One of the commenters on this site said there was a letter in one of the local Glen Rose newspapers written by Brian Birdwell, who is Texas Senator for our district and lives in Granbury. Mr Birdwell's letter, in the March 5 2015 edition of the Glen Rose newspaper is riddled with error. I have to assume not only that Mr Birdwell doesn't check facts but also that there are those in Pecan Plantation, a gated community in Hood County THAT SOMERVELL COUNTY RESIDENTS CANNOT FREELY ENTER, that equally listen to baloney and don't check their facts.
Breaking it down.
I am aware of the ongoing discussion among the board members to dissolve the Somervell County Hospital District and return control of the Glen Rose Medical Center (GRMC) to the Commissioners Court of Somervell County.
Uh. "Ongoing discussion"? Where in the world does he get that? From over a year ago?? I know it's probably too much to ask a Busy State Senator to be accurate, but maybe before writing letters, he ought to at least try???? If a constituent comes to him and says "THERE'S A GREEN MONSTER UNDER MY BED THAT SAYS YOU ARE REALLY AN ALIEN AND THAT'S WHY YOU"RE VOTING FOR OPEN CARRY", would Mr Birdwell write a letter on that one's behalf?
First, let me affirm that I and all my constituents served by GRMC in Somervell, southern Hood, southern Johnson and northern Bosque counties submit to the authority property vested in your, the duly elected board members, and we will abide by your decision regarding the services rendered and fiscal health of the GRMC and the hospital district. Many constituents, including myself, have traveled to Glen Rose to receive services at GRMC. Your hospital also has a remote clinic which provides services to the residents of Pecan Plantation, in Hood County, that provides a significant amount of revenue to the GRMC and the hospital district.
Brian Birdwell lives in Granbury, in Hood County which has its own hospital district. He pays ZERO taxes for the hospital district when he gets his bill because Lake Granbury Medical Center made a deal to operate a private hospital while providing indigent care services for the district. Since he's a Texas Senator and has decided to involve himself in hospital district business, perhaps he's aware of the laws that govern two hospital districts not being able to exist in the same territories? But surely he knows that Somervell County taxpayers PAY FOR equipment, doctors and lease in Pecan Plantation at Pecan Family Medical Center, in Hood County, which does not serve a public interest because Somervell County residents cannot freely enter in the GATED community and go freely TO the clinic without permission (and this clinic is NOT for the poor or disadvantaged, because God forbid any Pecan Plantation resident would want a poor person coming into the community where they consider themselves privileged) . Does Mr Birdwell think that it's right that residents in another county, in another hospital district, pay TAXES for residents in Hood County who pay none? Is he aware that the former CEO of Lake Granbury said that reason that Lake Granbury Medical Center doesn't have a clinic within the boundaries of Pecan Plantation is that the lease signed with GRMC is an exclusive lease, THAT WAS SIGNED WHEN GRMC WAS STILL A PRIVATE HOSPITAL? Otherwise, Lake Granbury Medical Center would be thrilled to operate a clinic for its own citizens inside the gated community and in fact, the former CEO told me there are TWO clinics outside Pecan Plantation. Does Mr Birdwell believe that a *remote clinic* is somehow akin to, say, West Texas, where the nearest hospital might be a hundred miles away? Please, everyone in Somervell County understands this is a *convenience* issue for golf course playing retirees who want everything close but woe to anyone that wants to come in their secure community without explicit permission. Back in 2009, Gary Marks, former CEO of Glen Rose Medical Center when it was still private attempted to get a designation for the hospital as a community hospital and was turned down because there are too many other hospitals within X radius. If you look at the distance it would take for Pecan Plantation residents to travel to Lake Granbury versus Glen Rose Medical Center, you might begin to see how specious your assertion is, Mr. Birdwell. Here are two *directions* maps from Google Maps, both going from Pecan Plantation Country Club to either Glen Rose Medical Center or Lake Granbury Medical Center. For this first, notice that it is 15.9 miles to GRMC and would take about 20 minutes to get there.
Now here's a map to Lake Granbury Medical Center. The distance is 11.8 miles which would take about 16 minutes. There's an alternate route that goes via Contrary Creek Rd and Mambrino Hwy which would take 20 minutes and is 10.7 miles.
It is, as you see, CLOSER for a Pecan Family Medical Clinic user to go to Lake Granbury than it is to go to Glen Rose Medical Center. Wonder whether this idea of where to go would CHANGE if Pecan Plantation residents actually paid taxes instead of riding on the backs of Somervell County taxpayers? IN any event, it is a mischaracterization to call Pecan Plantation a *remote location*.
Would Mr Birdwell agree with the premise that if something is illegal, but provides money, it should be okay. So he might agree with selling crack at the high school to support a charity because, after all, a significant amount of revenue came from selling drugs.
I simply ask on behalf of all the constituents served, not only in Somervell County who make up the electorate of the hospital district, but those in other counties who are not part of the electorate of the hospital district that you carefully weigh the impacts of your decisions regarding those served by the GRMC.
Surely Mr Birdwell is aware GRMC is not a private hospital. How about he put his money where his mouth is, and go ASK the Texas Attorney General for an opinion about whether it is right for Somervell County taxpayers to pay to operate a clinic that does NOT have a public purpose in another defined hospital district, Hood County, where Hood County does not pay any taxes for Somervell and doesn't pay taxes for its own Hood County district. Andy Lucas, the county attorney for Somervell County, has told me that the remedy for resolving Pecan Plantation spending lies in district court, which is fine for those with deep pockets, but Birdwell could ask for an AG opinion in his role as state Senator. As he mentions, Hood County residents, including Pecan Plantation, have NO VOTE in the Somervell County hospital district, which boundaries are the county lines. Since he decided to go write out a public letter based on ONE person whining, here is ONE person asking him to go get an AG opinion.
Certainly one of the Pecan Plantation people, who live behind a gate, and surely do NOT want Somervell County citizens coming and going, complained from a situation manufactured only in his or her head, without the facts, making him or herself sound like a Privileged Whiner. But Senator Birdwell ought to do better before jumping into a situation HE clearly doesn't understand. He adds to the problem.
I noticed that Chip Harrison, the board president wrote back a reply to Mr Birdwell, said he had called Birdwell's office and talked to an assistant (Mr Birdwell apparently too busy hearing bullchit and writing letters based on mythology).
I informed them that we (the board) had not had a discussion that I was privileged to regarding closing GRMC or dissolving the Somervell County Hospital District. Senator Birdwell's office indicated that it was a resident in Pecan Plantation in Hood County. I then pointed out that they are in a different county and do not pay taxes or vote in Somervell County. In closing.... the bottom line... Someone is very misinformed. All of our board minutes are on the GRMC website and taped minutes are available on Youtube.