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Proposed Public Hospital District No. 5

Proposition No. 1
Formation of Public Hospital District

The King County Council adopted Ordinance No. 18929 concerning the proposition to form King County Public Hospital District No. 5. This proposition would authorize the formation of a new public hospital district having the powers and duties in RCW 70.44.060. The new public hospital district would encompass all territory of Vashon-Maury Island and would be governed by a board of commissioners composed of five positions, all of whom would be elected on an at-large basis.

For Public Hospital District No. 5

Against Public Hospital District No. 5

If Proposition No. 1 passes, a new public hospital district will be created with boundaries encompassing all the territory of Vashon-Maury Island. The District, which will be known as King County Public Hospital District No. 5, will have the authority to own and operate hospitals and other health care facilities and to provide hospital services and other health services on behalf of the residents of the District and other persons. The District will be a municipal corporation with all the powers enumerated in RCW 70.44.060, including, but not limited to, the authority to acquire, lease, maintain, operate, and develop property, equipment, and hospital and health care facilities; to exercise the power of eminent domain; to enter into contracts; to hire employees, including superintendents, attorneys, and other technical or professional employees; to sue and be sued; to contract indebtedness; to issue and sell revenue bonds; to levy an annual property tax of up to $0.75 (75 cents) per $1,000 of assessed valuation upon real property within the District; and to levy excess taxes when authorized to do so by the voters at a special election. The District will be governed by a board of commissioners consisting of five members elected at-large who are residents of the District.

All Vashon Island residents deserve access to local, quality health care.  Our current primary care medical clinic is not financially sustainable, and without dedicated supplemental funding – and local control by a qualified, elected board accountable to the island community – we risk losing this critical service.  With your vote for a Vashon Hospital District, we can:

Assess current needs including primary care, extended hours, urgent care and other needs not currently met.  Enhance services currently provided on Vashon Island by either working with current providers or seeking new providers.  Sustain Vashon health services with local funds necessary to create and support long term stability in health care operations and facilities. 

If we lose local health care options, we risk losing the security that helps to sustain seniors with vital care, that encourages families to settle and grow, and that makes businesses want to be in our community.

Our community deserves health care responsive to the needs of islanders and controlled by local citizens.  Vote to support your island and your health. Please vote Yes for Vashon Health Care!

Sharon Nelson, Gary A. Koch,

We support access to quality health care for All, which this tax will not solve. The Hospital District will not bring urgent care, new services, less expensive care, or increased access. Instead, it will be used to maintain Neighborcare, which is already heavily subsidized. There will be no changes to its operation, so those who cannot afford care will still be sent to collections for unpaid bills. 

Without a vote of the people, the Hospital District will be able to levy 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value ($375 for a $500,000 home). Although Neighborcare has a $350,000 yearly deficit, the Hospital District will request a yearly minimum of $1.3 million. Since each Commissioner can receive $10,000 annually, plus health insurance, have an administrative staff and maintain an office, hundreds of thousands of tax dollars can be spent before any money is used for direct health care. This new tax will also decimate the Park District budget, and further contribute to the lack of affordable housing.
Health care is a human right which should be available to all, but a new tax on those who need help the most is not the way to solve it.

Hilary Emmer, Kelly Wright, 206-463-7277

The opposing statement misleads voters about this important issue.  We need a hospital district specifically because the current system isn’t working. Your Yes vote gives Islanders leverage to negotiate with other providers who might better serve Vashon’s needs.

Parks vs. Healthcare is a false choice. Strong communities have both, which is why levy rates will be modest, and ultimately accountable to taxpayers. Most commissioner candidates have agreed to waive compensation and health insurance. Vote yes!

Sharon Nelson, Gary A. Koch,

Neighborcare already receives money from Seattle, King County, and Granny’s (locally over $100,000 a year), and they have no say in their daily operations. Because of their federal status, Neighborcare receives 106% of what they bill Medicaid, and higher Medicare reimbursements.  We do not know how much money Neighborcare is losing, or how many patients they serve. 

A Hospital District will not change this. Vashon will not own or control the clinic. Please Vote No! 

Hilary Emmer, Kelly Wright, 206-463-7277

Simple majority and must exceed 3,048 votes cast (RCW 70.44.040)

For questions about this measure, contact: Jeff Muhm, Chief Policy Officer, King County Council, 206-477-0951,

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