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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Special District

Sequoia Healthcare DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Harland Harrison

Harland Harrison

Software Engineer
20,458 votes (15.7%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Stop collecting the taxes meant to run a hospital the District no longer owns
  • Stop paying salaries no longer needed and end the financial entanglement, EBIDA, with Dignity Health, the hospital owner
  • Abolish the District or let the voters decide what to do

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (1)

  • Silicon Valley Taxpayers' Association

Elected Officials (3)

  • Jack Hickey, Sequoia Healthcare District Director
  • Matt Grocott, City Council Member and Former Mayor of San Carlos
  • Peter Carpenter, Member Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board

Individuals (2)

  • Warren Gibson, Former Chair, Belmont Planning Commission
  • Mickie Winkler, Former Mayor of Menlo Park

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Sequoia Healthcare District Should Not Exist - Here is why


The District sold the hospital but kept collecting the taxes.  It wastes money and excludes the people who need help the most

It started as Sequoia Hospital District, raising taxes to build and run Sequoia Hospital.  Now, the Directors have sold the Hospital,  but go right on collecting the taxes!  The got $11 million last year!  They can spend it any way they want.  They pay a CEO $250,000 per year, a fair price for managing a major hospital, but this CEO has no hospital to manage,  and  supervises just 4 or 5 employees, (including part-time workers).


Seventy years ago, the District was a good idea.  Today, it is just an arbitrary line through San Mateo County.  They changed the name to Sequoia Healthcare District, (cleverly having the same initials), but people are finding out anyway.  


By design, the District should not help those citizens of San Mateo County who need help the most.  The District includes some of the wealthiest parts of San Mateo County,  like Atherton and Portola Valley.  It  does not include the coast side, like San Gregorio and Half Moon Bay, and leaves out EPA and places East of 101.  The Directors have tried  to confine their donations to serve only District residents.  That is a sensible way to treat tax money — but they should never give away tax money in the first place.  The coastal farm workers and some of our poorest citizens are left out because they do not live in the District.


Although the Board keeps taking taxes,  they actually “generate dollars”, as they call it,  in an even worse way.  They make a non-profit pay them as if it had made a profit!  The Board got a profit-sharing agreement as part of the final transfer of the Hospital.  Of course, commercial companies, quite often, do exchange stock or options as part of a sale.  But the buyer, Dignity Health, is a non-profit. The Catholic nuns, Sisters of Mercy, had founded Dignity Health in 1986, calling it Catholic Healthcare West back then.  That non-profit funded true charity healthcare and now runs about 40 hospitals.  So the District crafted their EBIDA agreement with Dignity Health, requiring the non-profit to pay the District part of their receipts from Sequoia.  The formula is complex, but the Board took the word of Goldman Sachs, (the same Goldman Sachs of the sub-prime, mortgage-backed, securities meltdown), that the District’s share of the take would generate millions.


If we abolish the District, the taxes will go back to the schools, cities, fire stations, etc that property taxes normally fund.  That seems best, but in the end the voters should decide.  Some people argue that the District diverts the tax money toward “healthcare”.  But the District has no legal obligation to fund healthcare, and many of their donations only relate marginally to health.  The other lawful agencies can do the same job, and, in fact, are doing the job better, now.



Sequoia Healthcare District should not exist.  Its time has passed.  It no longer serves its purpose.  The District should be abolished.


Videos (1)

— October 13, 2016 Midpen Media Center

In this video Harland Harrison tells why Sequoia Healthcare District should be closed and how you can help by voting for Harland Harrison and Lois Garcia.

The District started as a hospital district but has since sold the hospital.  The Board has tried to justify its existence by supporting various public programs marginally related to healthcare.  But because of its boundaries,  the District is unsuitable for providing charity healthcare.  As part of the sale, the Board created a financial arrangement which is actually taking money out of the hospital which the District was created to support.

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