Thursday, June 16, 2011

Contra Costa County Grand Jury wants to have health care district dissolved

By Sandy Kleffman
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 06/15/2011 05:38:27 PM PDT
Updated: 06/16/2011 06:25:26 AM PDT

MARTINEZ -- For the fourth time, a Contra Costa County grand jury has called for the elimination of the Mt. Diablo Health Care District after concluding it has outlived its purpose.

In a report delivered this week, the grand jury noted that from 2000 to 2009, the health district received more than $2.45 million in property taxes and contributions from John Muir Health. It used less than 10 percent of that money, or about $243,800, for community grants.

During that same period, the district spent more than $360,000 on lifetime health insurance benefits for a current and former board member and their spouses and dependents, the report notes.

"This is a district whose original mission has been completed, and one that only sporadically provides services to the community," the grand jury concluded.

Supporters counter that although the district no longer runs a hospital, it has trained more than 6,000 high school students to do CPR and engaged in other activities.

The Local Agency Formation Commission will discuss at its July 13 meeting whether to pursue dissolution, which would require a vote of central Contra Costa residents.

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