No trust in the Health Trust
The Community Health Trust of the Pajaro Valley was created more than 20 years ago from the proceeds of the sale of the Watsonville Community Hospital to a private corporation. I was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust (now the Community Health Trust of the Pajaro Valley). The proceeds from the Hospital sale amounted to over $13 million dollars and now have grown to over $19 million dollars according to the Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley’s last audited financial statements. Now Watsonville Hospital has the opportunity to be returned to public ownership under the nonprofit Pajaro Valley Health Care District (PVHCD). To date, the Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley has given $6 million toward the hospital purchase. This isn’t enough.
The Community Health Trust of the Pajaro Valley needs to do the right thing and return the full $13 million to the community for the purchase of the Watsonville Community Hospital. The money in the Community Health Trust does not belong to the Community Health Trust. The $13 million from the original sale belongs to the community and needs to be returned to the community for the purpose of returning the Watsonville Community Hospital back to public ownership. Do the right thing.
Daniel Dodge, Sr., Watsonville
Downtown Watsonville plan still needs work
Regarding the Downtown Watsonville Specific Plan, there are a few issues that need improvement.
- Please allow Antique and Thrift stores to be permissible businesses on Main Street.
- Increase the height restriction from six stories to ten stories—or more. Build tall infill housing
- Create the downtown plan with a focus and an emphasis on the Train (Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line).
Allow antique and thrift stores on Main Street. Reusing and reselling goods is good for the environment. Antique and thrift stores are a pathway to creating community. People peruse, shop, and linger at antique and thrift stores. Then they spend money in the area. Out of demand and interest, we will cultivate beauty. And investments in beauty pay off in the long term because people make pilgrimages to see them. It is important to support and encourage our residents to build businesses in Watsonville and on Main Street.
We need housing. Badly. Increase the allowable height of buildings. Build up and create infill housing. Do not extend the urban footprint or residential housing into our precious farmland. Farmland is limited and it is a valuable resource.
We passed Measure D and want the train. The severity of the climate crisis has moved the international and national focus to quickly implement electric public transportation. Our train could arrive sooner than we think. Prepare and plan for the train. Design safe pedestrian access from the Walker Street train station to Main Street.
Do not limit options or opportunities. We do not know what the next trend will be. We cannot engineer nor steer society. We can encourage and welcome.
Judy Gittelsohn, Watsonville
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