Much discussion continues within the community regarding Measure E, the proposed parcel tax to support the Sonoma Valley Hospital. Most are well-meant testimonials regarding experiences with the hospital/emergency room. I fully support a hospital and associated emergency room in Sonoma Valley. However, data on which to evaluate the need for the parcel tax is missing.
With the generalities published to date, I can not make an informed decision regarding the parcel tax. Hospital administration is quoted as saying they need the parcel tax to keep the hospital/emergency room fiscally afloat. A newspaper article states that the parcel tax will “bring in an estimated $3.8M annually for the health care district, which would finish about $1M per year in the red if the tax doesn’t pass.”
Why does the hospital need $3.8M annually if the deficit is $1M annually? Much negative data has been published in local social media regarding the hospital administration and salaries. I don’t blindly accept this data, but then I can not confirm nor deny the data because the Hospital Board has not provided specific data to support the need for the proposed parcel tax. The data available on local social media strongly suggests a management culture void of fiscal restraint.
The Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board of Directors needs to come forward with detailed specific data to allow the voters to make an informed decision regarding the parcel tax. Not a broad brush presentation, but rather a function by function presentation showing revenue vs. specific expenses: salaries, benefits, supplies, proportional utilities/maintenance, etc. The Sonoma Valley Health Care District is a governmental entity and governmental entities need to be transparent.
Douglas Ghiselin, Sonoma Valley