Mendocino Coast District Hospital Board of Directors President Confesses June Budget Deficit Was Contrived To Pass The Parcel Tax

Steve Lund, President of the MCDH Board of Directors made a surprising statement after the Board of Directors voted to place a parcel tax measure on the June ballot.

If I heard this correctly, He says that the Board, last June, voted unanimously to make no cuts to programs or services and deliberately passed a budget with a deficit in order to make a point to the community about the need for a parcel tax.

This could be construed several ways. We know MCDH was bailed out last year by the Mendocino Coast Clinics Inc., who stepped in and helped to resolve the Obstetrics (OB) financial problems by offering more on call hours coverage by their OB physicians and Pediatricians.  Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC), as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) clinic, is able to save money because they have less expensive insurance coverage, lower salaries and benefits as well as a better rate for MediCal reimbursements.

That statement exemplifies the stale mentality and lack of vision of the existing Board of Directors. Make no attempt to solve a budget crisis because the voters wouldn’t approve a parcel tax if the hospital wasn’t in danger.

If you look at the comparison between the neighboring hospitals annual budgets and the timing of the passing of their parcel tax a distinct trend happens.

  • They first pass a deficit budget and then begin making the case that the only way to recover from the deficit is to pass a parcel tax.
  • The community falls for the scare and passes the parcel tax, believing it is the only way to keep their Healthcare facility from tragedy.
  • The hospital immediately borrows against the parcel tax.
  • The deficit never recovers and the hospital ends up in more debt after the tax, owing on the loan they took out against the collateral the parcel tax gives them.
  • Neither of the other hospitals have recovered from their deficit, budget / loan scheme, running millions of dollars in the red.


  1. Other hospitals in the surrounding area, even those in smaller towns, have hospitals that don’t get any of the local tax funding that MCDH receives. Why is it that only coast residents have to pay to support a hospital? Why is it that Coast Hospital never seems to have enough? I would like to see the District turn the hospital over to professional managers like Sutter or Adventist. I plan to vote against this tax increase.

  2. “If I heard this correctly, He says that the Board, last June, voted unanimously to make no cuts to programs or services and deliberately passed a budget with a deficit in order to make a point to the community about the need for a parcel tax.”

    That’s a mighty big “IF” in the assumption to support the glaring, unqualified headline: “Hospital Board President Confesses June Budget Deficit Was Contrived To Pass The Parcel Tax.”

    1. When the the only rationale for making no attempt to solve last year’s budget deficit was “To make a point to the community,” I consider that contrived. As you know Nick we always include the video to let the viewers make their own opinions. Do you have a different understanding? I hope he misspoke because otherwise he would be confessing to financial malfeasance as a Director by not exercising fiduciary responsibility to the issues at hand. The two hospitals our’s was compared to had a campaign strategy similar to the one MCDH is using. There has been a narrative gaining traction on the Coast that MCDH could close if the parcel tax isn’t passed. Pure B.S. All of those highly paid managers would have to go find a job elsewhere too. I’m not against funding my local hospital with a parcel tax but not with this management. Are you aware that women cannot get an abortion in Mendocino County? MCDH was the last hospital that performed them and since Edwards has been CEO, all abortions have stopped. With that, along with the other county hospitals also refusing to perform abortions on religious grounds, leaves Women’s Healthcare in Mendocino County in worse condition that as if we were in Texas or Kansas. With lawsuits, fines and a medicare over billing scandal in the works, I cannot support this current administration. Fix their problems before encumbering me with a tax. Great to hear from you Nick and I appreciate the engagement you bring to the internet. I’m always open to changing my opinion. Terry Vaughn

  3. This headline is false and misleading, to be polite. Yes, the hospital did pass a budget recognizing a deficit. The hospital has passed deficit budgets for several years, mainly because the reimbursement the hospital receives from insurers, Medical and Medicare barely cover half the cost of the care delivered.

    There is no “saving our way out of it.” In our market economy, the market price of skilled doctors and nurses is extraordinarily high, not to mention drugs and ever improving medical equipment. Many of our skilled medical professionals are already working at well below their market value to support our quite beautiful — and expensive — place to live.

    The problem is systemic in our Nation’s health care system. It’s not a local problem. Over 200 rural hospitals around the country have closed in the last ten years. Cutting services to balance the budget is a guaranteed path to falling revenues and closure. We live on a geographic island, we have one hospital, and we need it for the survival of our community.

    When the Board agreed to maintain Labor and Delivery services (O.B.), in June of last year, members of the community stepped up and said we would work on passing a parcel tax to preserve the hospital, including O.B. I spoke at that board meeting. I will be working to help pass the parcel tax and voting for it. I urge everyone else to do so as well. For $12 a month, the price of a burrito or a pizza, we can put our hospital a on sound financial footing moving forward.

    1. Jade why do you accuse me of being false and misleading as you are being false and misleading to our audience. The Board of Directors did not, “pass a budget recognizing a deficit.” They, to quote Steve Lund, “deliberately passed a budget with a deficit, in order to make a point to the community.” A big difference! Who is being false and misleading? They made their point. They shirked their fiduciary duties and set themselves up for a class action lawsuit. He admitted they didn’t make an ATTEMPT to reduce the deficit. I blame the likes of you and all of the other slitherers that make backroom deals for the rest of the public. Are you a lobbyist? Who do you represent? I didn’t promise to work for a parcel tax. Who are you, to speak for me? Do you have any of the horrible experiences I have personally experienced at this hospital or are you just playing at being some new age guru trying to get us all to get along?
      You represent yourself as an enlightened member of our community and mock us when we march against the NRA meeting in our already traumatized community. Did you know a lone gunman came to our community from Oregon and had a shootout with and killed our most beloved deputy, Ricky D? A woman / wife / daughter / mother was shot dead 3 weeks ago in front of witnesses on Highway 1. A long time local family, now traumatized by gun violence. 5 years ago we made national headlines after Aaron Bassler was hunted for over a month after shooting a beloved Environmentalist and Forester and a City Councilman and Mayor and he was hunted and killed in a trap on Glenn Blair Road outside of Fort Bragg. What give you the moral high ground to then mock our community for opposing a terrorist organization like the NRA. I look at you as a white militant terrorist.
      What gives you credibility in this subject? Seriously, you come on my web site and make false and misleading statements as if you are an authority on the subject. What knowledge or experience with this hospital do you bring to this dialogue? I have had 2 children born here. One, a Caesarean section and the other VBAC. Knee surgeries, colonoscopies and lab tests. Kidney Stones, MRIs and X rays. I’ve been through every room in this hospital. I worked on this hospital and inside of it. I’ve wired up over 50% of the telecom cables in place. I’ve climbed in the upper ceiling spaces and under the subflooring. I’ve ridden Mountain Bikes with many of the staff and heard from the feet on the ground. The one thing the board hasn’t done is groom upcoming leadership candidates to take over from the retiring managers. You have NO IDEA what it’s like to live on the Mendocino Coast, when you talk about commensurate wages. The past 3 CEOs worked for less than 200K a year. Explain why, when the existing CEO was making less than $100K in his previous job, we should pay him premium wages, $325K plus benefits for a mediocre performance.
      Where do you get your numbers? There are many people who could talk with authority and have some credibility in this community and you are NOT one of them. By the way, check your data, Medicare reimbursement is the best in the industry at 99%. Last year my insurance got paid $495 on a procedure that I could pay less than $400 for. And I also was charged $500 more as my co-payment. To reiterate, $995 charged, $495 paid by insurance and a $500 deductible for a procedure that they would take under $400 cash for. Yeah, they get 50% of what they bill because they routinely over charge. We elect our directors to be fiscally responsible. If you made some back room deal to help shill for the parcel tax, shame on you!

    2. that’s a joke about “the price of a burrito or a pizza” right? people on fixed incomes who can barely keep a parcel and have to use the food bank also have to pay the tax. heck my tax lady says “i own two parcels” so in 12 years she will pay 3456 bucks!!… when millions are not even being billed and the mcdh board cannot get the billing systems prioritized for income; then why is it up to the people to plug the holes in this sinking ship with a free money influx?? i volunteer for knyo and you never see any of us broke ass broadcasters asking for a parcel tax… “it’s not a local problem”?? really? tell that to… oh wait the interim cfo who in a short time found millions in income not being billed was kicked to the curb!! yes! a large part of mcdh financial issues are a local problem… and jade; i am kind of pissed you and whoever invested in a phone list that included cell phones… measure c backers can throw money at c pins, signs, phone lists, mailers, full page adds…. imagine if all that went right to mcdh instead of into a propaganda campaign??

city not found