It has long been known that the Board of Supervisors would eventually get around to holding a hearing on the Health Management Associates (HMA) audit of the Department of Public Health, San Francisco General Hospital, and Laguna Honda Hospital. But nobody expected that it would take the Board of Supervisors four months to get around to scheduling the HMA audit hearing.
After announcing in mid-October that the HMA audit would be heard on November 14, quite suddenly Board President Aaron Peskin has inexplicably scheduled a second hearing on long-term care infrastructure in the City to be held on November 10, leading observers to wonder why a second hearing is hastily being rushed into Board Chambers.
November 14 Hearing and Rally
Government Audits and Oversight Committee, City Hall, Legislative Chambers; 1:00 p.m. Prior to this hearing, there will be a Rally at Noon on the steps of City Hall. This hearing is to consider the HMA audit Report. The Government Audits and Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on the HMA report, which recommends (among other things) that LHH be merged with San Francisco General Hospital into a single facility with a single license, and to reserve LHH for hard-to-place patients with special needs, displacing elderly and disabled San Franciscans.
November 10 Hearing
Special Meeting of the Government Audits and Oversight Committee, City Hall, Legislative Chambers; 1:00 p.m. First hurridly introduced on November 1 and sponsored only by Board President Aaron Peskin, this sudden, unexpected hearing is scheduled to examine the Citys long-term healthcare infrastructure and acute care needs. Notably, Rule 5.4 of the Board of Supervisors meeting rules indicates that the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee is to be referred any item related to matters concerning [City] infrastructure, public health, seniors [the elderly], and the disabled. But rather than introducing this measure to be heard before the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee where it properly belongs, dealing as it does with long-term healthcare infrastructure under that Committees four charges, Supervisor Peskin chose that this hearing be heard, possibly improperly, before the wrong venue.
And because Board of Supervisors Rule 5.10 stipulates that additional committee authority exists only when specifically authorized by ordinance or by the [full] Board, Supervisor Peskin may have scheduled this hearing ulta vires [beyond his scope, or in excess of legal power or authority], since no vote of the full Board has granted the Government Audits and Oversight Committee any authority to hear matters relating to City infrastructure (let alone public health issues affecting the elderly and disabled), and since there is no ordinance in place permitting the Government Audits and Oversight Committee to conduct hearings with this particular focus rather than the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee, which has such authority.
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