Put Politics Aside

I sincerely hope the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors doesn't let "politics as usual" interfere with common sense when voting on the new Broadlands Regional Medical Center.

Folks, we need this hospital in its proposed location and for all the right reasons, which have been hashed out over and over in this paper and elsewhere. And we're going to need it sooner than anyone will ever realize.

In my humble opinion, Scott K. York (I), chairman of the Board of Supervisors, unfortunately took a somewhat strident approach in explaining why he is in favor of the proposed HCA Corp. hospital in Broadlands ["Misled on Health Care Plan," Letters, Loudoun Extra, June 27].

In part, he said: "Like it or not, Loudoun is the nation's fastest-growing county. We have the lowest number of hospital beds per capita in Northern Virginia. More than half our residents leave our county for health care services."

Although what he said is true, he could have made a greater impact without the comment, "Like it or not." The same holds true for his other comment that "this scheme reeks of it [politics]" and his mention of "a Board of Supervisors that at its first meeting, with no public notice, disbanded the county's Health Care Commission." Comments like these serve only to challenge the members of the board who represent other political parties, who in turn feel obliged to strike back as they seem to do in all matters political.

The need for this hospital is not and should not be a political issue to any member of the Board of Supervisors. It is a matter that requires meeting the needs of Loudoun's citizenry. I sincerely hope the entire board puts this kind of an attitude behind it and looks at the necessity and the overwhelming growth in our area that this hospital will hopefully serve.

I also continue to sound the alarm, thus far unheeded, of any overwhelming accidents or natural disasters, including possible terrorist attacks at Dulles International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration facility or any of the other numerous "choice" targets for terrorism in Loudoun County. I again want to remind all concerned that the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, did not test the capacity of New York City's hospitals since, unfortunately, the majority of the victims did not survive to require medical treatment.

As if we need any more proof about our county's growth, one only has to look at the growth map in this very same issue of the Loudoun Extra ["What's Going Where in Loudoun County"]. It details the numerous housing projects and rezoning requests that are but the tip of the iceberg of future growth.

All this without including the many schools, offices and warehouses and the needed expansion of the fire and rescue training center facilities that will attract even more residents requiring even more housing.

I do sincerely thank York for his needed support of the HCA hospital. My only concern and intent here is to ask him and all members of our elected board to put aside any political bickering and/or rhetoric on an issue of such importance and vote responsibly to approve this over-debated, over-challenged but much needed hospital in Broadlands.

Gerald F. Merna

Potomac Falls