Concerning our beloved hospital, the feeling is like the wager in the movie “Around the World in 80 Days.” Do we bet the difficult task of restructuring with a business plan and do we bet that it can be done in 80 days? This is our adventure. Time is limited. However, we have no Phinius Fogg!

With the influx of cash and loans can the hospital be stabilized before cash runs out? Also, upon stabilization can a partner be found?

Supervisor Kollin Kosmicki requests a sound business plan. Along the way the new mayor says that a business plan is on the agenda at the next Council of Governments or COG meeting. Her writing states that the vote will be on whether or not to have a business plan while not addressing a business plan specifically. That reminds me of a balloon ride: rising with good news or descending upon release of hot air.

Very good that Supervisor Kosmicki also advises the hiring of an outside consultant well experienced in our type of crises. The current temporary hospital CEO says that she is making progress toward stability so a partner can be found. This seems that the train has hit the end of the line while not addressing the problem, which is drastic infrastructure change.

It would be a great relief if the hospital CEO, hospital board, the new mayor, COG members plus the Board of Supervisors and City Council could jump into that balloon basket for a high ride overlooking our county. Although crowded, they would see our beautiful county surviving in peaceful good health. With cooperation they rise higher. That can continue when these elected leaders share the balloon ride and work together for a safe descent. 

We taxpayers have already placed our bets for hospital survival. We hope those in the balloon basket do the same.

Mary Zanger


Let common sense prevail

Recently the hot topic in the news is the deficit reduction debate. The debate tries to link Social Security to the federal deficit. Social Security plays no direct role in the nation’s deficit. It does not depend on income tax revenue. 

It’s true that as more people retire and with more people living longer, the surplus funds will run out. 

However, there are many ways to strengthen Social Security. We can raise the cap on income subject to FICA taxes or we can completely remove the cap. We can raise the payroll-tax rate on employers and employees. If we believe that Social Security is serving a useful purpose then Congress must do what is needed to satisfy its funding requirements. To this date, neither party has provided any solutions. 

It is my sincere hope that common sense will prevail and that democrats and republicans will come together and make the necessary changes to Social Security to satisfy its funding requirements for generations to come. 

Aurelio Zuñiga 


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