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Letters for the week of July 1, 2015

Readers sound off on street art, pensions, and hospital funding.


Page 4 of 4

Based on its history of mistakes with Sutter, and its abject inability to keep the facility afloat, the district remains responsible to the community for its future. When the 2013 transfer deal was taking place, Dev Mahadevan and two board members met with the county and Alameda Health System on more than one occasion to discuss implementing the $17 million waiver of judgment won by Sutter. One meeting took place on April 8, 2013 when the county was given a chart by Eden showing that by June 2014, the Dublin properties would be worth approximately $74 million (for a net value of about $39 million). Real estate values have escalated since then. In June 2013, a majority of the district board voted in public session to facilitate the $17 million donation to the hospital.

The question the community needs to ask is not, how much more do you expect me to give, but, why do you exist if not to finish the job you started?

Wilma Chan, Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Alameda

ETHD Responds

The majority of healthcare districts (51.25 percent) in the state do not run hospitals. Supervisor Wilma Chan's hometown district, the City of Alameda Healthcare District, turned over its hospital to be run by Alameda Health System (AHS) and has become the 41st of 80 healthcare districts in California not running a hospital. Running hospitals is no longer a single stand-alone proposition that works in California.

The lawsuit between Eden Healthcare District and Sutter Health was about whether Sutter Health could buy San Leandro Hospital under the 2008 agreement. Sutter exercised its right to purchase and the district said it would challenge the agreement, based on conflicts of interest that existed on the board of directors and the CEO of the District at that time. However, the courts (all the way to the California Supreme Court) decided that there were no conflicts and that the 2008 agreement was valid (Sutter Health won its argument). In April 2012, the district offered to "sell" the Hospital to Sutter Health, as agreed in arbitration. I say "sell" because the agreements allowed Sutter Health to deduct the losses of San Leandro Hospital during the lease against the book value of San Leandro Hospital. The result was losses in excess of the $17 million value of the property.

The district paid the City of San Leandro and the County of Alameda $115,000 in taxes to transfer the Hospital to Sutter Health, which then transferred the Hospital to Alameda Health System with additional monies in the amount of $16–$17 million in operating funds.

The district committed to Supervisor Chan and AHS that we would work collaboratively to find $20 million, if possible. Our financial consultants said that there was no way that the district could raise that money. This was conveyed to all parties and the district had met its commitment three months after it was made, in September 2013.

The district has never had and now has no objection to Sutter Health paying any funds it receives in our damages settlement to AHS for San Leandro Hospital. This has been communicated to all parties, but the district has no right to tell Sutter Health how to spend its money.

The damages claim results entirely from Sutter Health establishing the losses for San Leandro Hospital from March 2010 to April 2012, approximately. The district will have spent about $50 million to keep San Leandro Hospital open by the time the legal issues are settled (damages claim). I think that is enough for the district to spend, given that this represents about 50 percent of its assets on 22 percent of the district's residents. No other agency or entity has given as much to keep San Leandro Hospital open.

Dev Mahadevan, CEO, Eden Healthcare District, Castro Valley

Miscellaneous Letter

Protesters Need to Find an Alternative

I'd like to share a thought about the restrictions Oakland has placed on nighttime protests. I fully support peaceful demonstrations. And I agree that what Mayor Libby Schaaf has done is a serious matter. But so are the violent attacks on businesses downtown that sometimes accompany such protests. I would love to see a pro-protest letter that acknowledges that violence and seeks to work with the police to figure out a way to prevent it. Until I see such an acknowledgement, it's very hard for me to take seriously the letters of those opposed to Mayor Schaaf's decision.

Greg Lieberknecht, Oakland


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