October 16, 2018
To: David Canepa/ District 5 Supervisor
From: Christopher Conway/Constituent – District 2
Re: Seton Medical Center/ Daly City, Ca.
Dear Mr. Canepa –
I am a San Mateo County voter and reside in Distict 2. I am writing to you today to express my concern with the situation that is currently happening with Seton Medical Center in Daly City and to a lesser extent with the coastside facility in Moss Beach. My worry is that with Verity Health filing for bankruptcy, there are powers that be starting rumblings of having our county take over or participate in the operation of the hospital and even considering buying it outright. This is a private business whose losses and bad decisions should not be absorbed by your constituents. As a county, we have already pledged or given over $40 million dollars to a hospital that is seismically unfit. This hospital has unfunded pension guarantees that are the responsibility of the employer and should not become the liability of either the county or state. These pensions were part of a private negotiation between employer and employees and the liability must remain with the employer, not the public sector. This hospital is also expected to lose $30 million dollars this year with no hope of profitability in the foreseeable future.
I have written articles on this subject ever since Daughters of Charity put up for sale their network of hospitals. I became interested when Kamala Harris acting as Attorney General for the state of California put onerous conditions on the sale of the hospital to any buyer willing to step up. Verity Health finally did step up but the conditions placed on them by Kamala Harris, public unions and special interests caused them to declare bankruptcy. Current officials have stated that they want to keep these onerous conditions on any new buyer as a non-negotiable item. You and I both know that this will prevent and future private buyer from coming forward. If a private buyer could be found, we all agree that would be terrific. However, if the only buyer becomes our county, speaking on behalf of many voters, we don’t want any part of it.
So, I would like you to answer for me on behalf of county tax payers what your thoughts are on the fate of Seton Medical Center in Daly City and the role the county intends to take. I obviously would like the supervisors to act with transparency and give time for public input. Meetings on the matter should be announced well in advance. I believe this would be a terrible deal for our county and my concern comes primarily from the crumbling infrastructure, the unfunded pension liabilities and the losses that the hospital incurs year in and year out.
Christopher P. Conway
Note: Supervisor David Canepa has not responded to this letter.
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