OOOO!! Somervell County Hospital District DOES NOT WANT the public to know

Ron Hankins at it again

OOOO!! Somervell County Hospital District DOES NOT WANT the public to know

15 November 2016 at 7:32:51 PM

Your tax dollars hard at work where the current Somervell County Hospital District board wants to narrow down how much the public can inspect public records. Already knew previously that it chapped Ron Hankins hide to have anyone ask to see what should be readily available to ask about, he prefers to keep information a secret. And he apparently has the support of Dwayne Griffin. 

What's kind of hilarious is that Ron Hankins, belligerent sort he is, is also angry that there is anyone (and I believe he is referring to me) that regularly asks ALL government agencies for various records. He views it as *abusive*. Right. Poor angry Ron Hankins. That's his agenda.  It's interesting that he apparently considers himself as a sort of Boss Hogg over ALL government, not just Somervell County Hospital District-I don't remember voting him in as Somervell County King. Did even one person on the board  ASK what he meant by *abusive*? Nope. I heard about what Darrell Best did with his open records requests in the past, causing people to print out reams and reams of records in stacks. Where was Ron Hankins then? Oh, right, it seems he could have been the one Darrell Best was communicating with about open records. Seems Ron Hankins likes them just fine as long as HE is the one behind the scenes working to get them or helping a cohort. Personally, I consider his actions in going to the police to have them investigate a woman for writing a critical letter to the editor in the Glen Rose Reporter to be abusive... and I found that out by doing an open records request. I also verified through direct inspection of hospital records that Glen Rose Medical Center continued to employ (she's gone, finally, now) a woman who had embezzled money from a church and had her as the Director of HIPAA and also in charge of patient records (Same woman's daughter took at least one picture of a body bag with a dead person inside and posted it on instagram). Was ANY of this brought up publicly at hospital board meetings? No. In fact, the hospital board attempted to keep quiet that they were keeping such a woman in a prominent position. Did the Glen Rose Reporter even once report on any of this? No. Instead of Ron Hankins and the board seeking to prevent people from knowing what goes on, as is our right, they ought to be encouraging us to be participants. Since they are NOT doing so, ASK YOURSELF WHY. 

For your information, anyone can go down during business hours and inspect, in person, readily available documents. It doesn't require that someone prepare documents or copies most of the time. In fact, the Texas Open Records Act explicitly says that  a citizen cannot make a public entity create reports. When I go down to look at documents, I'm looking at documents that exist. One of those times I went down to look, in person, at the auditing report. I had had a copy given to me at one of the meetings, but LaDonna Green rudely came up after the meeting to demand it back, completely out of line. Only when a government entity does not want to let the public see a document does a copy get made, and then it's for the purpose of asking the Attorney General about either declining to show the document or asking for redactions. 

But let's say, for the sake of argument, that a citizen can have up to 36 hours within a given year to look at documents, before being charged to see them. This would, as I said, most ot the time, at least for me, not have any charge for copying before the fact. Does that take 5 minutes to reach into a file cabinet and pull out a file? 10 minutes? 2 hours? I would expect that each time, then, that anyone does an open records request, that the time required to fulfill it would be included, and therefore contestable to the Attorney General's office, in particular the department that deals with cost charges. For example, the hospital district code says that business records are available for inspection during business hours. What I generally do is, to be courteous, arrange a time to come in and inspect, rather than just show up, but I suppose the law provides that someone *could* just show up. That section of code is not even under open records requests.

But actually, no one, including Ron Hankins nor any board member that seemed to just swallow, wholesale, what Hankins said without any question, is allowed to do what he wants in the case of inspection. Perhaps someone ought to take the time to read the Texas Administrative Code regarding cost of copies of public information in the case of access to information where copies are not requested. You can read the whole thing for yourself, which clearly was not done by Hankins or the board, with particular attention here

(b) Access to information in other than standard form. In response to requests for access, for purposes of inspection only, to information that is maintained in other than standard form, a governmental body may not charge the requesting party the cost of preparing and making available such information, unless complying with the request will require programming or manipulation of data

At the very least, ANYONE that believes he or she is being treated unfairly or wrongly charged can always contest it to the Texas Attorney General.

It's really too bad that the Somervell County Hospital District board for Glen Rose Medical Center is spending its time trying to hide public documents or thwart the public from being personally aware of they decisions they are making. . Reminder that Hankins and one of the rude hospital employees actually CHALLENGED a citizen that came to a previous meeting, patting her on the head while insulting her. If you're a discerning Somervell County citizen, ask yourself why. 

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