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Letters to the Editor


March 19, 2020

To the editor,

There are three things in life I will never understand. Democratic dedication to senior citizen candidates, Rabid Republican dedication to party over country, and a Pomeroy resident’s love of an old dilapidated hospital.

All of these scenarios are counterproductive and cost more than they’re worth, in my opinion. I wouldn’t care, but as a property owner, I have to pay for these damn levies their pushing down our throats.

There are 2,200 (or so) people living in Garfield County and most of them are non-property and non-business owners. So, everyone benefits, but only few of us pay for it. (You’re welcome?)

I’m not the 1% of the rich people in this town, I’m a home owner on a limited budget. Normally, I will vote on good ideas to improve the community, but this doesn’t sound like one, to me. It doesn’t pass the sniff test and the math doesn’t add up.

With all the other items on the to do lists for the city and county governments, I can’t see the need of a job creation project disguised as a hospital levy. Nor do I want to vote and pay for it…every year.

Taxes are necessary. Infrastructure creates the modern life and is what we pay taxes for. But hey, life spans increased in history, not because we had more access to medical resources, but because we learned to wash and flush. We built plumbing infrastructures. These have a limited life and need replaced. Ours is at the end of its life. The evidence is everywhere.

The water pressure at my house varies from 70 to 90 psi, this is way above the requirements of an average home and regularly destroys garden hoses and water sprinklers. Yet, two blocks away a booster pump is being installed to provide better water pressure to east Pomeroy. Not a good sign.

Also, my neighbor across the ally had raw sewage pumped into his house while the city pressurized the sewage lines to look for numerous leaks in the sewer systems. The city tried to say it was his fault. The fact that they were looking is another bad sign. Last summer, Pomeroy City employees walked up and down the street, listening for leaks on the water meters of the water line. Still another bad sign.

Over the last couple years people in outlying areas were kicked off the city line in order to lessen water loses. Many residences outside of city limits, had to dig their own wells at their own expense. The city and county offered no assistance. The line was shortened nearly five miles and did little to stop the loses. This is a big red flag. Both for the water line condition and the government incompetence we have. Blaming your customers for your mistake is never a good sign.

Two winters ago, a water line burst on Pataha Street, in an alley next to the creek. Because of cold temperatures and limited equipment, it couldn’t be fixed until spring and flowed into Pataha Creek for weeks. Why the city didn’t get a fine from the state or the feds, I couldn’t imagine.

These are only a few examples. The signs are very clear. We’re in for more requests for cash from the city and county. Thus far, an unofficial quote of over $1 million has been mentioned by some city employees to bring the system back up to par. It’s probably much higher than that.

Think hard about this. $1.3 million is required to get the hospital up to electrical code. $1 million or so, at least, is needed for the city’s infrastructure. The $800,000(ish) levy is only the start of a long-term tax increase. We get another request next year.

The hospital has a long history of poor management, both financial and administrative. This is a point where we, as citizens, have to do the math and say, “enough”.

I am voting “NO” to the hospital levy and I encourage others to do the same.

Jim Mahaffey

Pomeroy, Wash.

To the editor,

We all want to have medical services in Pomeroy, but the size of the proposed levy is so huge that it may put many farmers and businesses in distress. Our farm could use another employee but financially it is not possible. According to my calculations, this levy would cost our family more than the cost of a full-time employee plus benefits. This form of taxation, in addition to the regular levies, may be equivalent to a crop failure.

Stan Warren

Pomeroy, Wash.


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