The other board members justify the continuation of the district by spending tax money, originally assessed to build and operate a hospital (which is now privately owned), on what they decide are good and worthwhile programs and charities. The recipients of these donations and benefits become the foundation of appreciation that perpetuates those in favor of keeping this health-care district.
Voters established the hospital district in 1946. Property taxes were assessed for this purpose and Sequoia Hospital was built. The district sold Sequoia Hospital in 1996 and it is now wholly owned and maintained by Dignity Health. To continue collecting taxes — with board members now deciding whom that tax money should benefit — should simply not be their privilege.
Before you vote, you should be aware that just to maintain the district costs more than $1 million a year, and the district receives more than $10.6 million a year, which they publicize, and which is spent on programs and charities the board members have chosen without voter approval. This is more than $11.6 million a year, according to the 2012-13 budget, which could be going directly to schools, fire districts, or other special districts.
This is where those tax revenues belong and are sorely needed. I will back health-care district board member Jack Hickey with a vote that indicates I want to dissolve the Sequoia Healthcare District. If you agree, vote only once for Jack Hickey, the one candidate supporting dissolution. A second vote is not required and would defeat the purpose of this election.