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After hospital spending, big questions remain

What seems strange to many of us regarding the spending of close to $5 million in the pursuit of a hospital is the fact that all of it seems to be, well, gone. I have questions.

1. Why wasn't the contract with the attorneys for each appeal limited to a time and materials contract rather then a blank $75,000? At $175/hour research; $250/hour arguing, each appeal would've had to consume approximately 375 hours of work. Doesn't that seem like a lot? Was this shopped and processed properly?

2. Further, I read, (went back in the newspaper archives and reread) the state's warning which was '...not to go ahead and spend on the land and infrastructure development as there was no guarantee that the state was going to change their minds.' Why wasn't this warning, even openly mentioned to reporters, absorbed by the board?

3. Why is the district liable for future personnel costs of somewhere close to $190K when employees of the hospital district were so limited? Or was it? Whatever happened to just laying people off when the work runs out?

Ultimately, my hunch is that an audit will come up clean but won't show what really happened. It will simply show that expenses fall into the correct categories and the bottom lines balance.

What will help most of us is simply looking at the returned checks and credit card receipts; when they were written; the amounts and the process that authorized them and why November's vote didn't stop the spending.

- Wayne Mayo, Scappoose