Video- Tax Rate Vote to 11.95 by Somervell County Hospital District 6 For 1 Against


 

Video- Tax Rate Vote to 11.95 by Somervell County Hospital District 6 For 1 Against
 


24 September 2014 at 11:25:16 PM
salon

Who voted for? Brett Nabors, Karen Burroughs, John Parker, Chip Harrison, Ron Hankins, Eugene Brode. Who voted against? Paul Harper

Incidentally, as a matter of humour, take a stroll down memory lane about what Chip Harrison said when he was running for the position. I wanted to go back and look to see if I had been utterly crazy and misled when I voted for Mr Harrison and others who were for finding out about leasing the hospital and not only keeping taxes DOWN but actively and publicly researching about operating the hospital without relying on tax dollars. Yup, he did say that. After reading this below, go back and watch him so blithely voting for a tax increase and think about how he has done zip for publicly and quickly working on the process of an RFP to lease out the hospital. He also voted FOR Glen Rose Medical Center continuing to operate the 501a slush fund (I expected that from the board members (including Ron Hankins, Brett Nabors, and Karen Burroughs who turns out to be president of the 501a!!!)  who wanted to keep the status quo with little accountability but was shocked that he went along with them since the action itself showed contempt for contracts) 
As a citizen and taxpayer of Somervell County, I believe it to be of the upmost importance to research and explore all available options prior to making any decision that may affect increasing taxation to the citizens. I believe we can change the way we currently do business and not tax the citizens of this county the way we currently do or have done in the past. I believe that it is the duty of the Somervell County Hospital District to look at and research all options prior to the implementation of taxation to the citizens of the county. This is not only the moral duty but an ethical obligation of anyone whom is appointed to this board.....

2. Did you support the formation of the district last year? 

NO! ... At the time when we voted, our county had in its hand offers wanting to lease “OUR HOSPITAL,” but the hospital authority board never pursued the offers and instead jumped on the hospital district tax idea......

3. What do you feel is currently the most pressing issue facing Somervell County Hospital District and Glen Rose Medical Center? 

At the present time, we have more than $14 million in debt. At the present time, our hospital does not generate enough revenue or profit to pay the debt back, which makes the hospital less desirable to good companies wanting to lease, purchase or manage it.

We have been doing the same things here for over 20 years with this hospital, and when the plant footed the largest share of the tax, we all ignored the problem. Now we need to bring fresh ideas to the process and explore every idea and possible way to turn a profit.

4. Do you believe taxpayers and local patients would be better served by leasing GRMC to an outside management firm/selling the hospital to a private operator? 

I do believe that taxpayers and patients alike would be better served by leasing GRMC - if we can find the right partner. At this point, I don’t know if they are even out there, maybe we should have been looking all along.

I do want a hospital here in town, what I don’t want is to tax ourselves into the poor house. ....

5. Do you have ideas for increasing profits and cutting losses at GRMC? What are those ideas?

When we leased the nursing home it was losing money, the new company that took it over turned it around in short order. Why then can the hospital not? We are going to have to come up with a realistic budget and a real solution to these problems.

I think as long as we have a never ending flow of tax dollars we will never run the hospital like a business, but a charity. The hospitals in Stephenville, Cleburne and Granbury all make a profit and do not rely on tax dollars. Why do we?

Additionally, we had close to 80 applicants for the CEO position when Marks retired, and we never looked at anyone with experience or the right degree but hired from within and nothing changed 

 Something has changed, though. Was it this?  Chip Harrison voted along with 5 more out of 7 people to raise your taxes. Remember that when he next comes up for election.

More- I at least believe that John Parker has been entirely honest and consistent all the way through. 

I was opposed. I voted against the district. I felt our problems had to do with a lack of management. Taxing should not replace management. I am sure that we must have a district now that debts have been assumed and until we find another way to manage indigent care.

I now hope we can make the operation profitable enough to do all operations without taxes being necessary in the long run.

And Eugene Brode

2. Did you support the formation of the district last year? 

I did not vote for the district, because it subscribed to continuing the excesses and mismanagement of the past. Also, hospital personnel and related personnel said loudly and widely the false assertion the hospital would close if the district proposal did not pass. All the commissioners were firmly committed to keeping the hospital open.

The district now gives itself a free hand to tax without any oversight from the County.

4. Do you believe taxpayers and local patients would be better served by leasing GRMC to an outside management firm/selling the hospital to a private operator?

If we have iron-clad assurances that the public will enjoy the same level of care that they have now, I have no compunction against selling or leasing the hospital.

and Paul Harper, who was the one person who voted against the tax increase (disclaimer that he is my husband, I'm really proud of him, and of course biased.When I look back at what he said he wanted to do, he's been consistent about it.  But again, I"m biased. 

It is time for some major changes to the hospital district, and I have a very specific agenda that I believe will help:

  1. Eliminate the new property tax - The hospital should be able to run within its means, not on the back of the taxpayers.
  2. Cease operations in Hood County - Pecan Plantation in Hood County is a private exclusive gated community yet we are funding their health care facilities while Somervell County residents are not allowed to see the building, let alone use the facilities. The purpose of a hospital district is supposed to be for the benefit of the members IN the district, not outside the district.  
  3. Close the 501a slush fund - funds are moved to this account from the general fund when the 'account is low' without a paper trail instead of when the funds have been requested and approved. This procedure needs to end and have requests and approvals for all funds being spent.
  4. Bring in hospital administration experts - the people running the hospital now got there by who they know, not what they know. It's time for some experts in hospital administration to be brought in to run things the way they are supposed to be run.

2. Did you support the formation of the district last year?

I did not support the formation of the district last year, which is why I wrote up the petition for an election to eliminate the district and turn it back over to the county.

I, along with dozens of others, worked for five months, getting signatures on that petition before turning it in only to have the appointed board reject it for technicalities on a ‘city’ not being listed for some when the district boundary is the county.

The hospital district board does not need a petition to call for a dissolution election, just the knowledge that so many voters want another election is sufficient, but they chose not to call for that election regardless of the 900+ people that signed it. In my opinion ,those board members, who are all appointed, did not respect the wishes of the people....

4. Do you believe taxpayers and local patients would be better served by leasing GRMC to an outside management firm/selling the hospital to a private operator?

I believe that entering into an agreement with a third party is the best option for a small county like ours that is going to have serious tax issues with the power plant bankruptcy moving forward.

Hood County already does this, they have a district and no tax associated with it. We have tried it the other way for over a decade and it has gotten us millions of dollars in debt. The definition of insanity, according to Albert Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

 


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