Previous letters to the Daily Journal have discussed the problematic lack of transparency at the Peninsula Health Care District (PHCD), which was the subject of a San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury report released Oct. 15, 2020. In addition to the lapses inventoried in the report, there are other deficiencies that support the grand jury’s findings of troubling and persistent opaqueness of PHCD operations and processes.
One of these deficiencies is the failure of PHCD to record its board meetings. In the COVID environment, where meetings are held virtually, recording board meetings would hardly be burdensome: all it would require is pushing a button.
Further indication of intended secrecy is the nondisclosure agreement that PHCD required the developers of the proposed Wellness Center to sign. By all accounts, such agreements are not an industry norm, and the predictable effect in this case was to forestall the open dialogue that would have given community members a firmer grasp of what was being decided and why.
At a time when other public bodies are moving in the direction of greater openness and transparency, the Peninsula Health Care District continues to operate in a closed and insular manner that shuts the public out. For a taxpayer-funded entity, this is not acceptable.