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Sequoia Healthcare District brochure coming

Original post made by Jack Hickey, Woodside: Emerald Hills, on Oct 19, 2012

The Sequoia Healthcare District 2012 Annual Report to the Community, scheduled to be mailed by the end of October, is clearly driven by a desire to protect the District from an election outcome which threatens to bring about the dissolution of the District. Billed as a "communication" to inform the public, it is filled with heart wrenching anecdotal tales promoting the benevolence of the District. Financial content, which fills less than 7% of the brochure, has serious errors of commission and omission. There is no mention of total expenditures, and there was no room for a copy of the budget in the 4 page 11" x 17" full color brochure. Total Community Support of $10.6 million is overstated by nearly $1.0 million. The document "is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate." (Leake, 525 F.3d at 282-83) The upcoming election provides voters with a clear choice. Continue the District, which no longer owns Sequoia Hospital, or dissolve it. It is not a question of who best can distribute the property tax dollars previously assessed to operate and maintain Sequoia Hospital.

District CEO, Lee Michelson is responsible for the preparation of the brochure which he claims is not subject to review or approval by the Board of Directors. I have advised him of my concerns, and asked that he delay the mailing. He is currently declining my advice.
I urge you to shine a light on this activity. You can see the brochure at:
Web Link

Comments (10)

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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:32 am

The Supreme Court has identified two categories of communication as being unambiguously campaign related. First, "express advocacy," defined as a communication that uses specific election-related words. Second, "the functional equivalent of express advocacy," defined as an "electioneering communication" that "is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate." (Leake, 525 F.3d at 282-83)

In my opinion, the Sequoia Healthcare District "Report to the Community" is an "electioneering communication", paid for with public funds.


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 22, 2012 at 9:25 am

The Sequoia Healthcare District claims a Total Community Support of $10.6 million for FY 2012-2013. That figure assumes that the $1,000,000 spent on Nursing Education will result in 100% of the graduate nurses working in the District. That is no where close to reality. See: Web Link A 50% figure would be an overestimate. Of more than 300 graduate nurses, only 64 are currently employed at Sequoia Hospital. That's $500,000+ not going to support the Community, and >$4,000,000 lost in the first 8 years of the program


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 22, 2012 at 10:11 am

Sorry for the missing Web Link. here it is:
Web Link


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Posted by Jack Hiickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Despite my request on October 17, 2012 to Sequoia Healthcare District CEO, Lee Michelson, to " Please postpone printing and mailing committments until this has been reviewed by all Directors. A one week delay should suffice.", this 4 page 11" x 17" full color brochure was mailed out. A friend of mine received it in today's mail.
This was Lee's response to my initial request:
From: Lee Michelson <lmichelson@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com>
Subject: RE: FW: Annual Report
To: "'Jack Hickey'" "'Kim Griffin'"

Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 5:09 PM
The sending of the annual report to the Board in advance is a courtesy not for your approval. Neither the Board president or the majority of the board has asked for
approval so as I understand the situation this is a staff responsibility. There will not be a delay.

See "Report to Community or Electioneering Communication at Web Link


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

The Sequoia Healthcare District's pre-election "Report to the Community" is the largest piece of puffery I have ever received. It contains the equivalent of 8 letter size pages. One half of a letter sized page is devoted to FINANCIALS. A copy of the budget would have fit on 1 letter size page, but the District chose not to include it.

When I suggested that the report was intended to influence the election, and asked for a delay in the mailing on October 17, 2012, District CEO, Lee Michelson, in an e-mail to Board President, Kim Griffin and myself, had this to say about the mailing:
"The sending of the annual report to the Board in advance is a courtesy not for your approval. Neither the Board president or the majority of the board has asked for approval so as I understand the situation this is a staff responsibility. There will not be a delay.
In another e-mail Lee Said, "...the annual report always gets mailed out this time of year even in non –election years ...".

That's not true.

In a November 1, 2011 memo to the Board of Directors, Lee said "Enclosed you will find our new annual report that will be mailed next week..."

This years report was received in mailboxes on October 25, 2012, 13 days BEFORE the election! Kim Griffin had the authority to delay the mailing, but failed to do so!

Visit my website to view copies of the mailing, links to District budgets, e-mail communications, General Ledger for the past two years, etc. www.xshcd.com


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2012 at 11:05 am

VOTE only one name.....Jack Hickey


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Dec 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I am awaiting information pursuant to a Public Record Act request for information regarding this "electioning communication". Web Link


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Dec 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm

That should have been "electioneering communication".


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Factoid: There are 6,618 voters in Menlo Park who are NOT in the Sequoia Healthcare District! I know at least one of them who received a brochure in the mail.


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 15, 2014 at 10:12 am

Item from minutes of Sequoia Healthcare District Dec. 5, 2012 meeting:
5.h. Annual Report
Director Faro suggested that a discussion of the recent Annual Report to the Community would clear up statements made about the production and timing of the mailing of the report. He added that it would be helpful for directors to see a preliminary draft before report is finalized.
Director Hickey had asked to see all invoices related to the production of the report and was given MTK invoices.
Mr. Michelson provided a memo regarding the development of the annual report reminding the Board that it is his responsibility to manage the day-to-day operation of the District and that the Annual Report is a management responsibility and not a governance/policy issue.
NOTE not part of the minutes: the MTK invoices did not identify the Printing and Mailing company used. And, as of Dec. 31, 2013, Don Shoecraft (aka MTK)is no longer under contract with the District!


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