In a letter to Contra Costa County’s powerful Local Agency Formation Agency (LAFCO), the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association (CoCoTax) today recommended dissolution of the Mt Diablo Health Care District. The recommendations come on the heels of embezzlement by a boardmember, unclear mission, three Grand Jury recommendations for dissolution, and LAFCo’s 2007 Municipal Service Review.
In the letter, CoCoTax Executive Director Kris Hunt wrote, “While the District does provide some benefits, we believe that the District has failed to deliver sufficient quantifiable benefits to the community to justify the costs of its ongoing operations. Further, the District’s past commitments to improve its results have not been met.”
The CoCoTax recommendation included a summary of concerns that including a common charge against county government that too much money is used to sustain the operation instead of scarce resources going to actual programs. Lifetime health and dental insurance benefits for board members alone has an unfunded liability of $733,798.
“In the current economic climate of diminished resources, District residents deserve better than what the Mt. Diablo Health Care District can provide through use of property tax revenues,” wrote Hunt.
CoCoTax charges that MDHCD suffers from frequent board turnover, internal disputes resulting in a “dysfunctional and ineffective” organization, replete with little regard for open and transparent proceedings and records. The recent charges of embezzlement highlight lack of financial procedures or oversight. Meanwhile, CoCoTax notes a series of ongoing disputes with John Muir Health/Mt Diablo Community Health Fund resulting in needless litigations.
Asking LAFCO to initiate dissolution is just one strategy for shuttering MDHCD; another option include the MDHCD itself wind down its own operation in a responsible manner regardless of conflict of interest.
Hunt told Halfway To Concord, “LAFCO is the place this process has to start since it is clear that the MDHD Board is currently unwilling to address this issue.”