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Tarpon commissioners pull hospital questions from ballot

City commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday to cancel questions on a July 25 referendum about the sale of Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital.

Commissioner Dudley Salley opposed the measure. The vote made official what commissioners had promised hospital leaders over the weekend.

The commission also ratified an agreement between hospital and city leaders to work out their differences by September.

The two sides have been at odds for six months since the hospital _ without city input _ negotiated a partnership deal with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., a huge hospital chain.

If those differences aren't resolved, the commission has said the referendum would be rescheduled for the November ballot.

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