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SEAL BEACH : Leisure World Medical Center Plan Disputed

A group of dissident seniors at Leisure World say they want to remove from office the retirement community’s president and 10 members of its governing foundation’s board over plans to build a $3-million medical facility.

Resident Dick Kissam said he has collected 60 signatures supporting the removal of Golden Rain Foundation Board President Howard McCurdy and the 10 board members who voted for a new medical facility last month. Kissam, a longtime critic of the 18-member governing board, organized a picket line outside the 8,800-resident community in October, 1994, to protest board policies.

“You’ve got a bunch of 80-year-old people on the board who really don’t know much about this building stuff,” Kissam said. “We don’t really think this new medical facility is necessary.”

McCurdy called opponents of the project “a very small minority” and said the medical center would offer residents a variety of services that currently require a hospital visit. The facility would be operated by Los Alamitos Medical Center, which already operates a Leisure World medical center that the new one would replace.

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McCurdy said an increase in monthly rental rates paid by the medical center from $20,000 to $40,000 would pay the building’s construction costs over 15 years.

“This will give our residents better medical care,” McCurdy said. “You won’t have to be running off to the hospital every time you have something happen to you.”

Board members are elected by the residents of various community units, called mutuals. Kissam said that if he gets signatures from a majority of the residents in his 384-apartment community known as Mutual 6, the targeted board members can be removed from office.

Kissam predicts that the planned two-story medical center could cost more than $5 million to build. But McCurdy said board members will not accept an unreasonable bid for construction.

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“If the bids are too high,” he said, “we’ll throw the whole thing out.”


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