Submitted by Gayle Sommers.
I am writing to oppose proposed ordinance 2020-136, to remove Pierce County from its agreement with the City of Tacoma in their long-standing contract for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD).
As one of the opponents of this ordinance said, it is the uncertainty that this ordinance introduces into an already fraught process, which may convince staffers with the TPCHD to look elsewhere for an employer who will show more appreciation for their work. The TPCHD, over the past 48 years, has built a strong reputation Statewide. Some Councilmembers claim that the change they are proposing will lead to greater constituent representation. It will remove medical professionals currently on the governing board, which is already overrepresented by elected officials, leaving decisionmaking solely to the politicians.
Councilmembers blindsided the City of Tacoma and the TPCHD with their proposed ordinance, letting no one know of their plans. They have chosen to compress the process, from something that would normally be carefully studied and analyzed, with the involvement on the part of all stakeholders and members of the public. Instead, because the incoming Council is majority Democratic, several outgoing Councilmembers have chosen to reduce the entire process to a two week period, with no analysis or input of any sort, just so they can impose their will on the incoming Council, putting residents throughout the county at greater risk.
I urge the Council to vote this ordinance down when it comes before them on 12/15.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.