Letter: “Too much money with too many unanswered questions”

There’s an old saying that goes, “reasonable minds may differ”. So before you call those opposed to Measure I, ‘haters”, “full of venom” or ‘a handful of people wanting to close the hospital’, step back and at least acknowledge our concerns. I am not asking you to agree, but at least give us credit for bringing a logical argument to the table. Let’s start with the past.

Although they say past mismanagement is the past and of no concern, I say it is. As stewards of public money, doesn’t the Board have a fiduciary duty to find out where the $85 million went, especially since the Grand Jury asked that same question?

What about the present? I have not seen or heard how the $55 million amount was calculated or how it will be spent. Instead, at a bond presentation, I heard Dr. Benzeevi, of HCCA, state they will hire “the best and brightest” to figure out what will be needed to finish the tower and who would perform the work. But shouldn’t that have already been done? And what about the “community oversight committee” to be created by HCCA? Should a private company be given this power? Why did the board delegate this to HCCA?

Who controls the future? HCCA’s agreement is for 15 years, with an option of another 10 years.

They also have an option to purchase. Yes the Board can cancel the contract, but the District would have to pay HCCA $8 million. And yes the hospital can’t be sold without voter approval, but is it that inconceivable that they would once again threaten closure if not approved?

Supporters of Measure I point to HCCA’s claims of record success, justifying giving them $55 million. But we are paying them over $3 million a year, shouldn’t we expect success?

Too much money with too many unanswered questions. A reasonable mind says, let’s not be in such a rush to give our money away to a private company without answers.

Joseph F. Soares
Attorney at Law

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