The Measure B, Cap the Tax, election is heating up, with emotions running high on both sides - understandable given that there is a lot to win ... and a lot to lose for everyone in Plumas Hospital District and beyond.
At one extreme, cap proponents say they fear a hospital tax that could skyrocket and they simply couldn't afford to pay it.
On the other side, cap detractors look bleakly at the future health of healthcare and the community as a whole if a new hospital building isn't a part of the picture.
Ballots for the all-mail election will go out Monday, Aug. 2. Marcy DeMartile in the county elections division said if voters have registered and have not received their mail ballots by Wednesday, Aug. 11, they should call the office at 283-6256.
The deadline for turning in ballots is 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31. Election results will be available just after 8 p.m. at the Plumas County courthouse (which will be open late for the occasion), as well as online at countyofplumas.com and plumasnews.com. On the county website, under the "Departments" link, go to "A - F," then "Clerk-Recorder/Elections."
To add to the drama, three board seats will be up for grabs in the November general election. Those seats are currently held by Bill Elliott, John Kimmel and Fred Thon. So far, no one has filed paperwork to run, but the filing period, which opened July 12, doesn't close until 5 p.m. Aug. 6.
Both "Committee for Measure B, Plumas Hospital Tax Limitation ($50/$100K Group)" and "Save Our Hospital Committee Opposed To Measure B" have filed the required campaign statements detailing their financial activities.
Any donation over $100 has to be listed with the donor's name. The Save Our Hospital group has raised $1,543 in cash and non-monetary contributions. According to group treasurer Sue Wickman, all but one (a contribution of $200 by Charles Goodart) were under the $100 limit.
Most of the SOH group's donations (an estimated $500+) have come from selling Save Our Hospital buttons for a dollar apiece. The group has also received 15 additional donations.
Of the $1,543 raised, the SOH group has spent a total of $660.91 to date on a combination of newspaper ads ($176), campaign buttons ($294.91) and yard signs ($190), with $603.41 left over.
The Committee for Measure B named its treasurer as Dennis G. Clemens and its assistant treasurer as Martin V. Brutlag. It also lists Frank J. "Skip" Alexander as another "principal officer."
The initial filing, which covers the period Jan. 1, - May 18, 2010, lists $500 donations from Alexander, listed as a builder; Clemens, listed as accountant for Plumas County Office of Education; and Brutlag, listed as retired.
Total contributions for the May 19 - July 17 period are $2,149, with a total for the year to date of $3,699.
Of that, $1,884 came from monetary contributions, and $265 was non-monetary, including 50 campaign signs donated by Milt Beer.
A list of individual donations of over $100 to the Committee for Measure B includes:
Quincy Mini-Storage, $300
Daniel Jackson, $250
Carol Davis, $250
Bruce and Linda Walker, $100
Ralph Gullison and Judy Java, $100
Ronald and Billie Bernstein, $100
Richard and Joanne Sargent (Quincy Mini-Storage), $100
Larry Parker, $100
Ken Andrews, $100
Measure B proponents have paid $585 to Wild Hare Signs for large Cap the Tax signs and $416 to Feather Publishing for ads in the Feather River Bulletin.
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