Santa Paula: Hospital Reprieve and Challenging FY 19/20 Budget

By Sheryl Hamlin

Santa Paula Hospital Reprieve Thanks to 10 Babies a Month from Clinicas

Director of VCHCA Bill Foley and County CEO Mike Powers were keynote presenters in the June 24th, 2019 Santa Paula Special Council Meeting.

As Director Foley reminded, the Obstetrics department of the Santa Paula Hospital had been scheduled tio close on June 30, 2019 due to declining births. But, according to a coalition to save the hospital, which included Latino Town Hallo, LULAC, Santa Paula Leadership, Fillmore Leadership and Clinicas, the hospital won a reprieve. The saving event was a commitment from Clinicas to send ten baby deliveries a month to the Santa Paula Hospital. The service will return in August as soon as Dr. Fankhauser reviews both hospitals and sets the plan in motion. The current 11/12 delivers a month plus the Clinicas’ commitment of 10 made it possible.

He cited the Strategic Process, a Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel, whose first meeting was held on this day.

County CEO Mike Powers praised the overwhelming community support led by Laura Espinosa. He noted that on this day (6/24/2003) the Santa Paula Hospital opened under county management. Saying they could improve communication and marketing, the council will be changing its clinics to invest in services, not to detract from services.

Vice Mayor Araiza said that in thirty two years of government, he was shocked at the Friday meeting. He had never seen a government move that fast, he said. The citizens must use the hospital, like they do any business, he reminded. All council members expressed gratitude.

Council Member Sobel is planning a marketing campaign “Have Your Baby in Santa Paula”. With a “neat logo”, he said, we can get those numbers “way up there”. He said he had already spoken to the PIO (Public Information Officer).

Have Your Baby in Santa Paula Campaign


Read detailed report of the morning press and community meeting at the hospital.

Council Approved “Challenging” Budget

Citing misgivings about large salary increases, reclassifications which caused salary increases, loss of sales tax revenue projected, precarious nature of housing forecast of 170 homes, the council approved a budget that was balanced with carryovers, Measure T and one-time revenues from 170 new home fees.

Vice Mayor Araiza indicated that with the $7 million depletion of the Enterprise Funds (water and sewer), rates will have to rise.

Note that in Public Comments Sheryl Hamlin questioned the 51% budgeted Salaries and Benefits in Fund 280 State Gax Tax out of $1,047,221 in projected revenues. Regarding the 5% raises budgeted for salaries over the next five years, she reminded the council that a number compounded by 5% over 14 years doubles, so the council will need new revenue strategies to offset these huge increases which will occur concurrently with the sunset of Measure T revenue.

City Manager Rock said that one time revenues should come back to council to determine disposition of this revenue. Previously, he said, staff made that determination.

Council Member Crosswhite said that the five year forecast is not accurate and asked the staff to return with accurate projections for both fund balances and the revenue/expense projections for the next five years. With new car sales not a recurring item in a family’s budget, the dependency on new car sales in the past will not continue, she said.

Council Member Juarez said the city needed the MOU with its increases to retain good people, but future growth at these salaries is a concern. The six month review, he said, is important.

City Manager Rock said the actuarial analysis in August will improve the accuracy of the forecast. And, he noted there has been no budgeted revenue from the settlement for the Mission Rock explosion.

Vice Mayor Araiza said he recalled previous financially lean times when the city had to sell the trash collection to survice. Now they had to sell an asset to increase the reserves. “We are not doing that great”, he said.

There was discussion about the creation of a one page document explaining the funding sources for the roads and where these monies were being spent.

Read previous budget meeting article here.

To watch the video, click here. Jump 15 minutes because the meeting started late.

For more information on author click sherylhamlin dot com

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One Response to Santa Paula: Hospital Reprieve and Challenging FY 19/20 Budget

  1. Sheryl Hamlin June 25, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Council Member Sobel and Putin think alike …


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