Note: The links on this page are to PDF files; please start Adobe Acrobat before following any links.
The "Compact" With San Francisco Voters
The City of San Francisco, as late as January 2005, continues to deny that it has a compact with voters who passed Proposition A in 1999. Health Commissioner Jim Illig continued asserting on behalf of The City during the January 27 LHH Joint Conference Committee that the actual language of Proposition A did not promise that LHH would be used would be used for frail elderly and disabled San Franciscans, and that the acutal language of Prop A had said nothing about building 1,200 beds for the replacement facility. Illig fails to acknowledge that a compact exists between the City and the electorate, just as does former City Attorney Louise Renne, who during a December meeting between Mayor Newsom and Sister Miriam Walsh said not one word about the compact with voters.
Nor did Renne refute that a compact existed on December 17 when meeting participant Patrick Monette-Shaw raised the issue of the compact to Mayor Newsom.
However, as noted in Monette-Shaws citizen-taxpayer lawsuit seeking to recover $25 million misappropriated from the LHH rebuild project:
Paid Ballot Aruments Supporting LHH Rebuild
Throughout the paid arguments in favor of the rebuild contained in the 1999 Voter Guide, San Franciscans were told repeatedly that LHH would be rebuilt for frail elderly (24 such mentions), would be used for people with disabilities or the disabled (12 mentions), would continue the medical model focus (14 mentions), would be used for long-term care (13 mentions), would be used for seniors (7 mentions), would be rebuilt with 1,200 beds (4 mentions), would provide skilled nursing (9 mentions), and would continue to be used as a nursing home (2 mentions). These various assertions, along with the actual language of Prop A (below) created a compact with the voters, who were led to believe that the assertions being made in the voter guide were part and parcel of what was being voted on. It was these assertions, among others, that convinced voters to overwhelming approve the bond measure known as Prop A by 73% of the electorate.
And it wasnt just anybody paying for those assertions, it was prominent San Francicans the voters were trusting. Former Mayors Willie Brown and Senator Diane Feinstein both asserted LHH would be rebuilt for long-term care; so did Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and the Health Commission, including current- and then-Health Commissioners Dr. Edward Chow, Roma Guy, and Lee Ann Monfredini. Feinstein, who had two separate ballot arguments, also asserted LHH would be used as a nursing home, and as a medical facility. Joining Feinstein, the then Board of Supervisors, along with former Directors of Public Health Sandra Hernandez and Mervyn Silverman, also asserted LHH would continue to be a medical facility, as did SEIU 790 members Richard Rothman and Laura Blue, an RN at LHH who is currently Chapter President of the LHH Chapter of SEIU 790-Nurses.
The arguments LHH would be used for skilled nursing included both the Health Commission, and Melissa Welch, the Chief Medical Officer for the Health Community Network who also served at one point as LHH's Acting Medical Director. Those arguing that LHH would be used for the elderly included the Health Commission; Dr. Katz, as the then and current Director of Public Health; Louise Renne, Esq., former City Attorney and now President of the new non-profit LHH Foundation; Robert Haaland, an organizer for SEIU 790 and a recent candidate for the Board of Supervisors; Ms. Blue; and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, a key backer of Mayor Gavin Newsom.
Finally, those arguing LHH would be used for people with disabilities in the classic sense of physical disabilities, not drug addiction, homelessness, or social adaptation problems included, among others, the full Health Commission, Rothman, Haaland, and Blue. Implicit, or implied, promises to rebuild LHH with 1,200 beds were made by the full Board of Supervisors, Pelosi, and Sal Rosselli, Executive Director of SEIU 250.
Fast forward to December 2004. Now we are told that LHHs mission, which voters were lured into believing in 1999 included providing long-term care for frail, elderly, seniors and those with traditional disabilities using a medical model approach has suddenly had its mission changed by a small tribe led by Health Commissioner Jim Illig, who has been asserting for now a full year that Laguna Hondas Hospital mission would indeed change.
Despite LHHs new Executive Administrator, John Kanaleys spin-driven assertion to homeowners and neighbors of LHH at the December 16, 2004 Town Hall meeting that no such plot was afoot, the change in LHHs mission has come to pass, barely a week after Kanaleys bald-faced assertion nothing of the sort was being planned.
After Kanaley announced at the LHH Joint Conference Committe on December 23 LHHs mission statement change contradicting his December 16 statements to homeowner neighbors surrounding LHH's property and that a planned retreat of LHHs Executive Committee in January will further consider changing LHHs mission due to matching the hospitals budget to its mission, Commissioner Illig asked if everyone was happy with the mission change. The Executive Committee nodded its unanimous consent: Everyone is happy theyve now succumbed to Health Commissioner Monfredinis get on board this train, were leaving the station metaphor she announced at the October LHH-JCC meeting Fait accompli!
More despicably, and more ominously, during the December 23 LHH-JCC meeting, there was an announcement three LHH bodies - the Medical Staff, the Medical Executive Committee, and the hospitalwide Executive Committee - have now approved yet another change to LHH's admissions policy, against the Compact with voters, who in 1999 had been promised LHH would be used as a long-term care facility.
1999 Proposition A Language
The vague language used in Proposition A in 1999 was approved by, and most likely was in part written by, the City Attorneys office. The City Attorney, at that time, was Louise Renne, who is now the President of the newly-formed non-profit organization known as the Laguna Honda Hospital Foundation. She is the same person who threatened to sue to The City to recover the $25 million misappropriated from the tobacco settlement fund earmarked for the rebuild of LHH .
Copyright (c) 2005 by Committee to Save LHH. All rights reserved. This work may not be reposted anywhere on the Web, or reprinted in any print media, without express written permission. E-mail the Committee to Save LHH.