Grossmont Healthcare District unveils proposed zone-based election maps for public review

The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) has taken the next step as part of its future transition from district-wide to zone-based elections for its five-member board of directors.

Tentative maps showing proposed boundaries for the five zones across GHD’s 750-square-mile district are now available for public review on the GHD website, www.grossmonthealthcare.org/about-ghd/zone-based-elections.

The public is invited to review the maps and provide input at two public hearings, the first one to be held Monday March 4. The hearing will be held during the GHD’s regularly scheduled monthly board meeting starting at 7:30 a.m. at the GHD Conference Center, 9001 Wakarusa St., La Mesa.  Another public hearing, expected to be held during a future GHD regularly scheduled board meeting, has not yet been scheduled.

At the two upcoming public hearings, GHD said a presentation will include the rationale behind the composition of the proposed maps by representatives from a company that specializes in demographics and mapping. Comments will be accepted from members of the public, as well as from GHD board members.

“We look forward to hearing input from voters about the boundaries for the proposed maps,” said Randy Lenac, GHD board president. “If someone cannot attend in person, we’re also accepting written input.” Written correspondence also can be sent to Barry Jantz, GHD CEO, at bjantz@grossmonthealthcare.org.

Final maps could be adopted by the GHD board as early as April of this year, according to a schedule the board approved last October, when the intent to transition to zone-based elections was announced. If final maps are approved per the schedule, the first zone-based election with board members elected only by voters residing within a specific election district or zone would be held in November 2020.

GHD’s decision to transition to zone-based elections was pursuant to the 2001 California Voting Rights Act. Previously, for decades, GHD has used an at-large election system in which board members have been elected by voters of the entire district. GHD’s transition is similar to what’s been taking place statewide with hundreds of local public agencies, including healthcare, water and school districts, as well as cities and other governmental jurisdictions.

Three previous public hearings on GHD’s transition process have been held, including two in December and a third on Jan. 7.

The Grossmont Healthcare District is a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in the East Region. Formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital, GHD now leases operations to Sharp HealthCare via a public-private partnership, and continues to own the hospital on behalf of local taxpayers. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent more than 500,000 people residing within the District’s 750 square miles in San Diego’s East County. For more information about GHD, visit www.grossmonthealthcare.org.

Author: Rick Griffin

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