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Voters approve hospital bond, choose new port commissioners
Whidbey General Hospital bond supporters were celebrating Tuesday night as preliminary results show the bond is passing with more than a 60 percent supermajority.
Initial results posted by the Island County Auditor’s Office showed the bond was passing with 61.75 percent voter approval.
This is the second time the hospital district attempted to pass the $50 million bond that will be used to expand and upgrade the aging facility.
“The returns so far show that well over half our community supports it (the bond) and we hope the 61.75 percent holds,” said Trish Rose, public relations and marketing director for Whidbey General Hospital. “This is important and we’ll ensure our local community hospital is a high-quality local hospital on Whidbey.”
The bond will pay for construction of a new wing that will include 39 single-patient rooms. The bonds will be paid off in 25 years and cost a property owner 32.2 cents per $1,000 assessed property value. It will cost an owner of a $250,000 home on Whidbey Island around $81 a year.
In addition to the 39 in-patient rooms, plans call for transforming the current patient wing into clinic space and installing a new parking lot that will replace the one lost through construction of the new wing.
“It was almost impossible to run a campaign in such a short amount of time, but this is Whidbey Island,” said Joe Mosolino, campaign committee chair.
In the two races for commissioner for Port of Coupeville, Mike Diamanti was leading challenger Richard Bowen with 55.68 percent of the vote.
When called for comment just after results were release Tuesday night, Diamanti said it was good news, but that there were still more votes to be counted.
He declined to comment further.
Retiring executive director for Port of Coupeville, Jim Patton, was coming out behind in his race for port commissioner. He was trailing challenger Bill Larsen, who had 53.93 percent of the vote.
“Voters have created a new day for Port of Coupeville,” Patton said.
He said he will be happy with the new lineup in port commissioners and incoming executive director Tim McDonald.
“As far as I’m concerned that’s four stars and that’s just great,” he said.
Voters also approved a measure concerning the length of the term commissioners hold at the port.
Pat Powell and Dianne Binder were voted in for their uncontested seats with Town of Coupeville.
Vanessa Matros, Chris Chan, Glenda Merwine and Kathleen Anderson all ran unopposed as well.
Cheryl Engle was winning her bid for fire commissioner for Central Whidbey Fire with nearly 70 percent of the vote. She was running against Stanley Anderson.
Island-wide, voters rejected Initiative 517 concerning initiative and referendum measures, as well as Initiative 522 calling for the labeling of genetically modified food.
For election updates throughout the week, go to www.whidbeyexaminer.com