Or can you?
The District will hold an orchestrated propaganda push on November 2. The point will be to introduce the community to the Water’s Edge project. Let’s look at the track record of Deborah Stebbins in predicting good things for the Hospital and having them come true.
1. 2009/2010 positive budget: Oops, there was a positive number at the end of the year but only due to an unanticipated surprise in the form of the IGT money from the State. This is the best prediction she has made. It gets worse from here.
2. The renewal of the Kaiser contract: Not so much.
3. Completion of a financing plan for seismic retrofit: Uh uh.
4. Profits from the 1206b clinic: Not really.
5. The wound care center open in 2010/2011: Still not open.
6. The wound care center providing positive contribution in 2010/2011 and again in 2011/2012: Hope you weren’t holding your breath.
7. A 2010/2011 positive budget: Only if you think losing millions equals “positive”.
8. A 2011/2012 positive budget: Maybe it was going to be too easy, so she decided to start with a $580,000 loss in only three months to give herself a challenge.
9. The 50,000 administrative fine from DHCS has a chance of being reversed on appeal: I am confident enough in this failure of Stebbins’s predictive powers to say it publicly even though the actual decision may take a long time. Snowball’s chance in Hell doesn’t even begin to describe the futility of this appeal. Even though it is a smart business/public relations decision, it only postpones the inevitable.
10. Finally and most distressing is the prediction that is going to be credulously believed by too many that the contribution of the Water’s Edge project will save the Hospital. Also, the idea that the escape clause is anything but a multimillion dollar liability that will be litigated when it has to be exercised. (The Zimmermans, owners of Waters Edge, are not going to give up over $20,000,000 of guaranteed income without a fight.)
Unless Director Chen bucks the formidable pressure that will be brought to bear on him, the District is going to be in an even bigger hole on November 8 (after a November 7 Board resolution to approve this impending disaster). Of course, most people have learned the following lesson well: better to be wrong and with the crowd than right and standing alone. Who could blame Director Chen if he votes yes? After all, Director Battani and Director McCormick plan to vote with Stebbins (because they believe in her and based on her track record why shouldn’t they).