Intent to Withdraw from
L.A. COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
"Operating a public health department requires a serious financial investment - stable
funding stream - that attracts top talent who are specialized in environmental health and
Public Comment submitted to City Council from Jaime Garcia, Regional Vice President,
Hospital Association of Southern California, April 6, 2021.
The West Covina City Council majority decided to create a Health Department with no needs assessment, no project plan, no estimated revenue or expenditures, and no cost-benefit analysis.
This page summarizes the issue, monitors the actions the City of West Covina takes, and provides general information on the health department issue in general.
Summary of Issues and Concerns
State Audit of City Finances
West Covina is currently ranked the 9th worst fiscally risky city in the State of California by the State Auditor. The city is currently undergoing an audit by the State Auditor. This City Council did not perform a fiscal analysis to identify costs before voting to take this action and by doing so, is taken an action contrary to the State Auditor’s report that states:
"The City’s management has failed to perform sufficient analysis when making important
The current City Council majority routinely states the city’s financial problems are the result of past city council decisions. They deny the reality that they have continued to make financial decisions leading to a worsening of the City's status. The State Auditor's report states:
"West Covina’s Ineffective Fiscal Management Threatens Its Ability to Meet Its Financial Obligations and to Provide City Services".
The potential costs to the city associated with starting a health department is potentially in the millions of dollars. Attempting to start a high cost, complex venture such as a health department without a needs assessment/cost analysis is not a responsible course of action.
Misuse of the Urgency Ordinance
The use of the urgency ordinance is questionable. The purpose of an urgency ordinance is typically used to handle emergency situations such as an “eminent public health threat”. The mere use of the word “health” does not justify the rush to set up a health department. West Covina residents are being provided services by the Los Angeles County Department of Health and will continue to do so until the City of West Covina creates a State-certified and approved health department.
The “emergency” is self-imposed by the City Council majority to meet an annual Los Angeles County March 1 budget deadline. There was no need to rush this process without conducting the appropriate needs assessment/cost/financial analysis.
City Council Meeting Reference Sheets
Our reference sheets consist of City Council meeting agenda, staff reports, and other documents related to this issue. Links to the City Council meeting are also provided. When a discussion is lengthy or involves multiple speakers, specific topics listed and speakers are identified.
December 1, 2020 Regular City Council Meeting, Item 12
January 19, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting Medical Consultant Presentation
February 23, 2021 Special City Council Meeting
March 16, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting, Item 4
April 6, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting, Public Hearing, Item 15
April 20, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting, Item 8
May 4, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting, Item 3
May 18, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting, Item 5
September 7, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting City Manager's Report
February 24, 2021 West Covina to create Municipal Health Department
March 4, 2021 COVID-19 CVS Pharmacy Vaccination Sites Open in
Undated City of West Covina Municipal Health Department:
Overview and Summary (14 pages)
Note: This document is only a summary of the City of
West Covina's proposed municipal health department.
Undated City of West Covina Health (31 pages)
Note: This is the document referred to in Councilman
Tony Wu's August 19, 2022 social media post
with City of Torrance elected officials.
(Obtained via Public Records Request)
December 16, 2020 City of West Covina Professional Services Agreement with
Valley Physicians Medical Group Inc. for Consulting Services
Relating to Exploring Options for Establishing Local Health
February 25, 2021 Letter notifying Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
of the City's intent to terminating Los Angeles County
Health Officer Services Provided Pursuant to Health and
Safety Code section 101375.
March 8, 2021 Notice published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune
terminating Los Angeles County Health Officer Services and
establishing a local health department.
April 19, 2021 Notice published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune repealing
and replacing designated West Covina health code sections
and adopting by reference certain L.A. County health and
safety rules and regulations; sets forth penalties for
April 19, 2021 Notice published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune
establishing a Public Health Director position.
April 29, 2021 Notice published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune
establishing fees and charges for services provided by the
West Covina Health Department. (Public Hearing)
May 12, 2021 Notice published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune formally
establishing the West Covina Public Health Department.
About the Issue
City Staff Reports - Health Dept.
January 12, 2021 City of San Dimas
Note: Staff reports for the City of West Covina are included with each "City Council
Meeting Reference Sheet" .
Letters from Agencies & Associations
West Covina Unified School District (WCUSD)
February 23, 2021 Charles D. Hinman, Ed.D., Superintendent
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH)
February 23, 2021 Dr. Muntu Davis, M.D., M.P.H., County Health Officer
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
March 8, 2021 Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor, 1st District
March 13, 2021 Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor, 1st District
(Sent to residents)
Note: This letter was originally sent to the city council in 2019 regarding the BKK
landfill, a safety issue of concern to residents.
March 16, 2021 Ryan Serrano, Assistant Field Deputy / Caseworker
to Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor, 1st District
East San Gabriel Valley Field office
Hospital Association of Southern California
April 6, 2021 Jaime Garcia, Regional Vice President, Los Angeles
Podcasts / Townhalls / Newscast
February 22, 2021 Isabelle in San Dimas
“In this episode, Shawn Granger sheds light on why West Covina is embarking on this monumental undertaking as well as what the potential benefits and costs would be. As a San Dimas resident, public administration doctoral student at the University of La Verne, and IT Manager for West Covina, Shawn’s personal, professional, and academic interests intersect around this important topic.”
February 25, 2021 NPR Take Two
Note: West Covina is the first segment. The segment starts
after the "sponsored by" messages end. The West
Covina segment is about ten minutes long.
March 11, 2021 Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor, 1st District
July 22, 2021 CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and
Alisyn Camerota segment on Los Angeles County's latest mask
mandate included an interview with West Covina City Council-
man Tony Wu.
Professional Health Associations
Professional associations provide guidance and support to individuals working in their chosen profession as well as advocacy on a variety of issues. The websites below are provided to assist residents with understanding the complexity associated with operating a health department. No endorsement or support is implied.
Suggested page to review: HOAC Strategic Map: 2016-2018
Suggested page to review: Health Care Topics
About West Covina
Haddock, T. (2020, November 30). West Covina mayor aims to start talks about alternatives to LA County public health. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, February 24). West Covina votes to terminate services with LA County Public Health. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, February 27). Here's what's next for West Covina, as it builds its own health department. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, March 12). LA County officials vow: No gaps in service while West Covina builds own health department. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, March 27). Meeting Planned to Create Role to Run West Covina's Proposed Health Department. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, April 1). Here's why a group is opposed to West Covina's plan to create its own health department. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, April 7). West Covina votes to create health director position, adopt health codes. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, April 9). West Covina panel approves salary, job description for public health officer. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, April 27). West Covina approves pay scale, job description for public health officer. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, May 13). West Covina City Council plans to use American Rescue Plan funds for creating health department. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, May 18). Opponents of West Covina health department deliver initiative to City Hall. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, May 20). West Covina makes it official,votes to create its own health department. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Haddock, T. (2021, May 28). West Covina submits plan to state to establish its own health department. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Geshlider, A. (2021, July 9). West Covina still waiting on proposal to create own health department. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Morales, R. (2021, November 1). West Covina’s attempt to create own health department is picking up steam. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Rector, KI. (2021, February 24). West Covina City Council votes to quit L.A. County health department over COVID rules. Los Angeles Times.
Sanchez, J. (2021, April 3). City Faces Major Health Department Funding Hurdle. SAC.Media
About the Issue
Articles that mention the City of West Covina are marked with an asterisk (*).
Bermont, B. (2021, March 24). How Pasadena’s tiny health department grew stronger to fight COVID-19 crisis. Pasadena Star-News.
Bermont, B. (2021, March 26). Pasadena officials want more funding for the health department, but not from the city. San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Carter, R. (2020, December 4). L.A. County cities face a tough task if serious about own public health departments. Los Angeles Daily News. *
McCray, Donovan. (2020, November 30). Cities Consider Starting Their Own Health Department. Pasadena Now.
Munguia, H and Bermont, B. Heightened focus on health departments has some LA County cities wanting to create their own. San Gabriel Valley Tribune. *
Mendez, D. (2020, December 3). Cities Weigh Costs of Local Health Departments After County Closure Order. Spectrum News 1.
Rojas, J. (2021, February 5). More cities show interest in breaking away from L.A. County public health. San Gabriel Valley Tribune. *
Werner, E. (2021, July 22). Southern California cities rebel against new mask mandate, hinting at delta variant drama to come. The Washington Post. *
For articles on related or additional issues, see Resources.
Update: 11/08/21 jp