Where’s John Lennon When You Need Him?

Here are some excerpts from a column I wrote in September of 2017 entitled “How Greene Was My Valley.”

…Now the new board can’t get sufficient financial information, including audits, from HCCA–which is threatening to sue the board for multiple breaches of its financial obligations. The board, in turn, hasn’t been able to meet in regular session for two months because HCCA’s attorney, Bruce Greene of Baker Hostetler, asserts that, according to California Election Code section 15400, Senovia Gutierrez will not actually be a sitting board member until the board itself declares her to be one.

According to Greene and HCCA, the current board consists of Northcraft, Mike Jamaica, and Richard Torrez, the latter of who sat–chiefly in silence–on the old board.

Through its attorney, Robert Welsh of Baker Hostetler, HCCA promised to Superior Court Judge Melinda Reed on 18 September that it would declare Gutierrez elected at TLHCD’s next regular board meeting scheduled for 27 September.

Until recently Greene has been the attorney for both TLHCD and HCCA. But has he really been? In nearly two years of observation it seems to me that Greene has acted in favor of HCCA and actively against the district’s interests.

Greene, and Baker Hostetler, were terminated by the new board in a special meeting on 9 August.

According to the most recently filed court documents in a motion to force Greene and Torrez to declare Gutierrez, Greene and Baker Hostetler have thus far–as of 13 September–refused to accept the validity of their termination.

Let’s take a look-see at what 15400 actually says:

The governing body shall declare elected or nominated to each office voted on at each election under its jurisdiction the person having the highest number of votes for that office, or who was elected or nominated under the exceptions noted in Section 15452.  The governing board shall also declare the results of each election under its jurisdiction as to each measure voted on at the election.

In plain language, then, to declare election results is a ministerial obligation the board has to its constituency–and not a mechanism by which it itself certifies the result of an election.

If Gutierrez was, as the law says, a sitting board member upon her election and swearing-in, then Greene would have had no choice but to accept his firing.

How well has he served the board these past two months?

I revisit, and truncate, this column in reaction to the 25 April news of this year that–at long last–the Tulare Local Healthcare District (TLHCD) board is bringing suit against Greene, Torrez, former board member Dr. Parmod Kumar and former board president Linda Wilbourn. We saw this particular writing on the wall nearly two years ago.

But I also revisit, and truncate, this column because it’s easier than taking new time to refurnish an old analysis. TLHCD has moved on, and so have we: the Chief and I have just bought a house and are right now in the process of moving; every time I’ve sat down to write, my thoughts have not revisited any old analysis but rather vaulted to where some lost object might be–and where best to store the stuff we’re moving in.

You never know how much stuff you have until you move. We’ve moved three times in just under five years–intentionally jettisoning things along the way–and still we’re inundated with stuff.

Where’s John Lennon when you need him?

I mean, what is all this stuff? Where’d it all come from? Whose is it, and what does it do? I assume it’s important stuff, because we still have it, but some of this stuff I haven’t seen in years. Some of this stuff I’ve even completely forgotten about, yet here it is. In boxes, spilling out of boxes, or waiting to be put into boxes.

And we haven’t unpacked very many boxes over the last five taxing years because we knew the last two rentals we were in represented lifeboats until this house eventually became available.

It’s not like having new stuff. It’s like having fresh eyes on old stuff. Heartening as it is to rediscover some of this stuff, still, it’s a calamity of unprecedented experience.

Ah–but it could always be worse, right?

You could have no stuff. Imagine that!

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