Chesterton Tribune

Go back to the drawing board to make a future for county hospital

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Voice of the People

O.K. boys so you can’t get anyone to help you build your “Dream Hospital.”

Let’s go back to the drawing board for a long range plan to modify what we have collected over a long period of time and forget about the “dream” but above all don’t settle for giving up and selling out. A good hospital for others to envy, darned good and well above average but not a dream hospital of the future.

Most Porter County residents or businesses that want to build or remodel don’t have as good a line of credit as the hospital, not everyone can or should try to build a dream house beyond their real needs.

I’m not surprised that the county commissioners would like to see the hospital sold...what a wad of cash to play around with...even if all they could do would be to let their favorite broker manage the fund.

But I disagree...I am not a native Hoosier, and I am quite often amazed at the good sense and non-sense that gets passed around. Because there was such a debacle with the Wabash & Erie Canal Bonds government agencies can not develop by bonding...but they can set up a building corporation that issue bonds. That’s the way we build schoolhouses and they revert back to the school district when paid off and perhaps the way some of the hospital sections were built. And that’s how we got such a splendid toll road only to have it leased for 75 years (well beyond the lifetimes of most of today’s voters) but even Mitch didn’t sell it. You just don’t sell your accumulated wealth without very serious and deliberate discussions carefully weighing the options and a lot of dickering with all those who might be interested.

As I understand it “we” were looking for a sugar daddy to help us come up with a hospital that would be the envy of IU or Johns Hopkins. How did we suddenly decide to sell?

Is this the best way for our “quick to give up” administrators to become wheelers and dealers or maybe ducks in a well established pond? Or did they hate to settle for a small remodeled county hospital instead of that pie in the sky dream?

I think that most of the people of Porter County are the kind of people who realize that they should expect excellent hospital care, but they do not need to have ultimate facilities. We can manage with a hospital that evolves and perhaps those old facilities may take time to update but with time and hard work it can slowly take place and it will still be ours.

Too many people have worked and planned too long to just willy-nilly sell it off to the first bidder or any bidder that comes along.

Alton Earnhart



Posted 12/15/2006