Santa Clara County wants greater financial control of its embattled EMT service provider, Rural/Metro.
In a proposal coming before the Board of Supervisors this week, county officials ask for direct access to Rural/Metro’s audited financial information to get a better sense of the company’s health as it emerges from bankruptcy.
Rural/Metro snagged its contract with the county by coming in with the lowest bid. In 2011, supervisors George Shirakawa Jr., Dave Cortese and Mike Wasserman approved the initial five-year contract in a 3-2 vote (Liz Kniss and Ken Yeager opposed).
The years since have been a downward spiral. Drivers routinely failed to respond to emergency calls in time—especially in Sunnyvale—resulting in a breach of contract with the county. Late fees racked up. Paramedics were fired for failing to renew their CPR certification. Then, the company revealed to the county that it was operating at a deficit because of footing the bill for a larger-than-expected number of Medi-Cal patients.
Meanwhile, the FBI’s taken an interest in the company’s political activities.
Supervisors are expected to decide this month whether to continue working with the company—at least through the end of its contract in 2016. Late last year, when presented with all the troubling news about Rural/Metro’s financial condition, the supervisors opted to continue the contract, arguing that it could cost the county more to find a new provider.
- The Civil Grand Jury found that the intake center, where foster kids are first admitted into county care, is unsafe. Because of lax security, seven children ran away in March. Fencing allows people to peer into the playground, compromising privacy. There aren’t enough staffers who are CPR certified. And the building, a basement facility at the MediPlex in downtown San Jose, isn’t accessible by wheelchair.
- Crime victims are being cheated out of restitution money, another report found. Lax oversight and weak enforcement have allowed criminals to get away with not paying court-ordered restitution to their victims, jurors said.
- The county will pay $110,000 to Calamity Jane Films for mental health training videos.
- Kaiser gave $100,000 to the county to help with a campaign to convince the public to choose healthier, less sugary drinks.
- A program that helps homeless people with HIV/AIDS may get $100,000 from the county.
- The county put a few surplus properties up for sale at fair market value.
- Supervisors want to come up ideas of how to make the most out of the fairgrounds in San Jose. The 150-acre site is one of the county’s largest properties.
- The Sheriff’s Advisory Board donated nearly $500,000 to pay for improvements at the county’s shooting range.
WHAT: Board of Supervisors meets
WHEN: 9am Tuesday
WHERE: County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Clerk of the Board, 408.299.5001