I almost always open my emails from Derrill Price III to see his latest facebook post. The one I got today said, “Sir, If I am to be insulted, I must first value your opinion.”

– I was pleasantly surprised by some of the people who wrote letters this week, just common folks who have had positive experiences with the hospital and want to keep it.

I wouldn’t presume to tell you how to vote. I would encourage you to think about it long and hard whether it’s important to you and members of your family and circle of friends to have up-to-date medical services a few minutes away right here in El Dorado Springs. One of the letter writers a couple of weeks ago gave a long list of situations where a nearby hospital could save a life of you or a family member or neighbor or stranger or prevent irreversible damage from a stroke or heart attack.

Even failing to go to the polls is a vote. Kimball and I both always vote in every election even if the topic is not something we have strong opinions about. In one election, I put Don Berry in office: It was a tie between him and Fidel Bridges and Don won the run-off. We’ve got men and women risking their lives every day to preserve our right to vote. We owe it to them to go to the polls.

If you don’t pass the hospital levy increase to keep it solvent, I’m guessing that the next move officials may have to make is split the health department off from the hospital since our hospital is one of only two in the state that supports a county health department. I’m guessing that the public would be asked to approve a levy to support the health department. Nobody is making that threat. I’m just trying to look down the road at ways the hospital might have to cut expenses. I don’t even know how much it costs to run the health department but I’m pretty sure it’s a big chunk of change.

I was at the Medical Mall delivering some newspapers to Dr. Wyant the other day when a young mother came in with a toddler to get some shots. The doctor’s receptionist sent her next door to the health department. I think maybe they are also responsible for health checks on restaurants. You know how it is with your budget: If the money is not there, something has to give.

So, please vote next Tuesday, like lives depend on the outcome. They probably do. KL