Ballots for new hospital mailed to voters next week

Taxpayers will finally get to vote on plans for a brand-new Peninsula Medical Center, with special mail-in ballots set to hit homes early next week.

Mark Numainville, a county elections officer, said ballots for the hospital vote, Measure V, are set to go out on Monday to the 101,000 registered voters in the Peninsula Health Care District, which includes Burlingame, San Mateo, Millbrae, San Bruno and parts of Foster City and South San Francisco. Voters have until Aug. 29 to return their ballots by mail or in person, but should mail them by Aug. 22 to make sure the votes arrive on time.

Mills-Peninsula Health Services, which runs the Peninsula Medical Center, wants to build a state-of-the-art, $488 million hospital to replace the Burlingame hospital because the current facility doesn’t meet state seismic regulations.

Construction can’t begin on the hospital — which sits on land owned by the Peninsula Health Care District, a public entity — until the voters give the OK.

Mills-Peninsula, an arm of Sutter Health, is funding the project and the election. Construction is slated to begin in the fall, and officials are anxious to keep things on track as building costs continue to climb. The project should be finished by mid-2010.

Hospital higher-ups in May released a list of potential cuts and items to be deferred should the project costs continue to climb, including nonessential items such as a helipad, fountain, several conference rooms and three of the 10 operating rooms.

The election is the last hurdle in a long public process that saw a lawsuit, construction cost increases, changes in the proposal from Mills-Peninsula and difficulty in finding board members without conflicts of interest.

The district and Mills-Peninsula agreed on a 50-year lease, where Mills-Peninsula pays the district $1.5 million per year in rent for 21 acres of land. The hospital reverts back to the district at the end of the lease.

Dan Andersen with Peninsula Guardians, a nonprofit watchdog group for the hospital project, said that though he will likely vote for the new hospital, he remains unhappy with the current lease agreement.

“We want to make sure this is taxpayer-controlled, not Sutter-controlled,” Andersen said.

District board member Rick Navarro said that while the lease isn’t perfect, it still presents a good deal for taxpayers. He said keeping tabs on hospital operations is one of the board’s top priorities.

tramroop@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A proposal for a Trader Joe’s location in existing retail space in the bottom floor of the 555 Fulton St. building was up for a vote at the Planning Commission on Thursday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Trader Joe’s approved for Hayes Valley, bringing long-awaited grocery store

New Seasons Market canceled plans at 555 Fulton St. citing construction delays

Gov. Newsom wants $4.2 billion to finish the Central Valley link for the bullet train, but legislators aren’t sold. (Illustration by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters; iStock; CA High Speed Rail Authority; Shae Hammond for CalMatters)
Bullet train budget battle: Should California spend more on urban transit, not high-speed rail?

By Marissa Garcia CalMatters High-speed rail was supposed to connect California’s urban… Continue reading

Cooks work in the kitchen at The Vault Garden. (Courtesy Hardy Wilson)
Help wanted: SF restaurants are struggling to staff up

Some small businesses have to ‘sweeten the pot’ when hiring workers

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at Ruby Bridges Elementary School in Alameda during a March 2021 press conference. (Credit Ed Reed/EdSource)
How California plans to deter costly special education disputes

Fund is meant to help parents and schools settle differences before heading to court

Most Read