Vote No on Measure F, Says Letter to the Editor
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SHCHD once again is asking the folk in SoHum to tax themselves millions of dollars, for the purpose of general operations of the Healthcare District. It is my understanding that the SoHum parcel tax raises $1.3 to $1.4 million per year, and that the money is handed over to SHCHD to do with as it pleases. Another term of 10 years is proposed, which will tax the public approximately $14,000,000.
SHCHD is a Healthcare District, operated since the failure of a previous entity. Healthcare Districts were formed at a time when stopgap healthcare operations became common in rural areas. Many districts operate Skilled Nursing Facilities, and other services, such as Ambulance services and Clinics.
Healthcare in rural areas is a serious issue, sometimes addressed with Federally funded Healthcare Clinics, such as Redway Rural Health, and various other healthcare operations. In Garberville, the hospital has lived through several organizational arrangements, and this is not a history lesson. Suffice it to say that the current existence of SHCHD is dependent upon energies expended by certain individuals, continued Governmental support through payments from Medicare, Medi-Cal, Insurance, and other programs, Governmental Grants and payments to hospitals, donations and gifts, and the parcel tax on real property.
The popularity of District Hospitals varies extremely from District to District. Where the population is larger, better centralized and more cohesive, the hospitals may be perceived more positively. In a community which is diffuse, and non-cohesive, such as SoHum, we need to consider many factors before attempting to levy a parcel tax to support an operation like SHCHD.
The general mode of operation, at SHCHD, is for the Board to discuss the “nuts and bolts” in closed meetings, and then to discuss the ordinary, the repetitive and mechanical business in “open” meetings.
This process conceals the “real” operations from the “public” ones, and one of the primary orders of business at SHCHD appears to be maintaining a Board that is favorable to the Old-Line membership. This continuum of “same as it ever was” has defeated the purposes of SHCHD in the sense that no new thinking is permitted, and repression by the old, keeps evolution from happening.
As the District goes forward, the agendas of the persons who “used to be” on the Board, are thereby maintained. The “missions of the past” are pursued relentlessly, while the needs of the community are often ignored.
The Board of SHCHD claims to have a “Mission”, or a “Vision”, if you will.
When business is conducted in secret, and financial details are not publicly revealed, we develop a culture of “because we say so”, on the part of the District.
So, why do we need it? Because “they say so”!
This kind of thinking, and the acceptance thereof by the employees, and to a limited extent, the community, is severely broken.
The “mission” has become a “delusion”
SHCHD has become an entity far beyond the control of the Community, not only because there is very limited concern and utilization of and for SHCHD in the general region, but because SHCHD has been so poorly and secretly operated, and for a long period of time, while maintained on the funds of the public.
SHCHD feels that we should support it’s low quality of operation, “because they say so”, and because “they say” that “we need it”.
It’s THAT simple, and THAT obtuse!
Without even attempting to discuss specific qualities of management, and the mechanics of the employment processes extant at SHCHD, we need to consider the poor regard which SHCHD actually has for its community.
SHCHD just does whatever it wants, and then expects us to pay for it. Few people in the community ever use SHCHD, but the District expects everyone to pay.
If we vote down one tax measure, SHCHD will simply try again. This is how the parcel tax was passed in the first place!
It is my strong feeling that SHCHD will never change, unless it is denied the support it craves.
The District needs to be operated out in the open, with full disclosure, in a profitable and businesslike manner, and by different people.
Until this occurs, I cannot support the tax measure known as Measure F.
Please join me in insisting that SHCHD change for the better!
PLEASE VOTE NO ON MEASURE F!!