Public authority must act responsibly
The public authority that owns the PacMed Center has a very clear decision to make. [“State rejects PacMed lease; use of building for college up in air,” NW Tuesday, July 30.]
It can lease the building to a private developer to build high-end apartments, or it can lease the building to the state to establish a health-care training and innovation center.
The Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority has a mission to serve the health-care needs of uninsured and other needy groups.
By leasing the building to the state, the public authority would be serving the needs of the uninsured and other disadvantaged groups by providing training for thousands of health-care workers, who will be needed to serve the vast number of uninsured people who will be eligible for health-care coverage under health-care reform.
The public authority would also receive a steady income from the state, which it could use for health-care programs that serve the needy. This income would be guaranteed by the state.
A private developer, on the other hand, would use the building for purposes which do not serve the mission of the public authority. Moreover, the income from the private developer would not be guaranteed, as a private developer can default on the lease. Indeed, that is exactly what happened to the public authority when its last tenant, a private developer, broke the lease and left the building empty.
The choice is clear. The public authority should enter into an agreement with the state and thus fulfill its mission.
Tony Lee, advocacy director, Solid Ground, Seattle