Opponents Argument Against
Proposition A Return
to "News Stories about LHH and SFGH" Index
San Francisco Voter Information Pamphlet
November 4, 2008
Opponents Argument Against Proposition A
We support SFGHs healthcare mission; however, SFGHs proposed rebuild project is poorly planned.
The proposed hospital sits within the fall-zone of two brick buildings built in 1915 not scheduled for seismic retrofit before 2015; a catastrophic earthquake could crush the new hospital.
After 12 years of planning, DPH rejected a rectangular design, substituting a circular design, adding $265 million to the cost.
Bed capacity is insufficient for future needs: The project adds 32 beds, increasing 19 neonatal ICU and pediatric beds, and eliminating 16 medical/surgical beds. The 2007 Lewin report cited a citywide shortage of 533 acute hospital beds by 2030, 24% below projected needs.
The projects minimum cost is $1.7 billion, including planning; construction; debt service; and furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
Property owners will be annually taxed $59 for every $100,000 of property assessments over the next 23 years. Due to a 50% pass-through clause, renters face annual $100 to $300 rent increases.
Hospitals in other jurisdictions, including San Diego, chose, and/or completed, seismic retrofits, but San Francisco inadequately explored retrofitting SFGH. DPH officials offer conflicting excuses why retrofitting to non-structural Level 2 (NPC-3) standards, a viable option, wasnt considered.
The Citys final project report doesnt discuss Emergency Room capacity. Estimated construction costs may reach $943 million, possibly under-funding the bond by $55.6 million, even before inevitable cost overruns. Supplemental funding will be used without voter approval. A 2008 Grand Jury Report concluded fiscal accountability and oversight of capital projects remain ongoing problems.
The 2013 deadline is man-made: Senate Bill 306 (October 2007) provides extensions to 2020. We recommend taking time to correct project flaws and increasing bed capacity.
Vote No on Proposition A.
George Wooding, Vice-President, West of Twin Peaks Central
Mara Kopp, Good Government Alliance*
*For identification purposes only; author is signing as an individual and not on hehalf of an organization.
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