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A reminder about the hospital tax and your vote

In 2004 voters passed a bill to build a critical access hospital. By 2006 the Columbia Health District knew it would never get a permit from the state to build it, yet the board continued to collect taxes, buy and develop land and pay huge sums of money to attorneys in order to hang on to that tax base.

In November 2010 over 10,000 people voted to repeal that tax base. Once again, the voters were ignored by the health board and the county commissioners. And don't let Commissioners Tony Hyde, Earl Fisher and Henry Heimuller try to fool you into thinking they could do nothing. They still have an option, they just choose to ignore it.

On May 17, the voters elected five people who ran for office on their promise to stop the 38-cent hospital tax and to do an audit. These women never said they would close public health. That was Karen Ladd, administrator of public health.

All five of the women elected are totally in support of public health.

However, the commissioners and the health board are doing everything they can to get public health transferred to a private foundation (which was started by Gary Heide and on which Jay Tappan still serves) and do away with any money that would go to an audit and they want it done one day before the new board takes office.

Are all of these underhanded schemes being done to avoid an audit? What are they trying to hide? The health board and the commissioners never wanted to make these changes until they knew the five women were going to win.

So there you go.

Once again your vote has been ignored. You voted for five new people to straighten out this mess with the Columbia Health District and the county commissioners are doing everything they can to circumvent your vote.

I hope you remember which of the commissioners ignored your vote when their re-election comes around.

Hopefully I am still here to remind you.

- Nancy Whitney, St. Helens