CoCoTax recommends LAFCO dissolve MDHCD

contra costa county, lafco, grace ellis, mdhcd, mt diablo health care district, cocotax, local agency formation agency, contra costa taxpayer association, john muir hospital, community hospital, board member embezzlementIn 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.”

CoCoTax Receommnds Dissolution of MDHCD

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Comments

  1. Wendy Lack says

    The District Board has extended the filing deadline for its current Board vacancy. The District website now indicates that the extended filing deadline for Board applicants is 3:00pm on Thursday, May 19, 2011. Applicants must submit a resume and cover letter so that they are received in the District office no later than this time/date.

    Applicants are reminded that the District Office is open from 1:00-3:00pm weekdays only.

    Applicants are encouraged to attend the 1:30pm, May 11, 2011 LAFCO meeting in Martinez and the District’s Finance Committee meeting at 10:00am on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at the District Office, in order to become informed of key financial and other challenges the District currently faces (e.g., To be, or not to be.).

    After all, it’s best to go into such things with one’s eyes fully open.

  2. Wendy Lack says

    So, this Wednesday’s Mt. Diablo Health Care District Board meeting is shaping up to be a good one for taxpayers to attend, so they can see for themselves how their tax dollars are spent:

    Mt. Diablo Health Care District Board Meeting
    Thursday, May 5 at 6:00pm
    Location: 1800 Sutter Street, Suite 385, Concord
    Meeting Agenda: http://www.mtdiablohealthcaredistrict.ca.gov/uploads/11_May_5_Agenda.pdf

    Come to think of it, this month’s Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) meeting might be a good one to attend, as well, albeit less convenient because it occurs during the daytime:

    Local Area Formation Commission Meeting
    Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 1:30pm
    Location: Board of Supervisors Chambers, 651 Pine Street, 1st Floor, Martinez
    Meeting Agendas posted at: http://www.contracostalafco.org/meeting_archive.htm

    If you live in the Health Care District area – which includes Concord, Pleasant Hill, Pacheco, Martinez, portions of Lafayette, and adjacent unincorporated areas – come attend one or both of these meetings. Check it out. Might as well get your money’s worth . . . after all, you’re paying for it.

    • Wendy Lack says

      Factoid from the Association of California Healthcare Districts website (http://www.achd.org/historyofhcd.php):

      “Over the last 10 years, 7 Healthcare Districts have filed for public entity bankruptcy reorganization (“Chapter 9″) and three healthcare districts have ceased to exist.”