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Libertarians endorse candidates for healthcare districts

Original post made by Harland Harrison, another community, on Sep 7, 2014

The Libertarian Party of San Mateo County endorsed reform candidates for Sequoia Healthcare District and Peninsula Healthcare District. A special meeting of the San Mateo County Libertarian Party Central Committee, on Wednesday night, endorsed Doug Radtke for the Peninsula Healthcare District, and endorsed Mark DePaula, John McDowell, and Jack Hickey for the Sequoia Healthcare District.

"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:
Doug Radtke:
Web Link

Jack Hickey:
Web Link

John McDowell:
Web Link


Contact:
Harland Harrison
harrison@LPSM.org
Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County CA
Web Link

Comments (7)

Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Kane
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2014 at 4:35 pm

The Healthcare Districts provide valuable health and medical services to thousands of our residents, services that will go unmet without the Districts.

They provided thousands of dollars to support the Children Health Initiative, which provides school nurses and well as physical and nutritional education in every school within our Districts. Those nurse will not be there to serve our children. Out Heartsafe Program has place over 340 defibrillators in out District which have save lives from sudden cardiac arrest.

Mr. Hickey continually quotes the 2002 Grand Jury Report and fails to mention all the favorable subsequent Grand Jury Reports.

I ask that your readership become knowledgeable about the work of the Districts so they can make informed decisions.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Kathleen:

no matter the good the district may do it is decidedly NOT what the voters voted for when it was created. It was created to build a hospital. It should have ceased to exist when that hospital was sold. The voters didn't vote for this use of their tax money. If the health care district had the strength of your convictions they'd have the guts to put a measure on the ballot affirming the continued existence of the district in its current form doing what it's now doing. They've had since the hospital was sold to do it, yet they haven't. I wonder why.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 9, 2014 at 11:30 am

Both the Sequoia Healthcare District and the Peninsula Healthcare District have failed to engage in a meaningful dialogue about the "transitional status of the districts. I have attempted to do that on-line Web Link

Today, I presented the following resolution to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors:

Honorable members of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, I am Jack Hickey.
I have prepared the following resolution for submission to the State Legislature. I ask that you consider it’s adoption at your next meeting.

Whereas: San Mateo County’s two Hospital Districts no longer own hospitals; and,

Whereas: Property taxes assessed by these districts, for the purpose of acquiring and sustaining hospitals, continue to be collected as a share of the 1% ad valorem tax; and,

Whereas: The San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury questioned the Sequoia Healthcare District's use of these taxes for philanthropic purposes never intended by voters; and,

Whereas: The 2005 Civil Grand Jury said the Sequoia Healthcare District should “Immediately pursue with the Peninsula Healthcare District the merging of the two agencies…structured to serve the healthcare needs of the entire County.”; and,

Whereas: In 2007, LAFCo adopted a "transitional sphere of influence with the potential for expansion to include excluded areas, dissolution and consolidation" for the Sequoia and Peninsula Healthcare Districts; and,

Whereas: Countywide school district funding is unbalanced by local healthcare district subsidies derived from 1% ad valorem taxes. Remedies under Serrano Priest could be sought by affected school districts; and,

Whereas: LAFCo options of countywide expansion or dissolution of the districts would remedy that inequality;

Therefore: The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors hereby petitions the Legislature to enact legislation allowing San Mateo County to place a measure on the ballot calling for consolidation of the Sequoia and Peninsula Healthcare Districts into a countywide Healthcare District funded by a share of the 1% ad valorem countywide property taxes at the same rate currently assessed by the existing districts. Such legislation must provide that failure of the measure to gain a simple majority of county voters would result in the dissolution of the existing districts.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 9, 2014 at 1:29 pm

The 2000-2001 Grand Jury questioned the continued collection of property taxes for a hospital which the district no longer owns, and the use of those taxes for philanthropic purposes never approved by voters.
While that Grand Jury was mistaken when, regarding the 1996 election, it said:

"Measure H did not mention either the tax revenues already being received by Sequoia Hospital District or what would become of future tax revenues. The documents made available to the voters, including Impartial Analysis of Measure H, Argument in Favor of Measure H, and Resolution 96-4 which is referred to in Measure H, are all silent regarding the continuing tax revenues. Examination of the documents, including the Memorandum of Understanding, of the sales transaction of the district's assets to CHW reveals that there is no mention of the continuing tax assessments and revenues to the district."

Buried in the "Memorandum of Understanding" is the following:

___"District shall on an ongoing basis retain one hundred percent (100%) of its Tax Revenues, and shall utilize those funds, net of District's operating expenses, in furtherance of its purposes as a California hospital district (District Purposes"), through:
a. Programs and other activities provided or operated by Corporation and approved by District;
b. Programs and other activities provided or operated by other parties and approved by District; or,
c. Programs and other activities provided or operated by District;
provided, however, that no such programs or other activities funded by District's Tax Revenues shall be programs or other activities that duplicate the programs, activities or services of the Hospital."

It should be obvious that the decision for such retention of Tax Revenues by the District should be made by voters, and should have been made clear in the primary election material.

In the year following the election, a revisionist History of Sequoia Healthcare District was created with guidance from former Sequoia Hospital CEO Art Faro. Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 10, 2014 at 11:26 am

Kathleen Kane serves as a Director of the Sequoia Healthcare District(SHD), as do I.

Ms. Kane said:
"They provided thousands of dollars to support the Children Health Initiative, which provides school nurses and well as physical and nutritional education in every school within our Districts. Those nurse will not be there to serve our children. Out Heartsafe Program has place over 340 defibrillators in out District which have save lives from sudden cardiac arrest."

The Children's Health Initiative is a Countywide program to which Sequoia Healthcare District has been granting $1,350,000 each year since 2003. This was done in answer to a County request for support which could hardly be refused if the district wished to remain in existence! An accounting of how those grants benefit residents of the Sequoia Healthcare District is virtually non-existent.
Katie confused the Children's Health Initiative with the Healthy Schools Initiative, currently budgeted at $2,970,000 for 2014/2015. This subsidy to local school districts, funded by the SHD share of 1% ad valorem countywide property taxes, is not available to school districts outside the Healthcare District boundaries. School funding is unbalanced and remedies under Serrano Priest could be sought by affected school districts such as Cabrillo and Pacifica.

The HeartSafe Program has been discussed in another topic. It has been used by SHD to generate anecdotal stories for district-promoting PR. If it's purpose is justified, it should be a countywide program. Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Thanks for the informative article.....now I know who NOT to vote for. Anything but Libertarian. Will this comment be scratched now?


Like this comment
Posted by libertarian fantasies
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 10, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Libertarians don't believe in laws, or if you listen to Rand Paul, even the Civil Rights Act of 1964; he thinks serving blacks impinges on the rights of property owners - what a guy, huh? Web Link

Name the last libertarian to be elected to an office of any consequence in California.

Why listen to them on how to run a government? Jack keeps posting post after post after post after post after post after post after post after post after post about abolishing the district, for 12 years. Hasn't happened. A complete failure, but guaranteed to be re-elected.

Makes for good job security to not do anything that actually *works* and gets rid of the district.

Step aside and give someone else a chance.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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