Call to Order by the Chair - The meeting was called to order at 2:04 pm. The following voting members were seated at the dais: Commissioners Loveless, Gorin, Stafford, Holmer, and Barrett.
Teri Shore, Regional Director, North Bay, Greenbelt Alliance regarding Town of Windsor North of Arata Lane annexation. Spoke regarding agricultural mitigation policy and a CALAFCO white paper on this subject.
Commissioner Hopkins arrived at 2:06.
- File No. 2019-02: Palm Drive Health Care District (PDHCD) Municipal Service Review Addendum and File No. 2019-01: PDHCD Bodega Bay Detachment (Martin/Garza) Environmental Determination: General Rule Exemption, Section 15061(b)(3) of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines and Categorical Exemption from CEQA pursuant to Section 15306 of the State CEQA Guidelines.
Staff explained the two parts of the agenda item, requesting that the Commission consider and approve or recommend changes to the Municipal Service Review (MSR) addendum, and review the detachment proposal.
Alternate Commissioners Herzberg and Moore recused themselves from participation in Commission deliberations. Counsel noted that both could make comments as members of the public, if desired.
Alternate Commissioners Herzberg and Moore left their seats at 2:09 and stayed in the meeting room.
The Executive Officer discussed the Municipal Service Review (MSR) Addendum, stating staff’s willingness to make changes or take direction from the Commission for further study. Staff noted that it is not necessary to approve the MSR addendum to move forward with the detachment proposal.
Referring to the Addendum, Commissioner Hopkins asked the reason that four months of minutes of meetings of the Palm Drive Health Care District board of directors had not been available to the public and asked if staff could identify violations of improper conduct regarding the board of directors or in the process of public noticing.
Staff answered that the cause is a transition in administrative staff. Staff indicated that there was no improper handling of noticing, but members of the public indicated they do not receive suitable responses from the board to their concerns.
The Chair opened the public comment period regarding the MSR Addendum
Alana Brogan– Executive Director, Palm Drive Healthcare District, requested changing the narrative about the District and explained challenges. She pointed out errors in the MSR Addendum and requested a chance to talk with the Executive Officer about correcting/editing the MSR Addendum before approval.
Chair Barrett asked how long the MSR Addendum had been available to the public.
Staff responded that the MSR Addendum had been posted on the Commission’s website for at least one week.
Susan Moulton –Member of public - said that the urgent care has risen to the occasion to meet the recent emergency needs of the area, and she does not want those services to go away. She stated her opinion that Health Care District meetings with the Board are contentious.
John Doolittle – Member of public - said that the minutes from the Palm Drive healthcare are critical and it is a large flaw not to have them provided. He does not like the fact there were no decisions made regarding the emergency room.
Chair Barrett closed the public comment period and brought the discussion back to the Commission.
Commissioner Hopkins asked about the parcel tax levy and what a clearly defined debit obligation would be at the time of detachment.
Staff provided clarification, stated that people in the detachment are responsible for debts up until the date of the detachment and it would be up to the proponents of the detachment to negotiate with the District regarding how obligations are organized.
Commissioner Hopkins requested that the proponents of the detachment or the District d provide additional information for clarification on how the debt will be paid down.
Alana Brogan–Executive Director, Palm Drive Healthcare District, stated that the Board met with the detachment representatives. Currently paying $106 a month towards paying off the debt.
Suki Robb-Wilder -Member of public - Resident of detachment area stated she is paying $106, down from $155 previously paid. She stated that she had a clear understanding of the portion of the debt that is secure, but is not clear about the portion of the amount due or if it will be enough to cover the bankruptcy.
Motion and seconded to adopt the determinations of the MSR with the instructions to correct and clarify any inaccuracies.
Ayes: 6 Loveless, Gorin, Stafford, Holmer, Hopkins and Barrett.
The Executive Officer discussed the details regarding the detachment part of the item. Staff outlined the report for the detachment from Palm Drive Healthcare District, recommended that the Commission question staff, as desired, and then open the public hearing.
No comments or questions from the Commission.
The Chair opened the public hearing.
Alana Brogan–Executive Director, Palm Drive Healthcare District, stated that many people do not want to detach and addressed changes made to correct issues. She stated that detachment leaders have refused to talk about alternatives to detachment. Requested the full 60 days for the protest period if the detachment is approved.
Susan Moulton - Member of public -stated that the Palm Drive float won first place prize. She has a petition started for people who want to remain in the District. She would like to develop a procedure to help those who want to remain attached to the District. She feels the savings for detachment is small versus losing out on health care. She requested the full 60 day protest period.
John Doolittle – Member of public - stated that the original District plan is not being delivered and would like to terminate the plan.
Steve Herzberg – Member of public - voiced his support to the detachment. He described the mailer and process that went out to advocate remaining in the District. He pointed out that there were no residents opposed to the detachment at the Town Hall meeting.
The Chair closed the public hearing and brought the discussion back to the Commission for discussion and action.
Commission Stafford asked if staff received any letters in favor of remaining in the District.
Staff responded that no letters have been received.
Commissioner Loveless asked for details regarding the health services talks prior to detachment discussion and asked if those discussions are still ongoing.
Alana Brogan answered that the meeting included Liz Martin, Bodega Bay Fire Chief Sean Grinnell, Patty Ginochio, and members of West County Medical Center. She indicated that there were no current discussions.
Commissioner Loveless recommended a 60-day protest period.
Chair Barrett asked Alana Brogan what programs the Health Care District is currently supporting and performing in its District. She asked the length of time the programs were running and how often those programs occurred.
Alana Brogan detailed programs and expressed willingness to provide more information.
Chair Barrett requested information regarding extending the protest hearing for the full 60 days.
Staff explained the process and answered that if the item is approved, there could be a protest period of 56 days before a Commission meeting on July 3. There will not be a mailing but notices and protest forms will be posted in the Press Democrat and on the LAFCO website.
Commissioner Loveless – Questioned if it is allowable to have the 60 day protest hearing.
Staff further clarified that the extended time is allowed by law and the protest hearing would happen at the July meeting. Protest forms would be available in the office or via phone/email and through the website. Protest forms need to be received prior to the conclusion of the protest hearing. Staff verified that it could accommodate the timeframe.
Commissioner Stafford stated that she is leaning towards detachment and the 56 day timeframe is appropriate.
Commissioner Gorin agreed with timeframe but stated that she would not be available for the July 3 meeting and that alternate Commissioner Gore may not be available to attend. She suggested confirming that Commissioner Hopkins would be able to attend.
Commissioner Hopkins asked about various options available to the Commission in regards to timing and the detachment.
Staff answered that the primary item before the Commission is whether to approve the detachment or not. The Commission has the ability to condition the detachment but staff does not have suggestions for expanding the area or affected territories. Commission could deny the application and could request that staff send protest mailings to individuals and bill to the applicants. The Commission can request a sphere amendment, which would be a different action item.
Commissioner Hopkins stated that there are outstanding issues in other areas within the District. She expressed concern regarding the lack of meeting minutes and the same issues coming back to the Commission. She would like to have a further discussion regarding the sphere amendment.
Staff pointed out the October item from the previous year is included in the report and those options all still stand. He stated that if the Commission would like to initiate further reorganization it would be helpful to staff to have the Commissioners indicate their interest in moving forward with some of those items.
Commissioner Hopkins stated that she would like to engage the public in the process and would like to address the problem so the item of other detachments from the District does not continue. Would like to revisit the issue. She indicated she is available for the July 3 meeting.
Commissioner Holmer stated he is in favor of the detachment and indicated he is available for the July 3 meeting.
Commissioner Loveless is available for the July 3 meeting.
Chair Barrett stated she also supports detachment. In response to Commissioner Hopkins’ statement regarding the detachments and that it appears to be a trend, she stated that she would like to wait to see what happens after the sale of the hospital before making any changes. She agreed that there needs to be a larger conversation.
Alternate Commissioner Landman asked if the differences between the 28 – 56 day protest hearing would change the tax payment. He stated he had not heard a compelling reason for the healthcare district to exist.
Motion and seconded approved as recommended by staff. Directed staff to come back on July 3 with protest hearing.
Ayes: 6 Loveless, Gorin, Stafford, Holmer, Hopkins and Barrett.
Chair Barrett welcomed back Alternate Commissioners Herzberg and Moore.
Alternate Commissioner Herzberg departed at 3:22pm