Editorial: Conflict resolution

Craig Editorial Board, Jan. to March 2012

  • Al Cashion, community representative
  • Jeff Pleasant, community representative
  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Bridget Manley, newspaper representative
  • Chris Nichols, community representative
  • Josh Roberts, newspaper representative

Friday’s deadline for area residents to submit letters stating interest in filling a vacancy on The Memorial Hospital board came and went with two people — both county employees — declaring their willingness to serve.

Are those county employees — budget analyst Tinneal Gerber and emergency management coordinator Tom Soos — well qualified?

Absolutely.

Are they intelligent and experienced in fields that could be valuable to the hospital’s management?

No question.

Should the commission choose one of them to serve?

Not in a million years, and a single thought given to the idea is a complete waste of time, the Editorial Board contends.

Before we proceed, let this board clearly state a couple of things.

First, Gerber and Soos, already public servants, should be commended for expressing interest in the hospital board and for their willingness to help their community in an expanded capacity.

This opinion isn’t about their abilities or intentions.

As stated above, board members believe Gerber and Soos would be tremendous assets to just about any organization or agency they served.

Next, that the county commission ended with only two candidates for the hospital board vacancy is not its’ failing, but rather one by community members. The lack of public interest is especially surprising given that TMH is perhaps the most criticized agency in the community.

People clamor at times for change regarding the hospital. Well, the community was lobbed a big, fat softball of an opportunity to be part of the change they seek, and completely whiffed when it came time to put up or shut up.

Nonetheless, are we to believe that Craig and Moffat County, with thousands of residents varying greatly in background, expertise and ideas, can only produce two candidates who could benefit the hospital?

Probably not.

Therefore, the commission isn’t entirely responsible for its limitation on candidates to consider today. Commissioners are simply playing the hand they’ve been dealt.

But, they shouldn’t be playing at all. They should fold and wait for a better draw.

Gerber and Soos answer directly to the county commission, and they’re appointment to the board managing the county-owned hospital represents at least the perception of a conflict of interest. This is counter-productive to the best interests of the public the hospital serves.

It would be hard, Editorial Board members contend, for either employee to go against directives they’re employers — the commission — handed down regarding hospital management.

The Editorial Board isn’t saying that would happen, but simply that the potential would exist for such an occurrence.

And, the hint of a conflict is enough to avoid a questionable appointment altogether.

After all, the current board vacancy was created by avoiding the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Chairman Ron Danner, whose board seat is up for grabs, resigned for that very reason.

He said there was chatter in the community about him serving on a board that was overseen by a commission that includes his wife, commissioner Audrey Danner, being problematic.

How much sense would it make to trade one conflict — real or perceived doesn’t matter — for another one?

None at all.

The Editorial Board hopes the county commission does the right thing this morning and scraps the candidacy of Gerber and Soos and goes back to the drawing board. The commission should kindly thank them for their interest, but politely decline their offer.

If the community can’t come up with candidates, the commission and hospital board should recruit people that don’t have imbedded ties already.

That wouldn’t be hard and wouldn’t have to take long.

While recruiting, the county could also extend its deadline seeking candidates, and the community — knowing what the alternative could be — should quit its constant moaning and groaning and step up with people willing to participate.

It’s not an ideal situation for anyone, the Editorial Board contends, but one that could be salvaged with clear thinking and action today.

Of course, common sense and government don’t always see eye-to-eye.

Here’s hoping today is one time they do.

Comments

CindyLou 3 years, 10 months ago

Can you please explain how there would be a conflict of interest? Just because they already report to the county commissioners in some capacity doesn't even remotely sugest that there is a conflict of interest. That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Ultimately ALL the board members report to the county commissioners as hospital board members. So if they already have accountability to the commission as board members explain how their is conflict? The editorial boards statement:

"Gerber and Soos answer directly to the county commission, and they’re appointment to the board managing the county-owned hospital represents at least the perception of a conflict of interest. This is counter-productive to the best interests of the public the hospital serves."

may be the dumbest thing I have ever read in my entire life and most certainly the dumbest thing that has ever been printed on the CDP. If the County Commissioners even comes close to considering your suggestion to postpone the appointment they would be PANDERING to the CDP and each one deserves to be replaced in the comming election and every citizen of Moffat County should work their butts off to make sure none of the three get re-elected. Tom and Tinneal would both make fine choices and the fact that they ARE able to think independently has me believing that once again the CDP is just the mouth piece of the hospital.

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CindyLou 3 years, 10 months ago

Ok I reread the Editorial and I can't help but once again comment how the Editorial boards comments lack a single ounce of logic or common sence. Why don' t you just sight the Hatch Act while you are at it I am sure that has to be just as logical as your statements here. I particularly like how you suggest that if the commission doesn't hold off appointing one of the only two applicants they somehow lack common sense. I would be willing to bet the Audrey votes with the CDP on this one for sure.

I wonder where the CDP gets their common sense as they some how seem to think they have cornered the market in this area.

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Ray Cartwright 3 years, 10 months ago

For once I would have to agree with the CDP editorial board also.

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