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Board to decide if minority Zone D will elect a director in 2018 or 2020

Original post made by Jack Hickey, Woodside: Emerald Hills, on Feb 2, 2018

On December 13, 2017, Sequoia Healthcare District moved to "zone-based" elections by approving the Draft Plan 3 map shown. See: Web Link

This was introduced in another topic in this forum. See:
Web Link

The chosen map left incumbent directors Shefren, Griffin and yours truly, in zones E, B and C respectively. Two directors, Kane and Faro shared zone A. Faro was up for election in 2018, but Kane will represent zone A until 2020. I suggested to director Faro that he could move to the minority zone D to seek re-election to the Board.
NOTE: Faro participated in the Dec. 13, 2017 meeting by telephone from his ranch in Oregon, and will be doing the same for next Wednesday's meeting.

It has been suggested that minority voter turnout is higher in Presidential elections. In that case, in the view of those in power, zone D would not have an election to fill the seat until 2020. That's poppycock! Nothing prevents them from holding an election in 2018 for a two-year term in minority zone D.

But, those in power would like to give Director Faro an opportunity to run for re-election.

As I suspected, the Sequoia Healthcare District has placed an item on the agenda for next Wednesday’s board meeting which has a Nov. 2018 election option which would deny the newly created “minority” zone a director until the 2020 election. Their rationale is that the larger voter turnout in the 2020 Presidential election year would favor a minority candidate. I've already covered that.

Please consider the addition of Option 3 as shown below. This option comports with the desire to afford the minorities in Zone D an electoral advantage by placing it in the Presidential election cycle, where minority turnout is higher, while also allowing the seat to be filled in the 2018 election.

Agenda Item 5a presents 2 Options to the board. I sent an e-mail suggesting a 3rd option, to the CEO, district counsel and all of my fellow board members. I have appended the options below:

OPTION 1 – Defer Zone D Election Until 2020

In this model, the three districts that elect directors in 2018 would not include Zone D. Presumably, the zones would be A, C, and E, to coincide with the districts in which current directors reside and have expiring terms. Zones B and D would be up for election in 2020. This option defers the election in Zone D to 2020, when minority electoral participation is likely to be greater based on the past voting data. After 2020, Zone D will continue to elect its director in higher turnout presidential election years. In this option, Zone D will not elect a director until 2020, a deferral of two years.

Option 2 – Include Zone D in the 2018 Districts In this option, Zone D would elect a director in 2018, together with two of Zones A, C and E. The remaining zone would elect its director in 2020, along with Zone B. In this option, Zone D would elect a director sooner and Zone D will be locked into electing its directors in nonpresidential years for the foreseeable future, when turnout generally is lower. In option 2, one of Zones A, C, and E will not elect its director in 2018, meaning one sitting director will not be able to run for re-election. It could be that operational, administrative, or other reasons justify the choice of one zone for deferral to 2020 over another. It is up to the Board to decide which of the 3 zones would not elect a director by a majority vote or if preferred by the board, a drawing of straws could be used to make the decision of which zone would not be up for election in 2018

Option 3 – Zones B, D and E would be designated to be on the Presidential election cycle. Zone D, with no current director, would have an election for a 2 year seat in November 2018 to fill the vacancy. This complies with the statutory requirement for staggered terms. Zones C and E, each having a director with 2 years remaining in their terms, would hold elections along with zone D, for those incumbent seats in 2020. Zones A and C, which are on the Gubernatorial election cycle, would each have an election in 2018 in which the incumbents could seek re-election for 4 year seats.

NOTE: The only response to my e-mail asking that my option be added to the agenda item was from district counsel, Mark Hudak He cautioned me that " is a violation of the Brown Act for you to communicate with the other Board members in this manner." I then sent a separate e-mail to SHD Board President Kane, to wit:
"Katie, there is a serious flaw in agenda item 5a. As board president, you could correct this."

The agenda and Board packet for the Feb. 7 meeting can be found here:
Web Link

Comments (5)

Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 2, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Correction: Director Faro was present for the Dec. 13, 2017 meeting.

Sorry Art

It was our October 25th meeting

4: 30 PM, Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Conference Room
525 Veterans Blvd., Redwood City, CA 94063
• Director Faro will attend via teleconference from 663 Holton Road, Talent, OR 97540

Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 3, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

The decision to align minority Zone D with the Presidential election cycle should be made by those representing the minorities whose initiative brought about the switch from at-large to zone elections. The 2 options presented in agenda item 5a would lead them to believe that they would have to accept deferral of the election for Zone D til 2020 if they chose the Presidential cycle. The assumptions used in creating those options are false!

SHD Board President Kane has not responded to my admonition.

Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 10, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Here are a few more details of the past events.

The Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors was threatened with a lawsuit in August 2017 by Melo and Sarsfield Web Link based upon the California Voting Rights Act. The Board held closed session meetings with outside legal counsel on August 23 and September 11 of 2017 to discuss a response. On September 20, 2017, they adopted a resolution of intent to move from at-large Board elections to zone elections (beginning with the November 2018 election, if feasible).
The services of demographer Paul Mitchel from Redistricting Partners Web Link were used to create 3 Zone map alternatives from which the Board could decide.
On December 10, 2017 the SHD Board adopted the Zone map(Zones A thru E) to be used in the Nov. 2018 election.
On February 7, 2017, the Board voted to put minority Zone D(includes North Fairoaks & downtown RWC) on the Presidential election with it's first election in 2020. I argued that they should have an election in minority Zone D for a 2 year seat in 2018. I feel very strongly that such an election would be permissible. I cite the 2004 Sequoia Healthcare District election where a 2 year seat for appointed incumbent John Oblak was called for by the district.

Here's an excerpt from my website Web Link relating to that election:

In November 2004, the Sequoia Healthcare District called an election to fill 2 regular seats and one appointed seat on it's Board of Directors. Jack Hickey's Citizen Advocates for Private Philanthropy sponsored 3 candidates. The candidate (Merrilee Gibson) for the appointed seat held by John Oblak was denied a place on the ballot when Oblak filed for the wrong seat and justice was denied by an association of "good old boy" legal club members. Citizen Advocates for Private Philanthropy spent $2,000 in vain to file a Writ of Mandate.
The election was "stolen" by the incumbents, when a glossy mailing funded by a $20,000 contribution from Colorado Corporation CH2M Hill apparently filtered via Jon Rubin's Peninsula Coalition Web Link to their Web Link

Posted by Useless directors
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 10, 2018 at 2:13 pm

How about term limits to kick out the lifers?

Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Mar 2, 2018 at 11:33 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

See: Web Link for updated information.

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