LAGUNA HONDA: S.F. Supervisors Pass Bond Measure
Voters will decide Nov. 3 whether to approve a $502.5 million plan to rebuild Laguna Honda Hospital, the priciest bond measure in San Francisco's history. City supervisors voted 10-0 to put the bond measure on the fall ballot, but "tabled another ballot proposal that would have allowed the city" to dip into a $300 million seismic safety fund to pay for the hospital's restoration. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "the city could have kept well under its debt ceiling" if it used money from the seismic safety account. Critics said, however, that seismic safety money should be conserved to pay for repairs to "more than 1,000 unreinforced masonry buildings." The Residential Builders Association's Joe O'Donoghue, who supported the deal to push the bond measure to the ballot, said the money should go toward repairing Laguna Honda since "only a small chunk of money" has gone toward repairing the other buildings. "It's 1,200 landlords who do not need to borrow the money, and it's 1,200 patients, who have no money, who are dying," O'Donoghue said. "So it's a matter of priority."
Landlords vs. Tenants
The Chronicle reports that "what is at issue is the dispute between landlords and tenants over a city provision that allows property owners to pass on the costs of bonds approved from 1996 to 1998 through rent increases." Tenant advocates say they will fight the bond measure, saying "the size of the bond equals a huge rent increase for tenants" (Wilson, 7/24). Click Laguna Honda to read past California Healthline coverage of this issue.