Last June 22 2012, there was a joint meeting between Somervell County Commissioners Court and the Somervell County Hospital Authority (the appointed, unelected board that the county put in place). One of the items on the agenda was Larry Shaw showing a video that had been created to tout the hospital district. You can watch the video here. Notice that Dr Davis, at the end calls for a vote to support creation of a hospital district. Ostensibly, at this time, there were no official plans in place to create a hospital district. It was supposedly one option among many. The fact that the authority have moved to create this shows that they had already made up their minds, regardless of what Somervell County citizens might believe one way or the other. In fact, about a week or so later, Somervell County Commissioners held a meeting which included David Orcutt of Lake Granbury talking about CHS. (and reiterating that CHS had no intention of closing Glen Rose Medical Center-this was not the first time he had said this-from 2010)
One question that comes up from this is who funded the video? Was it the authority board (that is, you and me through our taxpayer money?) Was it one of the doctors who has his or her salary subsidized by the authority (ie, you and me)? I certainly hope it was not a situation where taxpayer money was used to create a point of view video;at least 2 of the doctors, Bruce Carpenter and Justus Peters, not sure about Dr Davis, have part of their salaries subsidized by us.So it would be more than inappropriate for taxpayers to foot the bill in any way for a video not only touting a particular point of view but telling people how to vote on a ballot initiative that clearly was on the Authority's radar as a given.
P.S. I remember when Dr Davis said this the last go-round and it was hard to muster up sympathy for doctor hardships.
P.P.S. Ran this past Andrew Lucas, county attorney. He said, in part.
It is my understanding that the court was unaware of the contents of the video before it was presented. It was offered as a department report. I’m sure you would have the opportunity to address the dissolution during citizens comments.
First, if we are to believe that the appointed Somervell County Hospital Authority Board doesn't understand that you can't put political content in a department report to show at a government meeting, then perhaps the ones in charge of them needed to prescreen their material. Otherwise, that may have set a precedent in which one can discuss political content. And, they were not simply pushing this content as part of a citizen comment but as an agenda item (the difference is in how much time one has at a citizen comment versus a presentation). In any case, this certainly showed poor judgement on the part of the appointed Somervell County Hospital Authority Board.