Alameda County To Vote on Competing Measures for Rebuild of Hospital
A pair of ballot initiatives asking property owners in Alameda County to help finance the rebuilding of Children's Hospital Oakland has elicited criticism from residents and local officials who contend that the private facility should not rely on taxpayers for money, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Voters on Feb. 5 will decide between two ballot measures, both of which would help finance a new $750 million hospital that meets new state building standards for earthquake safety.
Both measures would generate $300 million for the project.
The first ballot initiative, Measure B, would impose a 30-year parcel tax on Alameda County property owners and require the county to collect those taxes, a move that would cost millions of dollars in administrative costs.
After local officials met with the hospital, a second ballot initiative, Measure A, was created that imposes a sliding scale for the amount property owners would be taxed and include exemptions for low-income families and senior citizens. Under Measure A, the county's administrative costs would be offset by state bonds and private donations.
The hospital, where two-thirds of patients are Medi-Cal beneficiaries, is now urging voters to approve Measure A. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Frank Tiedemann, president and CEO of the hospital, said "We think Measure A is now a better initiative because it takes into consideration public concern."
Both measures require two-thirds support for passage. If both pass, the measure that receives the most votes would take effect (Fernandez, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/18).