Letters: Voters can count the Weems’ numbers
In last week’s issue (See May 28 Times ‘Auditors: Weems’ books stable, with needed subsidy”) Chairman Noah Lockley sounded pleased at the audit, blasting those in the community who have railed against hospital finances. “We have people coming in telling us this and that and the other and they can’t count to two,” he said."
It's not required to track the ones and twos. According to the audit, the county subsidizes the hospital to the tune of $3 million a year.
Three million dollars.
There are around 12,000 people (all ages) in the county, total. If we assume the subsidy for the hospital is evenly distributed, a family of four ends up sending about $1,000 a year of tax money as subsidy to Weems, which on average has less than one overnight patient per night.
I wondered why in the world is Noah Lockley so supportive of Weems that he consistently insults and belittles voters? Then I realized that Mr. Lockley is not an "elected at large" representative, but instead is elected by District 3, IN the city of Apalachicola. The report "The Economic Impact of Weems Memorial Hospital on Franklin County, Florida" prepared for Weems Memorial Hospital by National Center for Rural Health Works says that Weems contributes $4.84 million in direct income impact to the city. Yes, I can see why Mr. Lockley is very sensitive on the issue. However, I think he's hypersensitive to people who can and do count, and prefers those who do not.