Mountain View Voice

Opinion - June 15, 2012

Letters

Hospital district has outlived its usefulness

The El Camino Hospital District has outlived its original purpose, which was to build El Camino Hospital to serve residents of the district. The district does not run the hospital, as it has spun off the hospital into a nonprofit corporation. The two are separate legal entities, although the same people sit in control on both boards. That legal separation is the basis for the specious claim that no district taxes went toward the purchase of the Los Gatos hospital. The hospital district collects taxes, while the nonprofit corporation purchased the Los Gatos El Camino Hospital. Taxes go in the left pocket, while the purchase comes out the right pocket.

At one time the district and the taxpayers owned and controlled El Camino Hospital. But now spun off as a nonprofit, the hospital is governed by its separate board and is answerable only to itself, since there are no stockholders and the taxpayers have no control. The hospital now fancies itself the hospital of Silicon Valley. This is the opening to executive empire building.

Now that it has completed its original purpose of building the first El Camino Hospital, the district has looked for places to spend excess tax collections. The district spends "unrestricted funds" on community health improvement programs. Notwithstanding the value of these programs, it is time to call the district a success and end the hospital district, just as the state ended the redevelopment agencies. The profitable El Camino Hospital should stand on its own. The continued existence of the district only serves to extend the unlimited liability of the district taxpayers for the benefit of the greater Silicon Valley outside the district.

Gene Lee

Ernestine Lane

Support local small business

The Milk Pail is a treasure and haven for Midpeninsula residents seeking healthy foods at affordable prices. In a David and Goliath battle, we need to stand up for and support the little local guy who's doing credible work and not allow big bucks to squelch honest endeavor which contributes to the common health and welfare.

Betty Meissner

Menlo Park

City should push banks for reinvestment

Good to know that there is a federal law on the books regarding reinvestment requirements for banks. Are we in Mountain View getting some of the assets or are these assets being transferred out of our community?

Mr. Fischetti is right to inquire. I agree. We need to have a dialogue with the Bank of America (with whom our city does business). Other cities — Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Oakland and many others — are also engaged in determining what their bank policies are regarding foreclosures and mortgage modifications. We have to ask city officials now.

Barbara Goodwin

W. Middlefield Road

Are police too busy to direct traffic?

On a recent day the traffic signals at El Camino Real and Shoreline Boulevard and El Camino and Castro Street were not functioning. Traffic was backed up for miles.

I called the Mountain View Police department. The woman who answered said that they knew about the problem. I suggested that she send police to direct traffic as I saw the possibility of accidents. I explained that I had just driven through both intersections, and I saw several near misses. All I got was silence and a "thank you."

It seems that the police are too busy counting their fat paychecks, large benefits, and outlandish pensions to direct traffic. Perhaps they think that directing traffic is beneath them?

What happened to protect and serve? It has been replaced with give me, give me, and give me more!

Konrad Sosnow

Trophy Drive

Protect small businesses at shopping center

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms and have generated 65 percent of the new jobs in the past 17 years.

It is clear that small businesses are essential in getting the United States economy back on track. Thus, it's upsetting to see that developer Merlone Geier put up a fence in order to deter customers from small businesses and force land sales to continue with their own project. The truth is that Mountain View will benefit more from the local businesses such as the Milk Pail Market than it will from a new hotel and office area.

Kathy Dong

San Jose

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