|Hospital petition signatures being verified by Chase County Clerk|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 10 November 2011 19:09|
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Petitions calling for the dissolution of the Chase County Hospital District were turned in to that board last Wednesday. The board requested that the signatures be verified as registered voters by the Chase County Clerk’s office.
Chase County Clerk Debbie Clark said she didn’t know how many signatures were turned in. However, Sue Smith, the leader of the petition drive, estimated that there were over 400.
About 300 verified signatures, or 10 percent of the county’s registered voters, were required in order to put the issue on the May ballot.
Clark said the verification process should be done some time this week.
Chase County voters approved creation of the hospital district in the May 2010 primary by a 629-566 vote. That meant that the hospital board consists of persons representing areas in the hospital district, elected by voters, rather than being appointed by the county commissioners.
Smith said she decided to circulate the petition for several reasons.
The hospital district is a political subdivision with broad powers to establish, maintain, lease or operate one or more hospitals within or outside the district or both.
It is a completely separate political subdivision from the hospital.
The board has the power to obtain property, exercise the right of eminent domain to acquire personal property and levy taxes for a health care system.
Once the signatures are verified, the board will take the action required. If there are enough signatures, the issue will be placed on the May ballot.