RG03.3 CHS & McK-W

When Community Health Systems pulled the plug on the Delta Highway location for the new McKenzie-Willamette Hospital, nobody who was paying attention could pretend to be surprised. So now it’s a footrace for the best location in the shortest time for the lowest price. Springfield can feel its foot on Eugene’s neck, so don’t think they won’t pull out all the stops. The competition points up the need for Eugene to have a spokesperson. We had one 15 years ago, somebody who would speak on behalf of the city. That role has fallen to — or been grabbed by (depending on your view) the mayor. But because any hospital siting will require a zoning change that puts the mayor and the city council in a quasi-judicial role, they are forbidden to advocate for a particular site, lest they be forced to recuse themselves when it comes time to rule. So there are still times when having a city spokesperson is handy and this is one of them. Who was the last person to hold that position in Eugene? It was Rosie Pryor, wife of City Councilor Chris Pryor and the now departed spokesperson for McKenzie-Willamette Hospital!