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Letter: Dissent good for democracy
November 04, 2011, 02:58 AM Letter


Last week there were opposing guest perspectives from two board members of the Sequoia Healthcare District, Jack Hickey and Chairman Kim Griffin. Whatever the merits of each of their arguments, it is clear that their separate personal views of what constitutes "truth, justice, right action and fairness” regarding the Healthcare District are so wildly divergent that they are just talking past each other.

At present, Kim Griffin has a 4-1 (80 percent) majority on the board. This means that every vote on everything goes her way, and Jack Hickey’s one vote does not impede Kim Griffin in any way. Since Jack Hickey’s vote is meaningless, why does she advocate that the voters throw Hickey off the board? After all, all she has to do is give Hickey his equal speaking time, ignore whatever he says, call for a vote on the matter at hand, defeat him 4-1 and move on to the next matter.

One can only conclude that an 80 percent majority is not enough dominance for Chairman Kim. She is on a personal mission to also eliminate those irritating minorities, that bothersome dissent and that irksome "free speech” thing.

This is scary. Even if you don’t agree with Jack Hickey, I encourage you to vote for him simply to ensure at least one dissenting voice on the Board. It’s been demonstrated over and over again that when all minority opinion has been driven from a public governance board, very bad things start happening in the dark. Keep Jack Hickey on the board simply because Chairman Kim hates him ... it’s good for democracy and a transparent open government.


Vince Boston

San Mateo

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