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County should exclude Montesano from public hospital district

Grays Harbor Community Hospital has an ad out there with happy-looking hospital workers, doctors, nurses, that sort of thing. It’s an ad promoting the forums to learn more about the potential hospital district they’re pushing.

I wonder if they replaced the public relations pictures in the flyer with faces of homeowners, who would have to pick up the tab for this lunacy, if they would be smiling. I can see why they are smiling though — a job for life with automatic pay increases, top-notch benefits and it doesn’t matter if they lose money or not. They just increase the property tax to the Grays Harbor homeowners. I’d smile, too.

Here is the pitch so far: We are losing so much money as a private business that we are all going to lose our jobs. Nobody will buy us, so we want you taxpayers to be responsible for us. We want you taxpayers to pay our bills, but we aren’t going to tell you what they are or what we owe. And when we want more money we will just automatically raise your property taxes every year with no end in sight.

Nice try, but even I don’t think the voters of this county are that stupid.

I have been waiting for things like this to start popping up. The latest example of panic among those on the do-gooding left around here as the well of never-ending money is drying up are now looking at you and me to begin funding the socialist dream of free health care here on the Harbor. The headquarters to be established at the Aberdeen hospital. Currently, it is a private hospital. They can’t pay the bills, the latest cuts to old people on Medicare and the core provision of Obamacare of putting as many people on Medicaid, legal or illegal residents, is in full swing. The hospital board of directors locked in closets hoping it will all go away. It won’t.

The solution? Well, turn the hospital into a public institution owned by you and me as homeowners here in the county, of course. You and I would now be responsible for the hospital to show a profit. Currently, the figure is 50 cents per thousand of a property’s assessed value. Around here, that’s $125 for the typical $225,000 home. But that is just a start. A start.

Once the proverbial camel gets its nose under our tent, it will not stop at $125 a year. There will be no cap. For every homeless drug addicted derelict that the city of Tacoma puts on a bus and dumps on the city streets of Aberdeen, you and I — and now our homes, will be responsible for their treatment. Even here in Montesano, as we will be included in their district. Every penny.

Grays Harbor has come to a crossroads. For decades under one party rule at the political level, those who consume but don’t produce have been coddled, even recruited to set up residence here in the county. Nothing was expected of them other than to vote a certain way. All their needs would be taken care of. In the process, industry has been shut down, destroyed and regulated out of existence. All that is left of value to continue the give-aways are the homes in the county, purchased by those left who do actually produce. There is nothing left to go after.

At what point does the average homeowner start to walk away from an over-taxed home due to not being able to afford the taxes and inability to sell an over taxed home?

In the case of this new hospital district, the answer is clear. While a figure of $125 to $150 a year for all of us who own our homes may be a bullet that could be bitten, it is just a start. The next year, it could be $200 – the year after that, well, there really won’t be a limit as you and I as owners of the hospital will be responsible for keeping it in the black — and of course for paying for all the new toys, projects and pet project wish list items that now will have a never-ending pocket to dip into to pay for them. There will be no incentive to watch the money whatsoever. None. Just the opposite.

While this would be a fairly simple public policy matter to address in a county that had spent the last seven decades building upon the abundant natural resources at our finger tips instead of fostering a welfare state with a consistent unemployment problem and chronic drug culture, we could afford basic services without driving those who worked and saved to purchase a home into the street.

The residents of Montesano still have a slight, in my opinion, chance to avoid being lumped into this new hospital district with our Aberdeen neighbors. This opt-out gambit will reside with the residents of Montesano making their voice heard with the Grays Harbor County Commissioners. In my opinion, however, the commissioners will be faced with trying to placate the small amount of voters that reside in the Montesano area against the vast amount of voters that reside in Aberdeen proper. Still, making your voice heard may be the deciding factor.

As the buses roll into town daily with more who take, eventually, the value in our homes used up, the parasites who feed on those who produce will move on to another host to bleed it dry. We are about to experience the rational conclusion to the irrational foundation we have built here on the Harbor.

Tom Frederiksen grew up in Montesano and lives here today with an active blog at Contact him at