Harland Harrison
Harland Harrison
The Sequoia Healthcare District should no longer exist. The District started as a hospital district to build and run Sequoia Hospital.

The District then sold the hospital, years ago, but the District Board went right on collecting the taxes!

The Board diverted $15,800,000 in taxes last year. Much of that money is just wasted. They paid $250,000 to a CEO who no longer has a hospital to run. For a quarter million dollars a year, the CEO supervises 4 or 5 employees, (some only working part time).

Director Jack Hickey has been trying to correct this situation for 14 years. He needs two allies on the Board to form a majority. Together we can fix this.

For more information please see http://www.xshcd.com

Jack Hickey
Sequoia Healthcare District Director Jack Hickey

Long, long, ago, before I was even born, the good people of the Peninsula decided their community should have a hospital, nearby. They organized, and they voted, generously, to tax themselves so Sequoia Hospital could be built and operated. Many people were cared for. Many were born. Sequoia Hospital was wonderful for the communtiy for so many decades.

Then, forty years later, the community had grown much larger, with many more healthcare options and many better roads. The citizens of the District no longer needed to subsidize a hospital. They no longer wanted to run a hospital. They voted to sell Sequoia Hospital and trusted their elected SHD Directors to carry out their wishes.

And the Directors DID sell Sequoia hospital. But they sold it to back to themselves! They set up a special, non-profit corporation, to buy the hospital, and over which they held seats on the governing board.

Such a strange arrangement, indeed. Even the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury investigated. So Jack Hickey, an unstoppable reformer, assembled a team to overthrow the run-away Directors and make the District go out of business. Unfortunately, although Jack Hickey won his election, the rest of his team did not.

Undaunted, Jack has tried for years and years to achieve a majority on his Board. If he can only get two more votes on the board, he can do away with the District, and do away with his own job.

During this time, Jack has had some success. The District has finally given up on the phony corporation and actually sold Sequoia Hospital.

Yes, Sequoia Hospital was sold and now belongs to the non-profit, Dignity Health. Only one thing: the District sold the Hospital, but went right on collecting the taxes.

With no hospital to even pretend to run, SHD still collects their same tax share. They basically just give away the tax money. Along the way, they changed the name from Sequoia Hospital District to Sequoia Healthcare District so many voters do not realize what the original District was for.

Of course, when the District ran a hospital, they paid some executives to manage it. Now, when they have no hospital, the Board still pays $250,000 a year to a CEO who supervises four or five employess, (some part time).

Apparently the tax money does not go far enough because the Board devised another source of revenue. When they finally sold Sequoia Hospital, the SHD Board negotiated a "profit-sharing" agreement with the buyer. However, Dignity Health is a non-profit with Catholic nuns sitting on its board of directors. As a non profit, they have no profit to share. So they crafted an "EBIDA" agreement giving the District half of what a formula says the profit could have been. The Board thought this was a good deal based on an analysis by Goldman-Sachs, (the same company known for the sub-prime mortgage-backed securities fallout).

With the money diverted from taxes, and the money extracted from Sequoia Hospital, the District decided to make grants to a variety of worthy causes. Some recipients do provide healthcare, dental care, or something vaguely related. Meals-on-Wheels, for example, is a very worthwhile service. But its not healthcare -- it's lunch! Much of the money goes outside of the District.

Of course, it is only proper that tax money should be spent within the district that pays the taxes. However, the Sequoia Healthcare District cannot avoid a dilemma. The District boundaries happen to include the most affluent parts of San Mateo County and exclude the less wealthy communities. For example, the agricultural workers along the Coast, who could use the help, do not belong to the District.

Sequoia Healthcare District served its purpose long ago and should now cease operations. If you want to stop this madness, vote for Harland Harrison. Together with Jack Hickey, we can put an end to the tax collection. Then we can ask the State and the voters to disolve Sequoia Healthcare District.