Should we vote to raise sales tax a p...

Should we vote to raise sales tax a penny on April 2nd for the Hospital?

Created by resident on Jan 22, 2013

157 votes

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Yes

No

Against it

Hobart, OK

#41 Jan 30, 2013
Tell the city Fathers you are tired of double taxing and Vote no!
Once more

United States

#42 Jan 30, 2013
not local wrote:
The people behind keeping the hospital open need to put ALL the cards on the table and fully inform the public of ALL aspects of the situation. Inform, inform and inform some more.
I'm guessing that before the new hospital was built, it was determined to be a viable operation. What changed to make it not viable? Curious.
Prior to being built, was it determined that a new hospital would be viable or was it just built for the sake of building?

If such a determination was made, what changed?

If this simple question cannot be answered, the citizens were sold a bill of goods by those who pushed for a new hospital and the pushers should be held accountable.

ANYONE?
And Again

Hobart, OK

#43 Jan 30, 2013
This falls in the laps of Robert Lakey Gene Moses and 2 or 3 more that were trying to make a name for themselves at the expense of Sayre Citizens. I realize that Treva Gilliland left money for a new hospital but wouldn't it have been better to have built a smaller Establishment that was more self sufficient? Or Maybe just rebuilt the old Hospital and made the necessary improvements to make it like new again? IF it were to close which I don't believe it will it is strictly on the shoulders of these few. I will vote no!
Mike Blevins

Elk City, OK

#44 Jan 30, 2013
Answers to your questions:

There was a serious study made prior to the bonds being sold and the hospital built. The consultants advised that a new hospital would be economically viable. Consideration was given to remodeling the old hospital, but the architects' estimate was about 3/4ths as much as the cost of a new hospital which would be much more serviceable and out of a residential neighborhood.

Things that have changed include doctors leaving Sayre(some gone entirely and some for only part time)and other doctors not admitting near as many patients which has resulted in annual admissions being only a little more than half the number 5 years ago. Simply put, Sayre needs a couple more doctors.
The hospital sponsored Dr. Michael Robinson for part of his medical education and he faithfully returned to Sayre to practice. His practice has been a great help to our hospital and to the Sayre community. We just need a couple more like him. Help us find someone.

Also, reimbursements from medicare and private insurance companies are less and less and may be significantly less in the future under Obamacare.

Additionally, five years ago we weren't doing badly with our emergency room. Now, we lose tremendous amounts every month operating the emergency room...some months as much as tens of thousands of dollars...because more and more residents under 65 years of age are using it as an alternative to a doctor office visit and can't or won't pay. The use of mid-level medical providers has helped some, but the loss is still significant. We are required by law to serve anyone that comes to the ER if we have the medical skill level to treat them and the hospital wants to provide that care to our community, but it is an area that costs a lot to keep open.

When the bond issue was passed, the monthly payment was about $85,000 per month with the 1 cent sales tax bringing in about $35,000 and the hopsital was expected to make up the other $50,000. The hospital has not been able to have a positive cash flow for quite some time and has about exhausted it's cash reserves to keep the payments current. At the present time, the 1 penny sales tax brings in about $40,000/month and a second penny would double that which will almost cover the entire payment. Mercy Health Care System of Oklahoma City has committed to a long term lease of our hospital if we can pass the extra penny tax to assure them that the bond debt will be taken care of.

Although we still have to draft the lease with Mercy, I fully expect it to contain terms that will require Mercy to maintain a full service hospital in Sayre or give up the lease. I can't imagine any circumstance where they would connect the Sayre hospital with Elk City. On the other hand, communities that have leased their hospital to Mercy have found a partner that has the ability to recruit new doctors, offer many additional services locally, and have immediate connection with specialists in Oklahoma City.

Our hospital board, who by the way serves without any pay whatsoever except a sandwich every meeting, has agonized over what to do for about three years as the admissions declined very year. We believe the arrangement with Mercy is our best and last hope to keep a hospital in Sayre. Without exception, every expert we have talked to, including ones retained by our bond holders, have advised that without a lease to a major medical center, almost all rural hospitals will be out of business by the end of this decade.

The only negative comments about the additional penny tax that I have seen or heard have been on this post. Everyone that I have talked to has been very positive and intends to vote in favor of the tax. I hope that you do too.

One last comment about the sales tax is that we get help from about 10,000 non-residents each day that travel up and down I-40 who shop at the TA, Flying J, Boss Truck Repair, and soon the new McDonalds. That is significant sales tax that isn't paid by Sayre residents.
Mike Blevins

Elk City, OK

#45 Jan 30, 2013
Answers to "Once More" questions:

There was a serious study made prior to the bonds being sold and the hospital built. The consultants advised that a new hospital would be economically viable. Consideration was given to remodeling the old hospital, but the architects' estimate was about 3/4ths as much as the cost of a new hospital which would be much more serviceable and out of a residential neighborhood.

Things that have changed include doctors leaving Sayre(some gone entirely and some for only part time)and other doctors not admitting near as many patients which has resulted in annual admissions being only a little more than half the number 5 years ago. Simply put, Sayre needs a couple more doctors.

The hospital sponsored Dr. Michael Robinson for part of his medical education and he faithfully returned to Sayre to practice. His practice has been a great help to our hospital and to the Sayre community. We just need a couple more like him. Help us find someone.

Also, reimbursements from medicare and private insurance companies are less and less and may be significantly less in the future under Obamacare.
Additionally, five years ago we weren't doing badly with our emergency room. Now, we lose tremendous amounts every month operating the emergency room...some months as much as tens of thousands of dollars...because more and more residents under 65 years of age are using it as an alternative to a doctor office visit and can't or won't pay. The use of mid-level medical providers has helped some, but the loss is still significant. We are required by law to serve anyone that comes to the ER if we have the medical skill level to treat them and the hospital wants to provide that care to our community, but it is an area that costs a lot to keep open.

When the bond issue was passed, the monthly payment was about $85,000 per month with the 1 cent sales tax bringing in about $35,000 and the hopsital was expected to make up the other $50,000. The hospital has not been able to have a positive cash flow for quite some time and has about exhausted it's cash reserves to keep the payments current. At the present time, the 1 penny sales tax brings in about $40,000/month and a second penny would double that which will almost cover the entire payment. Mercy Health Care System of Oklahoma City has committed to a long term lease of our hospital if we can pass the extra penny tax to assure them that the bond debt will be taken care of.

Although we still have to draft the lease with Mercy, I fully expect it to contain terms that will require Mercy to maintain a full service hospital in Sayre or give up the lease. I can't imagine any circumstance where they would connect the Sayre hospital with Elk City. On the other hand, communities that have leased their hospital to Mercy have found a partner that has the ability to recruit new doctors, offer many additional services locally, and have immediate connection with specialists in Oklahoma City.

Our hospital board, who by the way serves without any pay whatsoever except a sandwich every meeting, has agonized over what to do for about three years as the admissions declined very year. We believe the arrangement with Mercy is our best and last hope to keep a hospital in Sayre. Without exception, every expert we have talked to, including ones retained by our bond holders, have advised that without a lease to a major medical center, almost all rural hospitals will be out of business by the end of this decade.

The only negative comments about the additional penny tax that I have seen or heard have been on this post. Everyone that I have talked to has been very positive and intends to vote in favor of the tax. I hope that you do too.

One last comment about the sales tax is that we get help from about 10,000 non-residents each day that travel up and down I-40 who shop at the TA, Flying J, Boss Truck Repair, and soon the new McDonalds. That is significant sales tax that isn't paid by Sayre residents.
Mike Blevins

Elk City, OK

#46 Jan 30, 2013
As chairman of the hospital board, I am available to talk to anyone or any group about the issue. I look forward to answering any other questions that you or others might have about this matter.
Mike Blevins

Elk City, OK

#47 Jan 30, 2013
Lastly, our current doctors aren't admitting as many patients as they did five years ago, not because they just don't want to, but people are just not as ill or don't need as much hospitalization. Many have home health care instead of hospitalization and others can be treated at home with additional visits to the physician's office instead of being hospitalized. Thanks to the advancement of medicine, but that doesn't help our admissions.

However, if Sayre had some additional physicians, Mercy and others have advised us that we could capture many patients in the western half of Beckham County and southern part of Roger Mills County that are now going to Elk City instead of Sayre.
sparks

Elk City, OK

#48 Jan 30, 2013
I don't know much about money and I've never seen any studies, but anyone living paycheck to paycheck can tell you that Sayre didn't need a new hospital. Should have remodeled the old one and here's a concept ----- "made do"
All4Sayre

Elk City, OK

#49 Jan 30, 2013
Thank you Mr. Blevins. I will vote YES.
Once More

United States

#50 Jan 30, 2013
Mike, you are a stand-up guy for responding on here, much more so than those mentioned elsewhere.

Citizens of Sayre, DO NOT let the hospital shut its' doors - pass the 1 cent increase and try to locate additional physicians. What's done is done. A closed hospital would be the beginning of the end for Sayre.
JimBob

United States

#51 Jan 31, 2013
For the most part, people on Topix are those who are against anything and everything. They'd vote to close Sonic, Puckett's, the drug stores(well maybe not drug stores), the Flyin J, the motel, the prison, the river, etc., you name it they'd vote agains it, at least on Topix.

Hell, most of em ain't even registered to vote. You see em around town buying packs and cartons of cigs, 30 packs of beer, driving around poaching deer, stealin', etc.

Get out and vote people. Keeping the hospital open is a NO Brainer!
Yep

Elk City, OK

#52 Jan 31, 2013
Once More wrote:
Mike, you are a stand-up guy for responding on here, much more so than those mentioned elsewhere.
Citizens of Sayre, DO NOT let the hospital shut its' doors - pass the 1 cent increase and try to locate additional physicians. What's done is done. A closed hospital would be the beginning of the end for Sayre.
This comment says everything "What's done is done " With that kind of thinking its seems we will never learn from our mistakes, never be held accountable, and open the door for mediocracy. That in turn leaves us in failure in just a few years. I do agree that with the doors closing it would be the end of our city. If this 1 cent passes
what do you think? 4 years and we will be in the same boat, looking for another penny where does it end. Whats done is done right. So when will you let it be. I am a registered voter thx Jim
skipping Sayre

Cheyenne, OK

#53 Jan 31, 2013
I am also a registered voter. Once again I state, we are/have been taxed for this. You can wrap it in a pretty tax proposition and argue for more, but it isn't going to somehow make more money if we give it money. Lost cause! and to say we are not the ones who will really pay the tax is absurd. A 1 cent tax increase is paid by everyone.. right down to your gallon of milk. Jim Bob I don't think calling people ignorant is going to make the citizens of Sayre decide to vote Yes. I will vote yes if the city, hospital board members can show me in 1 year the hospital can be self supporting. But to vote yes for a penny increase for an unlimited amout of time, you have to be kidding me. Sayre residents might as well put a kick me sign on their backs!
JimBob

United States

#54 Jan 31, 2013
Forget I said anything - use your own poor judgement!
juno

United States

#55 Jan 31, 2013
in cost to much to shop in sayre so the wife and I go once a month take a day and drive to OKC . We do our shopping and eat out and make a day of it. with the money we save it more than pays for the gas and we get to have a nice fun day. For instance need so lumber ? a 2x4 at ACE will run you 3.65 each but lowes in yukon have them for 1.57 each. buy 50 and thats 100 dollar saving right there. 300 dollars in groceries in sayre will cost you 200 in okc. wait until you get to the city to fill up your tank and save more. gas is 20 cents cheaper. a tanker brings out 8000 gallons of gas at a time. 8000 x .20 is 1600.00 dollars. do you think the truck that brings that gas out here gets 1600 more for the trip? h3ll NO. he gets about 300 more. Sayre your getting nickeled and dimed to death already. Your a fool to shop here. make a list of what you need take a day and go to the city and get it, stop in for a nice dinner, bring your savings home. Compare wal-marts in okc to elk and you will see even they have better prices.
juno

United States

#56 Jan 31, 2013
skipping Sayre wrote:
I am also a registered voter. Once again I state, we are/have been taxed for this. You can wrap it in a pretty tax proposition and argue for more, but it isn't going to somehow make more money if we give it money. Lost cause! and to say we are not the ones who will really pay the tax is absurd. A 1 cent tax increase is paid by everyone.. right down to your gallon of milk. Jim Bob I don't think calling people ignorant is going to make the citizens of Sayre decide to vote Yes. I will vote yes if the city, hospital board members can show me in 1 year the hospital can be self supporting. But to vote yes for a penny increase for an unlimited amout of time, you have to be kidding me. Sayre residents might as well put a kick me sign on their backs!
yeppy that makes sense, but thats the way goverment thinks ! throw good money after bad. and yes ACE hardware takes advantage of their monopoly and sticks it to their customers like a porn date gone bad
juno

United States

#57 Jan 31, 2013
porm date gone bad sorry
Hahaha

United States

#58 Jan 31, 2013
juno wrote:
in cost to much to shop in sayre so the wife and I go once a month take a day and drive to OKC . We do our shopping and eat out and make a day of it. with the money we save it more than pays for the gas and we get to have a nice fun day. For instance need so lumber ? a 2x4 at ACE will run you 3.65 each but lowes in yukon have them for 1.57 each. buy 50 and thats 100 dollar saving right there. 300 dollars in groceries in sayre will cost you 200 in okc. wait until you get to the city to fill up your tank and save more. gas is 20 cents cheaper. a tanker brings out 8000 gallons of gas at a time. 8000 x .20 is 1600.00 dollars. do you think the truck that brings that gas out here gets 1600 more for the trip? h3ll NO. he gets about 300 more. Sayre your getting nickeled and dimed to death already. Your a fool to shop here. make a list of what you need take a day and go to the city and get it, stop in for a nice dinner, bring your savings home. Compare wal-marts in okc to elk and you will see even they have better prices.
. Walmart s in OKC are more expensive. For instance pop that is $3.24 in Elk is over $4.00 in OKC. Also, some of the tax rates there are higher than ours. Keep taking your tax dollars to OKC and supporting all the druggies and crime up there rather than keeping a hospital open in the town in which you live. If you have a serious accident, stroke, or heart attack, you might not make it to OKC or even Elk City. People's lives are worth more than a few cents!!! Please use common sense and good judgement and help our town. This isn't a time to try and get even with some guys you don't like....,this is serious business.
skipping Sayre

Cheyenne, OK

#59 Feb 1, 2013
Have you been to Sayre hospital? It's a joke. Can't get good treatment because they don't do surgeries or maternity. The doctor is not "in house" so you will spend hours waiting. They charge you outrageous amounts, even with insurance you will never pay off what is left. Many times you will set in a waiting area forever. It has been stated on topix, some of the nurses have been stealing medication and giving it to their husbands. We have also had how many CEO's? Keep it open? What for? The ambulance can take me to Elk City, I am willing to take the risk. They will eventually take me there if I need more than a band-aid anyway.
Amazing

Elk City, OK

#60 Feb 1, 2013
skipping Sayre wrote:
Have you been to Sayre hospital? It's a joke. Can't get good treatment because they don't do surgeries or maternity. The doctor is not "in house" so you will spend hours waiting. They charge you outrageous amounts, even with insurance you will never pay off what is left. Many times you will set in a waiting area forever. It has been stated on topix, some of the nurses have been stealing medication and giving it to their husbands. We have also had how many CEO's? Keep it open? What for? The ambulance can take me to Elk City, I am willing to take the risk. They will eventually take me there if I need more than a band-aid anyway.
You are an idiot, I am glad this moronic site is not really representative of the population. My favorite quote here was "it has been stated on topix". Great place to gather your facts. The wait is twice as long in Elk City and prices are at least 30% more for their services, but I'm sure you already checked that out before your post. Go to their topix page and they have the same kind if people bitching about their hospital. Start working toward a solution instead of anonomous complaining here and contributing to the problem. How many city council or hospital board meetings have you been to? Ever volunteered for a city committee? Ran for city council? Being a registered voter qualifies you for nothing. Sayre has hundreds of registered voters who won't vote and plenty more who will blindly vote with no facts, or worse, will get thei facts from topix.

To answer your question, you have not already been taxed for this, you have been taxed for half of it. This is for the other half. It is not a bailout, it is not designed to generate a profit, it is a last ditch effort to keep a valuable service for this community. The people you talk bad about here that are working for this, are not the people who will go without if the hospital closes. If you think they are doing this for themselves you are more naive then even your post on topix suggests.

On election day, vote against the tax. You will save $50 next year and you might get to take tha ambulance ride to Elk City. Be careful what you ask for, you might deserve what you get.

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