“No participation, no dollars,” threatened Spokane Valley Councilman Bill Gothmann. He was testifying against Senate Bill 5812, which would reform the governance of the Spokane Regional Health District by putting public health stakeholders in the majority on the health board (“Officials clash over health board,” Feb. 24).
In my opinion, an elected official who would jeopardize funding public health over better governance is no different than one who would withhold funding from police or fire for improving their practices. Public health is a fundamental governmental public safety function that should be vigorously supported by our elected officials.
Gothmann is bluffing, anyway. The city of Spokane Valley does not provide funding to the Spokane Regional Health District. Washington state law makes counties the local jurisdiction responsible for funding public health agencies. The funding law has nothing to do with SB 5812.
Kim Marie Thorburn