Citizens to Save the Hospital

Changes are Needed to Save the John C. Fremont Hospital

John C. Fremont Hospital is facing closure in 2030 because the 70-year-old facility does not meet California’s strict seismic safety standards. When Measure N fell short of the two-thirds majority needed in the November 2020 General Election, the campaign committee reorganized to launch a Citizens Initiative to Save the Hospital.

The new Citizens to Save the Hospital committee was successful circulating its petition throughout the community and getting the Board of Supervisors to put the Citizens Initiative ordinance on the ballot. At the same time, however, paperwork was being filed with the Attorney General’s office for a statewide proposition titled the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act. If passed when expected to be on the ballot for the November 2022 General Election, the changes this proposition would make to the California Constitution (retroactive to October 2021) would invalidate the Citizens ordinance.

The Citizens committee met with the Board of the Healthcare District and determined that the only way to ensure that the effort to Save the Hospital cannot be invalidated would be to have the District modify the Citizens ordinance to satisfy all of the provisions in the proposed proposition. The Citizens committee and District Board further agreed to keep all three improvements that were included in the Citizens ordinance to address concerns voters had with Measure N:

  • Imposing a “sunset” to terminate the sales tax after 40 years
  • Revising the Expenditure Plan to more clearly describe how the funds can be spent
  • Adding an Accountability and Transparency section to require more rigorous accounting

For those interested in the details, here is a link to the proposed Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act proposition, and here is a link to the Citizens Committee Presentation to the Board of the Healthcare District, which outlines how the Citizens ordinance would be out of compliance with the proposed proposition

This new joint approach is, in effect, similar to the one used with Measure N, where the Healthcare District submitted a sales tax ordinance to the Board of Supervisors to be put on the ballot for consideration by the voters of Mariposa County. If passed in the June 2022 Primary Election, the modified ordinance will provide these benefits to the residents of Mariposa County for generations to come:

  • Prevent our hospital and its emergency room from losing its license to operate in 2030 for failure to comply with California’s seismic safety standards
  • Ensure that our hospital and its emergency room can stay open and remain fully operational during any natural disaster, including a major earthquake, to provide essential medical care 24/7
  • Enable the expansion and/or enhancement of emergency and other medical care to treat more patients more quickly and more effectively
  • Replace outdated diagnostic and patient support equipment with modern, state-of-the-art technology
  • Expand and enhance the services being offered in both the Mariposa and Northside clinics
  • Make it easier for the Healthcare District to attract and retain the highly qualified medical professionals, including specialists, needed to better serve our community

If passed, the project and its funding will be overseen in a public process by the Healthcare District’s Board of Directors, who are elected by and are responsible to the residents of Mariposa County. The Healthcare District has already engaged the services of an architectural firm and a construction company with extensive experience designing and building hospitals in California, but will need to secure funding before being able to finalize plans.

If the measure fails to pass, Mariposa County residents risk losing life-saving medical care for victims of accidents, heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies currently being provided by the county’s only 24/7 emergency room and coordination of air ambulance services.

The proposed proposition requires a two-thirds vote for all tax measures, including citizens initiatives. Achieving this higher approval threshold will require even greater support from the community. Here is how you can help:

  • Contact the Citizens to Save the Hospital committee to volunteer
  • Contribute to the committee to help fund the campaign

More information about the new joint approach will be provided as it becomes available.

Thank you for your continued support to Save the Hospital!