Your views: Letters on library, St. Louise


Library a true community resource
On the Friday before the Martin Luther King three-day weekend I had occasion to stop by Gilroy’s crown jewel, our library. I was picking up a book which I had reserved online. What I saw when I got there was a taxpayer’s dream.
The library users were a cross section of our town, from the very young to teens to seniors like myself. Most of the computers were in use, visitors were looking for books and, most impressively, teens were working collaboratively on projects with books and materials spread out on tables. These students were working on projects after school on a Friday of a three-day weekend. Imagine that!
All Gilroyans should be proud that they have provided a place for learning to happen the way it should. The taxpayers provided the building, the staff runs and maintains it and our citizens use it, old and young, rich and not so rich.
In an era when some of our tax money is spent in ways which don’t yield readily apparent value, we have a library right here on Sixth Street that is a true community resource and benefit. Thank you Gilroy!
Jim Rogers, former Gilroy school board member
Sell St. Louise to Prime
I would like to go on record as being a strong supporter of the sale of Saint Louise Hospital to Prime Healthcare. And really, why wouldn’t I? If I get seriously ill or injured this is the hospital from which I will receive emergency treatment. If this facility goes bankrupt and closes, my next choice is a long ride to south San Jose or Hollister for treatment.
Every time I read an article in this paper related to the sale of Saint Louise to Prime Healthcare, the words Prime Healthcare are inevitably prefaced with the words “for profit”. If you listen to the SEIU and their “heartfelt” concern for our citizens that they should be cared for by a—dare I say it—for profit business, you would think that there was something substandard about the care they would receive. This is far from the truth.
Out of all the potential buyers of Saint Louise, Prime Healthcare is the ONLY organization willing to assume hundreds of millions of dollars of expense associated with retirements and benefits of dedicated employees who have spent their entire career serving the healthcare needs of citizens of South County. Prime Healthcare will spend millions of dollars on capital improvements to just that facility alone, and will guarantee that it remains open for a period of five years. If a company makes a profit after spending that kind of money and taking that kind of risk, I say more power to them. Stop and really think about it: how does THE CURRENT not-for-profit business model seem to be working out for Daughters of Charity?
Even though it’s a nonprofit, an organization still needs to generate plenty of net income just to hold infrastructure together, pay for new construction to meet California’s tough hospital seismic standards, and be able to implement new information and medical technology. Daughters of Charity has done these things but at a cost to them that is not sustainable. That’s why they either need to sell to a qualified bidder or go bankrupt.
For politicians and the SEIU to request the California State Attorney General to disapprove the sale of Saint Louise to Prime Healthcare is ludicrous and makes me believe the general public’s well being is not the true motive for this ill conceived request. Do we really need another county owned and operated facility here in South County funded by taxpayers when there is a state of the art Valley Medical Center just up the road?
James D. Geiger, Jr.
Go with Prime
I’ve been a volunteer at Saint Louise Regional Hospital for 21 years. I have mostly stayed away from the debate about who the Daughters of Charity should sell their hospitals to, but I feel I can no longer stay quiet. All the nuns and healthcare workers at Saint Louise who I have worked with for years tell me that Prime Healthcare is the best choice to save the hospital, save pensions, and continue charity care. The reason I choose to volunteer at Saint Louise is because of its mission to serve the poor, so this last one is especially important to me. I recently heard that some people are pushing for the hospital NOT to be sold to Prime, because they are worried a for-profit company will not minister to the poor. This is a worthy concern but truly outrageous when one realizes that, if forced to go through the bidding ordeal again, Saint Louise will go bankrupt before it can be saved. Prime is a fantastic solution for an otherwise dire situation.
Roxie Thomas