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Michelson says: "Annual report coming soon"

Original post made by Jack Hickey, Woodside: Emerald Hills, on Sep 23, 2015

Lee Michelson, CEO of Sequoia Healthcare District, informed Directors today that the annual report is coming soon. Michelson, whose response to this Director's questioning of content and timing of these reports, was: "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: Web Link

In his latest announcement, Michelson said:
"The goal is to get it to our printer on October 8 so that it can be distributed during the month of October to 86,000 households in our District. I will be making a presentation to the Board as a preview for them at the October 7 Board meeting. The theme will be “ From the early years to the later years” highlighting the district’s commitment to all of our residents through the different stages of life.. vey photo oriented , colorful and less text than in the past.. "

I suggest that Michelson's goal is to reinforce his previous, false assertion, that "...the annual report always gets mailed out this time of year even in non –election years ...". That would set the stage for next years election, when Directors Kane and Griffin should be facing stiff competition for re-election.

I hope that some concerned observers of the District's self-perpetuating PR activities will attend the October 8 meeting and ask questions. For instance, why is the Board getting a CEO presentation of the annual report the day before the scheduled mailing?

On another subject, you might also ask why the District is hiring a Grants and Program Coordinator. See: Web Link
Mr. Michelson says "We are currently interviewing for a part-time grants and program coordinator to assist with day- to-day operations. The position was made necessary due to the resignation of Jennifer Gabet. Jennifer was a program manager whose duties were absorbed by Pamela." Jennifer was a Nutritionist. The job description for the new position goes far beyond that of Jennifers, and sounds alike a description of Pamela's duties.

I sent an e-mail asking Board President Art Faro the following: “Shouldn’t this first be presented to the Board?” I copied this to CEO Michelson, who felt obligated to respond with: "All staff decisions except for the CEO are under my jurisdiction only. This will be a part-time position. I suggest that you refer to our Board policies regarding the management of the District."

.













Comments (19)

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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

At our last meeting, CEO Lee Michelson was given a 4% raise in salary. He now costs the District taxpayers more than 1/4 Million dollars per year. his staff consists of 1 full time "Director of Grants and Programs, Pamela Kurtzman, and two part time employees: Glenn Nielsen, HeartSafe Program Coordinator and Janeene Johnson, Janeene Johnson, Executive Coordinator.
Jennifer Gabet, a part time employee who recently resigned, was a nutritionist, who served as an advisor/coordinator for the Healthy Schools program. How many nutritionists do you suppose are employed in the San Mateo County schools and Office of Education? Do they really need advice from yet another nutritionist? Now CEO Michelson has assigned Pamela Kurtzman to hire a part-time grants and program coordinator.

Here is the job description:
Assist Director of Grants and Programs with all aspects of the grants process
including:
• Coordinate the planning and execution of grants committee meetings
• Copy and distribute materials to committee
• Monitor application and reporting processes in grants management software
system, ensuring timely receipt of materials and integrity of information.
• Coordinate routine correspondence with grantees and applicants, including:
• responding to requests for information and assistance with the
application process as needed
• Assisting with preparation and disbursement of grant agreements and
award letters as needed
• Distributing declination letters
• Coordinate site visits
• Provide reports and as requested
• Maintain electronic documents related to all aspects of the grants cycle
• Assist in researching community health issues among SHD population, provide feedback related to funding needs and opportunities
• Maintain grantee contact lists
HSI Program and General Administrative Support
• Attend staff, Wellness Coordinator, community, and board meetings as
needed or requested
• Take meeting minutes
• Provide assistance with writing, editing and proofreading for materials of a general nature, or materials of another program area when requested

Sounds like Pamela is planning a long vacation!


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 23, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Sorry, make that a 3% increase in CEO salary.


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 23, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Notably absent in the job description is any suggestion that validation of grantees based upon percentage of their clientele who are District residents. Ravenswood Family Clinic, which serves South County, identifies only 16% of their clientele as being District residents.

An audit of this factor should be made. Hopefully, a much awaited Municipal Service Review(MSR) by LAFC0 will provide this.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 25, 2015 at 10:25 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Correction, the next meeting is on October 7, 2015.
Also, I have been informed by CEO Michelson, that: "...issues related to my salary have only been discussed in closed session , have not been officially voted on and have not been presented to me in the form of a contract extension, it is a violation of confidentially to discuss this publically. You either made a mistake in doing so or you have no regard for the rules by which this organization operates. Your comments are unfair to your fellow Board members, to me and to the District residents.

I apologize to anyone who was harmed by my indiscretion.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 25, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

My recollection of the meeting at which the Board held that "closed session" was that they voted to pursue negotiations for a 3% increase in salary for CEO Michelson. I am not sure exactly what was reported out of that "closed session", but it can be found in the audio recording of the meeting. Unfortunately, CEO Michelson, who clearly has considerable discretionary authority has chosen not to post that recording on the District website.

As a Director, I am forced to visit the District office to obtain a copy of meeting audios, which I have done for the past few years. And, I have posted them on my website: Web Link

Today I had the following e-mail exchange with CEO Michelson:

Friday, September 25, 2015 10:46 AM

ME: What is the earliest time I can come by today to get a copy of the last meeting audio?

CEO: Janeene is back in the office on Monday at noon.

ME: Is there no-one else in the office who can get it for me? Let me on the computer and I’ll do it myself. Better yet, have Gwen post it on our website.

CEO: Gwen is also not in today and no one else can get it for you. You should request things in a more timely basis.

My indiscretion may be no more than assuming that the CEO raise was a fait accompli. Lee may be holding out for more, or willing to take less. Only time will tell.


Like this comment
Posted by Mark De Paula
a resident of another community
on Sep 25, 2015 at 9:56 pm

Jack, keep up the good work!
The next election cycle voters will have the opportunity to elect new Directors. I am confident that they will realize that Sequoia Healthcare District has done its job when Sequoia Hospital was sold years ago.
Sequoia Healthcare District does not own Sequoia Hospital.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 1, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

In an e-mail Sent: Thursday, December 6, 2012 9:38:14 AM
Subject: annual report, CEO Michelson said:


"I will make sure that next year that I distribute the annual report for review and comment to the Board before it is prepared for printing."

How quickly he forgets.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

The agenda for the Sequoia Healthcare District October 7 meeting is available at: Web Link

Agenda item 5b states:
Annual Report Preview: 2015
Number of copies: 86,000
Number of pages: 4
Distribution: every household in District, delivered by mail couriers
Time frame: to printer on October 8, expected distribution October 19-23
Electronic version: on website by October 23rd
Cost: about $28,000 or about 35¢ per copy
Featured stories: Healthy Eats-Active Feets, Ravenswood Dental Program,
Star Vista’s Day Break, SFSU Nursing Program, PFS Yoga Program and
Jasper Ridge Horse Buddies

Only 15% of Ravenswood Family Clinic clients are residents of the Sequoia Healthcare District.

Benefits derived by District residents, from the $Million per year Nursing program, have been questioned by the Grand Jury and reported on thoroughly in this forum. Web Link

Jasper Ridge Horse Buddies is a program which Jasper Ridge Farm has with the Palo Alto VA. Veterans, some of whom may reside within the Sequoia Healthcare District boundaries, benefit from this program.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 1, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Here's a sample of what to expect for the Jasper Ridge story:

Web Link

It's a wonderful program, but not a one that should be funded by District residents.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

I picked up a copy of the meeting audio at which a closed session resulted in instructions to negotiate a 3% salary increase for CEO Michelson. Unfortunately, the recorder was not used when the Board reconvened. The draft minutes of the meeting state that "There was no reportable action taken in closed session."

It's likely that we'll never know what actually happened. All I know is that someone was authorized to negotiate a 3% raise with the CEO. Why that was not reportable boggles the mind.

Perhaps if someone requests removal of the following item from the Consent Calendar, we might have a public discussion on the CEO raise. It would be interesting to see what happens if a member of the public makes that request. Any volunteers?

Item 3. Consent Calendar - President Faro
Approve increasing CEO's Annual Salary To $199,548 Effective April 27, 2015.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 3, 2015 at 11:17 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

While soliciting advice on how to proceed with the consent calendar, it was suggested to me that it was highly irregular, if not illegal, to have an item such as a raise for the CEO, on the consent calendar. What do you think? Or, know for a fact.


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 6, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Correction. Jasper Ridge Horse Buddies is not a program which Jasper Ridge Farm has with the Palo Alto VA. Why CEO Michelson mentioned it as a component of the annual report is a puzzle to me. Our involvement(a $15,000 grant) is for the veterans program with the VA.

This is from the District website:Web Link

"We All Want to Help Our Brave Vets"

If there is one group of people that everyone wants to help it is our injured military veterans. These brave men and women risked their lives for the rest of us and have been impacted by both physical and mental health challenges. SHCD has partnered with Jasper Ridge Farm to offer a therapeutic horseback riding program for veterans from our community. It is a unique program focused on building self-esteem and helping control depression.

The Jasper Ridge program which the District Grant supports is with the Palo Alto VA. Veterans, some of whom may reside within the Sequoia Healthcare District boundaries, benefit from this program. I have seen no effort on the part of the District to quantify the benefit to it's residents.




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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Sequoia Healthcare District was held yesterday.

CEO Lee Michelson, as promised, gave a preview of the annual report(which was scheduled to go to the printer today). There were no hard copies. Several computer generated images were projected. Of note was a large, blank, white area which Lee explained was where a story about the Veteran's Horseback Riding program would be inserted.

So much for a review by the Board!

Pamela Kurtzman provided me with copies of two Jasper Ridge Farms Grant applications which had been approved. Those were:

1. Horse Buddies which is part of the districts school based grants program, and directly benefits children living in the district.
and,
2. Veteran's Horseback Riding. This application asserted that 25 out of 33 veterans in the program were district residents. The application states that; "We work directly with the Veterans Administration Palo Alto Healthcare System, San Mateo and Menlo Park." I am quite sure that they assumed that inpatients at the VA Menlo Park facility were district residents. Such is not the case. I have asked Lee to obtain a corrected accounting of district veterans participating in the program.

I requested that the Approval of a salary increase for CEO Michelson be removed from the consent calendar. It was. I then presented arguments suggesting that the demands of the job do not justify the salary level, and that Lee was functioning as a high level PR man. A look at the district website and annual reports give weight to that suggestion.

Please, let the district know how you feel about what they are doing!


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 8, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Let me be clear about this.

I think Jasper Ridge Farms performs a great service to the community. However, as an elected Director of a district which collects property taxes within it's boundaries, I strive to see that these taxes are used for the benefit of residents within those boundaries. The Veteran's Horseback Riding Program does not pass the test. Unfortunately, it does have great PR value for a District which is fighting for it's existence.


6 people like this
Posted by reader
a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2015 at 4:04 pm

This is very odd. It looks like "The Jack Hickey Show."


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 21, 2015 at 11:15 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Communications from CEO Michelson you may find interesting.

From: lmichelson@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 11:24 AM
To: 'Jack Hickey, SHD Director'
Cc: 'Gwen' ; pkurtzman@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com ; 'Arthur J. Faro'
Subject: annual report

"The annual report will be printed starting tomorrow.. I plan to have the electronic version available by the end of the week if not before… We are in discussion with Jasper Ridge regarding residency of all of their participants. The meeting is scheduled for this Friday. Please direct your questions to me, not Pamela or anyone else."

From: Jack Hickey, SHD Director [mailto:jhickey@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com]
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 11:35 AM
To: lmichelson@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com
Cc: 'Gwen'; pkurtzman@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com; 'Arthur J. Faro'
Subject: Re: annual report

You have an electronic version available NOW. Why the delay in getting it to Directors? That should have been done a week ago.

Am I invited to the Jasper Ridge meeting?

From: lmichelson@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 11:35 AM
To: 'Jack Hickey, SHD Director'
Subject: RE: annual report

No you are not invited and why the need to see it before the end of the week?

From: Jack Hickey, SHD Director [mailto:jhickey@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com]
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 11:55 AM
To: lmichelson@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com
Cc: Art Faro
Subject: Re: annual report

Why the need to deny the Board a preview, as promised?

You could end the controversy by setting a policy of mailing after the November election date every year. Nothing in current Board Policy prevents you from doing that. You are protecting the majority members of the Board from responsibility for this “electioneering” policy you pursue.

From: lmichelson@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 1:21 PM
To: 'Jack Hickey, SHD Director'
Subject: RE: annual report

The review took place at the Board meeting. I have perfectly fine with the timing.









Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 22, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

My response to Lee Michelson:

Board policy does not dictate timing of the mailing. The Board has conveniently refrained from interfering with your “discretionary” authority regarding details of the annual report. Is it mere coincidence that your choice of mailing date occurs in the weeks before election day? I think not. In my honest opinion, you are carrying out the wishes of the Board majority who are silent on the issue. Acting, as it were, on an assumed consensus which the Board majority chooses not to establish as policy.

Congratulations on your latest raise.

Art, why don’t you make this the policy of the board? Put some clothes on the emperor.

Currently, the District's Policies and Procedures is silent on the annual report. Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 27, 2015 at 10:38 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

As of this time, the annual report has not been posted to the District website, nor sent to me by e-mail.

Here is an e-mail which Lee Michelson sent to the Board of Directors and District counsel:

From: lmichelson@sequoiahealthcaredistrict.com
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 9:24 AM
To: 'Arthur Faro' ; 'Kathleen Kane' ; 'Kim Griffin' ; 'Jerry Shefren' ; 'Jack Hickey, SHD Director' ; 'Mark Hudak'
Subject: The timing of the annual report

As in previous years, the annual report is being distributed very soon. As I understand it the election it takes place next week. Since we do not have an election this year, I am not sure how this is political on my part despite what Jack Hickey indicates. Last year it went out in the same timeframe and next year it will again go out late October or early November. If our goal was to impact the election, wouldn’t we send it out in September or early October when residents are receiving their ballots? I am certainly not perfect but I am not that incompetent. He can falsely accuse me all he wants, I really do not care but I want the rest of you to know that the annual report is meant to communicate the work of the District. It is not a political statement and we go out of our way not to feature any Board member. Over the next 3 days I will be visiting the Desert Healthcare District to look at a few very interesting programs that they offer their residents. I will report on these next week. Of course, I am always available by email or on my cell phone. Lee

President Art Faro has not responded to my suggestion shown in my last post:
"Art, why don't you make this the policy of the board?" That is, to mail the annual report AFTER the November election date.

Note: Not all Board members are privy to the content of my e-mail in my last post, unless they have visited this topic in the Town Square Forum.

When they become aware, perhaps they will ask for an agenda item to address the issue. My effort failed for lack of a second. Ergo my suggestion that Lee is acting "...on an assumed consensus which the Board majority chooses not to establish as policy."



Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda

on Sep 24, 2017 at 4:59 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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

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