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Beacon Archive

June 2004
PDF Version

News from the Townships

Thanks from the Beaver Island Hospice

CMU Summer Field Trip Schedule

BICS to Graduate Seven

Tom Kelso 1940-2004

A Fine Mess

Strang Writers Enjoy Beaver Island

The Splendor of Crafts

On This Date

One Hundred Years Ago

Sock Hop Results

Broadway on Beaver: “An Evening with Stephen Sondheim” Premieres

Letters to the Editor: From the CCG

Letters to the Editor: BIRHC Meeting; Optometrist's Contract

Letters to the Editor: Karaoke

Sherry Burris 1956-2004

Henry Ricksgers Junior 1923-2004

BIRHC Truck Raffle

School Election June 14

Thanks to the Steinbachs: a New Fire Truck!

Wildlife Club News

Whiskey Point Light Reports Received

Baroque on Beaver

The Annual "Fashion Tea" July 8

Congradulations to Ryan Wojan


From the CCG

As an outcome of last fall's mediation between the BIRHC and the CCG, the CCG agreed to give the BIRHC board an opportunity to make positive changes without being under constant criticism. Criticism has been held and some improvement has been made. However, there continues to be areas of concern that warrant comment.

1) After retaining a $160,000 consultant as a transition manager, the board redirected her to develop billing procedures. At the end of her contract, the board decided to outsource billing. That decision should have been made early on. The board has now extended her employment. The extra funds could have been spent on other needed equipment or services.

2) Another responsibility of the consultant was to obtain grants. There have been none. A donation of $25,000 was obtained from the Chippewa and Ottawa Band of Native Americans, and $15,000 of State funds. Neither required a grant application, but were obtained by requesting them. Any board member could have done this. Both the school and the EMS received similar contributions without having to hire a high priced consultant.

3) After putting the Island's dentist through a year of contract negotiations, a new optometrist was retained without board approval; the board didn't even have knowledge of it happening. This raises two issues. One, the question of fair and equitable treatment of the dentist. Two, continued violation of the Michigan Open Meetings Act and the public's trust. It should be noted that when challenged on this issue, the acting chair of May's board meeting declared a special meeting would be called to rectify this prior to the next visit of the optometrist.

4) There is a financial concern for the Health Center's future; large personal donations will be critical for continued operation. The board may have to mortgage the new building, which could place it at high risk. The financial reports given out at the monthly meeting are difficult to understand. Some board members find the reports confusing and conflicting. One board member recommended that some financial reports be generated quarterly. Hopefully the board has decided no on this matter. A board can not make good timely decisions from reports they do not understand and with financial data that is three to four months old.

5) The board recommended no longer holding open monthly meetings but instead going to every other month to allow it to accomplish more between meetings. This would further breakdown communication and direct involvement with a concerned public. In tough times, the board needs to become more transparent and not conduct its business out of view. This is the time to be more proactive as a board and interactive with the public, which it will depend on for its future financing.
We hope the board will learn from its mistakes in order to improve its future conduct. Over 30% of the BIRHC budget comes from local tax dollars. The public expects and deserves better in return for its support. The CCG welcomes board response; however, time and energy would be better spent by the board reevaluating some of the things that continue to minimize public concern and jeopardize the future of OUR Health Center.

– Kirk D. McBride, Chair, CCG

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