Guest Column                                       Return to "News Stories about LHH and SFGH" Index
West of Twin Peaks Observer
February 2008

No on the $800 Million Dollar SF General Bond Measure
by George Wooding

The City of San Francisco and the Department of Public Health (DPH) have shown a great deal of respect for San Francisco voter’s money, but no respect for the will of San Francisco Voters. In 1999, voters were asked to approve Proposition A, a $299 million dollar bond measure that would be coupled with $102 million in tobacco revenue funds (totaling $401 million). The language of the Proposition A bond measure was deliberately left vague, but Mayor Willie Brown and the Board of Supervisors made promises to the voters that were extremely specific:

  1. The old Laguna Honda Hospital (LHH) facility was going to be torn down and four new state-of-the-art hospital buildings were going to replace the old hospital.  Voters were led to believe 1,200 skilled nursing facility beds were going to be built and an additional 140 assisted living beds would be built.
  2. The new LHH facility was going to be a long-term care health facility for San Francisco’s low income, frail elderly population and severely disabled.

This is what the City of San Francisco and the DPH have given the voters:

The City of San Francisco and the DPH need to keep their promises to voters.

San Francisco is about to take a giant step backwards in its treatment of some of our most vulnerable citizens.  The DPH justifies their betrayal of the “voters will” as a cost-cutting measure.  The savings from this lower-level-of-care plan will be more than offset by increases in its human costs.  The quest for cost reductions should not come at the expense of people’s health. Rather than balance the City budget on the backs of its most vulnerable citizens, it is time for the City’s leaders to seek restructured federal financing, cut waste, or simply do a better job of setting priorities.

San Francisco voters will not vote for the SF General bond measure unless promises made to voters regarding Laguna Honda hospital are fulfilled.

George Wooding
Midtown Terrace Home Owners Association

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