<b>Palm Drive options</b>
EDITOR: There are many west county residents who will never use Palm Drive Hospital due to Kaiser membership or support for Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Now in our sights is the new Sutter Hospital, a state-of-the-art emergency medical facility with direct access down River Road. We pay a Palm Drive parcel tax plus a hospital district tax for residential and agricultural parcels from Two Rock through Timber Cove. That's $3 million worth of income to this hospital district.
Palm Drive had options. As established and responsible property taxpaying citizens of west county, we strongly encourage Palm Drive to sell the hospital outright, pay off its debts, dissolve the hospital district and free us of the stranglehold on our unwanted property debt. Then, let the free medical marketplace decide what it can originate at that site.Another convalescent hospital in west county would be OK considering the baby boomer population growing older. Wound care and spinal surgery specialties are great suggestions too, and if they are privately owned, let them pay their own way, rather than continuing a tax on the backs of hard-working west county homeowners.
If we do not speak out, the consensus will be that everyone supports continuation of unwanted property debt.
<b>Save Palm Drive</b>
EDITOR: How fortunate we have been to receive community-based health care from people who know us as neighbors rather than case numbers. I dread the prospect of having to drive a long distance to a mega-facility where I wouldn't possibly receive the personal attention and high level of care that is provided at Palm Drive Hospital.
I'm also very concerned about our neighbors on the coast who would need to travel even greater distances, especially in inclement weather. Without Palm Drive, lives will be lost, and the quality of life in our community will decrease markedly by any scoring system. This loss will also affect home values, which are based on access to good schools, shopping and medical care..
The dollars we as a community invest in Palm Drive will bear dividends in a very tangible way. My life was saved by Dr. James Gude at Palm Drive Hospital, and I strongly urge support of any and all efforts to fund the hospital through bonds, taxes or private donations.