If approved by the legislature and signed by the Governor, a bill introduced by Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield) would dissolve the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District by February 1, 2022.
This comes after a 2017-18 Contra Costa County Grand Jury Report recommended dissolving the district as it pays more in administrative costs than it does administering grants. In 2019, Lamar Thorpe, who is now the Mayor of Antioch, was appointed as the Executive Director of the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District. According to a District agreement, he is making $96,000 per year.
According to the 13-page Grand Jury Report:
- The Grand Jury also found LMCHD grant program administrative expenses are high compared to the amount spent on For example, in FY2016-2017, LMCHD spent 40% of its revenue on grants and 36% administering those grants, with the remaining 24% going to reserves. LMCHD’s FY2017-2018 budget allocates 42% for grant programs, and 51% for grant program administration.
- The FY2017-2018 budget shows a general fund revenue of $1.0 million. Of that amount,$0.5 million is allocated to administrative overhead, $0.4 million to community health programs, and $0.1 million to reserves.
- The Grand Jury found no evidence that LMCHD collaborated with the County, non-profit hospitals, or other local entities to avoid duplication of services. Several organizations received grants from both the County and This duplication of services occurred because the County grant administrator, Keller Canyon Mitigation Fund, supports some of the same programs funded through LMCHD. If the County were to assume administration of LMCHD grant programs, there would be no duplication of administrative expenses because the County grant process is already in place.
- LMCHD receives nearly all its annual revenue from property taxes. It uses this revenue to pay for program and wellness grants, as well as administrative expenses.
In 2017, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to dissolve the District with Supervisor Federal Glover stating the time for a health care district board of directors has come and gone. LAFCO has also rejected the bid for the District to stay open, however, a judge allowed it Meanwhile, the hospital closed in 1994.
The District services Antioch, Bay Point, Clayton, Concord, Pittsburg and other local communities within the county.
Frazier’s bill (AB 903), which he has not responded to a request for comment, aims to put this debate to rest through State Law.
AB 903 would:
Require the dissolution of the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District, as specified. The bill would require the County of Contra Costa to be successor of all rights and responsibilities of the district, and require the county to complete a property tax transfer process to ensure the transfer of the district’s health-related ad valorem property tax revenues to the county in order to operate the Los Medanos Area Health Plan Grant Program. By requiring a higher level of service from the County of Contra Costa as described above, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
According to the Bill:
CHAPTER 11. Los Medanos Community Healthcare District Dissolution
(a) The Los Medanos Community Healthcare District shall hereby be dissolved, effective February 1, 2022.
The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique circumstances surrounding the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.