Don’t bankrupt our city

 

Editor:
Alameda owes half a billion dollars in unfunded pension and other costs. Voters passed Measure F to raise $5 million to cover that deficit for five years only. Now I think our Council wants to add unfunded costs of taking care of the hardcore homeless likely transferred from medical facilities in San Francisco, Oakland and the region. 

They called a special election at a cost of $720,000 — more for the anticipated two mailers — to open a regional homeless shelter where Crown Beach and Crab Cove were to be expanded. I think this was to defeat the citizen’s initiative to add the land to the parks. This $40 to 50 million regional homeless medical facility will become a respite for homeless that any hospital wants to send here.

Hospitals get paid 15 days hospital rate, thousands of dollars, for homeless, and can save money when the homeless are no longer acute by sending them to the wellness center for $100 a day. Keeping the 50 beds for convalescing homeless supplied with new homeless every 10 days or so, I think will mean dumping the 50 homeless every 10 days. That does not cover even half of the $8.3 million annual operating costs. 

Once it is in, the homeless shelter can do anything it wants under the zoning. It needs no permits. If needed to pay the bills, I think it could add hundreds more beds for all the homeless in the state.
Instead, let’s put the money into seismically retrofitting Alameda Hospital, which must be fixed or torn down by 2030, and put the wellness center there. 

Save Alameda money. Care about Alameda Hospital and all Alamedans — do not bankrupt our city.

 

Barbara Thomas former Vice-Mayor, Councilmember