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Sonoma County, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Smart Voter

Sonoma Index Tribune Questions

By Lisa A. Hardy

Candidate for Board Member; Sonoma Valley Health Care District

This information is provided by the candidate
1) What are your skills and qualifications that make you the best choice for the hospital board?

I graduated from Willamette University in 1983 with a degree in Psychology. I worked at Hanna Boys Center for more than 18 years. One of the key elements in my success was the ability to be a team player. As a Supervisor, I led by example and included my co-workers in the decision making process. Together we were able to overcome the complex obstacles that arose. I am ready, willing and able to take on the role of a new member on the Hospital Board. I would provide a welcome breath of fresh air.

2) What do you consider to be the biggest challenges facing the hospital board, and how will you help with those issues?

Getting 67% of the voters to agree to finance a new hospital. Teamwork is a must if we are going to meet that goal. The teamwork should include working closely with the community in advance in order to identify the option most likely to succeed. The lack of financial stability of the current hospital needs to be more adequately addressed. A local sales tax would be a possible solution. With a sales tax, everyone benefiting from the improved services would pay. It should be considered in place of the parcel tax that has carried the financial burden for decades.

3) What are your opinions about hospital plans that would use eminent domain or an expansion of the urban growth boundary?

My opinion on eminent domain is based on a moral grounds. In our society, the terms on which people sell their property are determined by them and only them. To impose eminent domain diminishes the civil rights of a property owner. Yet, if used in its true form, full justification of eminent domain can not be dismissed.
Urban Growth Boundaries help communities maintain their unique characteristics and better use of their tax dollars. Expanding the UGB to 8th St. East would open the flood gates of development in that area. These developments would not be as beneficial to Sonoma as our open space and agricultural land have been throughout the town's history.

4) What are your views about a privately owned hospital versus a publicly owned hospital?

A private hospital's bottom line is to make money. It has an obligation to its investors to earn them a return on their investment. Because of this, private hospitals may be more inclined to limit spending on patients, which could result in inferior patient care.
A publicly owned hospital is not driven by corporate profit-making. The key goal is to provide the best quality healthcare to its patients while achieving a balanced budget. Providing accessible services to the community is a strong motivator for achieving consensus. The public should have a say about their healthcare and I will represent that on the Board. What is more important... their money or your healthcare?

5) What will you do to ease the tension in the community surrounding the hospital?

I would work on rebuilding the trust between the Hospital Board and the community. I would accomplish this with teamwork. With everyone working towards a common goal and putting aside personal differences, it is attainable. The Board should be held accountable for their actions. The Board has to present a solution that is in the best interest for the entire community. We can build a hospital and support services that are a reflection of our great town of Sonoma.

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ca/sn Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 4, 2006 12:15
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