The future of the Eden Health District is on the agenda at Tuesday’s Alameda County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) meeting at the Castro Valley Library.
The District, originally established in 1948 to build and operate Eden Hospital, not collected property taxes since 1976. Since 1998 the Eden Medical Center has operated independently of the District, which has evolved into a grant-making agency focused on “improv[ing] the health of the people in the communities we serve by investing District resources in health and wellness programs that meet identified goals,” according to the District’s 2016 Strategic Plan,”
About a third of California’s hospital districts have evolved from being owner and operators of hospitals to “funders of community health services,” according to an April 2006 report from the California Health Care Foundation. Grant recipients have included community non-profits and schools to support veterans, develop training programs, and support wellness programs. You can read about the grant programs that the District has supported here.
LAFCos exist in each California county as an independent agency empowered to oversee “boundary changes to cities and special districts, the formation of new agencies including incorporation of new cities, and the consolidation of existing agencies.” Supervisors Nate Miley and Scott Haggerty sit as members of the Alameda County LAFCo as well as Ralph Johnson, who serves as President of the CVSan Board.
LAFCo report, local lawmaker concerns
Local members of the California Assembly and surrounding cities have sought legislation and the intervention of the Alameda County LAFCo to determine if the District should continue operating.
Prompted by this concern, Alameda County LAFCo commissioned a draft report released in March. The report findings were generally supportive of the District’s continued operations. It suggested better coordination with county agencies, but found it “accountable for its financial resources and decision process.”
Lawmakers, in letters to the LAFCo in response to the report, have expressed concerns about the report’s methodology and whether the District should still exist. There were also letters of support for the continued existence of the District by community members.
The LAFCo Staff report for Tuesday’s meeting frames the question as whether to “Maintain the status quo where the District remains intact and the Board of Directors continues to be elected and conduct District business.” Or, “Dissolve the District and either terminate its services or continue its services via a successor agency.”
Update from last night’s Municipal Advisory Council meeting
At its meeting last night, the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) passed a unanimous resolution in support of the continued operation of Eden Health District.
It recommended that the District’s boundaries be redrawn to align with unincorporated Alameda County communities and exclude municipalities like Hayward and San Leandro, which have advocated for the District’s dissolution. The MAC also recommended a reduction in District’s overhead costs by 25 percent.
- Eden Health District CEO says Bonta wants dissolution solely for their assets, not reasons stated– East Bay Citizen
- Mixed opinions on Eden Health District’s future – East Bay Times
- Eden Health District operations on track, study finds – East Bay Times
The Alameda County LAFCo meets at Castro Valley Library at 3600 Norbridge Avenue from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm on Tuesday, April 11.