Somervell County Commissioner Mike Ford refuses to discuss County business with constituents


 

Somervell County Commissioner Mike Ford refuses to discuss County business with constituents
 


22 March 2009 at 6:44:20 PM
pharper

In an email exchange with Somervell County Commissioner Mike Ford last month, he tells a precinct 2 constituent:

 I will no longer discuss any County business with you

This was after he was being pressed for details about his resignation as President or Executive Director from the "Dr. Roger E. Marks Foundation". The constituent says that Mike Ford claims:
- to not recall when he resigned (although the GR Reporter was told last year sometime but no date provided)
- did not submit a resignation letter (he verbally said this)
- no board minutes proving he did resign (for what it's worth you can't get any business bank account changed without minutes...just try and see)

The reason he was being pressed for this information by his constituents in precinct two was because of his conflict of interest being on that board, whose purpose is to provide for the GRMC (documented here), and then voting to loan the GRMC 14.5 million tax dollars while still on the board. Mike Ford still refuses to disclose any of the dates surrounding this to help clear it up. The emails in date sequence are below and show when he decided to no longer discuss any County business with his own constituents after being asked the tough questions.

From: 'precinct 2 constituent'
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 11:05 AM
To: 'Mike Ford'
Subject: foundation query

Hey Mike,

Couple of questions here...
Are you still associated with the Dr. Roger E. Marks Healthcare Foundation in any way?

If not when did you resign?
Can I get a copy of that resignation letter or board minutes where they accepted your resignation and appointed someone new to take your place.
Who took your place?

If so then you have a conflict of interest we should discuss this weekend.

Thanks
<precinct 2 constituent>
---

From: 'Mike Ford '
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2009 7:50 AM
To: 'precinct 2 constituent'
Subject: RE: foundation query

<precinct 2 constituent>,

I have been out of town since Friday, so just read your email.

Let me answer your questions as succinctly as I can.  I am no longer on the board of the Marks Health Care Foundation.  However, as the Foundation has not given any money to the Glen Rose Medical Foundation and has only donated scholarships to graduating Glen Rose seniors, there is no conflict of interest.  If you'll check the local government code, chapter 171.009, you'll find that it is lawful to serve should I choose.  The Marks Foundation is an independent private foundation that several likeminded citizens put together to further health care in the county.  No more-no less.

Mike
---

From: 'precinct 2 constituent'
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2009 8:48 AM
To: 'Mike Ford'
Subject: RE: foundation query

Mike,

When did you resign? I have heard rumors but haven't heard a date, some think right after the election, some think after you took office, the SoS site shows you are still the executive director so giving me a date would be helpful because I can only find that you are still in charge of it as of today.

I will have to go read that part of the code but you should note the purpose of the private foundation says (you know, you signed it about the same time you became commissioner and it is attached) the Glen Rose Medical Center specifically (even uses the name) which causes the conflict of interest where you voted to loan them $14.5 million dollars when you are on a board whose purpose it is to further that private foundations interests. The Marks private foundation was put together the further the interests of the Glen Rose Medical Center, not healthcare in general or the Glen Rose Medical Center would not have been spelled out in the purpose of the foundation.
Now, since it says Glen Rose Medical Center in the purpose of the foundation you should recues yourself from voting on anything having to do with the Glen Rose Medical Center and should have last year. I personally think that anyone who votes on something like loaning the foundation 14.5 million tax dollars within a year after working for that group is doing something unethical. You should wait at least a year to vote on something you were a part of less than a year earlier.


<precinct 2 constituent>

---
From: 'Mike Ford'
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2009 8:48 AM
To: 'precinct 2 constituent'
Subject: RE: foundation query

<precinct 2 constituent>,

This is my final word on this subject.  Glen Rose Medical Center is the County owned facility.  Glen Rose Medical Foundation is the entity which operates the facility.  Were the Marks Foundation to provide equipment to the Medical Center, it would be a County Assett.  The Marks Foundation does fully support the efforts of Glen Rose Medical Center - nothing indicates that the Marks Foundation in any way endorses or would provide any assistance to the Glen Rose Medical Foundation.

I have never (nor has the Court) loaned money to the Glen Rose Medical Foundation.  We (the County) are building and own the capital assets.  I have never voted to give the Glen Rose Medical Foundation a penny.  If and when that time does come, I will recuse myself.  Until then, it is my duty to deliberate, with the rest of the Court, the needs of the hospital asset as well as the Citizen Center, Geneology Library and all other County Assets.

It is apparent that we are not going to agree on this.  I have always operated as openly and transparently as was possible.  I have a history of involvement in a wide variety of organizations in this community.  It is how I stay connected to what is going on.  But, at the end of the day, my decisions as a County Commissioner are made in what I perceive to be the best interests of the County.  I allow no one to tell me what to do, whether my friend, colleague or adversary. 

It seems to me that you and <precinct 2 constituent's spouse> find conspiracy in everything.  I just don't subscribe to that viewpoint. Your initial assumptions have been repeatedly flawed.  And, I will no longer be a part of it.  I will still acknowledge both of you, still be glad to pass the time, but I will no longer discuss any County business with you.  Maybe another Commissioner will be more helpful to you.

Mike


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Comments!  
1 - salon   23 Mar 2009 @ 8:02:39 AM 

And yet he, the man in charge of the Roger E Marks Foundation, is  not familiar with what even the brochure I got in the mail recently said... ? certainly NOT *no more no less*.


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