Vote yes on the public hospital district | Letters

As long time residents of Orcas, and as medical providers for many of those years, we feel that the proposed hospital district is a viable solution to many of the problems with primary care we have seen over the last 30 years. With stable funding and island commissioners who represent us, we are hopeful that stable primary care, urgent care and after-hours care could at last be a reality for our island home.

We are grateful to the individuals who have come forth as commissioner candidates for the proposed district, for it will undoubtedly be a real effort on their part to bring the district into reality. Of the contested races, we favor Art Lange for No. 3 and Diane Boteler for No. 4. Both have lived on the island long enough to have a good grasp of the issues, and both have proven track records of being able to work with diverse individuals to achieve a common end goal. We have worked with Art as a facilitator and advisor on issues relating to the fire department, and have been impressed with his ability to listen, to clarify and to move discussion and action plans forward. Diane has the advantage of her history of working in primary care on Orcas and other rural settings, and brings her first-hand knowledge to the position. We have both worked with her in the past and feel she would be a most valuable member to the board.

We urge all our fellow islanders to take this issue seriously and consider approving the district and these two candidates.

Melinda Milligan and Dave Zoeller

Orcas Island

Access to medical services locally is critical to a thriving community. I support the passage of a public hospital district for Orcas; consistent and predictable funding is necessary to keep the clinics open.

Having a team of highly qualified commissioners will be key to creating a system that works for this community. I whole-heartedly support Dr. Diane Boteler for position No. 4 on the public hospital district commission. Boteler has been both our family physician and a close friend. Her intelligence and experience are exceptional; she will bring unique skills and perspective to the newly formed commission.

I also support Art Lange for position No. 3. As the past chair of the Orcas Medical Foundation, Mr. Lange has studied the business issues of rural medical practices and will bring good experience to the commission. I encourage all to vote yes for the health of this community.

Robert Maynard

Orcas Island