It must have not sat well with her since she has trashed and impugned Paul Harper's character for the last couple of years that Paul won the appeal regarding, basically, whether an elected official has the right of free speech and petition. Why? Because it didn't take her long to come out and make up baloney based on speculation. I suppose she has the long knives out because I publicly let people know that she was paying Glen Rose Network Corp, which I am the legal owner of, to host her personal website for a number of years, while trashing Paul. I still consider that some nerve how she apparently was trying to hide both her involvement as a regular poster on my website as well as that she had no problem with having her website hosted while denigrating Paul. (And, um, isn't that ironic how she was hiding her involvement while trying to trash Paul, who never hid his positions)
First, she again apparently, even though she attended at least one of the district court hearings, dismisses what Paul has said about keeping the hospital open. Of course Paul wants to keep the hospital open. The question is, what level of services should the hospital have, and at what expense to the taxpayer? There are many people in Glen Rose who are just fine with having a small community hospital with excellent emergency services. We have a plethora of hospitals within 20-25 miles, for example, and regularly people are taken via ambulance to other hospitals. And many people are not happy with being taxed for a hospital district whose boundaries are outside Somervell, ie, Hood County (there is a law that says two hospital districts cannot occupy the same terrritory) . Hood County has a hospital district but in case you somehow missed this,the residents pay zero taxes. Why? Because Hood County's hospital district has a lease arrangement with CHS, a private, for profit hospital (Lake Granbury Medical Center). But Somervell County has chosen to spend taxpayer money, most recently with remodeling the Pecan Family Medical Clinic, in Hood County, for the benefit of Pecan Plantation, which is a private gated community that has no public purpose; Somervell County residents cannot freely come and go to the clinic without having to get permission and pass through a gate. I have always thought that if Somervell County board members wanted to be entirely sure that this is legal, it would be a free and simple matter to ask the Texas Attorney General for an opinion. Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong at all with transparently running on a platform of wanting the same deal that Hood County has (or whatever might lessen the burden of taxes on this community) and the part that is MISSING from Gentling's sneers is that the zero tax idea does not exist in a vacuum but rather with other ideas such as a 3rd party running the hospital (Remember that Glen Rose Medical Center itself, before taking on the 14.4 million bond payment, etc, was a private hospital, so it's not a weird situation). It's of interest that at the appeals court hearing, which Gentling did not attend and thus would have no knowledge of, one of the justices agreed with the idea of a 3rd party running the hospital and specifically asked if there were other hospital districts that paid no tax. Paul clearly set out his agenda on the internet two years ago and continues to clearly say what he stands for. In fact, Ron Hankins rant about how Paul deserved to be sued brings out the fact that people KNEW what he was running on-go watch the video! (And don't forget Paul put his platform in the Glen Rose Reporter two years ago as well as this week's edition) .
For Gentling to try to impugn Paul's character as if he tried to keep his agenda a secret or is lying is pure SMEAR and it's rather too bad that Gentling can't seem, even though she attended at least one of the district court meetings, to understand that one can want to keep a hospital open but under fiscally responsible circumstances that doesn't require a hospital be the Taj Mahal. Perhaps she is angry now with Ray Reynolds, who last night said that GRMC is considering paring down services to emergency.
I also want to call out how absurd Gentling is to *victim blame*. So... and I'm shaking my head here because this is so ridiculous. She says "And let's not forget that Paul Harper expected to have his attorney fees paid by the Director & Officer insurance policy of the organization that he was trying to eliminate with the $25,000 deductible to be paid by us, the taxpayers. Does Paul Harper really care about how your taxes are spent?". First, again, her conclusion which she makes up out of her head is faulty. Just because she can't get it that Paul wants to keep the hospital open but under a different fiscal model, WHICH HE IS ENTITLED TO ESPOUSE, doesn't mean others can't see the erroneous conclusion she bases her next rant on.
So let's look at this. Someone runs for office with a clear agenda that anyone can read, that was in the paper, and that person gets elected. A citizen of the county(Darrell Best) doesn't like it that Harper was elected and decides to put in a petition to remove him from office. What the appeals court said was that that's where this whole mess SHOULD HAVE STOPPED right there because the answer to whether one likes an elected official's positions is a political one (the district judge said that too). Instead, Paul was sued, and omigosh, he didn't just quit but, as a duly elected official (he got more votes than Ron Hankins) he was ENTITLED to represent the people who voted for him. In other words, he didn't ask for this lawsuit, but it's entirely appropriate that he asked for the insurance to cover him. Ron Hankins was one of the main ones to deny the $25,000 deductible and against indemnifying him, again, on the basis that Shame On Paul Harper for actually having an agenda, getting voted in for it, and then trying to get it done. Hankins said further that anyone that does that should expect to be sued (tell me that is not a chiling intimidation factor for anyone considering running for office in the future if that person isn't a Yes Man or Woman) . Okay. Right. It's not as if there isn't, on any elected board, a number of people who have to agree in a majority to pass anything but guess what, even if only one person has a differing opinion, that one person is ENTITLED to it and especially where people were NOT misled in the first place about his positions. So, saying that if a person gets frivolously sued on a baloney action, and that person, as an elected official, wants to have insurance that the hospital district supplies FOR THAT PURPOSE, there is zip wrong with it except, again, Hankins believed that it was just fine and dandy that elected people get sued for their opinions. And Gentling seems to believe that the VICTIM in this circumstance (I mean, Paul didn't ask to be sued) should just lay down and be run over by a big truck for daring to run for office and WIN. Ugh.
Putting a fine point on it. If we, in America, truly believe at least on some fashion, in democracy, we believe that anyone can run for an office, and, if elected, work for the ones that wanted that one to be elected. There isn't only one opinion or point of view in this community and doesn't EVERYONE that lives here deserve to be represented, rather than having a rubber stamp board where differing opinions aren't allowed? Don't forget that the election to create a hospital district failed by large margins the first time it was tried, shortly before the county took over running the hospital, thus making it a public hospital at that point. Some at GRMC were running around, and had been for years, shouting "THE HOSPITAL WILL CLOSE, THE HOSPITAL WILL CLOSE"; the Somervell County commissioners went on the front page of the Glen Rose Reporter to clearly say that, no, if a hospital district as its own taxing entity doesn't pass, they would NOT close the hospital, because some were lying about that. Even on the second time to create a hospital district, a taxing entity, it succeeded narrowly; over 900 people a few years ago signed a petition to call for an election to dissolve the district. It is certainly not the case that every citizen unilaterally has the exact same opinion or so many people would not have been against the formation of a hospital district itself as yet another taxing entity. Why should the person who wants to run fear that simply getting elected will get him or her sued and RUIN them? Wow! Just utterly amazing that Gentling would take this position. I have to wonder if she would agree with this man who made it his business to threaten elected officials and ruin them. The good news is that the 10th court of appeals saw this case as the frivolous lawsuit it is.
Let me suggest that if you want to get Paul Harper's viewpoint on this, you should ASK him directly.
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