Yes on Measure I Responds to Forum

It is truly sad and unfortunate that there exist people in our Tulare Healthcare District that want to not pass Measure I, and choose to not save our Tulare Hospital. What’s very sad is that these very people are the very people that were on the hospital board when the fiasco with the first bond occurred.

These past healthcare district board members during their “opposition” meeting last week – a meeting in which they openly admitted only allowing selected questions – spoke nearly entirely about the following salient topics:

1) Regaining control and power over the healthcare district board, knowing very well that when they were previously in control they were fully responsible for bringing Tulare’s Hospital to its knees with losses of over a million dollars a month, and a stalked and unfunded construction project.

They not only failed the hospital, they failed entire communities: Tulare, Tipton, Pixley, Woodville, and Alpaugh among others. In fact, during the Q & A, a member of the audience asked what next steps need to be done? And Deanne Martin-Soares answered that the district needs to elect a new board. They had absolutely no plan other than their desire to control.

2) Admitting that the clock to save our public hospital, is in fact ticking. That our hospital is in fact in grave danger of closing down, but softened the truth by offering assurances that there is still plenty of time to save the hospital. They offered absolutely no evidence to support their claim that there is time.

3) Falsely claiming that there is no current transparency, knowing very well that there are weekly and at times daily Tulare Hospital tours of the new tower under construction, and that all public records tied to the constructions and the bonds are available upon request.

What is mind-boggling, is that during the forum, a few of the speakers used open to the public board meeting minutes of record during their slide presentation. If this is not full transparency, we don’t know what is.

Most importantly, these very same people (Deanne Martin Soares, Bill Postlewaite, Lonnie Smith, Prem Kamboj) were in charge of the first bond and they are asked by us what happened?

4) Instilling fear in residents by falsely claiming that the Tulare Public Hospital is now a private hospital, knowing very well that the hospital is owned by the residents within the healthcare district. It is a public hospital and everyone knows that no contract or board decision can change that.

5) Speaker Ms. Deanne Martin-Soares, admitted that her data to support her claims against Measure I were retrieved from what she read in the newspapers. We love our newspapers, but Why not seek the truth using board meeting minutes, bond agreements, construction contract agreements that are ALL available to the public?

Or better yet, since she was on the board when the first bond came out, maybe she can tell us herself what happened.

6) Speaker Lonnie Smith, admitted that he does not take his patients to Tulare Regional Medical Center. He added that he takes them to Kaweah Delta, and further added that he has no shame in saying so.

How does this reasoning help patients? How does this help our communities he means to serve?

7) They admitted that the cost for a state-of-the-art new hospital would be about $80 per year in assessments. Actually, it’ll be $2.49 per month per 100,000 of assessed value.

Quite honestly, $80 per year is nothing compared to what the entire community will benefit from on the long run…for our children…for our future. And they did not mention the alternative of what would happen to our community, our property values, and jobs if we did not have a viable hospital.

8) During the Q & A, a member of the audience asked whether it was illegal to have an attorney engage in a dual-representation to both the board and hospital. The opposition’s attorney did not answer yes or no, but did say that it was the attorney’s conscience to decide so.

In other words, they refrained from admitting to the residents that it was not illegal to do so. Furthermore, they did not mention that there is a conflict waiver signed and that the board has several other law firms only representing them.

26 thoughts on “Yes on Measure I Responds to Forum

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  1. First thing that would be nice to have clarified is who wrote this, were they there and did they actually listen to the presentation? The entire presentation was based on facts and factual documents – not newspapers. We ask that if you would like factual data that you take the time to listen to our Educational Forum and review our 80 slides that do have factual documents. All of which are on the Valley Voice site.

    I am going to take the liberty of speaking for 6 past board members – we would all like to see an audit performed. If anyone of us had anything to do with any malfeasance we would love to answer to the public. We also have no desire for power. We do want to regain some control for the health of the entire District. Regaining control means electing a board that has the District’s best’s interests at heart and not self-serving agendas that have put a stranglehold on the healthcare delivery options in Tulare.

    HCCA and the board can continue to blame past board members but I implore that you ask yourself WHY?

    Why is there no audit of fiscal year 2012? Why was the audit stopped by this board? Why was an inexperienced alignment partner selected that couldn’t fulfill any of the requirements from the Request for Proposal? Why did HCCA not require an audit when all other alignment partners would have? Why does HCCA and this board attack average citizens and doctors with threats and lawsuits? Why is there so much distraction from the real issues at hand?

    You can put out more attack pieces on me or others but it still doesn’t change the facts of this situation. If the hospital closes because this bond does not pass it is going to be because of board failure. The occupancy rate in 4 years has further declined and it was obvious in January of 2013 that there was a hostile attitude to the Chief of Staff. That continues today, another WHY? Physicians are your biggest internal customer and it is obvious that the relationship means nothing to HCCA and the Board. Numerous employees have been lost in those 4 years along with jeopardy in patient safety. We agree that HCCA has shown profit but at what cost? Can that profit continue with the high overhead if governmental funding doesn’t continue?

    Voters please educate and please take the time to vote. We can’t possibly give another $55 million without accountability.

  2. I for one am not a pass board member of the board or any other hospital committee. I am a citizen of Tulare who has lost all trust for the TRMC board and HCCA CEO Benzeevi. I can not and will not support any measure as long as these people are in total control of this hospital. We need people who are honest working in the best interest of our hospital and our community. The deals that this board has made with HCCA have been done behind closed doors. Why would a sitting board of any type give full powers to a company that has no history of ever running a hospital operation and then sign a binding contract for 15 years? All the chaos we are experiencing today is a result of closed door dealings. The lies HCCA has spread attacking those who appose the measure are really unreal and childish. I ask myself why would a company that portrays it self as a professional company and then embarks in this type of behavior is behind me. I am voting NO on measure I. I based my vote on lack of trust.

  3. I am not a past board member, I am just a citizen who wants to know what happened to my money. The YES on I, VP of Marketing Kathleen was there and her sidekick took pictures of each and slide that came up on screen (illegal ) so whoever wrote needs to review her pictures and then re write this. We have never said we wouldn’t support a bond later, we just want accountability for the first 85 million. We want a fiscal audit that has yet to be performed. The audits that were done were by their people not an outside company. If nothing to hide why not agree to so we could move forward. How can you support a company HCCA and a board that lies.

  4. I’m not a past board member but, unlike some current board members, I have read the TRMC/HCCA. A Contract that has given our hospital to HCCA for the next 25 years. A contract that has removed the Board’s reason for existing. A contract that certainly does not serve in the best interest of Tulare.

  5. I am not a past board member but I am against Measure I am as such I have voted no. If anyone has read the contract they know the taxpayers have been sold out. Kumar , Bell and company are bad news. We will replace them.

  6. I do hope the fact that you are trying to bribe your community is noted and posted far and wide. Maybe you need to look at your poor rating as a hospital and concentrate on improving that.

  7. Why can’t the board be replaced now without jeopardizing the hospital? What will happen to the employees of the hospital? Will HCCA do with them? Why can’t the community work together?

  8. Where were all you people three years ago when the hospital was losing millions? Mr. Postlewaite, I have heard you ask what happened to the first bond? what did you do for ten years as chairman on the bond oversight committee? Why didn’t anyone step up and try to help? now that the hospital is finally back in shape the no people are coming out of the woodwork. You have let our community down once. wasn’t that enough? I sat in the board meeting when the new management contract was voted on. it went on for hours. the hospital’s lawyer went over it point by point before the board voted. they took questions. I didn’t see any of you there. so stop complaining. the hospital has a real chance now. please don’t mess up our community’s future because you have failed where others have now succeeded. its not about whose in power. its about doing the right thing for our community and building our hospital. vote yes on measure I

    • If you look at documents supplied by TRMC in response to the grand jury you will see the bond oversight committee was being assured money was available for the project. Dr. Kumar mentioned it along with numerous times by Bolouki and Delbert Bryant. Linda Wilborn was on the oversight committee, wonder what her opinion is about what was told to them.

  9. The problem is the cost of the management fee. In 15 years, the lowest conservative amount to be paid to Hcca will be in excess of $61 million. That is more than fair market value for management fees with all expenses paid by the district.

    Beckers Hospital Review has an article where management fees of $3 million should have a net revenue amount of $50 million. TRMC has about 11% of that amount. Shouldn’t their fee be a just a little over 11% of their current management fee? Instead of $250,000+ a month, more in the $30,000 a month fee?

    There is where you will find your bond monies. All the people that claim Hcca cares about this community, then do a true fair market value management fee to show you do care instead of fleecing this district.

    Our board gave every advantage to a private for profit conglomerate that did not incorporate until a day or two after being selected. Now you want the district property owners to tax themselves to an even higher rate of the current 7%.

    Kaweah’s bond tax percent is 2.2% and Dr. Benzeevi paid for an add that claimed going to 6.8% was staggering. The Tulare District will raise to 9% the first year and 11% in the second year. What do you call that?

    People honestly believe this is the right thing for this community to foot these outrageous fees? Not even Kaweah Delta pays a million dollars to their CEO a year.

  10. Deanne Deanne Deanne I know you and anyone who knows you knows you don’t take blame for anything ” it wasn’t me “. ” I didn’t do it ” ” Don’t blame me ” I have heard it for years and years and it’s Time for you to stand up and take responsibility .

    Bill you were part of an oversight committee Committee and your job is to oversee the money and you didn’t do that now if I give my child $200 to go school shopping do you not think I’m going to ask him for every single receipt to see where the 200 was spent. The oversight committee let the citizens of Tulare down .

    And the MEC they needed to be removed for not doing their job per the State of California right Deanne Right Bill. It was a safety issue right Deanne ? Yet these are the people who asked you to put This campaign on NO together.

    So I guess that makes you their little puppeteers.

    Your group CAN NOT save the hospital you don’t have the money or the time. Your all just upset because the hospital has survived regardless of those who tried to take it down.

    • First, I would like to say that I have known Deanne for 20+ years and I, along with many others I’m sure, don’t appreciate you speaking on my behalf. Deanne is a passionate person who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, even if she stands alone. In this case, she happens to be standing with a community of people who feel strongly that Measure I should be defeated. These said people have given many years of support to the city of Tulare and have done their research on this topic. They are not interested in hurling insults at the Yes on I group, they just want the truth out. Simply stated, they believe in our hospital and our community enough to speak up when they see wrong.

      I would also like to address the idea that Mr. Postlewaite was the chairman of the oversight committee, thus responsible for the last bond. What isn’t being said is that he was co- chair along with Mr. Lynn Dredge. You see, the Yes campaign doesn’t want his name associated with this because he is a current Yes on I supporter. How is it that one co-chair is responsible but the other is never mentioned? Another example of the secrets being kept from the community. Mr. Dredge, along with the rest of the committee worked diligently to ensure that the bond was spent in accordance with the plan, we all know that didn’t happen….at no fault of that committee. It’s interesting to me that Mr. Dredge has never spoken up to support Mr. Postlewaite, regardless of his stance on this bond. He knows what happened yet stays quiet. Could there be a reason for this?

      My husband recently had surgery at KDH, where he was treated with the finest care. I only point this out as their bond DID NOT pass and their hospital is still running smoothly and efficiently. Our hospital will NOT close with a no vote on Measure I!

    • I am not sure that I know you Nicole but what “blame” would you like me to take? The guilt I put on myself is over leaving the board in 2008, I should have stayed and fought the abuse of power. If so maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today. Millions unaccounted for and a one star rated hospital that has an extremely dysfunctional medical staff. I have been attacked for standing up against it since 2006. By the way who has tried to take it down?

  11. tbis is all about POWER and we all know this and we all know this is personal and being done for so many of the wrong reasons.

    People from the past were not able to complete the tower due to mis-judgment & mismanagement. Where was your transparency to the community at that time to let them know you were having problems and mismanaging Their money . The previous board had more drama on it then the show Dallas and that it’s pretty pathetic.

    Now there is the current board which is made more progress in the last four years than anybody has made in numerous years along with HCCA and once again the people causing the drama are ex board members and ex-employees .

    If you guys really want to put your energy somewhere why don’t you put it towards the doctors who are pushing the no on measure I in their office before even asking the patient what is wrong with them. There has been numerous complaints from patients that they are making them feel uncomfortable if they say they are Voting YES. This is so unprofessional and unethical it’s not even funny.

    • Nicole, you sound like someone that was commenting on our No on I page. You blog the same way as an employee that has been a featured cheerleader over the years in board meeting minutes. Your comments about it being personal are the same thing the other person kept saying. Were you one of the video stars that lives in Visalia?

      Please tell us how is it personal? Who is trying to take the hospital down?

  12. Me Dredge too people were give a job and didn’t follow through with it and it doesn’t necessarily make them bad people it just made them unsuccessful in the job they were doing. Also, if at any point they thought something wasn’t right they should have stepped forward.

  13. Nicole, if you would just take some time to read through board minutes you would see that the oversight committee asked numerous times for accountability of the money, and they were not given this. Many times they did step forward, as they are now. I understand you’re passionate about this, and you’re entitled to your beliefs. But to make a personal attack without facts isn’t fair.

    You have used specific names in blaming people but you’ve left plenty of names out who are involved in the Yes on I campaign. My father was just one person on a committee and somehow he’s solely to blame? Really?

    Yes, people were given a job, that they volunteered for. What’s interesting is that some of those people still serve on the board….should they be dismissed for not doing their job?

    • She also fails to properly identify herself–but I’ll let that slide, even though I’m against one’s masking one’s identity. I blocked two of the computers she was using. The post that begins “Me Dredge” I found almost incomprehensible, and there are two replies to herself simply “Mr.” That said, I did not block her. I hope she resolves whatever English and technical challenges and rejoins us.

  14. Joseph when you say failed to properly identify herslef are you targeting just me or everyone who has failed to ID themselves?


    Or maybe you Target people who don’t agree with voting no on measure I. Regardless this is my opinion. Have a great evening

    • I’m not targeting you. You seemed to have technical difficulties and the result on this end was a garble of gibberish. That’s why I blocked the computers and not you. Your last comment is clean on my end and I’m glad you’re back. Please feel free to express your opinon. It’s always welcome.

  15. Nicole, you have opted to criticize me as chair of the Bond Oversight Committee and that is perfectly okay with me. Actually, I co-chaired the committee with Lynn Dredge. Lynn has drunk the HCCA kool aid so he is not one of their targets. The Bond Oversight Committee was composed of 12 dedicated members who gave many hours of their time in an attempt to get answers. So, it is not just me you criticizing, it is twelve very good people. I don’t know who you are Nicole but what I do know is you are not well informed. Since you won’t identify yourself I doubt that anyone attaches much credence to your cheap shots.

  16. I for one am tired of the negative campa and the lack of comprehension from people like Nicole, if that’s even your real name lol! The minutes are there for you to read! Educate yourself and seek knowledge! Mr. Postlewaite is a good man, who done A LOT for this community! He has seen over our school district and he saw new schools built.

    This man deserves respect, he and the others on the bond oversight committee have proven that they asked for informatiom and were not given all pertinent information. what you failed to understand is that new board has made numerous decisions that have already effected us and will further effect us going forward!

    instead of fighting and arguing, maybe see the full picture. Don’t try to dissparriage Mr. Postlewaite and Mrs. Soares, but rather come with ideas to better discuss this topic of debate. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

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