Belligerent Ron Hankins Tries to Invent His Own Texas Public Information Act -Gatekeeper for Information

PIA doesn't apply to elected board members????

Belligerent Ron Hankins Tries to Invent His Own Texas Public Information Act -Gatekeeper for Information

30 January 2015 at 1:28:44 PM

As you watch this, LOOK to see WHO is actually the person stirring up trouble, being argumentative on the board, and issuing personal attacks? It is RON HANKINS.  I heard when I went to the Somervell County Hospital District last week on 1/22/2015 that there were a few in the audience that wanted to say that everything was calm EXCEPT for Paul Harper. If you watch the previous video, you'll see a pattern of Hankins not being able to control himself and act professionally. Is HE the one that the doctor of The Letter said was going to be too busy fighting other board members to help with patient safety issues? Since he's the only one of the *3* that consistently is so pugilistic, sure seems like it. 

Ron Hankins decided to bring up requests that Paul Harper, an ELECTED board member in the same way that Hankins is, to Ray Reynolds. 

First, why in the WORLD is Ron Hankins questioning why ANY board member is sending a request to EMPLOYEE Ray Reynolds? Does Ron Hankins think he needs to be the gatekeeper for Ray Reynolds? Ray can't speak for himself or is Ron just Such A Good Friend to Ray that he must insert himself in the middle. It's almost as if Hankins thinks he's in some kind of court trial where he acts as personal attorney for Reynolds and must harrass Paul Harper. Again, WATCH the video and SEE who is the one who is being pleasant and which one is slurring others, being argumentative, harrassing, and personally attacking. If you don't watch this, then don't go spreading baloney because you do NOT have the facts.

Hankins: "This is ridiculous. I consider it to be nothing but harrassment. You couldn't get him fired now you wan to harrass him till he leaves. I'm not going to stand for it. "

And then, as is typical for him, he waits for applause from the audience. No decorum for that guy.

Chip Are these requests from Paul Harper as a board member or as a private citizen?

Hankins: Those are from Paul Harper as board secretary. Let's just call a spade a spade here. I know I'm not going to get anything done on this....but even if we pass it and say it has to go through the president, then Mr Harper can just go home and tell his wife XXXX that she needs to start asking and he will tell her what to ask for. I'm SICK OF IT

Harper: Point of order, Mr Hankins is referencing other board member's spouses. I think that's highly uncalled for and unprofessional. 

Yup. Unprofessional. I can't think of any government meeting I've been in EVER where the husband or wife was brought up as a way to personally attack not only the board member but also the spouse.

Hankins: Can't handle the truth, can ya? (unruly audience starts up with clapping after ANOTHER Hankins personal attack on Harper  and YEAH. Chip Harrison does nothing)

Burroughs. I think it would be a good idea to move back to the topic.... There's got to be a way to manage it more reasonably.

Hankins: The ones I listed, Ray, are there any more that I missed.

Reynolds. I've been asked for 16 pieces of information 

Burroughs: Since our meeting last week? 

Reynolds: No, since Harper came back on the board..since January 16. Chips asked for a couple of items. There's a reason why he wanted them and he gave a reason.

Harrison: So if we've identified a problem does anyone have a solution? 

Honea: There was a meeting on Friday in the past between Ray and the former board president to kind of go over all the ... at one time. 

Reynolds: I'd be happy to do that. I'd be pleased 

Reynolds, at least seems to not be belligerent.

Harrison. I've sort of dropped by, if you're there, you're there, if you're not you're not.

Burroughs: But I should say that that should probably be a set time. 

Harper: I will say if you guys want to funnel everything through Chip, that's great. I'm fine with that... regular consistent meeting to discuss all these issues, then I'm fine with going through Chip to get what I want.

Hankins: Well, of course, because he's going to ask for what you want. It needs to go through the board, Paul. Now I know ya'll got 4 votes and we got 3, let's just call a spade a spade, so you're going to get what you want, but I'm bringing it out in public what's going on and it needs to stop. So it needs to go through this entire board in some form or fashion, not just someone that's going to be a puppet for you. 

LISTEN to his angry, whiny tone as he attacks Harper again and insinuates crap against him. (Second time he brought the makeup of the board up, I guess that must really stick in his craw) And now he has insulted Harrison. 

Harper: I think in that case you're trying to rewrite the Public Information Act which already states (can't make out what was said)

Reynolds: And I"m okay with something like that. I feel like whenever I get a request that has to be my priority of the day, that I have to take care of that issue before I take care of anything else. So if it's a request for information and there's a period of time where I, before I was expected to respond, that'd be very helpful. Some flexibility on what I'm expected to do.

Harper: I would say I'm playing catchup so I would expect this is going to slow down, last four months I haven't been able to look it up.


My opinion. I called up one of the Commissioners Court members to ask if, any time he wanted to know something from an employee, he had to go get it put on the Commissioners Court agenda to get it approved in order to justify why he wanted that info. I told him I've been to plenty of court meetings and couldn't recall even one time where that had happened. And it doesn't. I also cannot think of one time in which that has happened at the City. And yet this is what Ron Hankins wants to do, to REQUIRE elected board members that are in a direct relationship with employee Ray Reynolds to have to justify information requests, which can be CENSORED. It's the same type of thing he wanted to do with agenda items, where HE wanted to be the arbiter of whether something put on the agenda met HIS criteria. WHO HAS CONTROL ISSUES? And WHO is the one that is belligerent, argumentative, attributing false motives to others without a shred of proof? Looking at YOU, Ron Hankins.


Hankins. Listen, guys. There should be a good reason to ask for these pieces of information.

Who decides this, Mr Hankins? You?  So that you can, in your personal judgement, decide what to censor or what not, or what, in your own personal viewpoint, somebody else should be ABLE to ask about? You DO know that the Texas Public Information Act says? 

Sec. 552.001. POLICY; CONSTRUCTION. (a) Under the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government that adheres to the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people, it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to implement this policy.

(b) This chapter shall be liberally construed in favor of granting a request for information.

Except for Mr Hankins. Why does he hate Texas law so much?

Hankins. And it's not handled like an open records request because you're not John Q Public, you're an elected official, you're part of a board. You're entitled to have the information. But what I'm saying is it's a problem because you are requesting stuff that just seems to be all over the board, there doesn't seem to be any reason that anybody can figure out what you're doing.

Because THAT's what counts? Poor Poor Mr Hankins, again, wants to CONTROL and CENSOR what anyone else asks for. And, REALLY? Once someone is elected, his or her rights to public information are circumscribed. WHERE does it say that IN THE LAW?  Even he says Paul is entitled to that information. 

Harper: The public information Act

Hankins (INTERRUPTING HARPER) No no no no no. Did you not hear what I said, Paul 

because insulting Harper seems to be the sport of the boorish

Harper: A request in writing is a public information request

Hankins. Okay, I guess there's no reason in me trying to explain it to you because you will not listen. YOu have never listened. You're not John Q Public

Harper. Are you attacking me again?

Hankins. I'm trying to educate you, Sir


Harper. We have a solution offered.

Hankins. I've already offered that it needs to go through the board and not just Chip. Ok? We know the deal. Everybody in this room knows the deal. 

There goes Hankins again, trying to insinuate baloney-he must be wearing his magic swami hat again.

Harper: You *knew* the deal two weeks ago and you were wrong

Hankins. Excuse me?

Harper: You *knew* the deal two weeks ago when you wrote a sworn petition in court and you were wrong

Hankins. Okay, I'm going to play your game. Mr President, that's not what we're talking about

Except that IS what Hankins was talking about by trying to smear Harper.

Harrison: I think we need to quit the crosstalk altogether

Harrison: So let's hear something positive instead of just this griping. 

Parker: How about any time any of us board people want something from Ray, if he feels like he's under pressure, he could quickly say, Okay, but it's not going to be right now. 

Hankins. No

Parker: Let him do whatever he needs to do. Certainly the last thing we need to do is interfere with what's going on.

Hankins. I believe it should be a request from the board because if there is information needed for some reason it should be needed by the board, not one board member himself.

Ron's Control Issues... 

Parker. Now keep in mind when we first took office we didn't know that we had any bylaws until we started breaking them and you reminded us.  Then we found out we had them.

Burroughs. We all went to the orientation where they gave us the bylaws. This is not supposed to be an adversarial relationship. ...

Except the orientation was not until a month or two later

Reynolds. Well, let's start with Michael's suggestion, Chip and I coming in with a time where we're gonna be, on a regular basis and if you have a request, send those to Chip and then we'll ... Some of it can be answered without having to produce a document. What's our internet policy, that can be answered, I can just tell Chip what it is and he can pass it on. Give me a note one or two days ahead of time. 

Harper: I'm willing to work with Chip to make it easier on you.

Harrison: Well why doesn't somebody make what Ray said in the form of a motion and then we'll see if that works.

Reynolds We'll come up with a day and have a legal meeting. 

Harrison: INcluded in the email or brought up to the board?

Reynolds: Happy to include that in an email. 

Hankins. I'd just request that whatever is done on this thing that there be a good reason for asking and not asking for the information just to get the information.

WHO DETERMINES THAT??????  Another place that Hankins wants to go beyond what ANY citizen can do in the Texas PIA. 

May a governmental body ask me why I want the records?

No, a governmental body is forbidden from inquiring about the purpose for which the records will be used. However, if a request is unclear or very broad, the governmental body may ask the requestor to more clearly identify or narrow his or her request. Additionally, a governmental body may require additional identifying information to determine that the requestor is eligible to receive certain types of information.

Hankins:There's millions of pieces of information in this hospital. We don't need all of it. If there's a reason, the reason should be stated and the reason given that it is requested, not just simply a request


LIKE THE TEXAS PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT ALLOWS. Because Ron Hankins is ALL for censorship and being the decider of what people get to know, including other board members.

Employee-if my boss comes to me and says I need X, I try to understand the background behind it because in a healthcare environment everything's not black and white. So, for example, if you ask about a hospital internet policy, there's a difference between accessing our systems through the internet and providers accessing it outside ...I'm just thinking it would be more helpful if we could understand the background 

No.  See Above.

Brode: It's very valid you have to have a reason for it. 

Harrison. So we're going to give this a whirl.

Harper: Just want to work together with everybody to make it better

Now, let me ask you again. EVERYONE on this board is reasonable, polite, respectful, EXCEPT FOR RON HANKINS.



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1 - concernedcitizen   30 Jan 2015 @ 2:50:54 PM 

If I become a member of an elected board tomorrow, get sworn in, and take actions on that board I NEVER GIVE UP ANY RIGHTS as a taxpayer or citizen. I want to reiterate that the puclic information act is to provide a legal means to ascertain ANY public information available to me and the general public without anyone using ANY DISCRETIONARY acts whatsoever!  Mr Hankins should understand these legal issues----he is merely trying to strong arm the general public!  

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2 - concernedcitizen   30 Jan 2015 @ 3:09:46 PM 

This is insulting and embarassing for OUR community to have an ex-county attorney involved in such an illegal act captured by video!

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3 - pharper   31 Jan 2015 @ 8:48:05 AM 

I have sent an email to Ron Hankins as a follow up to this dialog during the meeting

From: Paul Harper
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2015 8:05 AM
To: Ron Hankins; Chip Harrison
Subject: Public information act

Please provide the text of the public information act or legal code that says this does not apply to board members. My read is that board members are not excluded from asking for public information under the public information act.


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4 - concernedcitizen   1 Feb 2015 @ 1:44:36 PM 

Go to hospital website and listen in entirety to last meeting. First question-how did Ron Hankins know of cash flow problems if the other board members were not aware of dire problems?  I guess he's been meeting with Ray without other board members knowledge. Tell me if I am wrong. 

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5 - concernedcitizen   1 Feb 2015 @ 2:04:43 PM 

Ron Hankins also had a list of all open record information request that the other board members did not have, he requested agenda item on open records request before board meeting, he was well versed in all topics----just like it was well scripted out. So whose been taking up all of The CEO's time?

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6 - concernedcitizen   2 Feb 2015 @ 3:31:26 PM 

I believe a complaint letter should be written to Texas Attorney General's Office referencing that a blatant disregard of the public information act was observed and that an elected member of hospital board tried to have a policy enacted by hospital board to limit information particularly to board members without other board members approval. He stressed that a good reason needed to be produced before information request should be fulfilled. We should ask for a ruling and possibly charges be filed. 

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7 - nmlgr   8 Feb 2015 @ 6:38:30 PM 

@CC - Go for it!

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