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How many Grays Harbor Public Hospital commissioners would there be?

May 6, 2014

The Grays Harbor County Commissioners held two public hearing sessions yesterday for the proposed hospital district that could be coming to Grays Harbor.

Grays Harbor County Auditor Vern Spatz started off both hearings by explaining the options they have to separate the area into districts for hospital commissioner elections. Spatz outlined three options for the separation of districts with combinations of 3, 5, or 7 commissioners. Spatz also explained how the process will go.

“Every district has to be as nearly equal in population as possible. When you start drawing boundaries, and you’re trying to get the population equal, as soon as you take some out of one it goes into another. It’s like squeezing a water balloon. “

Multiple people spoke on the subject with the majority of them supporting at least 5 if not 7 commissioners so that every area would have representation.

Tim Gibbs of Greater Grays Harbor Inc. said that everyone needs to work together for the good of the county.

“If something like this did not pass and the hospital was faced to make some choices on service lines they could provide, it certainly going to affect the employment levels that we have there. So on multiple levels we need to find a way, of the art of what’s possible, for hospital districts to work together to bring economy of scale, to do things that provide positive health care. For us to get to those decisions, we need this action of getting this on the ballot and letting the people decide on that.”

Gibbs added, “We all need to play nice together, because ultimately that’s how we move forward.”

Others in the public voiced their concerns about the district as it was drawn up infringing on the growth of the current hospital district of Summit Pacific Hospital in Elma. There were also citizens from Montesano, Brady and the North Beach Area who also voiced that they would rather be left out of the new hospital district for a variety of reasons.

Additional public hearings will be held this week before the Grays Harbor County Commissioners decide how the proposed district would be split.

The next meetings will be held on Wednesday i n the Commissioners’ Chamber in Montesano, at 9 am and 5:30 pm.

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