|Volume II, Issue 3||November 6, 2016|
Libertarians offer chance for smaller government in San Mateo County ‘healthcare’ district
by Elizabeth C. Brierly
Lois Garcia and Harland Harrison of San Mateo County have teamed up with Jack Hickey, an elected Libertarian on the board of directors of Sequoia Healthcare District (SHD),
Hickey, a retired research scientist, has crusaded for 14 years to
“We need to validate the district,” Hickey told the Almanac newspaper, which ran a story on the campaign on Oct. 12. If his slate is elected, the plan is not to reflexively
“If I get [Garcia or Harrison] elected,” Hickey told the Almanac,
In an editorial on Sept. 16, the San Mateo Daily Journal agreed wholeheartedly with Hickey’s goal of
Garcia greatly respects Hickey’s work on the SHD board. “There was a time when the District decided to
Garcia sees the district as having a duty to serve the community with integrity.
“They need a strong board of directors that won’t be swayed by ties to the healthcare
Professionally, Garcia is an information security specialist. Active in local politics and community service for over a decade, this is her first time running for office.
Harrison has pledged that if elected, he will work diligently to cut property taxes by 50 percent and to
Garcia, too, is concerned about transparency in government, observing in her ballot statement that, “the current board majority…rejected a suggestion to make meeting
Harrison wrote candidly in a blog post that he wants to close SHD. “The board has sold the hospital, but has gone right on collecting the taxes! They got $11,000,000
In addition to maintaining their campaign web sites and blogs, Garcia and Harrison also recorded video statements that are running on local cable public access television and YouTube,
Along with the local Libertarian Party’s endorsement, the pair has won the endorsement of
Campaign web sites:
* For more background on Sequoia Healthcare District,
LP of San Mateo County ballot recommendations for Nov. 8
For additional recommendations by the LP of San Mateo County for the Nov. 8 ballot, visit the party’s web site at:
Anton for Assembly wins newspaper endorsement, Republican attention
by Sandra Kallander
“People are naturally kinder than the government.”
You know you’ve arrived at the correct web site the moment it loads, because that headline is the first thing you see after
Ken Anton’s district is sparsely populated, and as a consequence, geographically large. It stretches over 300 miles, from the
District 2 has attracted both liberal and conservative refugees from the heavily populated areas of California. With mountains,
Anton has pledged to fully restore the right of self-defense, and says that he “will support (if not author myself) any bill to
To aid the many residents who would be self-employed, he would also end government’s involvement in professional licensing, with
Some residents are involved in growing cannabis in what is known as “the Emerald Triangle.” Without endorsing Prop. 64, the Adult
Anton also defends Proposition 13, the state’s 1978 constitutional amendment enacted by voters to help people keep their homes
Running a race in multiple jurisdictions, over such a far-flung area, has its challenges. And hazards: on October 26, the Anton
Anton is facing an incumbent — famously difficult to oust. Assemblymember Jim Wood (D) of Healdsburg and Anton were unopposed
But Anton has advantages, too. Being willing to run in a “can’t win” race has meant there’s no Republican challenger.
Another advantage may come from the “social media” effect. As polling for Gary Johnson for President seems to
Anton won the endorsement of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, a widely circulated and avant-garde weekly newspaper based in Boonville.
Roberts offers Libertarian solutions to East Bay Regional Park District voters
by Elizabeth C. Brierly
With degrees in Economics and Finance, a career in banking-industry risk management for the FDIC, and impressive certifications in his field, why is Park District Director a
As a mountain biker, father of three, trail volunteer, and Libertarian, Roberts has a special appreciation for the role of parks as a place to express and exercise one’s
On his campaign web site, Roberts observes that while EBRPD’s mission includes balancing preservation with public usage, “management has expanded the footprint of parks on the
Sure enough, his opponent Audree Jones-Taylor indicates on her campaign web site her goal of being an “advocate for protecting the remaining hillside and ridgelines.” And the first
Roberts laments the municipal code’s insistence on requiring government-issued permits for, among other things, “pre-advertised assemblies.” Let alone the organized group bike
“Park visitors should get a sense of ownership of our parks,” Roberts told a Lamorinda Weekly reporter for his Oct. 19 article profiling the candidates, “not a sense of dread
Roberts told the California Libertarian Activist (CLA), “More freedom for park users is paramount, and for this it will be necessary to simplify and reduce the amount of rules.”
“At least two of the other candidates favor protecting natural resources, instead of increasing public access.” Roberts added, “In particular, they supported the current board’s
One specific solution he supports is to “pilot a certification program for responsible users to earn additional freedom in the parks, by conforming to a functioning patrol role.
Roberts believes district taxpayers would find his professional experience invaluable. He conducts continuous bank monitoring, participates in examinations,
To that end, Roberts signed on to several key pledges crafted by the Libertarian National Committee for consideration by candidates for local office, including a pledge to require
Sharing Roberts’s concern about transparency is opponent Dee Rosario, who proposes board meetings be held in the evening and commits to regular personal meetings with constituents.
“The EBRPD 2016 budget is 84 percent funded by property taxes,” Roberts observed on his web site, “and the rest is primarily funded through charges for services. Parcel taxes assessed
He told the Weekly that he “favors an independent body to oversee fiscal performance and he endorses a bottom-up approach to district management operations,” so he proposes, for example,
Roberts has also pledged to immediately end police militarization. In an interview with the “San Leandro Talk” blog, Roberts was asked his opinion about the militarization of the East
As for campaigning, Roberts says, “I practice what I preach as a Libertarian. Not only do I plan to keep government small to increase freedom, I am also keeping my campaign budget small.
There’s no doubt he been able to do that, armed with the three-pronged platform he devised. “My ‘CAT’ platform stands for Community, Accessibility, and Transparency,” Robert wrote. “Community involvement makes for the best parks, and helps the essence of democracy flourish.
Roberts lives with his wife and three children in Piedmont. Ward 2 represents most of Oakland, Piedmont, Canyon, Moraga, Orinda, Orinda Village, Rheem Valley, Lafayette, Rossmoor, and part of Walnut Creek. Parks in this ward include: portion of
Campaign web site: JohnRobertsDemocracy.com
More Libertarian races in California: State legislature
In California’s “top two” open primary election on June 7, along with Ken Anton running for Assembly District 2, four other Libertarian
Running for State Assembly are Libertarians Mike Everling of Los Angeles (District 51), whose campaign we featured in our Oct. 6 issue,* against incumbent Jimmy Gomez (D).
Real estate agent Baron Bruno of Venice (also profiled in our Oct. 6 issue) ran as a write-in candidate in a
Honor “Mimi” Robson of Long Beach, a structural engineer, is running for State Senate District 33 against incumbent Ricardo
Please consider volunteering or contributing to these Libertarian campaigns (campaign site addresses are shown below).
In addition to our candidates at the state level, the LP of California has candidates running for office at the local level,
In this issue, we feature the campaigns of John Roberts for East Bay Regional Park District, Ward 2, and Lois Garcia and Harland
Aaron Starr, whose campaign we profiled in the Oct. 6 issue, is a CPA and controller of a large
Brian Thiemer, the northern vice chair of the LP of California, is on his second run for
Susan Marie Weber, an elected Libertarian city councilmember in Palm Desert since 2012 who served as mayor in 2015,
Please consider volunteering or contributing to these Libertarian campaigns.
For updates on Libertarian candidates running for office in California this election season,
A big “thank you” goes to all our Libertarian candidates. The California Libertarian Activist wishes you good luck and high
* Back issues of the California Libertarian Activist are available at Ca.LP.org/news.
Free of guilt or reservation
by Ted Brown, Chair
The difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is that, if the Democrats proposed burning down the White House,
— Malcolm Wallop (R),
In just two days, Election Day will be upon us — and what
Sadly, Gary was denied a place in the presidential debates, but given how the debates are run by Democratic and
Millennials, aged 18 to 34, get it. They are Gov. Johnson’s strongest support group. Active-duty military personnel
I’m proud to support Gary Johnson without guilt or reservation, without my reason being that “the other guy is
We saw an enthusiastic response from volunteers wishing to serve as presidential electors for the Johnson–Weld
Of course, it takes money to garner Libertarian votes. Please visit the Johnson-Weld campaign web site and
In other news, the Libertarian Party of California has taken positions on the statewide ballot propositions
You probably could have predicted most of our positions, given how the party opposes bonded indebtedness,
So why oppose Prop. 64, as the LPC executive committee unanimously voted to do? There are passionate
Membership is growing in both the national and California LP, and I welcome any new members who are
Finally, the Executive Committee will hold its next meeting on November 19 (see sidebar for details).
LP of California Executive Committee meeting
WHEN: Saturday, November 19, 2016, from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
WHERE: Mudrakers Café, 2801 Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley
The LPC Executive Committee holds in-person meetings quarterly
Mendocino LP undertakes changes to constitution and bylaws
On October 15, the Mendocino County Libertarian Party (MCLP) met in Ukiah to prepare a new constitution and bylaws.
Upon approval of the constitution and bylaws, nominations for officers will be accepted at that meeting.
Next meeting of the LP of Mendocino County
WHEN: Saturday, November 12, 1:00 P.M.
WHERE: Dolphin Isle Marina in Fort Bragg
DETAILS: Please check the Facebook page in case of any last-minute updates or changes, at
Recommendations on statewide ballot measures
The Libertarian Party of California has taken the following positions on the statewide propositions on the November 8 ballot:
These recommendations are also posted on the LPC web site, at Ca.LP.org/measures.
The importance of your vote for Liberty
by Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
I have focused in my columns upon how Liberty in so many circumstances more positively and
I have asserted that Libertarian Gary Johnson is the only presidential candidate who would consistently
Well, the presidential election is now upon us, but Governor Johnson will not win it outright. (He could still win, if the
Nevertheless, I still entreat you to vote for Governor Johnson! Why? Because instead of voting for either of the truly scary
Furthermore, your vote will really count. For example, a vote for Trump in states like California or New York is a wasted
But if Johnson receives just five percent of the vote nationwide, the Libertarians will receive public funding in the next
Object to the status quo, stand up for Liberty and integrity, and please pass this message on to as many of your voting
James P. “Jim” Gray is a retired superior court judge, author of A Voter’s Handbook: Effective
This column was originally published as installment no. 90
San Diego Libertarian Party welcomes all
WHEN: Second Thursday of every month, 7:00 P.M.
WHERE: 7840 El Cajon Blvd., Suite 500, La Mesa 91942
WHEN: Fourth Wednesday of every month, 6:00 P.M.
WHERE: Giovanni’s Restaurant, 9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego 92123
DETAILS: We have guest speakers, video presentations, debates, and sometimes, we just socialize.
SJSU sorority welcomes Libertarian rep at candidate forum
by Ed Wimmers
I found it satisfying and even refreshing to represent the Libertarian Party at the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (DST)
A variety of candidates participated: one congressional candidate, one state senate candidate, three
The moderator made sure everyone had a chance to speak, but even so, given that there were so many candidates,
During the question period, not surprisingly, I was asked about Gov. Gary Johnson’s infamous “Aleppo moment,” so
For my final remarks, I observed that most of the discussion had been about government attempting to solve problems,
There were many positive aspects of the forum. It was refreshing to chat with a few citizen-candidates running out of concern for their
However, the brightest spot was when Pattie Cortese, running for re-election to the East Side Union High School
Finally, in case I’d had any doubt about having taken time to be there that day, two of the sorors — as
Ed Wimmers is a former chair, and current activities chair, of the Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County.
Promote the LP on Election Day
WHEN: Election Day! Tuesday, November 8, 2016
WHERE: To be determined
DETAILS: We’re planning a variety of activities for Election Day, in three separate time slots:
Locations and activities throughout the county are still being planned, and will be based on the number
Please remember that all electioneering activities must
Go Gary Johnson and our local Libertarian candidates!
Central committee meeting
WHEN: Thursday, December 1, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
WHERE: Mimi’s Café: 1613 Willow Pass Road, Concord 94520
MORE INFO: MeetUp.com/lp-ccc
Meetings are normally held on the first Thursday of each month.
LP to meet students at JSA political fair in S.F. Bay area
by Lawrence Samuels
It’s time for our semiannual participation in the Junior State of America convention in Santa Clara.
The mission of the Junior State of America and the Junior Statesmen
Twice a year, Libertarians from Monterey County journey to Santa Clara, where they are joined by
Afterward we’ll go out to eat at Pizza California, owned by a libertarian.
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, afternoon (exact time to be announced)
MORE INFO: For updates on event timing and other details,
Lawrence Samuels is vice chair of the LP of Monterey County, author of In Defense of Chaos: The
Election Night Party!
Because 2016 has been such a crazy election year, we’ve got to have an election-evening party, or we’ll go berserk!
WHEN: Tuesday, November 8, 2016, starting at 6:00 P.M.
WHERE: Private home, near the mouth of Carmel Valley (R.S.V.P. for address)
R.S.V.P.: We need to know how many crates of pizza to buy! Contact Lawrence Samuels
Ballot measure recommendations
Need last-minute guidance on local ballot measures?
Review our recommendations, posted on the Monterey County LP web site, at
Wine and Liberty 2016 celebrates the dawn of Libertarian awareness
The East Bay LP Wine and Liberty fundraiser drew candidates and attendees from all over the Bay Area to the beautiful
Alameda County voters are faced with two bond measure proposals which, should both pass, will saddle taxpayers with $580 million to
In addition, there are no fewer than 17 statewide initiatives to address, each with their own agenda to meet. If you are on the
The LPC Executive Committee voted to endorse only four of them, and opposes the other thirteen.
Alameda County is fortunate to have our own Libertarian candidate to support for the East Bay Regional Park District, Ward 2,
Libertarians in Fairfield can vote for our LPC Northern Vice Chair, Brian Thiemer, seeking a seat on the City Council.
Once again, several east bay Libertarian activists are volunteering as poll workers, to do our best to make
Reprinted with permission from Libertarian Lifeline.
Next regular meeting of the LP of Alameda County
WHEN: Thursday, November 10, 2016, 7:15 – 9:00 P.M.
WHERE: Tai San Chinese Restaurant: 2811 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley 94705
Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month. The agenda includes local party business (usually an hour or less), news, planning, and fun.
Johnson–Weld 2016 office springs up in Roseville
Exciting news here at the Placer County LP: Ken Gillespie has opened a Johnson–Weld campaign office in Roseville.
With our voter outreach efforts in full swing during the last few days before the election,
We hope to see you for pizza at our first post-election meeting, on Wed., November 9 (see sidebar for details).
Next meeting of the LP of Placer County
WHEN: Wed., November 9, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
WHERE: Round Table Pizza: 8755-A Sierra College Blvd. (at Douglas Blvd, opposite Safeway), Roseville, 95661
Meetings are held on one or more Wednesday evenings each month. To receive meeting notices,
* If your county, or county’s representative, is not listed above, contact your regional vice chair:
LP of San Joaquin County hosts candidates of all stripes
San Joaquin County Libertarians (SJC LP) recently hosted Stockton School Board candidate
The San Joaquin County Libertarian Party officially endorses Doug Vigil for Stockton School board.
Every other candidate we’ve hosted is in a category that we cannot endorse, based on the bylaws of the LP of California, and our
LP of Sacramento County announcements
Election-night watch party
Join us for a fun and social evening as we watch the election results!
Pizza will be provided! Admission is free. A cash bar and gelato stand will also be available.
WHEN: Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 6 – 9:30 P.M.
WHERE: Hot Italian, 1627 16th Street, Sacramento 95814
For more information: E-mail us at Office@LPSac.org
Invite your friends…see you there!
Ballot measure recommendations
Need last-minute guidance on local ballot measures? Review the recommendations posted
Santa Clara LP making the most of ‘top two’
The LP of Santa Clara County took advantage in October of the general election season to reiterate publicly its opposition to open primaries and
The party issued a press release following its central committee’s passage of a motion which affirmed the party’s opposition
This November’s general election is nothing more than a run-off between Honda and one other Democrat, Ro Khanna, who actually surpassed incumbent
The following is an excerpt from the press release, which was sent to key local media:
The press release also announced
In addition, it listed the positions it had taken on more than 15 local ballot measures, recommending “no” votes on numerous bonds,
Walking neighborhood for Johnson, making friends
by Steve Haug
2016 is the best year since I have been a Libertarian to get people to take a look at our party. Trump’s and Clinton’s
combined “yuck” factor presents a wonderful opportunity. As one of these two will most likely be president for four years,
that gives us even more time to take full advantage of voters’ disgust. A lot of
people don’t know there are alternative parties, so we need to improve our visibility while the dominant parties are unpopular.
The one thing I decided I could do was to pass out Gary Johnson for President flyers. I decided to take morning walks.
This gives me the opportunity to talk to some neighbors out walking, or as they are heading out the door for work.
Smiling and saying “good morning” to everyone has been key. Then when they see the Johnson flyer at their door, they
know it was a nice, friendly person who put it there. Anything we can do to make that first encounter a positive one is good.
People walking their dogs present a great opportunity to strike up a conversation. Pet the dog; say something nice about the dog;
and work the Libertarian Party into the conversation. When I encounter people heading out the door for work, I just say, “Hi! I’m passing out
some information about the Libertarian Party candidate for president. Would you like a copy?” If they are not in a rush, you can ask if they
have heard of the party. If they say they haven’t, I take no more than 15 seconds to give a short summary. Respect their time.
I look at passing out flyers as your one chance to make a good impression. I was thinking about wearing
a party T-shirt, but decided not to, as it’s redundant. I have a bunch of T-shirts that indicate I’m a regular blood donor. That
might help make a good impression on people. Maybe they will look at me as someone who helps others and that will help get my message received
in a better light. When walking the neighborhood, I never walk across someone’s front yard — even if it’s nothing but dirt — just to show respect
for their property. I always stay on the sidewalk, even if it takes longer.
Sometimes a gate prevents access to the front door. I never open a gate to get to the front door. I just slide the flyer
under the gate. Never put a flyer in a mail slot. I think there is some government regulation against that (surprise, surprise).
When I put a flyer at the front door, I always make sure it’s face up, centered, and aligned square to the door.
That flyer is my one chance to make an
impression, so I try to make it a good one.
Most people just say, “thank you,” when I hand them a flyer. Out of 5,000 flyers I’ve distributed, I had only two people
Anything we can do to make that first encounter a positive one is good.
Some people have said they had no idea there existed more than two parties. One guy thanked me for letting him know there
is an alternative to the “lesser of two evils.” Another said that this would be his first time voting and he hadn’t decided, yet,
whom to vote for.
When the opportunity presents itself to explain party differences, be prepared. I have had some Democrats tell me that other
parties should be included in the debates. One couple told me that their son is a Libertarian. One morning as I was walking to the
next house, a lady in a pick-up truck stopped and rolled down her window. She asked if I was the one who was passing out the flyers for Johnson.
I said I was, and she thanked me for what I was doing.
She added that she and her husband were going to vote Libertarian this time and were glad
to know that someone was spreading the word.
It’s stuff like that that makes your day.
I live in Hillary country, and there have been no yard signs or bumper stickers for her in the area that I’ve covered. That’s
not entirely true: I did see one bumper sticker, but it was upside down with an X across it in wide red tape. That didn’t look too positive, to me.
I did see two yard signs for Trump. My yard sign is for Gary. I did catch one person stopping in front of my house; and
get out of their car to take a picture of the sign.
California Libertarian Activist checked in with Haug at press time. He reported that he had completed his original target area
and would soon be finishing two precincts that he had partially covered.
“Total distribution will probably be about 5,300,” he said.
“I had picked my target area quite deliberately, all within west San Jose,
thinking I could get some results for the area and see whether there was a spike in votes for Johnson —
and by how much — compared to the adjacent area. It’s important to get feedback on the results of our efforts,” he explained,
adding that if he doesn’t find the respective precincts’ results show an obvious difference, he hopes to be more precise
in the next election cycle, so that he can do some precinct-specific analysis.
The bottom line? “I’m confident that the flyers got more votes for Johnson than not,” Haug said,
“and I know they got the Libertarian Party’s name out there.” •
Steve Haug is a life member of the Libertarian Party, owner of an I.T. support consultancy to both businesses and individuals, and
treasurer of Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association.
San Francisco LP working hard through election day
by Aubrey Freedman
The LP of San Francisco is busy running ads in local media,
and canvassing in the neighborhoods for Gary Johnson during these final days before election day.
We got our ballot recommendations up on our web site for all 25 of our local ballot measures.
For a change, we actually have a few “yes” recommendations! No, San Francisco isn’t becoming more
Libertarian — sometimes, the statists just get it right for the wrong reasons. •
Aubrey Freedman is the chair of the LP of San Francisco.
Visitors spend time with LP reps at
art and wine festivals
by Ed Wimmers
Photo: Joe Dehn
Attendees of two art and wine festivals had the chance to learn more about the Libertarian
Party on September weekends when the Santa Clara County party ran outreach tables there. We worked the downtown Mountain View event on Sept. 11–12, and
then on Sept. 17–18, the festival held at Central Park in the city of
Mountain View’s was a well-attended festival, and many people had a chance to find out about the LP and the Gary Johnson campaign.
Foot traffic was lighter at the Santa Clara event, as our booth
location was out of the way — location assignments were random — but we had cordial relations with those
manning the adjacent Hillary campaign booth, even helping them relocate when they wanted a shadier spot.
But we discovered an advantage in being out of the way: we could talk a little longer with
the people who stopped to learn about the LP. There were a couple of visitors of note: David Friedman,
the economist, Santa Clara University law professor, and author of The Machinery of Freedom, and Patrick
Peterson, founder of the Jefferson Club and organizer of the annual Ludwig von Mises Birthday Celebration
held locally each fall.
Photo: Joe Dehn
As we distributed Gary Johnson yard signs and Libertarian buttons to passers-by, we found
through informal polling that in contrast to years past, most people had heard of the Libertarian Party
and Gov. Johnson — even if they did not know much about us. Because of the heightened awareness, we focused
on providing campaign literature rather than administering the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. There were
about 15–20 people who wanted a button, yard sign, or door hanger. It was a boon having Spanish- and
Vietnamese-language literature, which several visitors appreciated.
Thanks to our all volunteers who helped staff the festival booth: Don Cormier, Robert and
Jennifer Imhoff, respectively the volunteer director and communications director for Johnson Weld 2016 in
California, John Low, and Sam Grove. Special thanks to our volunteers who joined me in working the booth
for the full weekend: Kennita Watson and Jonathan Ullman. •
Want to see more Libertarian outreach in Santa Clara County?
To help plan outreach or social activities with the LP of Santa Clara County, contact Ed Wimmers, Activities Committee chair, via e-mail at:
In-depth review of Sequoia Healthcare District closure opportunity
by Lois Garcia and Jack Hickey
Two San Mateo County hospital districts have long since fulfilled their mission to collect taxes for support of hospitals, and, like something
from a horror film, refuse to die, even though they no longer own any hospitals.
These districts siphon off a percentage of taxes which would otherwise go to the county, school districts, fire districts….
These districts, now calling themselves “healthcare districts,” continue to collect property taxes from 58 percent of the county.
Don’t look for it on your property tax bill; it’s buried in the one-percent ad valorem tax.
These districts siphon off a percentage of taxes which would otherwise go to the county, school districts, fire districts, etc., as they do in other parts of the county.
They should be dissolved.
Assets and revenue
The two districts have combined assets totaling more than S100 million.
This includes a profit-sharing agreement (dubbed “EBIDA” after the accounting measure, “earnings before interest, depreciation, and amortization”) with Sequoia Hospital,
made in return for the district’s $75,000,000 contribution to a major hospital
renovation. The Sequoia Healthcare District (SHD) chooses not to include the
EBIDA as an asset in its financial statement.
Jack Hickey, a director on the SHD board since 2002, estimates the value of the profit-sharing
agreement to be at least $20,000,000.
Originally brokered by director Kathleen “Katie” Kane, an incumbent running for re-election, the EBIDA was estimated by
Goldman Sachs to have a payback schedule as follows:
2012: $5.2 million
|2018–2047:||$270 million (lump sum)|
To date, returns have totaled only $15 million, as compared with the projected $44.1 million.
The districts receive more than $16,000,000 per year in property taxes.
Boundaries were drawn based on communities existing in 1946–47.
Sequoia Healthcare District includes Portola Valley,
Woodside, Atherton, Redwood City, San Carlos, portions of Menlo Park, Foster City, and a small portion of San Mateo.
Peninsula Healthcare District includes Hillsborough, Burlingame, Millbrae, most of San Mateo, portions of San Bruno,
South San Francisco, and Foster City.
Excluded areas of eastern Menlo Park and East Palo Alto are home to 43,852 residents with a
Community Need Index (CNI) score of 4.0. They are the neediest, and collaterally receive considerable benefit from
Sequoia programs funded by district taxpayers.
District grants buy constituencies
Without community hospitals to support, both districts now redistribute the tax money and other revenues they collect
to charities and programs of their own choosing, with no taxpayer input. Charitable giving by a self-serving philanthropic
organization was not the intention of the voters who approved taxing themselves for a hospital district. Recipients of their
grants run the gamut from organizations previously funded solely by voluntary contributions, such as St. Anthony de Padua Dining
Room, to the San Mateo County Medical Center, which has countywide responsibilities and funding.
Recipients of unauthorized beneficence from SHD also include the Society of St. Vincent de Paul,
Catholic Charities, El Centro de Libertad, Planned Parenthood, Sequoia YMCA, Jewish Family and Children’s
Services, Latino Commission, and Senior Focus.
We do not need an elected board of directors to make our charitable contributions.
We do not need an elected board of directors to make our charitable contributions. The sheer number of beneficiaries involved
has established a formidable support group and automatic endorsements, which perpetuates these unnecessary districts. The
districts are dues-paying members of the Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD), at $20,000 per year. The
ACHD engages in organizational activities for political purposes.
San Mateo Civil Grand Jury
The only citizen oversight for the Sequoia Healthcare District is the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury. The civil grand jury
is an independent investigative body created by the California State Constitution. Composed of 19 citizens, the jury serves as a
“watchdog for citizens of the county.” The grand jury’s purpose is to be the “conscience of the community.”
- In 2000–2001, the grand jury recommended that the district reduce property taxes for district taxpayers. This
recommendation was not followed.
- In 2001–2002, the grand jury recommended that the district correct “misinformation previously disseminated to the
- In 2004–2005, the grand jury investigated over 20 different districts in San Mateo County. Only the activities of
the Sequoia Healthcare District warranted their own special report. That report recommended that Sequoia immediately pursue merging
with Peninsula Healthcare District. This merger would have saved our communities the duplicate overhead cost of two distinct districts,
with their two sets of salaries and two sets of benefits. This recommendation was not followed.
- In 2008–2009, the grand jury again recommended that the district decline a share of its property-tax revenue, and
enhance community input and involvement. This recommendation was not followed.
- In 2012, the Grand Jury released a report, San Mateo County Special Districts: Who Is Really In Charge of the Taxpayer’s
Money? The Mosquito District Embezzlement: Is it the Tip of the Iceberg?, which noted that districts wield considerable influence
on the community, with little oversight.
Taking care of themselves
The district spends $250,000 to support its CEO, who manages
one full-time and two part-time employees.
The board contributed $2,900 to the Brittan Acres PTA
two months prior to a parcel-tax vote. That PTA made a monetary
contribution to the “Yes on S” campaign of $999 —
carefully avoiding the filing threshold for “late contributions.”
In December 2013, directors Faro, Kane, and Griffin voted to increase benefits for
“sitting” directors. Six months later, the board had second thoughts and decided
that they had erred. These three directors kept $5,400 in benefits collected in
Expansion, consolidation, or dissolution
In 2007, the San Mateo County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) adopted a resolution
which included the following for the two healthcare districts: “transitional sphere of influence with the potential for:
expansion to include excluded areas, dissolution and consolidation.”
The districts should do one of the following:
- Expansion: Annex the entire county. This would require politically unlikely concessions of property-tax revenue.
- Consolidation: Consolidate the Sequoia and Peninsula Healthcare Districts. This would eliminate almost half of
the administrative waste, but doesn’t solve the problem of excluded areas.
- Dissolution: Eliminate the district, and distribute 100 percent of its assets and future
ad valorem taxes to the remaining agencies.
Director Hickey has proposed enabling legislation which would provide voters
with two alternatives to the status quo:
- Expand the districts countywide; fund currently excluded areas
from a portion of the existing one-percent general property taxes; that is,
no new taxes, or
- Dissolve both districts; distribute their assets, and their share
in the one-percent general property tax, to the other,
functioning agencies who share in that one-percent general tax.
After November 8, the prospect of smaller government and lower taxes for San Mateo County residents — and
the fate of Sequoia Healthcare District — may become clearer. •
Campaign web site: xSHCD.com
Harland Harrison contributed to this article. See additional information on his and Lois Garcia’s campaigns in this issue’s article,
“Libertarians offer chance for smaller government in San Mateo County ‘healthcare’ district.”
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(an affiliate of the Libertarian National Committee).
Contributors: Ken Anton, Alex Appleby, Ted Brown, Joe Dehn, Jerry Dixon, Terry Floyd, Aubrey Freedman, Lois Garcia, James P. Gray,
Harland Harrison, Jack Hickey, Sandra Kallander, Lawrence Samuels, Emily Tilford, Ed Wimmers, Steven Wood
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Officers: Ted Brown (Chair), Brian Thiemer (N. Vice Chair), Jonathan Jaech (S. Vice Chair), Kevin Duewel (Secretary), Gale Morgan (Treasurer)
Alex Appleby, Dave Bowers, Bill Hajdu, Jeff Hewitt, Wendy Hewitt, Mark Hinkle, Boomer Shannon, Eric Vaughnes, Susan Marie Weber, Jason Wu
Alternate at-large reps:
Starchild, Gail Lightfoot