Update: Spoke with the board president, who told me that there was a written copy that requires some changes before it can be signed. Undoubtedly the finished signed agreement will be an open record that can be verified in all respects.j
Update #2. The answer is NO, it does not have accountability and is still a slush fund. I asked to see a copy of the document, which has not yet been finished, that was discussed at the meeting on the 11th. It is mostly the exact same thing as the addendum that Ray Reynolds put in. It is MISSING the report from the doctors that the original 501a contract says they are supposed to generate AFTER they get their money to SHOW that they spent it how they said. Second, the finance committee or entire board ONLY approves the OSA IF the budgeted money runs out. Why in the fool should that be? ALL that money is optional. I was also told that the expectation is that the only money available for a given month is 1/12 of the allocated budget money-THAT IS NOT SPELLED OUT IN THIS CONTRACT. People can say all they like verbally but the rubber hits the road with a written contract. As I said before, the addendum looked to me like an attempt to legitimize the slush fund activities that Michael Honea and Ray Reynolds are doing NOW and cut out the parts that even existed in the original 501a contract. Pah on this.
Per the agenda for the Nov 11th meeting, the active Somervell County Hospital Board went into closed session to discuss the 501a contract. You know, the contract that Ray Reynolds says is for *shortfall* money to the doctors and,as we all know, involves giving taxpayer money, optionally, to a 501a organization. After the session, the board members apparently came out and voted to APPROVE the contract...
EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT WRITTEN UP YET Note that the board president says there is a preliminary written copy that requires changes before being signed. ( (Not to mention that supposedly this was to be a workshop in which a vote was not to be taken afterwards).
I called up one of the board members to ask about this, and whether the new contract includes, to preclude it being a SLUSH FUND, the same provisions as the previous one that require the doctors to ASK for the money and then the doctors to provide a written report AFTER to SHOW that's how they spent the money. Astonishly. the board member did not know, said the contract has not been written up yet (Again, update, the board president said that there IS a written copy but it must be modified for some changes before it can be signed) , that Ray Reynolds is to do it. (Remember I wrote the other day about the addendum to the 501a which essentially GUTS the accountability for public money). He also didn't know whether both those 2 provisions were explictly in the voted upon, er, IDEA of the contract. I asked, then why would you vote to approve something that isn't written up yet and that may not include financial safeguards for the public? He said there is a 30 day provision in the contract where either side can reject it. I said, suppose you get that contract and it does NOT contain the safeguards of accountability FROM the doctors, both as requests and as reports showing how the money was used. Would he still sign it? He said no. Of course it may be that since the board in general has voted upon this, that their signatures are not required at this point.
The board president said that any requests from the doctors to get shortfall money, not just if it goes OVER the budgeted amount for the 501a, but of ANY money would go to the finance committee for approval and then be brought to the full board. In other words, no longer would the CFO simply move money from one account to another without any documentation. The budget for the 501a is based on historical data of what the doctors had to ask for before in the past. Presumably this is written up in the copy of the document that the board voted to approve last week. Update: No. The document clearly shows that the CFO and CEO generate the request and ONLY if the requests go beyond the budgeted ANNUAL net income does the request go the Somervell County Hospital District board for approval.
I plan to get audio of the meeting for clarification
If the new contract has the same essential features as requiring the doctors to do the requests/reports, then certainly the active board and Ray Reynolds are acting in the best interests of the taxpaying public, and in fact, they will have resolved the slush fund aspects that have so grievously been part of the process for a long time. That depends, as well, on the board actually respecting and honoring the following of contracts. And, of course, that the doctors actually create the requisitions and follow up reports and the board requires the proof the contract spells out. The answer, as I said above, is that it does NOT and is NOT an accountable document.
P.S. Evidently, Karen Burroughs, who was listed until very recently on the Texas SOS website as president, and said she was president of the Glen Rose Healthcare Inc - 501a, is not that any longer. The change was made on the SOS website as of Sept 11, 2014; this fixes the obvious ethical question of whether it was right for her to vote for any 501a actions since, as she did, that was a conflict of interest which she did not publicly disclose. As of Sept 11, 2014, Alex Tseng is now president of the 501a. Will Mr Tseng now start taking board minutes when Glen Rose Healthcare Inc meets?. It's of interest to note that Ray Reynolds is registered agent of the 501a.
Here is the effective date of the filing-notice the the filing date is Dec 31 2014 which is in the future.
P.P.S. What does this mean in the agenda item where it says "Closed Session-Review of Management Agreement with Glen Rose Healthcare Inc. "After convening in open session, the Somervell County Hospital District will retire into an Executive Session, pursuant to the provisions of Section 551.071 of the Texas Government Code, in order to consult with its attorney on a matter in which the duty to the government board under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas clearly conflicts with this chapter."