Preliminary Returns Show Measure I Failure a Landslide

Preliminary results from the Tulare Regional Medical Center bond election have the property tax losing by 66% to 33%.

Measure I was a $55 million bond measure intended to finish construction of the beleagured hospital’s expansion project.

While the Tulare County Registrar’s Office will continue to count ballots postmarked before August 30, and the final vote will not be certified for 30 days, it seems unlikely that the totals would entirely reverse, which would be required for the bond to pass.

Measure I’s fate seems to mirror that of the Visalia measure for the Kaweah Delta Medical Center, which failed at 57% to 42%.

The ballot measure stated funds would be used to “pay for the District’s capital improvement projects that includes completion of Tower One, including earthquake compliant expanded Emergency Department space, labor and delivery suites, and refinancing outstanding debt related to construction, shall the Tulare Local Healthcare District issue $55,000,000 in bonds, with 100% of the bond proceeds being used for construction-related costs and with no bond proceeds being used for hospital administrative costs or to refinance any debt supporting hospital operational costs[.]”

Measure I opponents state the overwhelming results are proof that larger changes are needed.

“The Citizens of Hospital Accountability believe that people of our District Hospital, with their vote, have sent a clear message of their desire to have an accountable and transparent District Board. While we celebrate our hard work in getting our message out about the issues facing our District, we still have much work to do,” the group stated.

“We understand the divisive nature of the campaign and although we will work to bring the community back together, we also believe that it is time to take back our public hospital. Transparency and accountability will continue to be our main focus. The next step is to replace the current Board, with new Board members who will insist on accounting for the past discrepancies, create an independent Board, and come up with a transparent plan to complete the construction and move toward improvement of the quality of care this hospital once had. We ask every District citizen to support the election of Board candidates Kevin Northcraft and Michael Jamaica.”

Dr. Benny Benzeevi, CEO of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, the company contracted to run the Tulare Regional Medical Center, stated that HCCA remains committed to its core mission.

“We are grateful to have had such a focused and dedicated team in this campaign. We are very proud of the tireless hours our many volunteers – both young and old — worked to reach out to the residents of our healthcare district and inform them of the options that are available,” Benzeevi said. “We respect the direction the community has chosen and will work hard to bring everybody together to decide on next steps. HCCA remains committed to delivering an integrated healthcare system that will meaningfully improve the quality of healthcare in our community.”

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

14 thoughts on “Preliminary Returns Show Measure I Failure a Landslide

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  1. Now maybe both sides can work together to bring the best outcome for our community hospital. I really hated how this campaign split our community some people on both sides were guilty of acting like children. I hope you are all able to put aside your differences and work together and continue to keep the hospital open and make it a success. I really hope the measure NO campaign really has a plan and doesn’t let us or the community down. I hope you are just as dedicated in the aftermath to see that better decisions are made. And don’t forget the 500 people that work within that hospital many of them have families and live within this community and have been dedicated to serving the community and remained here even when things seemed bleak. They are the backbone of the hospital. They stayed because either way and either side they believed that our community deserves health care. That was the ultimate goal, wasn’t it? Be great leaders and show the rest of us how to put a community back together and bring success back into our hospital.

    • Hopefully they can focus on quality care and increase patient safety. Hard to give taxpayer money for a hospital that has a 1 star rating with CMS and a F with leap frog. It is time for the board to listen to the community.

    • there are still things to be said on several issues Citizen300. Did you know that the employees signed their contracts that state if they quit the hospital, they can’t work for anyone else for 2 years? Only HCCA. If the CFO has a separate contract being paid by the district….HCCA doesn’t pay that either. Seems to me HCCA is pocketing money that should be used to finish our hospital.
      That contract only benefits HCCA, not our hospital. How would you like it as a board member you have to get HCCA permission to enter the hospital and you can’t look at any records of any kind.
      Do you really think that’s a good way to run a hospital? He may have cash on hand, but he’s run the hospitals ratings into the ground. We are the first hospital in his business venture….so we are the guinea pigs…..not even INYO hospital has a contract like ours….WHY?

  2. People have spoken and spoken with determination.

    Next step:

    1- Recall Kumar. I bet Benzeevi is already talking to his lawyers how to get rid of Kumar now that he is a burden to him. He did medical staff coup to save Kumar – that alienated a lot of doctors and doctors talk to patients and patients vote. Benny loses his bounty. He must be mad at Kumar.

    2- Replace Bell. Once corrupted, always corrupt. Fire her daughter from hospital staff as well.

    3- Get good legal team to cancel giving away of public property hospital to a for-profit corp. HCCA

    Challenge will be to find board members who cannot be bought by Kumar/HCCA nexus.

  3. I know many of the No on Measure I Committee. Membership and they are good people who want what is best for Tulare. If Benzeevi wants what is best for Tulare he will he should be willing to renegotiate the very one sided HCCA/TRMCCongract.

  4. I want to know where you people were at when the first strike went against the employees of the hospital? Our benefits were crippled and lessened. Where were you when people good people were getting laid off? Where were you when employees were donating their own money to build your future? Where were you when this whole mess started? Only when it affected your own pockets did you decide to open your eyes only then is when you began to listen… Or maybe you don’t care about the ones who stuck it out through it all.

    • Actually if you look at meeting minutes you will see that there were people standing up asking questions, for many years back. Many even defending the employees, now of course meeting minutes are not reflective of what is being said by community members, but the past did and you can see it in a number of places.

      Numerous people have received threatening letters from the current hospitals legal and the past legal representation. Some where even sued on the hospital’s dime. I myself received two letters – one this year and one in 2013.

      Of course we care about the employees, we hate that the most. This wasn’t about our individual pocket books, this was about right and wrong.

  5. What is sad is that the whole community, no matter what side you took, comes out of this a loser. Regardless of what your personal feelings are about the Hospital Administration the truth is that this community deserved to have the tower completed to replace the OB, Surgery and Emergency Departments that are working out of a Building that was built in 1949. Yes the Emergency Room has undergone some remodeling but is still inadequate to serve the citizens of Tulare. It is sad that we are still working in an antiquated building and will be for many more years to come. The employees have choices but for the most part they choose to work in the community in which they live and raise there families and it is a shame that they can’t have a modern facility to work in. Think about that when the while the TOWER sits there idle!!!

    • All the new buildings in the world won’t make a better hospital if it is not managed well. I was in and out of the ER with my mother many times for numerous years prior to her passing in 2014. Only one ER doctor on duty while the waiting room stayed packed. A modern facility doesn’t replace a well run ER or any other part of the hospital…..not the employees fault but managements. For the record I have appreciated ALL employees that work at TRMC and they make our hospital proud. Thank you all for your service to our community.

  6. I believe you Deanna Martin Soares. We heard your voice at those board meetings listening to you and your concerns when no one else listened. You were concerned about the employees at that time. Are you now? Many of us were so disappointed when Roger stepped down; we thought he was our last chance of a voice of reason. This whole ordeal got confusing and the employees got caught in the middle. So what happens next? Some of the No supporters are calling the people who stuck it out even with the uncertainty of our future, losers and how could we work at the hospital. Many of the employees stayed because they truly believed that our community deserved a hospital and deserved access to healthcare. Giving back to the community by serving it’s needs in health and healing. I don’t think that makes them losers. We still believe this community deserves that new facility with State of the art services. What happens to the employees? Are they going to be caught up in the middle again or tossed aside because this wasn’t about the employees. Some of us are still confused.

    • I find it hard to believe that you are all that “confused”. For my part I have never heard anyone call any TRMC employee a “losers” for working at TRMC, perhaps a Board member or two but never an actual paid employee. We all have had jobs with employers making decisions that impact employees adversely. Blame the employer not the public. This community has been fighting for this hospital far longer than you seem to know. Educate yourself with hard fact, not “confused emotions”.

    • In our meetings over the past months no one has ever called the employees losers, we have been concerned about them. On the other hand there are employees that came from out of the area, that absolutely don’t know the history that have demonized us and will blame us for not just giving money to this project because the tower sits empty. We understand newer portions of the existing hospital currently sit empty and a new building won’t solve that.

      If you have worked there for some time then you saw how I had to fight just to get any reports back in 2007 as an elected official. Roger was berated and had to leave. I completely understand. I can’t speak for him but I hate that I quit because of the employees. Rosalinda in meeting minutes was also iced out until she went a certain way.

      We all want a hospital but we need one the community is going to use and we need a board that stops with all the personal agendas. The employees are used as pawns by management. I understand it is hard to get staff because people don’t want to come to a place that is going to close – who has hammered that message home for months – HCCA. Not a great move. If you are clinical then you know that some of the management decisions are extremely poor, profits over quality. This includes profits over employee benefits. These poor decisions aren’t employees fault but lack of leadership. We aren’t giving up on the institution nor all of you but this process isn’t going to be pleasant and for that we are truly sorry.

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