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May 21, 2022

Balancing the Pajaronian and the PV Health Care District

On Tuesday, I was appointed to the inaugural board of directors of the Pajaro Valley Health Care District.

I’m honored that the selection committee of supervisors Greg Caput and Zach Friend, County Administrative Officer Carlos Palacios, Health Services Agency Director Mónica Morales and Salud Para La Gente Executive Director Dori Rose Inda determined I was a good fit for the position. I’m excited to work with my fellow board members to bring Watsonville Community Hospital back into public ownership and address some of the Pajaro Valley’s biggest issues.

We had our first public meeting on Thursday night, and another is scheduled for 9am on Saturday at the Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley’s Kathleen King Room, 85 Nielsen St. I encourage everyone to attend, in person or virtually. For details, visit pvhcd.org.

Some members of the public might see me holding the position of Managing Editor of this newspaper and being on the board of the PVHCD as a conflict of interest. How can we, Watsonville’s paper of record, be expected to hold the PVHCD board accountable if our highest-ranking editorial employee is a part of this group? We’re taking steps to address this concern.

Before I ever submitted my application to serve on the board, I worked with the editorial leadership at our sister paper, Good Times, on a plan of how this situation would work. Editor-In-Chief Steve Palopoli and Managing Editor Adam Joseph, whom I report to in the greater Weeklys newsgroup that spans Santa Cruz County and beyond, will now oversee all of our PVHCD coverage for Good Times and Pajaronian. I will not cover or edit stories or direct coverage concerning the PVHCD and its board.

This change started with this week’s story regarding the board appointments. Our reporter Todd Guild wrote the story and Joseph gave him edits and posted the article to our websites. I have to admit being on this side of the news coverage—not knowing what an article will say about you until you see the published product—is a little nerve-racking. I’m starting to understand why some people choose not to tread into the public eye. But, this is a small price to pay for a truly transparent relationship between my two responsibilities, and the greater good that serving on the board will hopefully help achieve.

And those two things are extremely important to me: transparency and the greater good. They are the reasons why I applied for the position. A recurring concern I have heard from our readers about the purchase of the hospital is that the process has not been as transparent as they would’ve liked. As someone who believes that strong public engagement and accountability are essential to the success of an organization, I hope to improve the transparency of the ongoing purchasing process.

There are several challenges in front of us over the next few months to make this dream a reality. But, as I said before, I’m excited to get to work.


Tony Nuñez is the Managing Editor of the Pajaronian. Contact Nuñez at [email protected]

Tony Nuñez
Managing Editor Tony Nuñez is a longtime member of the Watsonville community who served as Sports Editor for five years before entering his current role in 2019. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College and San Jose State University alumnus, he covers the city, business, housing, entertainment and more.

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