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Letter: Don't split vote in health care district race

Original post made on Oct 16, 2014

I hope by now enough voters are aware of how our taxes continue to go to what is renamed a health care district — renamed because the hospital district for which the taxes were granted was sold.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments (28)

Posted by Mark De Paula
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2014 at 3:23 pm

If Jack Hickey, John McDowell and I are elected, we will give the voters the right to decide Sequoia Healthcare District's future. The S.H.C.D. mission was to build Sequoia Hospital. Mission was completed and Sequoia Hospital was sold in 1996.
Please go to my website www.mjd4shd.com and you will see the reasons why I am seeking the office of Director of SEQUOIA HEALTHCARE DISTRICT. Please also see Jack’s & John’s websites. Also, please go to www.youtube.com and put in the search Sequoia Healthcare District candidates 2014 -to watch all of the four candidates videos.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

This a a chance for the taxpayers to finally vote on the existence of this Special District.

Vote Hickey, McDowell, DePaula


Posted by Gordon Seely
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2014 at 5:46 pm

October 16, 2014

Voters have a rare opportunity on November 4 to decide how much they wish to pay in taxes. Messrs. Hickey, Mc Dowell, and De Paula are candidates for the Sequoia Healthcare District. They promise, if elected, to submit to the voters the question of whether the District, no longer connected with Sequoia Hospital since 1996, should remain in operation. It is difficult to make the argument that an expensive bureaucracy and a clicque of Directors know how to spend one's tax dollars better than the citizen-voters themselves.


Posted by Poster
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Mark: If the district is dissolved, will the taxes of property owners in the district go down?


Posted by Scott
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Scott is a registered user.

The taxes do not go down. The money will be moved to the general fund.


Posted by Mark De Paula
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2014 at 1:00 am

Now I sound like a politician, this is a yes and no answer.The money we would not ask for stay in the general fund, most likely, but if approved by the layers of government; taxes could go down, I would not hold my breath. Why do we need a special district that gives to SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS? Sequoia hospital was sold in 1996. SEQUOIA HEALTHCARE DISTRICT has given San Mateo County taxpayers money to other counties,i.e. Santa Clara County. It just does not make sense for this district to have a C.E.O. that makes more than the governor of California. The real issue is San Mateo County is in the red ( billions of dollars), I feel we need to keep money away from all Special Districts. Have the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors be responsible, and if they do not spend San Mateo County taxpayers wisely--vote them out.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 17, 2014 at 7:53 am

pogo is a registered user.

The issue is that this hospital district has morphed from a governing body for a hospital into a select group of people that distributes tax dollars to their favorite charities and organizations. That's not the purpose of the district or government.

This district should have been disbanded when the hospital was sold. But like most government agencies, they never go away, even when the sole basis for their existence no longer exists.

I will be voting for Hickey, De Paula and McDowell and I encourage others to as well.


Posted by Retire the politician
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

Dr. Shefren.

Compare Hickey with Shefren.

Just look at them. Look at what they stand for and how they articulate their values and ideas.

One is a professional. The other has run for every office in the state: governor, senate, etc.. If I recall correctly, Hickey thought it good judgement to bulldoze the top off of Edgewood Park for a golf course, despite the under-utilized Emerald Hills golf course being only a mile or two away from Edgewood Park. The list of poor judgement goes on and on... he's run on this issue for a decade but done NOTHING to make it happen other than to write letters to the Almanac.

Governor? Really, Jack?

Time to retire and let someone who can succeed take over, someone who can accomplish what they promise, instead of making a career on a single issue and achieving nothing on that same issue.

Dr. Gerald Shefren.



Posted by Mickie Winkler
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I support Hickey, De Paula and McDowell and the dissolution of the Sequoia Healthcare District.

The Administrative Costs for this outmoded District are upwards of $600,000 which could be going to real services instead. It will take these 3 well-qualified candidates to dissolve this wasteful enterprise.


Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm

The original letter states "The dissenting director, Jack Hickey, has been elected to three four-year terms by voters who continue to question the validity of this health care district and are unhappy he has never changed anything." "Retire the politician" said, "Time to retire and let someone who can succeed take over..." I'm hoping that he is one the voters who is "
unhappy he has never changed anything" and will vote for John McDowell who is more likely to succeed. However, John can not do it without the votes of Mark DePaula and Jack Hickey. Dr. Shefren is committed to the "status quo" which is in conflict with LAFCo's Municipal Service Review.
Listen to the candidates (DePaul, Hickey, McDowell and Shefren on youtube. Web Link

Mario Dianda, editor of the Palo Alto Daily News, said this in response to my query into editorial endorsements in the Sequoia Healthcare District election: "Sorry for not responding sooner. The answer to your question is no. We've been very short-staffed lately and I only have time this year for some city council races. I'm also skipping most school board races. Besides, I know your position regarding the healthcare board because you've been trumpeting it for years. Although I believe you make some valid points, I think voters have shown election after election that they're OK with the status quo."

This was my response:

In 2002, when I was first elected, the “status quo” candidates, Faro and Shefren”", would have lost if the votes for the 7 challengers were given to the top 3 challengers as would occur in a “preferential voting” system such as Oakland uses.

In 2004, Sigler and Gibson would likely have won had it not been for a glossy flyer supporting incumbents Kane and McNaughton, which was paid for by John Rubin’s PenCoPac with 20,000 from Colorado based CH2M Hill.

In 2010, I outpolled Art Faro by more than 1,500 votes. Web Link

In 2012, when I forced an election by running for a 4 year seat with 2 years remaining in my term, I received 32,627 votes. The average vote count for incumbents Griffin and Kane was 43,070. If 2 out of 3 voters who supported my agenda felt obligated to “vote for 2” as instructed by the ballot, instead of voting for only Jack Hickey, those added votes for the incumbents were not in support of the status quo. Deduct those votes from the incumbents totals and dissolution would be the clear winner, 32,627 to 32,194.

And, my 32,627 votes was more than Shefren and Faro had ever received! And, more than Don Horsley received in 2006.

If Hickey, McDowell and DePaula are elected, we will give the voters a choice. They won’t choose the status quo.


Posted by Retire the politician
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm

12 years, promising to get the job done, forcing special elections, "you've been trumpeting it for years" and, oh, please, elect me again!

Lots of excuses:
- "..would have lost if the votes .. were given to the top .. as would occur in a "preferential voting" system such as Oakland..."

- "...would likely have won had it not been for a glossy flyer..."

- "...forced an election by running for a 4 year seat with 2 years remaining..." then blaming "his" voters for not reading simple instructions

A dozen years of excuses and NO RESULTS AS PROMISED.


I'm voting for Dr Gerald Shefren.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2014 at 10:26 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Here is a corrected story the Almanac did right before the election in 2010. At the time several papers were misleading the voters. Kudos to the Almanac for the correction.

Web Link


Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Exact quote of Jerry Shefren from candidates statements on youtube Web Link
"Art Faro and I strongly support the continuation of the Sequoia Healthcare District as it currently exists."

A vote for Shefren or Faro is a vote to deny the electorate a real choice in determining the future of health care districts in California, as has been suggested by the Grand Jury.

Don't split the vote!

Vote for Hickey, DePaula and McDowell.


Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Correction: "...a real choice in determining the future of health care districts in California..."? That should have been "San Mateo County", although our success here could have ramifications throughout the state.


Posted by face facts
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Oct 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm

The "Dissolve" party is ill-served by staying with Hickey. Too much baggage.

And they know it.


Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm

face facts:

what's the "baggage?" The fact that the Sequoia Health Care district is basically a sham agency for county supervisors to use to reward cronies? You mean that baggage? I'll be voting for the ticket. This district needed to be dissolved when its reason for being ceased to exist. It's now nothing more than a corrupt candy store for corrupt politicians.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 19, 2014 at 9:29 am

pogo is a registered user.

I wanted to thank Mr. Hickey for providing the link to the candidate statements on YouTube. It was extremely enlightening. Here it is Web Link Mr. Hickey, McDowell and De Paula were extremely impressive and made reasonable, measured, compelling statements.

I was amazed at Dr. Shefren's attempt to justify a hospital district that no longer has a hospital! Only in government could such folly be proffered with a straight face. Shefren's principal point seemed to be that they provide free CPR classes to the community. Perhaps the good doctor is unaware that several other non-profits such as the YMCA and Red Cross already do this - more efficiently, in far greater numbers and without taxpayer dollars.

Shefren stated few reasons for voting for him and not a single one was based on his accomplishments. His basic theme is opposition to a referendum allowing voters to decide the future of this long obsolete district. What do you fear, Dr. Shefren? Voters who foot this bill shouldn't decide? Seriously?

Shefren also alleges that a referendum costs "hundreds of thousands of dollars." Baloney - they can easily time the referendum with a scheduled election and it won't cost a single cent more.

VOTE FOR HICKEY MCDOWELL AND DE PAULA. End the cronyism and madness.


Posted by Richard Hine
editor of The Almanac
on Oct 19, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Richard Hine is a registered user.

Pogo:

From the county elections office:

"The estimated cost to a jurisdiction to place a measure or initiative on the ballot runs approximately $1.50 to $2 per registered voter during a general election. The cost to a jurisdiction to hold a standalone special election can run approximately 5 to 7 times greater than placing a measure or initiative on the ballot during a general election.

The County is fully reimbursed by the jurisdiction for the cost of the election."


Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 19, 2014 at 6:12 pm

The County is fully reimbursed by the jurisdiction for the cost of the election."

So what's the problem? Put an initiative on the ballot and find out if the voters want to keep throwing money away on a district that no longer exists for the reason it was created.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Thank you for the clarification Mr. Hine. It is important to have accurate information.

But I recall hearing or reading that the cost for each district depends on the density of the ballot for that election. For instance, if there are a lot of measures or offices to be decided on a ballot, the cost for each district goes down. Since November 2016 is a presidential election year, I have to imagine that it will be a very full ballot and the relative cost for any individual district would be dramatically reduced.

I also have no doubt that Shefren was referring to a special election where the district referendum would be the only item on the ballot as a scare tactic. And I also think that voters and taxpayers should have been consulted for such a major change in the scope of their district.


Posted by almost famous
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 20, 2014 at 9:54 am

Any one care to list the successes of Jack Hickey in the last decade?

If nothing, then we should ask about the concept of term limits for non-performing political celebrities.


Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 20, 2014 at 1:36 pm

almost:

how about answering this: should we be giving tax money to a hospital district that no longer owns a hospital?


Posted by answers?
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Oct 20, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Seems like both are fair questions.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Jack Hickey has accomplished this, He got two gentleman to join him so the voters could finally have a chance to vote on this issue. That is representing the property owners who pay the tax.


Posted by Retire the politician
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm

A fable called: The Wild Successes Of Director Jack Hickey -- from "The First Decade" Edition...

1. "he got two gentleman to join him"

End of Fable.

.................

I stand by the statement: "Time to retire and let someone who can succeed take over, someone who can accomplish what they promise, instead of making a career on a single issue and achieving nothing on that same issue."

"got two gentleman"

Okey-dokie.




Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Hickey has fought long and hard on this issue and we should give him the support that he needs to bring this issue to the voters.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 20, 2014 at 8:36 pm

pogo is a registered user.

What does the District fear from a voter's referendum?

If they were truly confident with their mission, they would embrace the opportunity for confirmation.

VOTE FOR HICKEY, MCDOWELL AND DE PAULA.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

VOTE FOR HICKEY, MCDOWELL AND DE PAULA.

Palo Alto Daily Post got it right.


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