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El Camino Hospital pursuing legal options against Measure M

Original post made on Nov 16, 2012

El Camino Hospital's board of directors confirmed that they will be exploring all legal avenues to block Measure M. The salary-capping measure passed by a thin margin in the Nov. 6 election.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 16, 2012, 1:55 PM

Comments (31)

Posted by Peter, a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Trying to block this measure is a mistake, and it disrespects the voters. I voted for Measure M on its face, and I am neither an employee of ECH nor a member of a union.

Pursuing legal loopholes to circumvent the vote shows a disregard for our votes and is wasteful of our money that indirectly pays the lawyers.

Posted by Mark, a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm

To the whiny, whimpering, overpaid administrators of El Camino Hospital as well as to its board of directors = YOUR ATTITUDE is what pushed us voters to say "HELL YES! IT IS ABOUT TIME THAT WE LIMIT THE OUTRAGEOUSLY OVERINFLATED SALARIES/BENEFIT PACKAGES OF HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATORS!" ... YOUR dismissive attitude towards WE THE VOTERS and towards the process of qualifying a measure for the ballot and then NOT ABIDING BY THE OUTCOME OF THE VOTE is unacceptable and extremely disappointing ... we the voters WILL remember the names of elected officials who are supporting this unethical, arrogant and transparent move by ECH and its board of directors to DISMISS the will of the voters, and you WILL be held accountable at the time of your re-election efforts and/or of your climbing the political ladder to a bigger, even MORE overpaid "job" than the current one into which you were voted ...

Posted by Mark, a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Question: How do you know when an overpaid and underworked hospital administrator is lying?
Answer: It's lips are moving.

Posted by Why Stop With The Administrator?, a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Why stop with the Administrator?

Hospital nurses, janitors, physcians and espcially SEIU represented employees ARE ALL OVERPAID! Refund the the bond funds and turn El Camino into a private hospital.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Dear Taxpayers and Voters:

Piss off you morons!


ECH Board of Directors

Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Maybe I should have pursued that lawsuit over that case of C-DIF that ECH gave me as a " going away " present. ( yes, the administration & staff had cut down on keeping ECH clean compared to other hospitals like Stanford )

My PCP continued to treat me by phone. Yes it is that contagious.

Posted by steve, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Let's see when unions use the courts to circumvent the will of the voters "that is what Democracy looks like", but when management does the same it is spitting in the face of the voters

Talk about hypocrisy

The unions pretty much admitted that they manipulated voters into measure M so they could use it as a negotiating tool against management. Management is within their rights to take this to court. It is how our system works. I hope they prevail. The worst thing that has happened to this country is public sector unions. They should be illegal.

Posted by Dave, a resident of Gemello
on Nov 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Yes, but you miss the point of the over compensation for CEOs these days. What are they? Gods? Who are we? Nobodies? Not very democratic.

Posted by Ouch!, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Nov 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm


Let's prepare for this by setting up a "shadow" board that can step in at a moment's notice.

Posted by KATE, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm

And this arrogance by these overpaid jokers is the true example of "entitlements" that exist in this country. And per their political cronies only the wealthy and privileged deserve the entitlement of access to and control of the government.

All other "examples of entitlement ie SS and medicare" are nonsense. These jokers demand all entitlements exclusively.

They have heard the voice of the people and they turn deaf ears and pretend we have no say.

And this is why I voted for M (no matter its origins) and against Zoglin. I say we begin a campaign to demand his resignation.

I am not a member of any union and never was, and I am not an employee of El Camino Hospital and never was. I am a local resident who deeply resents gouging of hospital funds so these jokers can live the life of riley in these times.

Posted by Ken, a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

The fact of the matter is that the union's hand was behind the ballot measure as a bargaining tool. I would be all for the"will of the people" if I thought that no amount of cynical union shenanigans was behind measure M. But unfortunately it was. Besides which, anyone who has ever been in a leadership position will tell you that everyone always has a better idea than you do if they're not the ones in the hot seat. If the executive leadership of ECH leaves en masse then the hospital will be in big trouble. Do you really want people with no experience whatsoever running ECH? Because that is what you'll get.

Posted by Anna S., a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 17, 2012 at 9:53 am

How the heck did this Zoglin win re-election?

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2012 at 10:59 am

I am hoping the courts shoot this down. ECH is working good, is the care really, is it on the verge of going bankrupt or a state take over. Knew someone who worked for school district, head of school keep getting pay raises while schools were going down hill. State took them over.

Posted by Kary Lynch, a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Measure M was written to call attention to the arrogance of the El Camino Hospital District Board of Directors. The wording is simple and straight forward. Measure M didn't need a campaign. The campaign against the ballot measure spent "just under $200,000", with the hospital contributing $149,000. Did you see that Valley Medical Center hired a new CEO, Paul Lorenz, for a salary of $251,535, well below the limit allowed by measure M. No Chief of Police, Fire Chief, or District Attorney in the state is paid a salary that compares to the CEO of El Camino Hospital. Executive compensation is out of control. The voter's voice should be heard.

Posted by frank, a resident of Gemello
on Nov 18, 2012 at 7:25 am

They will get their way. They always do. No matter if you point out how other hospitals get by with paying less. Even the Voice is against measure M. That's because the last editor of The Voice, Don Frances, was hired by management of ECH and is no doubt feeding editorials back to the Voice. It's a circle of friends. You'll never get the truth.

(FYI: Don Frances left ECH more than a year ago. And ECH had nothing to do with our editorial position. Ed.)

Posted by Ken, a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2012 at 8:38 am

ECH is different from Valley Med. If you want a place like Valley Med in Mountain View, then that's fine, but I don't think the people of the district would agree.

Posted by Ernie, a resident of Gemello
on Nov 18, 2012 at 9:22 am

Valley Med is a public hospital and one of the best around. Do your research. It's funded by taxpayers and serves everyone. Can the same be said of ECH?

One thing for sure is when you go to ECH, they will bill you directly within 24 hours even if you have insurance (just in case you lost it and might have to pay out of pocket). Their billing department is truly aggressive.

Posted by resident, a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 18, 2012 at 9:20 pm

"We have respect for the voters," said John Zoglin, chairman of the board of directors.

To quote Seth Meyers on SNL...'Really? REALLY?!"

Posted by PH, a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm

The message is clear: The people are tired of paying those in executive positions so much while they are struggling to pay their bills with no hope for their future and retirement. It doesn't matter who got measure M on the ballot, the people passed it and expect it to be enacted. It shows how tired we all are of some of the ECH administration's actions as far as being fiscally responsible and how much we want changes to be made. It really is too bad we can't get these people at the top to voluntarily take a pay cut, one that wouldn't have to be so much, and to show us a side that makes us feel they care more about our community and their employees than about them selves. We need excellent leadership from these people to keep our great local hospital from becoming second rate and there should not be so much time and effort spent fixing labor and management issues and more on the business of running the hospital. This is not the way to solve the problems at the top and as an idea I liked the attention that measure M brought, but I voted against it because it could have a disasterous effect on the hospital's ability to give us the excellent care we are used to. The question now is what can be done to create a balance between all the parties involved to keep the community happy and coming back to ECH instead of going elsewhere?

Posted by BCH, a resident of Gemello
on Nov 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Hey I know lets cap the salary of the top physicians at El Camino as well, shoot they make ridiculous money! I love watching people complain about Executive Salaries as most have no idea what it takes to do the job. These people are highly paid as the number of truely qualified and good candidates are few and far between. You must pay to get the top talent! Yes they make good money but its market based people! Try getting a top exec from out of the area to move here for the position with a salary of $350K....its laughable. Cap what we can pay and you cap the quality of our leaders.....what top notch Hospital Administrator will want the job that comes with a 50% pay cut when they can work one county over for 2X! Heck maybe they will hang around so we can pay them even more in consulting fees! Ask Zoglin what he spent over the last year on that! The board is the issue here people not the executives and what they make. Your letting the Union goons get the better of you don't be their pawn. We have new blood on the board and that was what was badly needed.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Executive Pay Cap on salaries, I think what we did would make Karl Marx proud. After this lets move on to others that get high pay, then move on to middle management. Heck just pay me more money, but then again I didn't get a 4 year degree, post degree or any kind of training after college. Look at the CEO's of who get paid for doing a lousy job or some other executives that I would trust with my savings, my stock account or even my change jar.

Posted by Ken, a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

I think Ernie should do his research like I did. Take for example Web Link
which is a link to a grand jury investigation which found Valley Med to be chronically losing money for years. They in fact make up a quarter of Santa Clara County's budget! If we get a Valley Med in Mountain View, then the taxpayers are in for the type of financial albatross that will just drive away jobs. Without competent leadership, ECH will actually harm the community, economically if not medically! I believe in Western style free market capitalism, not Socialism, because I know human nature responds to decent pay and taxes. You get what you pay for in this world, and to think otherwise is naive.

Posted by Statisician, a resident of Jackson Park
on Nov 20, 2012 at 9:57 am

And how many patients does VMC serve in comparison to ECH? Did you research that? What types of insurance, or no insurance, does VMC take compared to ECH? Did you research that? What are the demographics that VMC serves versus ECH? Did you research that? You are comparing apples and oranges.

Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 21, 2012 at 5:28 am

Yeah, that Socialism sure is awful. It doesn't work at all. Look at Norway or Finland: those countries are in ruins. Look at Denmark or Sweden. It's just awful there. People are fleeing in droves.

Posted by Ken, a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2012 at 7:34 am

I think Statistician's points are all correct. That's precisely the point. VMC is a financial black hole that we don't want in Mountain View.At least, I don't want to singlehandedly pay for all the poor and indigent care in Northern California through my tax dollars. People like to pretend that we can mandate health care that pays for itself, like there's some magic health care tree somewhere. Unfortunately, health care costs money, which has to come from somewhere.

Posted by Will, a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 21, 2012 at 8:49 am

Nice try at a dodge, Ken, and you just changed the topic.

Unfortunately ECH is a public hospital funded by taxpayers just like VMC. It sound like you are defending ECH as a private hospital. If so, then the taxpayers should not be burdened by it and it can pay it's executives whatever it wants.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

Both Hospitals are taxpayer funded, both serve needy residents and the regular residents. Yes VMC has had some troubles in the past, funded and other day to day running. Would you want ECH to have poor management which might lead to other poor decisions.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm

@Old Ben: Many of the countries you mentioned, & notably Sweden, are moving away from the statist model - ironically as the US is embracing it, but then again we are always behind the times.

Sweden has deregulated telecom, postal, and public transportation; they have a school voucher system giving parents choice; the pension system allows swedes to choose their investment vehicles etc.

Sweden has a comparatively low corporate tax rate of 28 percent. The process for opening a business is relatively straightforward, ranging from one week to a couple of months.

Most commercial banks in Sweden are privately owned and operated. Foreign banks have access to the sector. Few working days are lost to strikes. It is easy to close down factories and move investments abroad.

There is no legal minimum wage. Unlike in other European countries, retailers do not have their hours regulated.

In 2005 the government abolished inheritance and gift taxes.

Why all the changes towards a more free market model? Because the statist socialist model is simply not sustainable. It works until you run out of other people's money. This is what the Greeks, Spanish, Portuguese, and soon the French are finding out.

On a final note, the Chinese are lowering taxes on dividend income to 5% while the geniuses in our government are cranking ours up to over 40%.

Posted by Frank, a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 24, 2012 at 8:33 am

I'd like to think that there are some pretty competent people out there who could run a hospital very effectively for "no more than 2x the Governor's salary." So, with this thought, why does @BCH believe that no one would want to work for ECH; and that anyone coming on as a new Administrator would not do a very good job?

I like some of @PH's ideas, and I'd also like to suggest that to continue the care and upkeep of ECH for many years to come, why not use the $100s of thousands of dollars in savings in Executive Pay and put the money into a dowry or trust or something? This way when times get tough and the hospital needs an upgrade or something, the money is essentially already there. No need to ask for a Bond Measure from the voters. Doesn't Stanford have an unbelievable amount of money in its dowry? (Apples and oranges? Maybe. But why can't ECH have a large interest growing account? Give the Board something to really strive toward)?

At the end of the day, I'm sure an Administrator from a Military Hospital who just retired (BG, Col, Lt. Col, Major...even Captains in some branches run hospitals)...or one who just wants to separate from the military can be found, vetted, hired, and would do an awesome job for the salary cap outlined in Measure M. And they would do very well in the community with that salary and be HAPPY! 'Cuz Lord knows military personnel don't make that much money.

If it came to that, just think, ECH would be able to say it is a proud supporter of Vets! :) And when that person succeeds, all of the naysayers will be wishing they'd stayed in that position. Heck, 'No more than 2x the Govs salary' is nothing to sneeze at.

Jus' sayin'.

Frank Ski

Posted by Peon, a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 26, 2012 at 10:11 am

CEO just think they are so much better than everyone else. The more they get paid, the better they must be.

Posted by Shadow worker, a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2013 at 9:04 pm

I like many of the shadow workers at El Camino hospital can only shrug at the outcome of measure M. We knew the hospital board would win. We live in a society of the powerful and powerless - and the powerful always have their way. But it was good while it lasted. To score a direct hit on the board members pocketbook with measure M was brilliant. If you ever want to get the attention of the powerful take aim at their wallet. And that is exactly what we 'the shadow workers' did! Much thanks to SEIU for allowing us the opportunity to STICK IT to the man - it was fun. Oh yes we got a contract and a good one! And we didn't fold like the self serving nurses union (PRN) did and kiss the hand that slapped them to eek out a contract for themselves. Well it was fun while it lasted.

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