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Ballot Question for Measure W

Shall the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District renew its expiring parcel tax to continue providing local access to hospital emergency care, physician clinic services, other healthcare programs and services, including a new hospital and new or improved healthcare facilities? The renewed tax will be at a new rate of $170 per year on all qualified parcels, annually providing $1.63 million dollars per year for 45 years beginning July 1, 2018.

Argument in Favor

Our local hospital has provided emergency care and other vital medical services in Southern Humboldt for nearly 70 years, but in spite of our community's best efforts, our facility is now irredeemably obsolete, and its doors will be closed by the State of California by 2030.

If we are to continue to provide around-the-clock medical care for our citizens, we must build a new facility with an acute care hospital, emergency department, and the ancillary services such as radiology and laboratory that they require. A stand-alone Emergency Room is not legal, and a 24/7 Urgent Care Clinic is neither able to provide the level of care required for emergency services nor financially viable in a community of our size.

To ensure that our new facility is ready when we need it, we must start now. Interest rates and building costs are rising. Designing, financing, building, and certifying a new hospital can take 10 years or more.

If we lost our hospital, it would cause an out-migration of young families and seniors, reducing property values, damaging our schools, and starving our local businesses. A new facility would be of modest proportions, but it would provide state of the art medical services in a sustainable setting that could serve as a hub for a wide range of healthcare modalities for many decades to come. Passing Measure W will enable us to build a hospital that will protect the health of our seniors while supporting and promoting a vibrant community for our children, our grandchildren, and you.


Submitted by Nancy Wilson, Craig Parkinson, Rio Anderson, and Garth Epling

Argument Against

Whereas, the hospital district finds it necessary to "Continue" and "Increase" the existing tax for "Another" 45, yes that's 45 more years. That will expire on June 30, 2065. They have been collecting "the Tax" since 1988.

In the year 2000 "the Tax" was $25.00 a parcel. Since then they, "The board," has raised it twice to its present $125.00. Now in 17 years they want to raise it to $170.00 per qualified parcel. In 40 years how many times will they ask to raise "the Tax," and by how much? They will be back.

I know previous board members has and still have "Timber & Ag" exemptions. Must be nice to be able to exempt yourself.

If they have gotten out of the red then why do they need to raise your taxes? Oh, because they can.

This fiasco with buying the CR school is as far as I'm concerned, illegal and I intend to file charges in Sacramento to the ethics and real estate boards and the attorney general. This deal between CR, School board, and hospital boards just isn't right.

I would be cheaper to rebuild the old hospital in its present location and save millions.

Earthquake retro: Why? Why not get an exemption from congress (Waiver) to go ahead and rebuild but have to have the same standards as a 6-8 story stucco building is insane.

Folks look at your tax bill.

  • CR tax
  • SHUSD tax
  • Fire district tax
  • Fire free
  • Shelter Cove district free
  • Hospital tax

All will go up as the greed will continue. They will never expire!

Submitted by W.H. Scotty McClure

Rebuttal to Argument Against

While the special tax has been in place, funding for rural hospitals has been shrinking as costs rise. More than 630 communities lost their hospitals during this time. Your hospital has been here throughout difficult times, improving along the way. If we didn't need a new hospital, the District could reduce the assessment, not raise it.

Would you really prefer to be an extra 50 miles away from emergency care when your child is bleeding, your partner suffers a heart attack, or you cannot breathe?

California healthcare district boards have five elected directors. Dozens of your fellow citizens have volunteered time to serve on ours. Every assessment enacted has been approved by two-thirds of the voters, just as Measure W must be.

If we rebuild where we are, how and where would we provide services during construction?

More and more elderly citizens need skilled nursing beds. We already have a long waiting list. Should we send our seniors to distant for-profit facilities more concerned about costs than care?

Disastrous damages to hospitals from the Northridge and Loma Prieta earthquakes led to California's current seismic laws. Garberville sits on a field of earthquake fault lines close to one of the world's largest subduction faults.

Our single-story wood-framed hospital is not likely to collapse, but it wouldn't take much damage to close it.

We're voting Yes On Measure W so we can build a modern, sound facility that will be here to care for us all when we need it most.

Submitted by Donna King, Shirley Gray, Shanon Taliaferro, Doug Bryan, and Evelyn King

Rebuttal to the Argument in Favor

Insert fart smell here.

Submitted by W.H. Scotty McClure