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Munroe: A time for change

OTHER VIEWS

Ocala, FL - April 1, 2012
Published in Ocala Star-Banner on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.

Second, the editorial mentioned two candidates for appointment to the board of trustees — Randy Klein and Larry Cretul — and belittles the BCC for not appointing Cretul in June 2011. Both are respectable men but both would, without a doubt, be pro-tax, status quo trustees.

Klein spoke at a September 2011 hospital board meeting and urged the board members to take no action, thereby allowing the current lease arrangement to automatically renew on Sept. 30 for the next 12 years.

Cretul sponsored the 2008 bill that repealed and replaced the original 1965 enabling legislation for the hospital district. If there was any public discussion of this action in Marion County, I haven't found a record of it yet. It is mentioned once in the trustee minutes (Jan. 26, 2009) when one of Munroe's attorneys made reference to it — seven months after the bill was signed into law. Was the newspaper as outraged about the lack of transparency and public input in this case as it claims to be about the BCC process for appointing members to the various boards under their purview?

Third, the editorial questioned the motives of the BCC in passing a resolution in June 2011 that “forced the trustees to do their due diligence or face removal from the board if they did not ascertain all reasonable and viable options to the current operating framework of the Hospital District.” The trustees had committed to do just that in an April 2010 joint meeting with the BCC but had made no serious effort to do so. Their obvious intent was to stall and let the current lease arrangement automatically renew on Sept. 30, 2011 — which is exactly what eventually happened. The commissioners were absolutely correct in passing the resolution.

Fourth, the writer complained about a lack of transparency and opportunity for public input in the BCC's process for appointing members to the board of trustees. This is simply false. Anyone can go to the county website (www.marioncountyfl.org) and find all the openings that are available and get an application. Openings on all the boards also are advertised in local newspapers. The applications, resumes and letters of support/objection are public record and are available to anyone who requests them. Anyone wishing to speak at a BCC meeting regarding an applicant can do so. They also can address the commissioners individually in person or by telephone, mail or email about this or any other subject.

Check it out and decide for yourself. The agenda and supporting documents for the BCC meeting the editorial references still can be viewed by going to the county website, choosing Agendas and inputting the meeting date of June 21, 2011.

There are other egregious assertions (i.e. interviews, subplots) but space limitations prevent responses to them.

 


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