Chillicothe Council Votes Down Term Ballot, Considers Hospital Financing

After Chillicothe Council Monday evening, there will not be a question of four-year terms on the fall ballot. 

Council unanimously voted down two companion ordinances that would have asked voters if they should lengthen council member's two-year terms. 

Special Committee Chair, Pat Patrick, said she voted as she said her constituents wanted: overwhelmingly "no." 

So...was this all a waste of time?  She said "pretty much." 

Council President and sponsor of the proposed increase, Bruce Arnold, said he was surprised at the turn of events, which he interprets as taking the ability of the public to vote yes or no on their own, away...especially since there was no cost to put it on the fall ballot. 

The main reasons council made the consideration were to allow more time to get familiar with the job, and to avoid re-election campaigns so soon. 

The plan to stagger terms - to avoid the possibility of every council member being voted out at once - was dropped...even before the legislation was drafted. 

The city is also moving toward helping to get a renovated emergency facility at the hospital. 

Dr. John Fortney is serving as interim CEO of Adena Health System, and he explained to council what they are asking of the city.  He said they are renovating their "dilapidated" Emergency Department for the cost of about $40,000,000. 

Because of good interest rates, they added in a refinancing of bonds from 2008, for a total of $175,000,000.  Fortney said city is only a conduit, with no risk. 

And why through the city instead of a bank?  To make the bonds tax-free, to help attract financiers. 

Listen to the interview below for Fortney's description of how the Carlisle Building has helped attract many more medical personnel to train with them. 

Kevin Coleman regularly reports on Chillicothe & Circleville councils and local culture