IBJOpinion

Vote no on Wishard

October 31, 2009
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

“Get out and Vote (no) for Wishard” should have been [Chris Katterjohn’s Oct. 26 column] for two simple reasons:

1. There is no valid public-policy reason for allowing Wishard to call a special election for their request to build a new hospital. They are spending an estimated $24 per vote on this special election, where turnout is expected at less than 10 percent. Wishard should have not wasted so much money on a special election. There is no urgency to their request when weighed against the high cost of what is basically a one-issue election.

2. The ballot language itself never mentions the $787 million in general-obligation bonds nor the new hospital. This is outrageous and misleading. Instead, the ballot asks only if Wishard should continue to provide health care to low-income and seniors. Voters should send a message that such chicanery with the voters will not be tolerated and vote no on Nov. 3. The whole matter highlights the need for Marion County to consider election reform.

Legislation should be enacted to require the Wishards and Washington Township Schools (which is planning a May 2010 election) to move their items to the next regularly scheduled election.

Further, Marion County should go to a ballot-by-mail or other cost-saving election protocol like other areas have.  

Finally, Wishard should be using revenue bonds, not general-obligation bonds.

I plan to vote yes after this vote fails and the issue reappears during a regular election.

IBJ does not normally turn such a blind eye to such a clear violation of the public trust: the outrageous cost of a special election and the deliberately misleading ballot language.

____________

Bill Malcolm

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