Hospital Ad-Hoc Committee Approved WIth Less Than Full Council Support

Feb. 22, 2012 | The San Leandro City Council is preparing to take a more pro-active approach in finding alternatives for saving its community hospital. The Council approved the formation of the three-person Ad-Hoc committee to explore San Leandro Hospital’s near and long-term future, but not before two council members registered strong objection to the potential costs to city staff.

With the potential of a settlement up in the air and uncertainty over whether the State Supreme Court will accept a petition by the Eden Township Healthcare District to render final say on its legal fight with Sutter Health over title of the hospital, San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy told the council it needs to begin a dialogue over what could potentially happen next.

“We could be in a situation in a matter of a month or less where the California State Supreme Court denies the petition and Sutter potentially closes the hospital,” Cassidy said Tuesday night. “I just want us not to be caught flat-footed if something should unfold.”

He later added, “If this hospital closes it’s going to be a disaster for this city.”

Councilmembers Joyce Starosciak and Diana Souza, though, did not see the view the hospital’s imminent demise with the same urgency. Neither member registered an aye vote for the creation of the committee later approved and to consist of Councilmembers Michael Gregory, Ursula Reed and Cassidy. Starosciak opposed the motion, while Souza abstained.

“The need to have San Leandro Hospital open is huge,” said Starosciak, but she later forcefully quizzed Cassidy on what exactly the committee would accomplish. “We don’t have a problem yet that we can clearly define,” she said.

Like Starosciak, Souza questioned whether using staff time on the issue of San Leandro Hospital was a worthwhile expenditure for the budget-conscious council. “I just wanted us allll to understand what they’re going to be taking off to do this,” said Souza. “We talk about how tight things are. This is going to cost us.”

Souza later asked the council to consider capping the amount of time and money used by staff on the committee. She also raised doubt over San Leandro residents, one-third of whom are members of Kaiser Permanente by some estimates, are willing to approve a parcel tax, if one is ever proposed. Assuming such a tax needed a two-thirds majority, Souza said, “you would need every single Kaiser member to support that.”

Gregory, whose district the hospital is located said, “things could not be worse” for the city’s health care future and those employed at the facility representing one of San Leandro’s largest employer. “It impacts this town like no other thing.”

Councilman Jim Prola added: “If you ask the members of our community if we should do this, I think you would come back with a resounding yes,” Prola said limited access to the new emergency rooms at Kaiser on Merced Avenue is still over two years away.

Cassidy said he intends for the Ad-Hoc committee to meet sometime near the end of March.

10 thoughts on “Hospital Ad-Hoc Committee Approved WIth Less Than Full Council Support

  1. Souza beat Julian Polvorosa to win her seat, she had no opposition on her re election.
    Don't remember who ran against Starosiak but it went to a run off.


  2. Tavares, why don't you ask Souza if allowing her employees to fix cars with stolen catalytic converters is also a good way to save money. Don't forget we really didn't choose Souza and Starosciak. It's just that nobody else wanted to run for council. If I recall correctly, Souza won two times without being opposed.


  3. The writer @ 9:52, resorts to showing off his ignorance by the use of name calling and swear words, this shows a lack of vocabulary. As for Steven, we wouldnt know what is going on concerning the hospital as well as local political news, I dont agree with some of Stevens beliefs but I respect him for saying them and signing his name the same goes for Abdullah, if you have something to say and you feel strongly about it include your name, the only reason to not include you name would be that you dont know what you are talking about. I also believe that Mayor Cassidy has done more in the short time he has been in office to save the hospital in the town where he is Mayor than Santos did the entire time, I had spoken to Santos at one of the gatherings about why he didnt speak up for keeping the hospital open, he very frankly told me that it was not a city issue. I attended a meeting at the ETHD and Mayor Cassidy also attended that meeting, he said at that meeting that when elected he would do all he could to keep the hospital open, and now that he is Mayor he is keeping his promise this is not that common today especially from an elected official, so say what you will about Mayor Cassidy, I think we elected the right person, and again I repeat, Tony, get over it, you lost. We cant depend on Kaiser to bail us out, and I am not so sure that 1/3 of the city has Kaiser Insurance, I go along with Mr Briscoes presentation, we need all of the ER depts we have, and closing one would prove disastrous. John Kalafatich ( PAPA JOHN )


  4. We can agree to disagree about issues, but please let not our disagreement leads us to insult others. Steven is doing a great job, to the best of his ability to cover issues affecting greater San Leandro community and our Hospital. I do not know Cassidy that well, but any one else is better than Santos. Abdullah


  5. I read it asshole. he wants to think ahead of what is going to happen after the lawsuit. That one percent chance tgat some how the district gets to keep SLH, it's goibg to take a huge effort from alot of people to keep it open. If sutter wins like they most likely will there needs to be an “after” plan, because this city will be fucked to say the least.

    Santos never gave it a second thought. He rode the sutter wagon hard and now he's willing to back them in court. Thank god he is not still in office. He never once tried to assure the community that things would work out after the closure. He never offered any back up plan to fill in the huge hole. His only pitiful words of comfort were, don't worry kaiser is coming and we'll make lots of money. Just like sutter, Santos is and was all about the money, and how he could get more of it.

    Santos is so stupid and so stubborn that he couldn't even take the side of the people against sutter, even if only in moral support. you might of beaten the fat ginger if you just pretended to give a shit about what people in the city you represent cared about

    Fuck you Steven stay in alameda
    Fuck you Tony. You were born a punk and you'll die one too.


  6. Steven I know you hate Cassidy but c'mon!! Give it up for the guy for at least this. When things got tough with SLH Santos threw in the towel. Tge situation is 10 times worse now and cassidy is getting ready for battle. If nothing else proved who's the better mayor and human being than let this be that one thing


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