SONOMA COUNTY: 6,500 Signatures Collected to Save Palm Drive Hospital
With the aid of community volunteers, the campaign to create a west Somoma county hospital district based at Sebastopol's Palm Drive Hospital leapt forward over the weekend, securing in excess of 6,500 petition signatures. In order to place the measure on the April 2000 ballot, hospital district supporters needed only 3,500 registered voter signatures. "With 120 volunteers, we accomplished more than our goal due to the widespread support of the community for the hospital," said campaign manager Bill Wood. In 1998, a group of private investors, whose plan "calls for a $5.9 million bond issue to fund west county community ownership," purchased the Sebastopol hospital from Columbia/HCA for $2.8 million in an effort to prevent the hospital from closing. Supporters estimate that "the average homeowner would pay about $11.61 a year per $100,000 in assessed value of property," and that most of the west county south of Cazadero and west of Santa Rosa would be included in the special assessment district. Supporters will now submit the signed petitions to the Local Agency Formation Commission, which is scheduled to debate the hospital district application on November 3. County supervisors would then take up the issue in January, provided that enough signatures had been certified (Rose, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 10/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.