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Report on West of Twin Peaks Central Council Meeting

June 29, 2010

Following a heads-up from the neighbors working to preserve the Laguna Honda Reservoir, I attended a meeting of the West of Twin Peaks Central Council (WTPCC).  The WTPCC is a council of councils; its members are the neighborhood organizations from all over San Francisco’s west side. We met in the quaint Maybeck clubhouse in Forest Hill. Nestled under tall redwoods, the place has a charming, almost medieval atmosphere.

After thanking two members of the Council who were retiring (to the tune of “Jolly Good Fellow”!), the chairman George Wooding rapidly got through several agenda items. Some that are relevant to our neighborhood:

  • Regarding the gravel yard at Laguna Honda Reservoir, he had attended the June 6th meeting with the PUC.  He said the PUC had a moratorium in place until July 15th at least. The Home Owners’ Association of The Woods, a residential community adjacent to the reservoir,  is joining the WTPCC.
  • About Sutro Forest, he mentioned that UCSF was having a community meeting on June 30th.
  • The current owners of Park Merced discussed what was happening there. They are under financial pressure with loans coming due, but hope to negotiate with their lenders for a better payment terms. Meanwhile, they are planning to build new housing and slowly phase out the older buildings. They assured us that existing tenants under rent control would be given comparable-but-new homes at the rent-controlled rate.
  • The evening’s main issue was the misuse of the Gift Fund of Laguna Honda Hospital (LHH). Apparently, a gift fund  described as being specifically for the welfare and happiness of the residents/ patients/ inmates of the hospital, has been utilized for the benefit of the hospital staff. The fund, which had reached around $2 million, has been run down to about $700 thousand. Its oversight structures have been disbanded, so now money can be taken out more easily. Several sub-accounts have been set up under the Gift Fund to utilize the monies for the nurses, doctors, and administrators of the hospital while cutting back on excursions for the residents.

George described WTPCC’s futile efforts to get inputs or explanations from LHH representatives, from various oversight institutions, and from the district supervisor. WTPCC passed a resolution to recommend an independent audit of the funds, restoring any misspent monies, and reinstating oversight structures.

Edited to Add: Regarding Laguna Honda Hospital, the Dec 2010/ January edition of the Westside Observer (links to a PDF file of the paper) notes that the City Controller has returned $350, ooo  to the Patient Gift Fund.

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