EDITORIAL: Adams, Arapahoe counties flirt with malpractice abandoning Tri-County Health

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Tri-County Health Department map

We’re stumped.

How is it that the golden retriever of government agencies, Tri-County Health Department, became a pariah of local elected officials?

This week, Adams County commissioners agreed to push ahead with an expensive and senseless plan to leave the area’s cooperative health department.

This came after fringe-right members of the Tri-County Board of Health, placed there by fringe-right members of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, bolted from the decades-old, three-county cooperative in a disagreement over pushing for mandatory masks in pandemic-plagued public schools.

There’s no getting around that decision by Douglas County, just like that region’s past political stunts to put “personal freedom” over public health as the COVID-19 plague has ravaged Colorado during the past 18 months.

Despite the smaller county’s self-imposed expulsion from Tri-County, the foundation of doing more with less, a consequence of the economies of scale, are absolutely valid.

A study of the health department quandary commissioned by Adams County points out that Arapahoe County taxpayers will have to fork over about double the $4.8 million annually they provide to Tri-County Health for exactly the same services, if the cooperative were to dissolve.

That’s according to a story last week by Denver Post reporter John Aguilar.

Adams County taxpayers would have to also pay about double, $6.5 million dollars a year, to go it alone with its own health department.

The report states that there are additionally millions of dollars in grants or taxes that will have to be identified, just to provide duplicated services.

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman calls the push to dissolve the money-saving cooperative “awful.”

It’s beyond dubious. It’s wasteful malfeasance.

Adams County Commissioner Eva Henry said in a statement that, essentially, the county’s hands are tied by the departure of Douglas County.

City and state leaders in the region need to lean on commissioners from both Adams and Arapahoe counties to stop this preventable train wreck now. At the very least, the effort between both counties should be to find a way to salvage the cooperative, not bail out of it.

Douglas County officials have made fools of themselves first by contradicting solid science and good sense in how a public health department should react to a deadly virus pandemic. They doubled down on that absurdity by leaving the money-saving cooperative to try and inflict their politicized pseudo-science on innocent county residents. It’s gone virtually nowhere because school officials have refused to budge from protecting students rather than political objectives.

The entire conundrum centers on a benevolent agency staffed by some of the best agents and experts in the industry, whose primary job it is to ensure restaurant food is safe, animal-borne plagues are stamped out, drug abuse is kept in check and none of your neighbors create toxic wastelands in their backyards or anywhere near yours.

There is nothing nefarious nor questionable about the performance of the health department, nor anyone involved in the Tri-County cooperative. Millions of wasted tax dollars and, arguably, the health of residents in Adams and Arapahoe counties, are at risk by pursuing this politicized misadventure.

The Tri-County Health Department has been a solid argument for expanding these kinds of urban cooperatives, making sense to add even  Jefferson County or Denver to the effort, which would ensure uniform application of public health laws and rules across the metroplex.

These county health agencies all do the exact same thing, for, generally, the exact same population.

But before that, Adams and Arapahoe county officials should immediately convene a panel to study how best to save or create a new cooperative and spend the otherwise wasted $15 million or more on some of the other problems both counties face and have no money to address.

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Bekah
Bekah
1 month ago

Wow! It seems Truth has been eliminated from this article and Science is mentioned but yet still no truth told around Science! This thinking is why the Plandemic has a controlled hold on so many who are willing to follow rather than search for themselves the truth! Luckily there are Some who are willing to take the courageous road to stand up for freedom and liberation! The Writing is truly on the Wall ** So may we All dig deep and see it thru Natural Eyes!

denver_dad
denver_dad
1 month ago
Reply to  Bekah

Bekah, the random use of capitalization and unhinged logic clearly identify you as a ReTrumplicant. I think all of us have Natural (sic) eyes, they come with bodies, as do brains, which you seem to have stopped using.

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
1 month ago

This just shows you the lengths those people will go to just to get their own way. After all, they don’t play well in the sand box.

K P
K P
1 month ago

“It’s gone virtually nowhere because school officials have refused to budge from protecting students rather than political objectives.”
This isn’t true. No matter your opinion, the fact is the PHO allows anyone to exempt themselves or their minor child from DCSD mask requirements. People are exempting themselves and their children.

Last edited 1 month ago by K P
Just, Miranda
1 month ago

This is not news. This is an opinion piece, through and through.

Katherine
Katherine
1 month ago
Reply to  Just, Miranda

Did you read the big letters at the top (very first word)–“Editorial”? An Editorial is an opinion article and is the view of the writer, not fact based news. The writer makes a lot of very good points, but it is an editorial like it was labeled and distinctly now labeled as “News”.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago

Well, you all tell everyone there are consequences for our actions in not getting vaccinated, etc. Well there are consequences for the actions for forcing stuff onto people who don’t want it and in this case is the dissolution of a “golden receiver” garbage label of a health department. You can try to demonize it as anti-science over personal freedom, but end of the day, people gonna do what they think is best for them, not you.

Debra MacKillop
Debra MacKillop
1 month ago

Douglas Co. provided the least of any county in the Tri-County Health Dept., and took the most. It’s not a group concerned about community health, and not surprising it pulled out, even though Douglas Co. still using services and facilities of other counties. If it wants to go it alone, start doing it, and now. I am saddened to see Adams pull out as it really contributed to the Dept. But do we really want to be sharing services with counties that don’t believe in science, will watch its citizens get sick and die for political gain, and threaten health care staff??

Debra MacKillop
Debra MacKillop
1 month ago

From what I have read over the past few months, Douglas Co. refused to abide by CO public health guidelines and ignored Tri-County policies though Douglas wanted to take hospital beds and staff of other two counties when Douglas beds were full with Covid cases. Then Douglas announced it was leaving TC, and eventually Adams announced it was leaving TC. I don’t see why Arapahoe Co. would be judged negatively for this. Arapahoe Co. contributes more than either of the other counties, which take more from Tri-County.