Mariposa Chamber of Commerce slates public forum on Measure O
MARIPOSA – Set your calendars for April 27 at 5:30pm to hear a public forum on Measure O. It is being presented by the Mariposa Chamber of Commerce and will take place at the Mariposa County Government Center. There will be a short presentation followed by questions from the audience. Everyone is invited.
The Citizens to Save the Hospital, a grass roots group of private citizens, has written an ordinance to be on the June 7 primary ballot. It asks voters to approve a one percent sales tax to build a new hospital.
The state has new earthquake mandates requiring all hospitals built before 1970 to be rebuilt by 2030, or close the doors for good.
The Republican Central Committee, the Democratic Central Committee, and the Mariposa County Chamber of Commerce have endorsed the ordinance and urge everyone to vote in favor of it.
The ordinance has a sunset clause so the tax doesn’t go forever, it requires the money to be put into a separate bank account, with public reports of revenue and expenses every three months. There is a strict expenditure plan written into the ordinance that says the funds can only be used for building and equipping the new hospital, remodeling and repurposing the old hospital and remodeling of the three existing medical offices.
The closure of the hospital would mean the loss of healthcare in Mariposa County. It would also mean the loss of over 200 jobs with an annual payroll of $12 million. This economic loss would reverberate throughout the county as these employees spend their paychecks at the local stores.
A good percentage of the sales tax revenue comes from tourism as each time a tourist eats in a restaurant or buys a souvenir, they pay sales tax. Of course, residents who do all of their shopping in Sonora or Merced or Fresno don’t pay a Mariposa sales tax.
Citing the importance of the hospital, Jeremy Briese, Jason Dubberke, Jenni Kiser, Penny Otwell, and Randy Brower have all signed the Argument in Favor of Measure O for the ballot. Residents can expect to see their primary ballots in their mailbox when they are mailed out May 6.
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Further information on the ordinance can be found at the website, Savethehospital.org, including a lengthy FAQ tab. You can also find them on Facebook at Citizens to Save the Hospital.