Information beginning to populate the internet raises legitimate questions about how well the Pullman Regional Hospital has explained its Proposition 1 to potential voters.
Passed by voters, Proposition 1 would approve a $29-million dollar bond issue for expansion and improvement.
Americans have never liked taxes, even from before the infamous tea tax that launched the revolution against British rule.
Bond levies result in property taxes, and thus always bring out opposition.
The Pullman hospital proposal is no exception. I addressed this in a previous column, published in the Oct. 7 Daily News.
I wrote, “Anyone can conjure an excuse to not vote for Pullman Regional Hospital’s $29 million bond levy; but it would be just that, an excuse, not a reason.”
A lot of new excuses, or reasons, are involved in the burst of posts flying about the Internet as I write this column. They deserve examination and consideration. So, here goes.
In as much as complaints are coming from some members of Pullman’s medical community, I have given them careful consideration.
On Oct. 21 Nancy Gregory, a nurse practitioner at Palouse Medical, posted lengthy comments which she hopes will generate no votes on Proposition 1. She addresses legitimate problems and concerns and invites readers to share. Many are doing just that.
As I write, at midweek for a Thursday deadline for Monday publication, 25 Facebook users have shared her post. And Gregory’s post has been shared with other groups, some of which surely have also shared. I learned of it in the fourth generation.
I won’t go into the posts in detail. You can read them from their very fingertips on Facebook. Search for Nancy Gregory, then scroll down to her message. Mandi Denning, a massage therapist who owns her own practice in Pullman, has joined Gregory.
Some of Gregory’s and Denning’s objections to Proposition 1 deal with legitimate problems; but after examining them, I still hold to my earlier position. They are more excuses than reasons.
Gregory complains that the hospital’s ads and pamphlet lack substance and a specific cost analysis. She also laments lack of important details on the proposed new electronic medical records system, and lack of agreement in the medical community.
Gregory asserts that long-time staff and medical providers are conflicted on the current plan, and don’t feel secure in voicing their concerns. She also questions the wisdom of combining all medical offices and care into one campus.
Denning endorses all of Gregory’s concerns and says she lacks confidence in increasing the hospital’s reach into the care community.
My main concern deals with PRH’s lack of openness in promoting Proposition 1. Before the first vote, I grumbled privately that promotion hadn’t started early enough. In light of the current uprising, I’m also concerned that enough detail hasn’t been openly and early brought to public attention.
Make no mistake about it, there are many in the medical community who are significantly concerned with issues raised by Gregory and Denning. Bless them for going public.
Way back, decades ago, I ran unopposed for a seat on the hospital board, and was defeated at the polls. Despite cause, I didn’t ask for an investigation or to have the election thrown out.
I didn’t miss a step in supporting PRH, and remain an ever strong supporter.
There’s an analogy here.
There is no denying that there are some problems with Proposition 1; some important things left out, some perhaps unwise things included. But it is vital that Pullman’s need for the basic package of expansion and improvements is met, and met soon.
The positives outweigh the negatives.
A no vote is tantamount to … well what’s that old saw about cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face?
Terence L. Day is a retired Washington State faculty member. He has lived in Pullman for 47 years.