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City Council Votes To Subsidize San Leandro Hospital; Board of Supes Concurs

The council wants to spend $1 million a year for 3 years to join county health officials and Eden Township to preserve the ER. County officials endorsed the deal Tuesday

 

In a 6-1 vote Monday night, the city council endorsed a $1 million-a-year plan to join Alameda County Medical Center (ACMC) in a bid to take over San Leandro Hospital and preserve its emergency room.

On Tuesday, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to kick in the county's share of the subsidy needed to keep the local hospital open for the next three years.

The third party in the rescue effort is the Eden Township Healthcare District (ETHD).

These three parties -- city, county and Eden Township -- must secure the approval of Sutter Health, which took over San Leandro Hospital after protracted negotiations and legal battles.

Fearful that Sutter would close the emergency room, a local coalition had asked Alameda County Medical Center to put together a rescue plan.

With interim Councilmember Tom Dlugosh dissenting, the city council majority voted Monday night to direct City Manager Chris Zapata to work out the details of the rescue and bring a concrete deal back to the council.

In advance of Monday's vote, city staff presented the council with an analysis warning that San Leandro couldn't make the $1 million a year payments for each of the next three years without tapping into its reserve funds.

The analysis recommended against approval.

But Mayor Stephen Cassidy likened the subsidy to an investment that would preserve the hospital's $100 million a year payroll and maintain a local ER in the event of an earthquake or disaster.

Monday's vote left unresolved where the money will come from when the city budget is tight.

The deal is also tentative with a final deal subject to council approval.

Meanwhile, former mayor Tony Santos has threatened to lead a recall effort against the council majority unless they reverse course on the subsidy.

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Fran November 06, 2012 at 12:46 AM
This should be interesting...lol
Thomas Clarke November 06, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Be sure to remember the folks who vote to waste another $3M. This from a city council that wasted millions in trying to keep a church from expanding. These people are sorely lacking in common sense. Vote them out of office. Do not forget. San Leandro does not need and cannot support this hospital. Tell the city no no no.
Barry Kane November 06, 2012 at 03:46 AM
San Leandro City Council....Please... NO!!!
Tina November 06, 2012 at 05:13 PM
SUPPORT KEEPING SAN LEANDRO ER OPEN! IT'S VITAL FOR OUR AGING CITY! KEEP S.L. ER OPEN!!
David November 06, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Well, maybe they can pull it back from giving it to the school district for its health clinic.
Kate November 06, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Agreed. How about merging the two; the high school students can walk an extra 1/2 block to seek medical advice and the school won't have to build another new facility.
tony santos November 06, 2012 at 07:53 PM
From someone who knows, this is not a good deal for the City; first of all, City has no jurisdiction over the hospital and this is something I rejected while I was Mayor. this idea was first floated to me by Dr. Adler; he wanted City to subsidize hospital by way of a "hospital" tax; all the money to come from San Leandro tax payers. After looking into this suggestion and discussing it with two City Managers, we felt we could not afford to do this and it was not fair for the people of San Leandro to pay all of the subsidy. I advised all I would support a tax provided it was district wide. Please note only 33% of patients come from San Leandro, 52% from Oakland; yet no one has requested Oakland contribute toward paying anything toward keeping the facility operating. Furthermore, many of us thought District was wrong in filing lawsuit agaiinst Sutter instead of using funds toward keeping facility open and operating with a so called "hy brid" system. District has spent over $4 million dollars in legal expenses and now may owe sutter millions-why should people of San Leandro support an inept district board.seriously, folks, if council moves on this, I believe we should consider recalling all of them. Tony Santos, former Mayor
Craig Williams November 06, 2012 at 09:29 PM
The council in my opinon did the right thing . Its a message that they support the community especially the seniors. As far as giving Oakland a free ride , Oakland gives us a free ride every day with the sales tax they pay while shopping in San Leandro stores. Power to the patients.
Carlos J November 06, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Kate, no new facility is being built for that purpose, Girls inc. is leaving the school is trying to purchase the property and the city is loaning the money....
Carlos J November 06, 2012 at 09:51 PM
glad you showed your face at the last night presentation !!! once again this present city council have for now entered into a deal where YOU couldn't !! bet to say you didn't understand it...then and still don't get now You're so F...irrelevant ,trying to maintain the " san Leandro LINE" by excluding all that need and can use help!
Carlos J November 06, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Good point Craig!...a full service hospital in a elderly community is very important, and after all isn't a hospital there to help anyone who needs help?
Ken Briggs November 06, 2012 at 11:08 PM
so , how in the world did sutter get into this to begain with ? but Tony why build senior places around the hospital when sutter wants to close the place down . just look around every thing that sutter does screw up . look at what they did in San Jose , used to have a DOWN TOWN hospital but sutter boughjt it and bought the hospital in EAST SAN JOSE and then closed the downtown hospital . get ridc of sutter .
Kate November 06, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Carlos, the walls might stay, but the inside will be gutted and replaced. I would call it a new facility. The city can ill afford to loan the school district money, and the district in no way can handle additional debt. If the city is going to immerse itself in the medical business, then it should be one existing building in a 1/2 mile radius instead of two. Just my two cents.
Ken Briggs November 06, 2012 at 11:26 PM
We need the hospital here in town . and as for the one day stike the cnurses had last week , will folks what about the other sutter hospitals just up NORTH , why did those nurses go on stke for ? then SUTTER locked them out for four days . so if sutter can fly these so called nurses in from who knows where and payb to house them and feed them ,that cost money . them when you want extra people to be on call , give the nurses a break give them a raise . just remember a year ago they brought in a out of state nurse and someone died because this so called nurse did not know what she was doing . we need real good nurses in our hospitals . just get rid cof sutter .
Fran November 07, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Tony makes some valid points. But the reality is the city didn’t have much of a choice, hence my earlier comment of it being interesting. The community has fought hard for this, and rightly so. There’s a lot at stake, and while it’s a lot of money, it’s doable, and supposedly coming from the reserves. I went to the meeting and it didn’t disappoint and played out pretty much exactly as I expected it to, right down to the Chamber opposing it. Councilmember Souza had a valid point went asked why do you need money from us? We are strapped, you have money. My guess is they are anticipating the city will put the parcel tax on the ballot ONLY if they have skin in the game, enter the 3 million dollars. Alameda county health is flush with cash and looking to further fatten its portfolio of holdings (real estate). While they do provide much needed services, they are doing so at a real cost to the community while profiting, or at least the potential to profit, whereas the city doesn’t. I can’t speak for the services they provide, but I am pessimistic of the overall state of healthcare in our society. While this plan may not be ideal, I suppose it’s better than no hospital at all. This was the only meeting on the hospital that I attended, and I couldn’t keep all the players straight, WE NEED SINGLE PAYER!!!
Tom Abate (Editor) November 07, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Fran, where did you learn this: "Alameda county health is flush with cash and looking to further fatten its portfolio of holdings (real estate)"
Fran November 07, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Diana Souza looked it up on the internet, lol. They mentioned about buying one of the dr. office buildings near the hospital, they are separate from the hospital, and one is in receivership, whatever that means. Like I said it's hard to keep up with all the players involved. I know absolutely nothing about any of this. Above is just my observations from the meeting last night :)
Marga Lacabe November 07, 2012 at 12:49 AM
I would not trust Diana Souza's internet research
Mia Ousley November 07, 2012 at 01:00 AM
As for Tony Santos's cry for a recall, we had that today with two of yes-voting Council members up for re-election. If they win, you'll know how San Leandrans feel, Tony. I think many residents said at last night's meeting -- where I didn't see Tony Santos speak -- that they would support funding this, one Council candidate even suggested a parcel tax 10 times the amount necessary. I wrote a detailed article about last night's meeting, available on Patch's "Local Voices" at http://sanleandro.patch.com/blog_posts/city-approves-proposal-for-1-million-annual-subsidy-to-save-san-leandro-hospital
Mia Ousley November 08, 2012 at 01:22 AM
When Diana Souza mentioned it, ACMC's Wright Lassiter verified that they had a profitable year ($80 million sticks in my mind, but I can't say for sure) and that they intend to invest $30+ million in our hospital. Lassiter said ACMC wouldn't need our money if they were doing something narrower in scope, but they need community support for this broader project that was requested. The County's Alex Briscoe said only one public hospital in the state has a positive operating margin, and that's ACMC.
David November 08, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Get real, Carlos, you know how it'll turn out. The City will loan the District money from its reserve fund. The City will scream about how it needs *ANOTHER* tax hike to build up its reserves. Meanwhile the School will now be on the hook for repaying the loan. SLUSD will then scream about how it needs *ANOTHER* tax hike to repay the debt. Extortionate swine.

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