Hospital board names 7 to oversight panel
After reviewing more than 30 applicants, the Tahoe Forest Hospital District board has appointed seven Tahoe-area residents to serve on a committee to oversee spending of Measure C funds.
In September, more than two-thirds of district voters approved the $98 million bond measure to pay for state-mandated seismic work, as well as renovations to the hospital’s emergency and long-term care facilities.
The bond money will also allow the hospital to expand its cancer center.
A requirement of the bond measure, the Citizens Oversight Committee will inform the public how the hospital is spending the money, and to ensure that no funds are spent on unrelated projects.
“I want the committee to be absolutely honest and direct in communications with the public,” committee member Paul Leyton said.
Leyton, who backed the bond measure, is a retired property consultant and full-time Truckee resident. He has served on the Town of Truckee Planning Commission and the Nevada County grand jury, and has participated in other community groups.
“I enjoy making a contribution in community service,” he said. “I owe the hospital a lot and I feel that it’s time to give back.”
Fellow committee member Mark Tanner, another Truckee resident, said he also supported the bond, but as president of the Contractor’s Association of Truckee Tahoe, said he had some concerns with taxing local homeowners.
“I believe in a good community hospital, but not necessarily for taxing homeowners,” he said. “But I feel it was a minimal expense, so I was for it.”
Accordingly, Tanner said he will question anything that seems inconsistent with the Measure C commitments.
“I want to make sure we’re getting the best bang for the buck,” Tanner said.
As chairman for the Measure C campaign and recently retired president of the Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation, Randy Hill said he looks forward to serving on the oversight committee as an auditing and communications medium.
“I want to make sure we are exhaustive in our communications with the taxpayers so they know how their money is being spent,” said the Tahoe Vista resident.
Oversight committee member Leisa Peterson of Truckee, a private mortgage banker with Wells Fargo, said her background in finance will be useful in helping her account for the funds.
“I have a special methodology for asking questions,” Peterson said. “I think it will help to make sure that the money is spent the way the bond measure was spelled out.”
Additionally, Peterson ” also a member of the Truckee Rotary Club, the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe and the Chamber of Commerce ” said while Truckee has many volunteer opportunities, she felt she could make the strongest contribution to the oversight committee.
The committee will begin meeting near the end of January and the meetings will be open to the public.
The Western Addition ” Tahoe Forest Hospital District’s last big capital project ” went over-budget by $16 million, resulting in accusations of mismanagement by some critics.
Therefore, district officials formed the citizens oversight committee to help guide the Measure C projects through to completion.