PHD is making rushed decisions

The following letter was read into record during the SJCPHD#1 meeting on Aug 26.

We understand the PHD Board will be considering a reorganization of the hospital district during the meeting tonight (Aug. 26).

This is apparently not a minor administrative decision. It is clearly much larger and should surely necessitate public input, perhaps even a Citizens Committee to prepare and make recommendations. In the midst of the COVID crisis, when our crews are stressed, exhausted and in particular need of organizational stability, a change like this deserves input from all first responders, as well as from the public, before implementation.

We, therefore, stress the importance of NOT making a decision tonight. If tonight is just the first step in considering some kind of reorganization, a lot more public comment is needed before a decision is made. Otherwise, the process does not appear to be appropriate, transparent or thorough. On the contrary, it gives the appearance of a “rush to judgment” (suggesting an ulterior motive), or a predetermined outcome based on prior conversations between commissioners.

The fact that you might be planning to make a decision tonight, yet scheduling meetings with staff and volunteers at a later date to explain the decision and talk about the changes, shows a total lack of comprehension of the criticality of the situation, empathy for EMS personnel, and profoundly lacks transparency.

When did board members discuss this and when and why was Chief Kuetzing put on administrative leave? Were there publicized public meetings?

A major organizational change to the Hospital District at this time seems unnecessarily disruptive to EMS, in light of the PHD commission’s publicly-stated support for moving EMS to the Fire District. Any proposed reorganization of EMS should be left to the Fire District after that transfer is complete.

It is the public who will be harmed if the efficiency of our first responders is hampered by poorly planned, politically based, hasty decisions such as this. We believe the public needs answers to these questions and needs to be involved in such a major change.

Rob Callegari, Mitch Shlosser, George Johnson, Tami Shlosser, Loren Johnson, Francis Smith