3 Hospital Authority appointments, 3 road abandonments @ LCC 2016-11-07

On this morning’s Work Session agenda, Lowndes County is replacing 3 of its 4 Hospital Authority board members. Of those, 2 of 3 are on the Hospital Foundation board, so how much change is this? And why does the Lowndes County Commission seem to be doing this appointment backward to the way Georgia law requires?

These appointments are especially interesting after the Valdosta City Council’s call for Hospital Authority resignations back in September. The city’s list of Authority board members is out of date, still listing

City

  • Bill Rountree (Member at Large) – Term Expires 02/01/16″

County

  • Dr. Lynn Feldman – Term Expires 08/01/17

The Lowndes County list has instead:

Name Term Expiration Appointed by
Tim Dame 2/1/21 City of Valdosta
Dr. John D. Roan 2/1/21 Lowndes County

And indeed, back in January County Manager Joe Pritchard said Dr. Lynn Feldman had resigned and the county appointed Dr. John D. Roan, selecting from a list of three candidates, which also included Dr. Steven Brian Dawson and Dr. John W. Devine. He did not say who recommended that list, nor how the candidates knew to apply, nor any qualifications or resumes for them.

South Georgia Medical Center list the same Authority members as does Lowndes County. SGMC also lists a Foundation Board:

SGMC Foundation board is a volunteer organization comprised of members of the community. Board members are donors of their time and gifts to improve the care our health system provides. We are extremely fortunate to have passionate, influential board members whose mission is to see SGMC thrive.

Board of Trustees

Mr. Ben Blanton
Mr. Joe V. “Bud” Dasher
Mr. Russell D. Henry, Esq.
Mr. James Lee Herndon
Mr. E. Cameron Hickman
Mr. Bubba Highsmith
Dr. Charles Hobby

Mrs. Evelyn Langdale
Ms. Donna Smith
Mr. Thomas D. Newbern
Mrs. Suzan Prince
Mr. Robert T. Roquemore
Mrs. Susan Swader, CPA
Mr. Jason Manley

Mr. Daryn Russell
Mr. Ben Copeland
Mr. Rob Lovein
Mrs. Suzanne P. Mathis
Ms. Brenda DeLoach
Mr. David Shepard

You can see two of the three names on there that are also on the Lowndes County appointment list for this morning: Mrs. Suzan Prince and Mr. Ben Copeland.

I’m told that the Hospital Authority submits the list of candidates for appointment and the county must appoint from that list or ask for another list, and nothing prevents the Authority from submitting the same list again. Can anyone confirm or refute this?

SGMC says The Authority is subject to the Hospital Authorities Law of the Code of Georgia. That appears to be 2010 Georgia Code, TITLE 31 – HEALTH, CHAPTER 7 – REGULATION AND CONSTRUCTION OF HOSPITALS AND OTHER HEALTH CARE FACILITIES, ARTICLE 4 – COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES. See O.C.G.A. 31-7-72(b) (2010),

  1. The governing body of the area of operation shall submit a list of three eligible persons to the board of the hospital authority;
  2. The board at its next regular meeting shall either select one of the three persons named in such list or decline to select any of the persons named in the list. If the board declines to select any of the persons named on the list, it shall so notify the governing body; and
  3. Upon receipt of notification that the board has declined to select any of the persons named in the governing body’s list, the governing body shall submit a second list of three eligible persons, no one of whom was named on the first list, to the board of the hospital authority. The board at its next regular meeting after receipt of the second list shall select one of the three persons named in the second list.

In case it’s not obvious who the “governing body” is that should prepare the list of three names, just a few sentences before, in O.C.G.A. 31-7-72 (2010),

(a) There is created in and for each county and municipal corporation of the state a public body corporate and politic to be known as the “hospital authority” of such county or city, which shall consist of a board of not less than five nor more than nine members to be appointed by the governing body of the county or municipal corporation of the area of operation for staggered terms as specified by resolution of the governing body.

See also in “Definitions”: O.C.G.A. 31-7-71 (2010):

  1. “Governing body” means the elected or duly appointed officials constituting the governing body of a city or county.

Clearly the “governing body” is the Lowndes County Commission and the Valdosta City Council for this joint Authority.

So according to the law, the county should be submitting a list of three names to the Hospital Authority. Instead in January it got a list of three names and picked one. And today it’s considering only one name.

So what’s going on here?

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY,  NOVEMBER 7, 2016, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER  8, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

  1. Call to Order
  2. Invocation
  3. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
  4. Minutes for Approval
    1. Work Session- October 24, 2016
    2. Regular Session- October 25, 2016
  5. Appointment
    1. Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County
      Appoint a member: Suzan Prince, Lawrence Tobey, III, Ben Copeland

      Documents:Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County.pdf

  6. Public Hearing
    1. Abandonment of Excess Portion of Right of Way off Payton Place
      Board’s Pleasure

      Documents:Abandonment of Excess Portion of Right of Way off Payton Place.pdf

  7. For Consideration
    1. Quit Claim Deed for Abandoned Right of Way off Payton Place
      Authorize Chairman to sign Quit Claim Deed

      Documents:Quit Claim Deed for Abandoned Right of Way off Payton Place.pdf

    2. Abandonment of Unopened Right of Way – Avenue I
      Board’s Pleasure

      Documents:Abandonment of Unopened Right of Way- Avenue I.pdf

    3. Approval of Elected Officials Using County Issued Purchasing Cards and Credit Cards
      Board’s Pleasure

      Documents:Approval of Elected Officials Using County Issued Purchasing Cards and Credit Cards.pdf

  8. Reports – County Manager
  9. Citizens Wishing to be Heard-Please State Your Name and Address
  10. Adjournment

-jsq

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