Letter: Mayo meetings need neutral party

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, July 4, 2017

As one of the 700 people who attended the public meeting on the Mayo decision to close the major parts of our fully functioning hospital, I would like to say thank you to Sam Wilmes for his excellent reporting.

I have two major problems with the meeting.

First, why does the Chamber of Commerce get to control the entire process? 

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I have lived in Albert Lea for 38 years. What I have witnessed about the Chamber is that it is an active and open supporter of the GOP. Also, Mayo is a private business and corporation, so of course the Chamber would be a biased partner in favor of whatever Mayo decides.

The other major problem is all the secrecy. 

I listened to Mayo Vice President Bobbie Gostout tell us that, gosh, since their decision they are finding out that some of the community concerns “may” result in changes to consolidation. That, combined with Gostout telling us this consolidation will mean a “higher level” of care, does raise this question: Was the community not consulted because we are perceived to be unimportant, uninformed and not worthy of an opportunity to defend ourselves?

Don Sorenson was quite courageous when he rose up and stated the obvious. We 700 cannot be consulted individually but that is why we have representatives to look out for our community. Mayo did not consult our state senator, state house representative, county commissioners, city officials or any other person who represents us.

To be fair and just, the next public meeting must be organized and run by a neutral party. 

Save our community hospital.

Ted Hinnenkamp

Albert Lea