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  • Against Overdevelopment

BCHD revenues and services

Re: Beach Cities Health District,” The Beach Reporter, 6/10/21

In response to the letter submitted by Beach Cities Health District CEO Tom Bakaly: nonsense. I received his flashy propaganda report in the mail wherein we are supposed to feel good about this district. Tom stated that 33 percent of BCHD funds comes from property taxes [FY 2021-22]. Yet I wonder what percent of services are provided for free to the taxpayers? What is the return on our investment? Seems that my property taxes are subsidizing the expensive Center for Health and Fitness (CHF) and Adventureplex operations which are duplications of the very same services offered throughout the South Bay.

CHF services including the Silver Sneaker program, which is funded through Medicare, are paid for by seniors in addition to property taxes. I guess if you’re not a senior, you can pay $588 per year to use CHF facilities.

Tom goes on to state that during the COVID-19 suspension of operations, many employees were reassigned to provide related services such as vaccines, testing, etc. When I called the BCHD for assistance regarding COVID-related information, the answer I got was they had no clue–call the county. Another duplication of tax-funded non-services. If all I needed to do was call the county, why might I need BCHD?

Redevelop the campus in a way that meets the South Bay’s health needs? Seems to me BCHD has morphed into a private corporation subsided by tax money that provides duplicate, pay-as-you-go services. I wonder if the local health clubs get a 33% property tax subsidy?

A good portion of those reading this may remember how BCHD and South Bay Hospital came about. It seems the South Bay Hospital was declared a hazard and forced to close. That was the excuse at the time, not to mention competition for services from Torrance Medical Center and Little Company of Mary. The hospital was declared unsafe for patients to stay in overnight. However, the building was considered safe for seniors in high-end assisted-living apartments.

Now the private/ public BCHD wants to have property taxes subsidize redevelopment into more apartments that most South Bay seniors cannot afford. So, who will gain the most from this proposed redevelopment? Apparently BCHD employees and the project developers. The community, not so much. Sounds kind of like the bullet train to me. Keep in mind, every time the California Board of Realtors turns over one of our old homes for a shoebox mansion, BCHD will get their cut of the new property tax bill.

—John Evans, Redondo Beach

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