"These districts are obsolete and should be abolished," said Harland Harrison, Chair of the Libertarian Party of San Mateo County CA. "They started in the 1940's to build and subsidize hospitals which they no longer operate. They basically just give your tax money away. Our candidates want to shut them down, or at least clean up their acts."
In the Peninsula Healthcare District, Doug Radtke, whose candidacy forced this election, faces incumbents Dennis Zell, Larry Cappel and Helen Galligan. Radtke is familiar in Millbrae as a recent candidate for the Millbrae City Council. "Currently Peninsula Healthcare District is sitting on $61 million in reserves that could go towards funding healthcare such as in the San Mateo Medical center, returned to the county, or returned to you – the taxpayer," Radtke says on his website. "The reserves are your tax dollars being granted to non-profits. Peninsula Healthcare District is acting as a 'government sponsored' foundation like United Way."
In the Sequoia Healthcare District, incumbent Jack Hickey is joined by Mark DePaula and John McDowell. "Let the voters decide whether Sequoia Healthcare District, which no longer owns Sequoia Hospital, should continue collecting taxes originally assessed to build, operate and maintain it," says Hickey. The candidates are hoping to unseat incumbents Jerry Shefren and Art Faro. Jack Hickey was first elected to the Sequoia Healthcare District board in 2002.
The San Mateo County Civil Grand Juries have reported on both districts, and the Local Agency Formation Commission has assigned them a "transitional sphere of influence with the potential for expansion to include excluded areas, dissolution and consolidation". "All four candidates are committed to follow the recommendations," says Hickey.
It is notable that the four allied candidates have backgrounds in different political parties; McDowell is a Republican, Hickey was a life-long Republican who switched over to the Libertarian Party 20 years ago, and DePaula is a Democrat turned Republican who recently became a Libertarian. While healthcare district elections are non-partisan, political parties have always been active behind the scenes. With the passage of the “Top-Two”, Proposition 14 in 2010, political parties became free to officially endorse candidates in non-partisan races. "Jack Hickey has been the lone voice on the Sequoia Healthcare District for a long time," says Harrison. "Now, we Libertarians are very pleased to be able to endorse these four, reform-minded, candidates."
To find out more:
Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County CA