April 20, 2012 (La Mesa) -- A volunteer citizens group that is overseeing how the taxpayer-supported Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is spending millions of dollars in voter-approved public financing for infrastructure improvement construction projects at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa has issued its 2011 Annual Report to the Community.
The citizens group, called the Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (ICBOC), consists of volunteers from the local community who are responsible for monitoring bond revenue expenditures by GHD, a public agency that serves as landlord of the hospital’s property and buildings on behalf of local taxpayers. The ICBOC group is required to report annually its oversight activities during the previous year. This is their fifth annual report, which was presented at the April 20, 2012, GHD board meeting by founding ICBOC chair Ernest Ewin.
“Our promise to the citizens of East County has been to commit ourselves to faithfully discharge our duties to the best of our abilities with an attitude of thoroughness, inclusiveness and transparency,” Ewin said. “We have willingly served as the taxpayers’ eyes, ears and voices as we have monitored the Prop. G expenses.”
which also houses all of the citizen’s group’s bylaws, annual workplans, reports, memos, agendas, minutes and presentations from previous meetings.
The 2011 annual report includes updates on construction activity during the past year, credentials of ICBOC members and a chart on project cash flow through January 2012. The report also discusses the successful sale to institutional and retail investors of $136.8 million in general obligation bonds, which will help provide ongoing financing for construction projects at the hospital. In February 2011, the bonds were sold in only about two hours, compared to other bond sales which have taken several weeks to complete. GHD officials said the District’s strong financial position and a favorable rating of “Aa2” from Moody’s Investor Services was helpful in getting investors’ swift attention.
The ICBOC group has been meeting since 2006, when voters approved Proposition G, a $247 million bond measure that is providing financing for the infrastructure improvements at the hospital, which opened in 1952. Construction activity on Prop. G-related projects is scheduled to continue until 2016.Prop. G passed by more than 77 percent, well above the two-thirds required. As specified in the ballot measure, ICBOC members include East County residents who are experienced in project management, large-scale construction operations and finance, along with representatives from Sharp Grossmont Hospital, as well as designees from the San Diego County Labor Council and San Diego County Taxpayers Association.
The Grossmont Healthcare District, a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego's East County region, was formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital. In 1991, the District leased the hospital's operation to Sharp HealthCare under a 30-year lease that runs through the year 2021.The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent nearly 500,000 people residing within the District's 750 square miles in San Diego's East County. GHD also operates the Dr. William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library, a public library specializing in health research information, located at 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa. For more information about GHD, visit www.grossmonthealthcare.org.