SONOMA -- Voters in Sonoma Valley on Tuesday easily passed a measure that extends for five years a $195 parcel tax that generates $2.8 million annually for the area's public hospital.
With all precincts reporting, 73.2 percent of voters approved Measure A, which needed a two-thirds majority to pass, according to the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters. Just more than 10,000 residents took part in the vote, representing a little less than half of the region's registered voters.
Officials from the 83-bed Sonoma Valley Hospital, overseen by the Sonoma Valley Healthcare District, have said the source of funding is vital for maintaining core hospital operations in the valley such as the emergency department and birthing operations.
Measure A was the only issue on a mail-in ballot that was sent out last month and commissioned by the health care district, which covered the $100,000 cost of the election with privately raised capital.
The next closest emergency rooms are in Santa Rosa and Napa. District officials have maintained that's not a feasible scenario in a life-threatening emergency. Officials also said the revenue from Measure A represents about 10 percent of wages and salary for hospital staff.