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Politics

Voters To Decide On Giving Sharp Lease Extension At Grossmont Hospital

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East County voters will decide Tuesday whether Sharp HealthCare should be allowed to continue operating Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa for another 30 years.

Sharp signed a 30-year lease to operate Grossmont Hospital in 1991.

Proposition H would extend that lease for an additional 30 years, from May 29, 2021, to May 29, 2051.

Sandy Pugliese, with the Yes on H campaign, said the measure won’t cost taxpayers a dime.

“This is just a lease extension. There’s no tax involved whatsoever," Pugliese said. "In fact, the agreement protects the taxpayers from any additional liabilities associated with the growth of the hospital.”

Grossmont has grown substantially since the initial lease was signed.

In the ballot argument for the measure, proponents said Sharp will fund future hospital repairs and improvements, including earthquake safety retrofits, and spend $20 million to complete the hospital's Heart and Vascular Center.

There is no organized opposition to Proposition H, which needs a simple majority to pass, though a former Grossmont Healthcare District board member did write an argument against the ballot measure.

Jim Stieringer said, among other things, that under the current lease Sharp pays monthly rent to the hospital district but no such payments are required under the proposed lease extension.