Remember how when the people pushing this district failed to tell anyone HOW they wanted to spend the money they were wanting to fish out of your pocket? As in, were they wanting to spend even more money on fixing up the hospital, adding personnel, what? It was a mystery. The only card they had in their pocket, and that one was bent and soiled, was the scare tactic that "If you don't vote for a district, the HOSPITAL WILL CLOSE. BOOO!!!" (This despite the fact that the county commissioners all said they would NOT close the hospital.) I recall the Pecan Plantation people from Hood County writing letters to the Glen Rose Reporter newspaper telling us to vote for the hospital. One person even said that she wanted a full service hospital... but lived in Granbury, which is in its own hospital district and pays NO hospital district taxes. Could any of those Granbury people vote in THIS election to have taxes taken out for what they wished to have US pay for? Nope. Was there even one Somervell county voter who was so swayed by wanting to help out those poor poor Hood County people who were only telling us that they wanted a fancy hospital that WE would pay for for THEM that the Glen Rose resident voted for the district while wiping away a tear?
Anyway, I was surprised that anyone would vote for up to a 17.5 tax raise without even a minimum requirement that the district rah-rahers would have to say what they wanted to do with all that extra money, whether taking out another loan would be necessary, if they were going to hire up more people, etc. Especially when James Barnard, one of the county commissioners, said it only cost about 7 1/2 cents to run the hospital now. We used to call that "Buying a Pig in a Poke".
Saw in the Glen Rose Reporter issue of August 8, 2013, that Larry Shaw is raring to spend that money. On what?
Revamping of the hospital website ($5,000)
Hiring a PR person to push how great GRMC is $40,000 (Really? Here GRMC has been circling the drain for years and having to ask for money from taxpayers and they know want to pay for, basically, a LOBBYIST?)
Physician Recruitment $50,000 (but Larry Shaw said if they do get a new doctor, they will have to spend money to modify current offices)-What exactly is physician recruitment? Is it for buying ads in newspapers around the country? Paying some recruitment place a fee? Trip expenses to fly out a doctor to come here to interview? WHAT?
Emergency Room contract-$200,000-$500,000. In fact, I didn't realize that WE the taxpayer have been paying to subsidize ER operations by about $360,000. Kind of makes the whole "We're saving money by contracting out ER operations" a joke.
Renovations to the patient waiting areas, Senior care building, plus various equipment requests. That includes a $90,000 patient call system, $75,000 centralized monitoring system, $165,000 digital recording keeping to fulfill government requirements (I thought they did that a couple of years ago??) , new EKS for both their surgery department ($40,000) AND FOR PECAN FAMILY CLINIC IN HOOD COUNTY $8,000 (because GRMC thinks Somervell County residents want to spend their tax money in some other county's district that pays NO taxes)
We remind that fairly recently Glen Rose Medical Center took out a loan for $50k to fix up Pecan Family Medical Center. They also are paying back the 14.4 milion dollar certificate of obligation that is still under the county's signature. What else are they planning to spend money on and will it require another loan from the bank? Remember also that should property values go down this year, as they well might (consider the looming bankruptcy of Energy Future Holdings), taxpayers will be required to make up the difference in taxes between what these appointed yahoos decide to put in their budget and the monies that are actually collected (effective tax rate).
I want a hospital but WHERE is the honest discussion to find out what people that live HERE (not Hood County) want to have and are willing to spend. How many people really want a full service hospital in Glen Rose? What are they willing to spend for it, because you dang well know taxes will go up, nothing comes without a cost? I've talked to a number of people and I count myself with them, who are fine with a small hospital with excellent emergency care services, with other services done by the many many hospitals in the area. I WANT a hospital, I just don't want one where these people who decided to just get themselves appointed to the board until FINALLY an election next year, despite an embezzlement issue that was covered up, and despite not being able to run the hospital as a going, viable concern without lots of taxpayer money, are still the ones in charge. It's like giving the drunken sailors a blank check for items that they alone decide.
Luckily, there is a petition out there to DISSOLVE the hospital district, turn it back over to *elected* officials to figure out what to do.
P.S. Was just reading Byron Stinson's letter to the editor about the Promise. He said this about the district
Recently the court was able to move a substantial cost off their books with the formation of the new hospital district. We all know it did not decrease the cost to the taxpayer but it did free up the tax money for the county.
Right. In fact, it increased the cost to the taxpayer and the board is being run by the same sad sacks that couldn't seem to run it right before, and were not specifically elected to office.