; attended discussions with the candidates and read position statements in order to gain an understanding of the issues.
There is no contract that can stand the test of 50 years of time without the need for revision and yet we have heard candidates say there is nothing wrong with the contract. We have heard people say that people that don’t agree with the hospital’s position want the hospital to shut down.
That is definitely not the case. Not accepting the status quo does not mean rejecting the good with the bad. What the island needs are smart, yes, smart is important, practical and thoughtful representatives. People supported the hospital to serve the community; not special interests, and certainly not any religious mandate.
We can’t vote but if we could we would vote for Monica Harrington, Barbara Sharp, and Bill Williams. We would be comfortable knowing that we would be getting representatives who would be looking out for the general population and not personal agendas, while being sensitive to all of the financial, legal and ethical issues their positions will require.
Alan & Ann Grodin
San Juan Island