Monday, August 28, 2006

Five Questions, No Answers

Well, you have to hand it to Ray Humphreys who is quoted in Sunday's DDT as saying, "Debt is a tool commonly utilized in the business world as a means to grow a business." (Delta Regional carries a $25 million debt).

Ray goes on to say that, "DRMC's administration and Board of Trustees regard prudent management of the county's most valuable asset as a very serious responsibility, and we consider it an honor and a privilege to continue to serve the residents of the Delta region."

Okay, let's look at the first quote. It is actually true that debt (management) can be a tool to expand a business, but what have we expanded? We have the same services, the same hospitals, fewer patient beds, fewer doctors, nurses and jobs! More (paying) patients are fleeing Greenville to receive care in Jackson and Memphis. So, where's the growth?

Ray attributes $21 million of the current debt to the purchase of KDH. That would mean that DRMC amassed $4 million in debt either prior to the merger, or since. Ray seems to really believe in this "debt theory" of growth! How much more "growth" can we afford, Ray?

On to Ray's second revelation. If the county's most valuable asset is $25 million in debt due to the "prudent management" of Ray and his current administration, it is not surprising that Ray considers it an "honor and a privilege to continue to serve the residents of the Delta."

If I incurred $25 million in debt for my boss, I would indeed consider it a true honor and a privilege to still have a job. Obviously, no one checked with Hattiesburg prior to entrusting our most valuable asset to Ray. If they had, they would have seen the same pattern of unbridled waste spending that we have now inherited.

So, when will it all end? How much more "growth" will it take for the taxpayers of Washington County to realize that the one thing that we can no longer afford... is Ray Humphreys.



Anonymous said...

I am so over Ray Humphries.

Speak to me about the possible loss of our FRICKIN' FEDERAL BUILDING and the final nail in the coffin for Greenville. And tell me this: did the newspaper or did they not stir up this kettle of bull? It seems to the casual observer that the Suits in Bolivar County didn't get the big idea until the DDT handed it to them in their "newspaper."

And for that matter, I don't recall a challenge to that fact being printed in the DDT, yet Reily felt the need to address the implied fingerpointing. Hmmmmm.

Et tu, Brute?

Local Reflector said...

You can't possibly believe that Cleveland was given the idea of "stealing" the federal courthouse by reading the Delta Democrat Times.

I do believe it's conceivable that the newspaper followed on rumors - or not such rumors - and something came of it. If the DDT has influenced such a momentous change of venue for the federal courthouse, they deserve credit which cannot be measured. These things take too much time to organize. Because Greenville leaders didn't know what was at play - that's just par for the course and reflects more on Washington County's relationship with state/federal leaders than anything.

The federal courthouse is NOT the final nail in Greenville's coffin if it leaves, no more than Textron's departure was the "final" nail. I can't imagine there's a ton of economic "boom" in the federal courthouse's job creating possibilities. There is a ton of "prestige factor" that stands to relocate into Cleveland should it actually move.

When an existing casino pulls up anchor and sails away, get worried. That's would be over a million in tax revenue floating away. Monopolized gaming ownership makes this, somewhat, a possibility however unlikely it may be.

Greenville's lost its annual cultural offerings this past year. The medical market is "correcting" after a half-decade of an arms race to see which hospital "wins." So, there are other agenda items which probably stand higher in scope than the Federal Courthouse.

For debate's sake, that's my opinion. There's the disclaimer.

The paper was ahead of this issue in media reporting terms. But, the idea that Cleveland would recruit the Federal courthouse is an idea, that I'd bet a million dollars, beat any newspaper headline by at least months.

Anonymous said...

What annual cultural offerings are you talking about? And do you feel that "cultural offerings" outweigh the courthouse issue? (Not that it's a bad thing.)