Voters of the Kenai Peninsula need to vote "Yes" on Proposition No. 2 dealing with the hospital in order to promote permanent, sustainable jobs for our young adults starting families, to provide business for local construction and retail outlets and to improve the quality of health care provided locally to residents and visitors.
The Kenai Peninsula needs to promote local young people staying here. The best way to ensure our kids stay here is to have available jobs that provide salaries and benefits to attract them. The mid-level technicians and clerical staff that the hospital addition will provide will allow our kids to have jobs on which a family can be raised. The additional off-premise doctors that want to move here will employ five to eight technicians and staff members each, in addition to the needed workers for the hospital.
Businesses on the peninsula will benefit from the construction and the workers doing the construction for the two to three years of hospital expansion. The technical medical equipment that is only built Outside will be bought Outside; however, local businesses will be a major source of supplies for construction and maintenance of the new addition as well as providing basic services for those doing the construction.
As the Kenai Peninsula continues to grow into the preferred retirement center for Alaska, we must have outpatient services that will allow local residents to stay local when needed medical care is provided. Fifty percent of outpatient services are being provided in Anchorage or Outside.
The improvements in pediatrics and intensive care will also mean that local residents and visitors will not need to be transported off the peninsula. Expansion of available single-patient rooms will make the hospital more profitable and more consumer friendly.
As I travel all over the Kenai Peninsula, I tell everyone that medical care is the largest provider of jobs in Soldotna. It is! We have twice the state average of senior citizens in Soldotna, and those of us who plan to stay here need to assure ourselves and everyone else that top quality medical care is available.
These are the reasons that I request a "Yes" vote on Proposition No. 2. I also would remind all voters that the polls are already open at the Borough Building and at city halls so that voters will not have to stand in line on Election Day or worry about the weather.
Regardless of how you are going to vote, please vote as Americans have shed blood for this right.
Dave Carey, mayor, City of Soldotna
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