My Turn: Lets get realistic on Measure C
Just days ago the European Union upheld fines against Microsoft Corporation to the amount of $600 million. By Tuesday, you the voter will decide if the Tahoe Forest Hospital District gets approximately one-sixth ($100 million) of what the worlds richest corporation has to pay to some of the worlds richest countries. I am the first to admit that medical care and construction is expensive. I also eagerly admit that we have a great local hospital that I am proud to be a member of its medical staff. But lets be real: We do not belong in the financial league of Microsoft and a $100 million tax bond is excessive.I am one of the many area residents who have used the equity within their homes to flip into bigger and more expensive property, which is now 10 percent less than my assessed value due to the recent real estate market. This bond doesnt guarantee the average tax rate of $9/$100,00. It may be nearly double that. This significantly concerns me. Why? Because right around the corner will be the Park & Rec bond, probably followed by a new school and fire bond and finally, very soon, possibly a downtown Truckee rail yard rehabilitation bond. We taxpayers already pay the hospital district approximately $4.5 million every year. To me, in our great town, $100 million in taxes in one place is excessive.I am a business and homeowner, who in order to live in this expensive community, must closely watch my budget. After $16 million in cost overruns with the Next Generation of Health Care western addition, I am concerned about proper oversight and realistic financial management. We know there will be community oversight of the bond money, but what about the oversight of the millions of dollars in the hospital district capital budget that will be freed up by the passage of this bond? Will it go for administrators salaries? Will it go off to Incline Village Community Hospital like much of our tax dollars already have? Will it go to buy all the physician practices in the community in order that the district fully monopolize health care in our area? Will it go to get the administration office out of their trailer? Or will you properly invest, plan and save for the bad snow year for when the budget gets tight? Where will these millions go?So, Tahoe Forest Hospital District, lets be realistic. One hundred million dollars is excessive. You truly are one of the best mountain community hospitals in the nation. There is still room for improvement, I agree. But not at this price tag. Stop your expensive, glitzy marketing campaigns and scare tactics. Realize that it is our fine doctors, amazing nurses and committed and competent ancillary personnel that make our hospital great, not the waterfalls in the lobby.Come back with a well thought out, financially viable, fully transparent bond request and I will definitely vote in favor.Dr. Jay Foley is a Truckee resident.
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