Re: Hospital board appeals Chapter 9 bankruptcy, Free Lance 4/5/24

We have a mystery theater. The title is, “Who Killed the Hospital?” The time is now. The place is right here in Hollister. 

Scenes: The hospital board meeting on the second floor of the Services Building. The main cast is the hospital board of five members, CEO, administrators, lawyers and consultants and County Board of Supervisors. 

Other main characters are: nurses, doctors and hospital staff of engineers, electricians, plumbers, accountants, bookkeepers, handymen, gardeners, secretaries, janitors and housekeepers.

The chorus is made up of townspeople watching.

Synopsis: The hospital is the largest employer in town with hundreds of employees. Wages and salaries from these jobs are spent in every store and service doing business in Hollister. Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital is plagued by insufficient income because the number of doctors and specialists are limited, making finances difficult. 

Many people seek medical care and hospitalization out of town. The hospital board and CEO have filed bankruptcy and want to sell the hospital to a for-profit enterprise. A judge refused the bankruptcy in federal court. The board is filing an appeal in order to sell the hospital at reduced price.

Plot: The county board of supervisors have researched a complete plan to save the hospital and have offered this solution to the hospital board. This plan would seek specialty doctors, financial resources and management solutions to remedy the situation. 

On the other hand, a profit focused healthcare institution would drain away local dollars to out-of-town investors and impoverish our town. The hospital board continues to pursue bankruptcy plans in order to sell at a distressed price that would harm taxpayers.

Conclusion: What will overcome this impasse? Will a Columbo type detective emerge to solve the mystery of why the hospital board adamantly refuses to use the help and expertise offered by the supervisors to buckle down and responsibly manage the hospital? Or will the hospital board succeed in killing the hospital?

Mary Zanger


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  1. Dear Friends,
    If the Supervisors’ plan is anything like the bankrupt-from-conception County transit boondoggle, then they’ll have us on a faster Road to Serfdom than they presently have us.
    Public sector “solutions” to insolvent business of any kind is like throwing gasoline on a fire to extinguish it. What answer do the Supervisors give to the “crucial question,” posed by the late Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, while he was still in the House of Representatives: “The crucial question in transportation today is: “What should government do, and what should it leave to others?””
    Norm’s “crucial question” remains our crucial question. Just ask yourself: How high will gas taxes have to go to pay for all the radical socialist “solutions” in the public sector, e.g., COG, VTA, FAX, TAMC, SCCRTC, MTA, Caltrain, ACE Train, SMART Train, Lite Rail, BART, Amtrak, Bullet Train, etc.?
    My estimate published by the Editor of Gilroy Dispatch before the election in 2009, Prop. 1A, was $10/gallon.
    Now today I think that I was wrong: it’s going to be more like $20/gallon to get Bullet Train running. But, if we tax people out of their cars, will we return to horses, mules, jackasses?
    If the Supervisors were serious about helping the taxpayers, they’d put COG in Ch. 9, cancel all burdensome contracts as the Bankruptcy Code permits, spin-off the boondoggles to anyone in the private sector foolish enough to pick-up the loosing boondoggle, and then convert the case to one under Ch. 7, liquidation bankruptcy.
    Better to cut-off the malignant tumor than to allow it to spread throughout our body. If COG is a separate, stand-alone entity of governance, then the Supervisors ought to adopt an ordinance requiring the County to cease all participation in the unelected governance abuse at COG, where the COG “directors” govern without the consent of the voters.
    Caveat viator.
    Joseph P. Thompson, Esq.,
    408-848-5506; E-Mail: [email protected];
    Past-President 1999-2001, 2006, Gilroy-Morgan Hill Bar Assn.; Past-Member, Executive Committee, SCCBA’s Debtor-Creditor-Bankruptcy Committee when my office was in San Jose; Past-Chair, Legislation Committee, Transportation Lawyers Assn., and post-doc student, transportation law & policy, Norman Y. Mineta International Institute for Transportation Policy Studies, SJSU; Transportation Research Board, Georgetown U.; and Library of Congress

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