At the first meeting I was shocked when I was handed the agenda and it announced that this was MEETING TWO! I thought I might have missed something. The truth is many members of the “community” meeting were not invited to the first meeting. We missed a great deal.
County Prosecutor, Dwight Scroggins also noted the first meeting was a problem with him, and listed several items that were simply announced to the members that were uninvited to the first meeting. In the list were such things as timeline and events for the interim time between now and when Heartland quits operating the ambulance service. The items he mentioned included the reasons why we can’t go for a nationwide RFP. (request for proposal) The reason given by ambulance employees was because the quality of service would somehow be diminished automatically. This timeline also culminated into a new tax to be voted on in April 2014, and we started talking about the necessary talking points to get the tax passed.
Indeed, quite a great deal of items were decided in the first meeting. The people invited to the first meeting were all Heartland Hospital employees, ambulance employees, and REMSA. (the present ambulance board) It was evident to me that they were trying to insure that nothing was to change except a new tax would go to pay for future expected losses like the claimed loss of $1.7 million dollars in last years ambulance operation by Heartland Health. Several members, including myself, weren’t going for it and started all over.
That loss was illustrated in a slide show presentation as proof. There were five categories of financial reporting such as, depreciation that suspiciously added up to the same $1.7 million that was claimed to be lost. These five categories were simply lumped together as one expense. After three meetings and two request these have not been broken out as requested by several members. Pat Grove also asked that we look at the profit and loss statements for the last five years to assure this is an ongoing loss and not a one-time thing. That information has yet to be brought to the committee.
If you feel like this is a stacked deck you’re not alone. The second meeting was held at Heartland Hospital but the Heartland-Paid, leader of the committee quickly suggested we move to another location to hide the appearance that this is a Heartland controlled committee. Everyone agreed. We now meet at Meierhoffer’s Funeral Home, in the community room, usually on Thursdays and usually at 3:30 pm, so far the public is free to come and observe the meeting. There will probably be no public comment though.
Be sure and listen Sunday morning at 9:30 am to KFEQ 680 AM to here more insights to this meeting and Heartland Hospital on the Cross Reference. If you miss it, it will be on a podcast at elliscross.wix.com/profile just click on the videos and other works button on the main page to hear all of the podcasts as they become available.
I’ll let you know how things develop !