McBroom on Pinecrest record

I have tried several times to discuss the Pinecrest Medical Care Facility in Powers with Gerald McCole, yet he continues to misrepresent many of the facts and motivations surrounding the legislation I introduced at the behest of all three counties, Pinecrest, and with explicit support from the governor. He has accused me of being a dupe in previous letters. Now Mr. McCole’s last letter (“Counties failing at Pinecrest,” June 12) says I’ll need to answer for it, so I will, although it is not the first time for him. Mr. McCole has presented me with his speculations on events and individual motivations, and when facts showed that speculation wrong he simply adapted to still reach his preferred narrative.

The simple truth is all other county medical facilities in the state are controlled by their county health boards, which are made up of two county-appointed members and one appointed by the governor. This puts the locals in the majority position. Pinecrest is the only multi-county medical facility under this law and was under the jurisdiction of all three counties’ health boards, making a board of nine. This allowed for one county’s members and the two gubernatorial appointments from the other counties to dictate, and potentially levy financial risk, to the other two counties without their representation.

My bill simply said the counties, not the governor, get to appoint their third member to the Pinecrest board. This means it would take representation from at least two counties to make a majority vote and a county can replace members they feel are not representing that county’s will. This was the simple and reasonable motivation of all involved.

To be clear, I support Pinecrest and think it is an outstanding asset to our community. I have had family stay there and receive excellent care and know many of the great employees. I do not believe that a sale is a good idea but I also know that the county board members are balancing many concerns and difficult problems for our community. So if they get a bid and want to seriously consider it, I’ll get involved like any other responsible citizen and ask for the facts they are seeing so I can understand the situation fully. I’ll talk to my commission member and ask for his perspective.

Until then, I know that the bill I sponsored is thankfully keeping one county from trumping the other two. Not only was I properly serving my district by introducing this bill, but its passage is preventing the very thing Mr. McCole fears.