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Three for reform of the Sequoia Healthcare District

Original post made by John McDowell, another community, on Oct 23, 2014

In her recent letter, Betty Seckler hit the nail on the head – reform of the Sequoia Healthcare District will only happen if voters elect all three members of the reform team. Jack Hickey, Mark De Paula, and I are committed to reform by bringing an advisory referendum to District residents on the future of the District.

The San Mateo Civil Grand Jury investigated the Sequoia Healthcare District recommending that, “…the SHD reduce property taxes for its residents and limit expenditures to those purposes previously approved by voters since it no longer operate(s) Sequoia Hospital.” Moreover, it found that the District has “assumed a role similar to that of a philanthropic foundation…This is a function of the District that was never presented to voters…”

The reform team of Hickey, De Paula, and McDowell takes the Grand Jury seriously, we will work to implement its recommendations, reduce property taxes, and fight for greater transparency in District operations. Superior Court Judge Quentin L Kopp (ret.) and 22 former grand jurors support our team and this plan.

Betty Seckler is right; the only way to bring change to the District is to vote for Hickey, De Paula, and McDowell.

Comments (15)

Posted by T Tiller
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm

I notice a lack of relevant healthcare experience on the LWV site re the three and their biographies.

Web Link

The letter mentioned "Betty Seckler" - forgive me, I am not familiar with the name; what is her area of expertise?


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm

pogo is a registered user.

This hospital district hasn't had a hospital to govern in TEN YEARS. They are now simply giving your money away to cronies.

Stop this madness - vote for HICKEY, MCDOWELL, DE PAULA.


Posted by T Tiller
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm

"They are now simply giving your money away to cronies."

In this day and age of internet accountability and ease, transparency, muckraking journalism and whistle-blowing, perhaps you can share the name of each crony, the relationship, and amount of money given to each crony.

Or just the top three cases of illegality?

Thank you.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm

pogo is a registered user.

I'll answer you, Tiller. But before I do I have two very simple questions for you.

1. This district was established specifically to govern Sequoia Hospital and only govern Sequoia Hospital. The hospital was sold in 1996 and the district has no legal mandate to do anything else. Why should they continue to exist?

2. The slate of three has promised to conduct a voter referendum and the two incumbents have promised NOT to allow it. I'm certainly willing to go along with voters and taxpayers if they want to confirm the mandate change that these people unilaterally imposed on us without consultation. Why do Shefren and Faro fear a referendum if they are so sure about their good deeds?

I'll answer you if you answer me.


Posted by T Tiller
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm

"They are now simply giving your money away to cronies."

Thanks for backing up your hyperbole, Mr/Ms Pogo. Or is it slander? Either way, you obviously do not have proof for your accusation. I will await Mr. McDowell's response to my initial question.

Good day.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm

pogo is a registered user.

I wanted to see if you had the integrity to answer me. I will certainly answer you. It is not very difficult because there have been NUMEROUS grand jury reports about misdeeds at the District. Here's just one report from the Mercury News:

Web Link

With regard to other citations, I suggest you use Google. You'll get several pages of findings. Here's a brief summarized listing that Jack Hickey previously provided. You can discount it or just read the entire 30 page report from the grand jury. Either works because both say the same thing. There isn't a smidgen of cronyism - there's a TON of it.

So, I await your answer, Tiller. Fortunately, my questions were a lot easier and won't require Google.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Sorry, here's the link to Jack Hickey's excellent and thankfully brief summary.

Web Link


Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

The Sequoia Healthcare District is here today because 5 board members told the Grand Jury "We decline to do so at this time."

That was their response to the recommendation to dissolve.

Vote Hickey, McDowell, De Paula


Posted by T Tiller
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 23, 2014 at 4:40 pm

The Mercury: "the district MAY have done just that by funneling money to an East Palo Alto health clinic and to a nursing program whose graduates then leave to find work elsewhere."

That's CRONYISM? Teaching nurses, some of whom have the temerity to go help citizens in other areas? Treating kids to healthcare in East Palo Alto?

cro·ny·ism
ˈkrōnēˌizəm/ - the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications.

Now let's look at Mr/Ms Pogo's statement: "They are now simply giving your money away to cronies."

Perhaps we should look at another word, perhaps a word defined by:

verb - make false and damaging statements about (someone).

Welcome to October. Not just a time for Giants baseball, but for over-the-top political hyperbole.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm

pogo is a registered user.

I'll be very glad to point to the text that points to the very obvious cronyism, Mr. Tiller.

But it's clearly your turn to answer my two questions.

Trust me, I'm not holding my breath.


Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 23, 2014 at 5:04 pm

In December 2012, Directors Faro, Kane and Griffin voted an increase in Health Insurance premium reimbursement from $1,200 per month to $1,500 per month. As sitting directors, they collected that $300 increase for the first six months of 2013, when the board decided it should not have been applied to sitting directors. Despite my objection, they each were allowed to keep the $1,800 overpayment.
In 2010, with former San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley sitting as President of the Board, former Atherton Chief of Police, Glenn Nielson, was hired by the district as HeartSafe program manager. This program, if worthwhile, rightfully belongs under the county's jurisdiction.
The voters should decide whether the district should continue to collect taxes, originally assessed to support Sequoia Hospital which it no longer owns, and use them for purposes not intended by voters when that assessment was imposed.

Only the election of Hickey, De Paula and McDowell can make that happen.

BTW, their was no Tiller register as a voter in San Mateo County as of February 2014. Is that a pseudonym?


Posted by T Tiller
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 23, 2014 at 5:15 pm

The Board votes to pay for something for 6 months and then rescinds it, and all this noise is about going back to collect the $300 a month that was spent after the Board approved it?

OR IS THE OBVIOUS CRONYISM, GRAND JURY REFERENCES, AND IMPLIED FRAUD COVERED IN "This program, if worthwhile, rightfully belongs under the county's jurisdiction."

Yes, by all means, stop the presses and call out fraud, cronyism, nepotism, botulism, obama-ism, romney-ism. And don't forget Ebola. Training nurses? Heartsafe? OMG.

Mr. Hickey - Yes, a play on tillerman (inside ref to friends). And now I'm rather happy about the choice. Just looked at the LWV site to make up my mind, saw the post, asked for some information from one of the candidates, and POW!


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 23, 2014 at 5:25 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Still waiting for those two answers, Tiller!

They're very simple questions - just your opinions are required.


Posted by John McDowell
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm

As an informed citizen, Ms. Seckler has all the credentials she needs to form an opinion and cast votes as she sees fit. I for one am happy that citizens are in control and that in our democratic republic we aren't ruled by credentialed experts and technocrats. Of course, others are free to disagree, that's what elections are all about.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Okay, Tiller, I've kept you in suspense long enough. I told you about this wonderful tool (pun intended) called Google - you should try it! It took me almost a nanosecond to locate this. There were many others, by the way.

Web Link

The headline: "Millions in health care district deals involve firms with ties to officials."

"...But soon after, at a full district board meeting, Shefren voted to advance the $60,000 grant for the nonprofit where his wife works, meeting minutes show. He seconded a motion to vote on a package of grants, then joined the 4-to-1 majority in approving it.

"Questioned by The Bay Citizen about his vote, Shefren said: “In talking with our CEO and legal counsel, I think that this is an oversight. This probably should have been pulled out separately, so that I could recuse myself from the Pathways grant and vote on the other ones.”

You want more citations, try that Google thing. I'm not doing your homework for you, but there are many other examples of this CRONYISM.

You can answer the two questions anytime, dude.


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