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Voters have spoken. What did they say?

Original post made by Jack Hickey, Woodside: Emerald Hills, on Nov 11, 2014

In the Sequoia Healthcare District race, it is clear that Jerry Shefren and Jack Hickey will be retaining their seats on the board. And it is highly likely, but not impossible, that John McDowell will not overtake Art Faro in the final count. So what are the voters telling us?
According to an article in the SMDJ Web Link "Faro said the results show that voters rejected Hickey, his slate and the push for dissolution. His own re-election was less important than rejecting candidates he said ran on misinformation and misstatements of fact, he said." I responded to that assessment in an LTE published in today's DJ Web Link
"I don’t feel rejected at all. How rejected must Faro feel, having now twice finished in third place more than 1,500 votes behind Hickey? I congratulate Shefren and Faro for their stealth campaign which avoided forums and let union phone banks and a strategically timed, taxpayer funded, annual report to the community do the job for them."
With an advance copy of my letter, Faro's vitriolic LTE response also appeared below mine: Web Link

The issue of the strategically timed, taxpayer funded, annual report to the community has come up in prior elections. I have requested in the past, and again in this election, that the report mailing be delayed until after the election. Request denied. At our August meeting, I asked CEO Lee Michelson to delay the mailing until after the election. He declined my request. Then, when the board was considering a motion to adopt policy changes, I sought an amendment to policy which would establish a 60 day moratorium on PR activity, including mailing of the annual report, prior to an election. That amendment was rejected by the maker of the original motion, Art Faro.

Faro was telecommuting from his Oregon Ranch, sitting on his porch watching deer in the field while having a glass of wine. (meeting audio available on request) Mr. Faro also rejected another amendment which I proposed which would have eliminated the $14,400/year health insurance benefit which directors receive, and replace it with a stipend for meeting attendance as is done by Peninsula Healthcare District. Faro rejected that amendment also commenting "I don't care what Peninsula does." (same audio)

In his LTE, Faro says; "He(Hickey) should resign" I suggest the opposite, for reasons which have been posted in this forum, not the least of which is the fact that he Chair's the Sequoia Hospital Board of Directors.

If I was independently wealthy, I would have obtained an injunction to stop the mailing until after the election. IMHO, if that had been done, Art Faro would have been defeated. That still would have left me one short of a majority, but at least I might find a second to my motions, and maybe even have Shefren occasionally join in support.

My priority now is to create a dialog among stakeholders to resolve the “transitional”status of both healthcare districts. I will be meeting with Rich Gordon in December. I have also been in contact with the SMC Office of Education which has an interest in resolving the issue of a funding imbalance, between school district’s in the county, created by the two pre-prop 13 healthcare districts.

I have asked President Shefren to place an agenda item for our December meeting to iniate that dialogue. Voter’s re-elected JerryShefren because the trust him to do the right thing. I hope he won’t disappoint them.

Comments (1)

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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

On 11/11/2014, I made a request of President Shefren and CEO Lee Michelson to place the following action item on the agenda for the Sequoia Healthcare District December 3, 2014 meeting:
Action: Shall the Sequoia Healthcare District launch an initiative to engage stakeholders in a dialogue seeking resolution of the “transitional” status of both healthcare districts in San Mateo County? Such dialogue should include consideration of a petition to the Legislature for enabling legislation. Stakeholders should include representatives of SMCOE, SMCBOS, SHD, PHD, California Legislature, etc. (to correct an oversight, I later added LAFCo)

Shefren's response on 11/11:
Jack, As I mentioned in my previous email, if you wish to place this item on the agenda you may request that at the appropriate time on the agenda of the December meeting as set forth in Policy 8.3.

Michelson's response on 11/12:
The system is very clear.. you can request that this item be placed on the Feb. Board meeting at the December meeting but of course you will need a second.. this was discussed in great deal and adopted at a recent Board meeting.. I will hold back from giving my personal opinion on this resolution.. Lee

Those responses avoided a direct answer to my request. On 11/12 I sent the following:

Let me make it perfectly clear. I am making this request pursuant to Policy 8.2 which states:
8.2 Any Director or member of the public may request that a matter directly related to District business be placed on the agenda of a regular meeting of the Board of Directors. The request must be in writing and submitted to the Chief Executive Officer and Board President, together with supporting documents and information, if any, at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting. It shall be up to the discretion of the Board President, as set forth in Policy No. 8.1, whether to place the requested item on the agenda. I repeated the request with corrections and submitted a hard copy
by regular mail.

Receiving no response to my 11/12 request, I sent the following on 11/20: Jerry, please respond to my request. Will you be placing the item requested on the Dec. 3 meeting agenda? If not, why not?

Shefren's response:
Jack, I already responded to you about this.

To which I replied:
You have now made it clear that you are not honoring my request. Do me the courtesy of explaining why. I have complied with the conditions required by Policy 8.2

Shefren's response:
I, the other Board members, the staff, and Mark have always provided you with far more courtesy than you have ever provided in return. I fully expect that pattern to continue over the next 4 years.


Placing this item on the agenda as I had requested, would allow public comments on the issue at the December meeting. It also would allow me an opportunity to make a more thorough presentation. Making a request at the December meeting, to place the item on the agenda for the February meeting, would not.

Requiring a "second" for a directors request to place an item on a meeting agenda was not the intent of Policy 8.2 when the board adopted it. I have had many items placed on agendas in the past without a "second".

President Shefren apparently has no interest in resolving the "transitional" status of the healthcare districts.


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