Disclaimer that the following is MY opinion alone and doesn't represent anyone else but me.
Saw that the hospital board has put video that they recorded up on Youtube. I didn't attend the meeting so am really glad that they are doing this.(Side note that I recorded one video of a previous meeting as a private citizen standing in the foyer; didn't process it or post it because I was so disgusted with the boorish behaviour of the audience, but I may make some selected clips to clear up bullchit gossip).
Have heard via the gossip chain that some people who apparently didn't attend the previous meeting and didn't listen to the audio, think that the meeting the week before was halted because it was illegal. Anyone that was there knows that isn't the case, that the meeting was adjourned because Dr Justus Peters threatened a lawsuit because he said the school board meeting room was not in compliance with ADA standards. (We note that he certainly didn't bring this up BEFORE the meeting, where a modicum of courtesy might have led him to call ahead to make sure he could be accomodated rather than bringing it up and threatening to sue. Also heard today from someone that works at the hospital that she believed Peters talked about a lawsuit AFTER Chip Harrison spoke to him. Not so.
Yes, Ron Hankins did bring up something about the meeting not being a legal meeting and some things he thought were not legal on the agenda (but that isn't why the meeting was adjourned) . But let's look at this. The bylaws for the hospital board say that the people who are elected to the board are to be GIVEN a copy of the bylaws and a certain number of months of minutes. Did ANYONE at that first meeting when everyone was sworn in bring that up, INCLUDING Ron Hankins, who presumably would have known, first, that the meeting they voted on might be illegal AND known there were even bylaws to begin with? Nope. In fact, that meeting itself was possibly illegal according to the bylaws. I don't recall after watching the video that Ron Hankins raised his hand to tell everyone "HEY THIS IS NOT RIGHT" in that meeting. Look for yourself via the video below. Should people who are supposed to get copies of bylaws be faulted for not even KNOWING they should be given copies because it says IN THE BYLAWS that they should? (You do understand, right, that if you don't know something exists that presumably the departing board should have supplied or arranged, how are you supposed to know what it says?) From the bylaws
2.10 Orientation of Directors. All new members will be furnished with minutes of Board of Directors meetings from the past year, Bylaws of the Board of Directors, Bylaws of the Medical Staff, and the District's financial statements from the past twelve (12) months. Upon election to the Board, new members shall meet with the President of the Board, the Administrator and the Chief of Staff to receive an update and briefing on District operations. Board members are requested to attend at least one trustee seminar or workshop each year.
Even then, did Ron Hankins have ANY obligation to, uh, get on the phone and bring this up to board members BEFORE the meeting instead of showboating and looking like he's trying to sink the board as a spoiler? Anyone can do a cheap shot parlaying off the ignorance of other people but in my book you don't get a right to complain if you do squat to try to rectify the situation FIRST. (Go look at this video starting from about 9:20 in-do you see Ron Hankins saying anything?)
Also heard that some people wrongly think that Wayne Rotan said the meeting wasn't legal. Hah! Again, these must be uniformed people who have spent zero time actually checking out what Mr Rotan said. Instead of people whispering bullchit, maybe they should CALL and TALK to the person who was arranging that room and FIND OUT what happened, or go listen to the audio of the meeting. All else is baloney.
And what about the temporary board that couldn't WAIT to get out of there and didn't even spend one iota of effort to OPEN the envelope with the certified results before voting that the election was valid (thus, incidentally, putting a rest to all the whiners who want to kibbitz about whether the election results were valid or not)? Former Judge Walter Maynard called them out and said that he'd never been in a situation where the board didn't at least OPEN the envelope. (Nor have I, and I"ve been to board meetings of the county where the commissioners sure did do due diligence). The board basically said that they had no idea what they were looking at anyway, why they would want to look like a bunch of do-nothing ignoramuses I don't understand, instead of at least PRETENDING to follow a legal process. And if THEY followed the bylaws and knew that the bylaws were to be given to the new board, etc, then why the fool didn't THEY make sure to do it? Pfffffftttttt.
That brings up a second point. Why the FOOL didn't the Somervell County Hospital Board vote to start getting an attorney, at least start the process of figuring going out looking, even if it required a board vote after? That was on the agenda Tell you what, if I was on the board and somebody like Dr Peters threatened a lawsuit, the first shot out of the box the very next day would have been to get an attorney that the new board likes (and guess what, a new board has the right to get an attorney they all agree upon and discard previous ones) and I would not have wasted any time doing it. After listening to the board audio, I agree that it should be something the board votes on, but the process to get a new attorney or at least start having *conversations* about it could have started. I could well understand that some on the board might not like the current attorney, Kevin Reed and his associates, but why in the world is there any delay? The people that at least some of us specifically voted for said they were going to do an RFP as soon as possible to find out about getting rid of the debt and leasing the hospital out to a private entity, in the same way that Hood County has made a deal with Lake Granbury. But there isn't any way that anyone of those board members should be working on an RFP without an attorney working with them. Were I more cynical, I might wonder what the fool happened to the people who were so eager and WERE VOTED FOR ON THE BASIS OF GETTING RID OF THE TAX, and ask if they are slow-rolling the process. There is a deadline, according to Wes Rollins, who came in and did a presentation on the tax, in a few months at which point the tax rate is going to have to be voted on and decided and every single person in THIS county (doesn't include the moochers in Hood at Pecan Plantation) will be paying taxes. But there is time NOW if these board members will get off the you-know-what and do the job we VOTED THEM IN FOR and get the dang attorney and RFPs for this to possibly be resolved BEFORE tax season. So why aren't they? I understand that a lot of people did NOT vote for some of them, but enough people who DID want the tax gone DID vote for them, so I certainly hope they aren't thinking about pandering to the people who probably never would have voted for them anyway (and apparently believe by being cowardly ruffians at a meeting they can actively disrespect lawfully elected board members) .
Somebody apparently brought up Pecan Plantation again AS IF it's some kind of public clinic that Somervell County residents can just walk in and use. Guess what. They CAN'T. Take a step back-what do you think the purpose of a hospital district is, anyway? Is it for the benefit of SOME OTHER COUNTY THAT PAYS ZIP IN TAXES or is it for the people who pay taxes IN THAT county, to help out people in THAT county, and for those who may be indigent. Not to help out by having a clinic that you can only get to by being approved to get through a gate, is NOT a walk in clinic according to the practice manager, and only because you have an appointment with a specific doctor. According to the practice manager, Dr Bruce Carpenter is not taking any new patients. Dr Justus Peters told me that Carpenter ONLY has patients from Pecan Plantation, was Dr Peters mistaken? Even if Dr Peters takes Somervell County residents, you cannot just to go the clinic unless you are approved to go through the gate first and you have an appointment. Think you could go up there and say "None of your business what my name is" and get through the gate? If you can, then the security for the Golf-Lovin' Pecan Plantation Folks isn't worth much, is it? People that already work for the hospital and are probably KNOWN as such don't count, nor anyone that has an appointment or has had a call made to the clinic to okay them coming in- I would imagine if someone is known to be affiliated with the hospital or the board that they might just get waved on through and further believe there's probably a daily list that has the people who are allowed to come in. And that's not even the issue. I don't even get why ANYONE thinks it's appropriate to spend tax dollars in some other hospital district. If people really want a clinic in another district, then why aren't they pushing for what Gary Marks had before? A PRIVATE HOSPITAL run by their own money and not by taxes. I wonder about the ethics of people who think this type of thing is okay.
Finally, and I only watched a bit of the video from this last meeting but when I get time I intend to say more. I heard that apparently the boors that don't know how to behave in a Texas Open Meeting were back-must have arrived in their clown cars because they STILL didn't know how to behave, at least for some parts of the meeting. I thought the beginning of what I saw was pretty good. Looks like Chip who runs the meeting was following Roberts Rules of Order and the crowd at that point was orderly. Why, the board apparently arranged for the sheriff's department to be there based on the ill-behaved raucous crowd that showed up the week before. Also appears that they got microphones, speakers and arrangements for Dr Peters so that he could properly hear, which is entirely appropriate. Will probably update this with an audio or video clip after I watch it IF it turns out that these people still had no respect and self-control; they sure didn't last week. That includes Mr Best, who I can clearly hear yelling out from the crowd as I'm listening, wish he had been escorted out by the deputy. Makes me especially glad he was not elected as judge, and I highly doubt that the disruptive tactics he's pulling in these meetings would fly if it had been HIS meeting-he also cannot claim ignorance of TOMA since he was on the economic development board-you know, the one that voted to loan 80 thousand dollars to Land of the Dinosaurs and also decided to give money to the Chamber of Commerce that he also was head of at the time. More on poor Mr Best's ill-fated investments. Even during public comments, this audience thought they were at a game show and decided to clap it up-no decorum for them, nor respect for others even where they don't agree. Would they have booed and hissed at another public commenter that didn't share their opinions and would anyone who saw that behaviour have been deterrred from speaking out? I"m also not sure why one man was not stopped after 2 minutes while the other 2 public commenters were, should have been consistency and fairness. Also, Michael Honea wanted to make what he called a *personal comment* from the audience and instead of being told to wait for the public comment section OR AT LEAST STEP UP TO THE MICROPHONE, he just up and said some rambling thing about religion. At the end of what he said, I heard Eugene Brode say "I couldn't hear what he said". Right. He shouldn't been allowed to speak out of turn and when he did, he should have been treated like everyone else and been made to speak in the microphone. Here's a chop clip I made
Overall, I really like how the board discussed items, thought everybody did a pretty great job despite the disrupters. I believe open meetings should be conducted in the public eye, and even where people don't agree, the more people talk about it the better. I refer to the elected people, not the rude kibbitzers in the audience.