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Say NO to Palm Drive District Taxes


OPINION: Say NO to Palm Drive District Taxes

By Gary Harris

Since opening on October 31, 2015 SWMC has a budget deficit of $3.5 million which has been called “problematic” and “these numbers don’t add up” by the directors of the Palm Drive Health Care District Board at their December 7, 2015 meeting. The cash flow projections presented at that board meeting were “too optimistic” according to Ray Hino, CEO of Sonoma West Medical Center.  Also, when pressed by the public, Hino admitted that the $4.4 million in loans or gifts to SWMC were from the Smith family.  Dan Smith is the President of the Board of Directors of SWMC.  The PDHCD board is now realizing that they need more information on the exact details of Smith’s loans or gifts.  If Smith “pulls the plug” the whole ship is going to sink with all of the passengers (taxpayers) on board.

As a result of no positive income being produced by the hospital, a restructuring of hospital management occurred on December 16, 2015.  In that restructuring several people were fired and some quit while others took on more responsibilities.

Since the taxpayers in the Russian River Corridor represent only 28% of the voters in the PDHCD, it is virtually impossible to affect change at the ballot box.  Remember that the taxpayers in the Russian River Corridor pay 46% of the total parcel tax collected by the District.  This really is “taxation without representation”.

If you are interested in the detachment of the Russian River Corridor communities from the Palm Drive Healthcare District, contact any member of TAUT (Taxpayers Against Unfair Taxes) or sign the petition for detachment at Sequoia Properties in Forestville or at Zephyr Real Estate in Guerneville.  If you can help, please send an email to or call (707) 887-7595.