Friday, September 28, 2007

The "Letter" of the Law

Anonymous addresses the letter...

I am having a hard time with the issue of the mayor putting her "letter" on Greenville letterhead. I believe by doing that she is saying that the "CITY" is behind her in what she is writing. I don't think she should be able to do that. Who is this "person" that she is 'glamorizing"? Have you read about the murder in the paper?? HORRIFIC! If my best friend did something like that I would not write a recommendation for her/him...does anyone else have a problem with this??

In addition, I have a problem with the woman being pissed about not being able to play in the men's tournament at the country club. Someone told me it was the topic of conversation on super-talk MS yesterday....that they were somewhat bashing GGCC for not letting her play. That is what I heard....however, I did not hear the program.

That woman should get over it....just understand that is it a MEN'S tournament...if someone wants to call it be it...would she sign up to play in a children's tournament??? Would that not be considered discrimination??? Get real...get over it. I do not think she should be allowed to play. I was really pissed that people are mad that the "woman" could not play. Hell, if that is the case, then don't have tournaments and there will not exist this type of thing. It seems no matter what the case is, there is ALWAYS someone wanting to make a GRAND ordeal out of something so stupid.

Okay, we have all had time to digest the letter that Mayor Hudson wrote on behalf of her family friend. Many such letters are written every day on behalf of both the innocent and the guilty. Do they sway the opinions of our courts in the dispensation of justice? I rather doubt it.

So, why the uproar? Because Mayor Hudson chose to write the letter on official city government stationery. Illegal? No, just a very poor decision. The mayor is an intelligent woman, as well as an attorney, who should have clearly foreseen the negative ramifications of this "innocent" act.

If she had not intended her position as mayor to be in some way influential in this case, she would have simply used personal stationery or plain paper. I find it hard to believe that our mayor is so naive as to not understand the inherent "conflicts of interest" that this letter represents.

Impeach Hudson? No, but at the end of the day, this act simply adds to her list of incredibly bad judgement calls and arrogant posturing. I guess we will see how it plays at the polls on Monday.

Now, as to the men's golf tournament at GGCC. This is just further evidence that our Mayor is nobody's fool. Do we really believe that Mayor Hudson truly wants to play in this tournament? Is it a valid gender bias issue or simply a ploy to keep her name in the headlines as an election approaches? My money is on the latter.

We have to remember that most Americans don't vote for the most "qualified" candidate... they vote for the one who most closely matches their socio-economic and demographic profile. That is not to say that I believe that the election will be determined by black, female golfers. None-the-less, whenever issues of race or gender become controversial in the press, there are those who would go to the polls for the first time in their life just to "even the score".

As a once famous actress noted, "There is no such thing as bad press; it is when they stop talking about you that you are dead".


Monday, September 24, 2007

"Trench" Warfare

"Amazed" adds the following:

I love the banter surrounding this blog. It promotes thought and entertainment. I think it also promotes a healthy dose of truth....

I do not totally disagree with the "semi regular reader"...

I think that you should look in the mirror everyday. You should reflect on the prior day. You should commit to doing your best the current day. You should want to play nice with your co-workers. You should want your patients to fair well. You should want to do the job you chose. It's true that mental misery serves no positive purpose. I think the patients would definitely agree. The problem is that should everyone in the "trench" that think things are going from bad to worse and have experienced a decline in their job satisfaction were to bail... there would be a lot of echoing in the halls sure to be left empty. If this advise is supported by administration and management, y'all better find some scrubs and kiss your 8-5 jobs goodbye. For that matter, I do not think that this reflection should only be advise for those in the "trench." I think that those in administration and management should partake in this daily recommend allowance of reflection, as well. Assuming, of course, their preoccupation with self promotion will permit time to do so.

I think doctors and nurses are interested in promoting positive patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. I think they would love to sit around and talk with the patients about their visit satisfaction. The problem is that they do not have the time. That is about to get a lot worse. The ER staff is being slashed. The tech positions are now cut in half. The people the nurses relied so heavily on to run patients around to xray, to take specimens to the lab, to enter orders into the computer, to file charts, answer the phones, give those ever important pillows to the patients will be gone. This role will now also be the job of nursing. Nurses didn't already have enough to do. So "semi regular" If you have any ideas how to accomplish all of this and promote positive patient experiences, I'm sure the staff in the ER would love to hear it. You don't have to shout it, either. Despite what you seem to think. There are no "high horses" to be seen. I agree that those in the "trench" lend to the patient's perception of their care. Absolutely, positively. Should it not be obvious, then to those in administration and management that patient satisfaction may benefit from a positive work environment???? HMMMMM....

No. Instead, add it the role of the nurse... They apparently do it not have anything to do... Hardly. Milling about is not a privilege of those in the "trench." It is absolutely only for management and administration. In those roles, most spend the entire day rushing from one "important" meeting to the other, looking exhausted as they wander from 1 East to administration. Poor things. Poll that audience and see how many miss a meal or a break or go 12 hours without the luxury of a bathroom break. Ask them how many have a soda or a cup of coffee at their desk. They are exempt from the conditions suffered by those in the "trench."

I also agree with "Forest." These managers and administrators would benefit highly from a class on therapeutic communication with educated adults. Most educated adults do not respond to intimidation tactics. They do not respond to an environment where "tattle telling" is encouraged. They certainly do not respond to an environment where you may find your performance and professionalism called into question based on these "tattles" I was raised professionally in a place where people work together. They sort out their differences when they occur. Problems did not fester. They were addressed immediately. You moved on. Sometimes you agree to disagree. But because you are an educated adult, you can still work together. This is apparently unacceptable in the new er. Tell boss hog who the problems are... Are we adults or have we all landed in some crazy playground and are now giant first graders? Hasn't he heard of team building? Ye Gads!

I absolutely, positively disagree that those who are staying are doing it because they "like it." I am inclined to believe that it may be more because Cleveland and Greenwood are a little too far to drive everyday. Most of the "trench" workers have families at home and dread the thought of adding a long commute to the 12 hour shift mix. Instead, most of them come to work, hopeful that things will get a little better. Hopeful that nobody will make the work environment worse by "telling" some ridiculous story to the boss. Hopeful that people have grown up a little from the day before. Hopeful that they have looked in the mirror and made a commitment to be a little nicer to everyone. As impossible as it may seem, It is my sincere hope that they do move in that direction.

Of course "semi regular" may also be right. Those in the "trench" may love things the way they are. They may adore "chewing hay and spitting stubble." I think that it more likely that they are either hopeful for a better tomorrow, or have decided to suck it up. Of course behind door number three are those destined for promotion at DRMC. Not by virtue of their educational background. Not by their talents in the arena of team building. Not even because of the pay they'll accept. Definitely not because they have positive reviews from the "trench workers." Certainly not because they are capable of making a cocktail of the four, most likely it is because they have acquired a tolerance to and a talent in the performance of "analingus". It seems that is more of what it takes.

I have to agree with "Amazed" that if you are looking for the "fat" at DRMC... it ain't in the trenches! Most hospitals are run quite effectively with only three levels of employees: Administration, Managers and Staff. DRMC has created so many levels of management, they are in danger of running out of titles.

If they took one-third of the nurses from behind desks and put them on the floor to care for patients, they wouldn't even have a nursing shortage. Instead, they abuse the few remaining nurses who have been loyal throughout the acquisition nightmare, while paying exorbitant wages to travel nurses who couldn't care less about DRMC or its patients.

So, what have we gained from the merger of our two hospitals... fewer jobs, fewer physicians, fewer patients and fewer choices in health care.

Ray has given the exact same speech to every civic group who will listen, touting growth, development and the great things he has done for DRMC, and yet... we see nothing but a deteriorating health care system with a bleak future. When will we wake up?

While we continue to "snooze", I have a suggestion for Ray which might help him offset some of DRMC's growing fiscal woes:

In the spring of 2008, rent three buses. Load and escort all of your management "team" to your 240 acre "field of dreams" in south Greenville; give them all a "golden shovel" and LEAD them... in planting corn.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Forest Gump" has a Question...

Anonymous writer questions:

I have become a regular reader of this blog and i have to say it always offers very interesting opinions.. (because its all opinion). Well i'm about to give mine i guess. Well first off i have a few questions.

Number One Why the hell do u have to buy out your competition ( Kings Daughters) to prove you are the powerhouse. I believe that if you offer excellent service and provide great care, eventually the others will fall or at least not do enough business to make a difference.

I am under the firm belief that if The LEADER, CAPTAIN, or whatever you want to call him or her, were to treat people with respect and create an environment where people are happy and wake up everyday wanting to come to work you want have to worry about buying out the competition. The competition will either have to keep up or fall to the wayside.

It amazing how people go to school get a business degree and just think they know everything about running a business. Its not just that simple. YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME SORT OF PEOPLE SKILLS (Which many people at DRMC do not have). IF you cant get along and make your employees happy whatever it takes you will never have a truly successful business. I can take a person that has no formal education in running anything, but if they are a people person or can take the time and effort to try to find ways to make there employees happy that business will run every other business of the same type in the ground.

Well thats enough about that.. I'm SCARED REALLY SCARED. The health care situation in greenville is scary, very scary. What do you do when u have doctors that are not formally trained in the setting they are working. ( for example Emergency Medicine). Thats frightening to me. I hope and pray everyday i do not have to be one of the ones that gets some of that substandard care.

The question i want answered is why did the experienced ER doctors leave in the first place, and why any experienced travel doctor says not NO to coming to DRMC but HELL NO... Is it that bad there.. Well i think so and many others think so... Like i have said earlier, the key to beating the competition and bringing in the money, (which im sure is the goal of DRMC) is to keep peace among the ranks.

If you cant trust your leader eventually the ship will be lost at sea because all the hands rowing will give up and the ship will go anyway it wants, (probably down). That has happened at DRMC, anybody and everybody that knew the way the ship handled, knew the ins and outs and had any type of knowledge is gone, (they have jumped shipped so to speak) so what do you do.

I dont know what needs to be done at DRMC, but i would guess the people need to storm the CAPTAIN'S Quarters and throw him overboard and start fresh. Thats what they did in the old days, you become stagnant and no good to anyone they replace you. I believe start at the top and work your way down, thats what needs to happen. Plain and simple.

Well in the words of the once famous FOREST GUMP "THATS ALL I'VE GOT TO SAY ABOUT THAT"

You are right "Forest". If a hospital provides excellent service and offers great care, it should not have to worry about competition. Actually, it should welcome it as a chance to "shine" in the light of others who compromise quality for profit.

The DRMC vs. KDH battle is one that goes back many years. When KDH was purchased by Community Health Systems, the battle really got fierce because unlike DRMC, KDH was now run by group of business professionals who specialized in developing small rural hospitals.

Over the period of 6 short years, they had rejuvenated the failing KDH into a quality health care facility with millions of dollars reinvested in physical improvements, technology and new physicians. The "little" hospital now became a great threat to DRMC who was consistently losing more and more patients, revenue and employees to KDH.

So, what to do? Healthy competition had ceased to be "healthy" for DRMC, who instead of investing money into patient care, simply added more layers of management and administration. Ray simply couldn't stand by and watch his (second) empire tumble. He had to act and act quickly... and improving the quality of patient care at DRMC would take far too long. So...

Ray's Epiphany: If you can't compete fairly in an open market, eliminate the any price (to the taxpayer). So, he duped five local bankers into loaning him twice what KDH was really worth, made a backdoor offer to CHS and they bit! Who wouldn't sell anything at a 100% profit?

Fast forward to present... after hemmoraging money for two years following the acquisition and local bankers getting a bit nervous about their "investments", Ray decided to "sell to the government" i.e. get a bail out loan from HUD. Surely, with all of the government's other boondoggles and frivolity, no one would object to dumping another $40 million into a dying hospital... well, that's what Ray thought anyway.

The last chapter of DRMC's saga has yet to be written, but I foresee a publication date in the very near future. As for Ray's "silent partner" in Uncle Sam... I wouldn't bet on him being silent much longer.


Friday, September 21, 2007

"Chew the Hay and Spit the Stubble"

"Semi-Regular Reader" offers the following:

This shouldn't be construed as an Internet flame, but since the DRMC discussions definitely draw lines in the sand, I have one question.

Of what professional quality are the doctors of DRMC or can that NOT be determined?

The rankings suggest you get mixed medical care. The outward migration numbers suggest the medical staff isn't trusted by non-emergency "customers." People planning heart surgery or other major treatments aren't weighing the corporate philosophy of hospital management into their decision of where to seek treatment. They want the best doctor they can find, not a good doctor backed by decent local marketing and town word-of-mouth.

Doctors departing DRMC in large numbers isn't good UNLESS replacements can better the medical care. That's no given - and unproven under hospital management - because DRMC's paid very high salaries in recruiting only to maintain sub-par results. If customers aren't seeking DRMC treatments, even under a monopolized local healthcare system, then those in the "trench" should look in the job performance mirror as well. It's only fair and is a reasonable request.

Another note: If you get up in the morning and absolutely dread going to your job, you owe it to yourself to, at least, look for other job opportunities. Your personal health and wellness isn't worth it and the services you're providing innocent patients can only suffer given the unconscious distraction of mental misery.

If you choose to "like it" and not leave it, then chew the hay and spit the stubble. Enough workers must obviously "like it" because the debate water is barely rippling except for Forthright's interest in the issue - which is good reading and a good communication forum (but not a journalistic outlet). It's a soapbox.

By the way, I like the idea of "Boss Hog" walking the ER and asking such customer service questions if privacy law permits. The questions posted by the commentator that should be asked by "Boss Hog" to patients should be asked by the nurses and doctors too.

And if patients complain of chatting, drinking and eating at the nurses' station - most of it is likely to be work related, but I'm not buying that there isn't enough loafing going around to make such patient complaints legitimate. The "High Horse" ain't that high, staff! Remember, the front line medical staff gives patients the impression of the care they're given. Hmm, on that one.

We should continue this discussion of alleged tyrants, tinker-bells, Bosses Hog and medical care. A "ship" as large as DRMC needs many oars and many rowers. Don't look exclusively at the Captain - but keep an eye up there!

The writer asks some very relevant questions about the quality of DRMC's physicians. The care provided is not always a question of "qualifications" as it is of "motivation". Here's the problem:

Let's say that I am an employed physician at DRMC with a guaranteed salary of $750,000 a year. I get paid $750K whether I see 25 patients a day or 2. I am not greedy, so I can live very comfortably on $750K a year in Greenville, MS. What is my motivation to work 12 -14 hours a day seeing patients when I could be on the golf course every day by 2:00 p.m.? None!

Physicians are no different from anyone else. It is noble to think that they are driven by the Hippocratic oath, but they also have personal lives, families and hobbies like the rest of us. At the end of the day, money is what gets us all out of bed in the morning... if you happen to truly love what you do, well, that's just icing on the cake.

Greenville is lucky to have as many good physicians as it has, given the underhanded politics that typically drive them away. We also have some physicians that should be barred from practice because of their incompetence and unethical practice. Ray and the "horsemen" of DRMC are well aware of these "dangerous docs", but continue to turn a blind eye to maintain their power as well as the facade that "all is well at DRMC."

The writer is also correct in stating that we can't simply blame the "Captain" for the plight of this ill-fated ship. Ray has many cronies, from supervisors to board members, whose hands reach just as deep into the county coffers to maintain their status in the "club".

I also commend the writer for recognizing the intent of this blog. Yes, it is a "soap-box" and not intended to be journalistic reporting of fact. It should be fun reading and I hope it is informative, but it is still a forum for views and opinions... some can be substantiated in fact and others may be purely personal perspectives.

Awareness of public issues is a good thing and participating in a blog discussion is actually quite fun. You can express your opinions with complete anonymity and your voice will be heard. Change will only occur when public voices unite.


Monday, September 17, 2007

New "Sheriff", but Fewer Docs in Town...

"Amazed" offers the following:

Delta Regional stays a topic on the tongues of deltans. What's happening in the ER is an even hotter topic. For some, it's because of the eyesore administration claims will be the "NEW ER" in the spring. For others on the inside, it's because, internally, the new administrative supported ER has arrived like tsunami.

Let me start by reminding readers that Healthcare professionals are few and far between. Doctors and nurses that are willing to relocate (and stay) here in the delta are almost as hard to find as that beach front property that someone is always trying to sell you in Nevada.

The ER has experienced a mass exodus in doctors. 4 resigned, 4 are left. What a nightmare. Dr. Mcleod is gone. It is a tragedy. She cared about the patients. She cared about nursing. She tried very hard to make a positive change. She worked diligently to improve the skills of the non-ER doctors. She kept the patients moving to prevent backlog. She fought against budget cuts. She went to bat for nursing. Her leaving is mourned by all that worked alongside her. The nursing shortage and vacant positions have been addressed, that's true. The misguided few in charge of this process filled most of the positions by hiring nurses, not based on their capacity to provide emergent care, but because they had a valid license and a willingness to come here. A good bit of them knew not what a crash cart was when they arrived, let alone the indications for usage. Most of them were not even interviewed on site, but rather over the phone. The Human Resources department made grand promises: high pay, sign-on bonuses, flexible schedules, no weekends, etc... A lot of the new hires are new grads. No worries, they hired an education coordinator to bring everybody up to speed. A very talented ER nurse with the experience to back up the position she was hired for. A mountain of a challenge.

Then came the arrival of the new director. A grand entrance, someone endorsed by administration, especially by the new administrator of the ER. Was that the smell of winds of change approaching? Or was that fire and brimstone, I can't tell the difference anymore.

Since the arrival of this new person, Boss Hog, a new plan has been introduced. The rollout of his plan talked about improving patient satisfaction (good), encouraging continuing education (good), balancing the schedule so the same number of nurses were working everyday (good), scheduling one on one meetings with everyone to get to know each other (ok, whatever) and finally a hint to other changes in position structure are coming at a later date (what?)

A "No Tolerance" attitude is thick in the air. "Like-it-or-leave-it" is his motto.

Patient satisfaction is terrible. I agree. the number isn't good. It also may not be the absolute indicator. The posted information via Avatar shows that the score is reflective of 37 respondents. The ER sees an average of 5000 patients a month. It seems that if one person looked at the big picture, they would see that this survey process is not well received by the community and clearly not responded to. If the administration would like to know what the patients think about the care they receive, here's an idea. Pursue a survey process that will illicit a better response. The current survey is lengthy. It has questions that are phrased in a manner that prompts negativity. It uses language and grammar not readily recognized by the average respondent. That should be blatantly obvious by the dialogue posted by patients that used the comments section of the survey. It presents in an envelope that looks like junk mail from Florida. It arrives three months after you visited the ER. Maybe a survey process that is specific for emergency departments is available. Have they pursued this? I doubt it. Better yet, maybe Boss Hog should come out onto the floor and talk to the patients during their visit. Were your needs met? Do you understand everything that happened during this visit? Do you have your discharge instructions? Reinforce the importance of following up with a regular practitioner. Did any of our team members go above and beyond? Can I answer any questions for you? It's so much easier to take the number at the face value and start the condemnation...

I feel that the majority of nurses do a great job meeting the needs of the patient. No matter what the complaint. Departments that are specifically developed within hospital organizations to ensure quality improvement are not often in the ER investigating sentinel events. At the end of the patient visit, the patients issues and ailments have been investigated. They have been addressed, when valid. They have received medication appropriate for the diagnosis. They have received prescriptions and explanations. They have received referrals to primary care providers, or to specialists. If warranted, consultation for the same have been conducted during the visit. Amazingly, all of this has occurred in a very short turn around time, in comparison to other same sized facilities. The patient may not have received a pillow or warm cocoa. Those items are in short supply. They may have heard talking at the nurses station. A lot is happening out there. They may have even seen a employee with a beverage at the nurse's station. They are thirsty. They are working hard for the patients. They aren't doing it for the recognition from the hospital. It doesn't exist. They aren't doing it for administration, that's for sure. They learned a long time ago that no positive recognition comes from down those back hallways. No eating, No drinking, No talking loud, no laughing. Don't you complain about it, either. No tolerance. Straighten up, or else. Like-it-or-leave-it.

Yes, there are some folks with a bad attitude. There are some that are unpleasant to the point that everyone around them is miserable. There are some who lack the inclination to do much at all. There are some who think that "it" is not there job. There are some who wouldn't help out a fellow employee in any circumstances. There are some who call in often and for no apparent reason. They are unreliable. They are unpleasant. They are not the one you want standing next to you in a trauma. They are bad apples. I'm not one to say that it is advisable to foster an environment where the bad apples have spoiled the bushell. I would lean more towards the inclination they be plucked out, should they prove incapable of positive re-enforcement towards a more suitable disposition. Most team members agree with this ideation. They would rather work short that work with a bad apple. Boss Hog wants to rid the department of the bad apples. Great. Find them, pluck them, toss them. Do not accomplish this by encouraging a tattle tale relationship internally. They don't need a mole. They need support and encouragement. Here's a thought. Maybe boss hog should come out onto the floor. In scrubs. Ready to work alongside. He'd see the issues. He'd see the lazy. He'd see the bad apples.

Instead, he has encouraged the employees to tell him if anyone is unpleasant. They will be issued counseling memos. No need to investigate claims, counsel away. Like-it-or-leave-it. He has balanced the schedule by changing the nurse's shifts and not telling them. Be at work, or else. Like-it-or-leave-it. He has done away with the nursing educator position. No need for the new grad and the non ER nurses to have any sort of education or orientation. Like-it-or-leave-it! He has chopped ancillary staffing, making all of the tech's and unit clerks, reapply and interview for the 8 positions of the 16 or so originally available.

That's a major disruption in the functional capacity of the team. Not to mention the 8 people will lose their job. No worries. Like-it-or-leave-it. The changes are repulsive. There are 460 odd thousand nursing positions available across the country. They are located in places where people are grateful for care. This is the delta, number one in STD's, poverty, teen pregnancy, illiteracy. High on the stats lists for gang violence & frivolous law suits. I think you might be overstepping a little by "like-it-or-leave-it." You may be surprised at the number ready to leave it. How do you think patient satisfaction will be then? How balanced will the schedule be?

"Like it or leave it" has always been the mantra of Ray and his lot. He has duped the entire county into supporting his personal empire. Anyone who questions his authority is either terminated (with hush money) or put on the payroll (with even more hush money).

Not only have 4 of the ER docs fled, but the 4 that remain are not truly emergency care physicians. So, while DRMC continues to bill itself as a level II trauma center (for state funding reasons), they are little more than a "Doc-in-the-Box" when it comes to actual patient care... a little scary?

"Leadership" starts with understanding what truly motivates people to work. Even before wages, the first concern of most employees today is flexibility in the workplace. Health care professionals are scarce and as the writer notes, they can work anywhere they choose. So, the "like-it-or-leave-it" approach simply won't work in the Mississippi Delta! Any nurse who cannot find another job within 2 hours of his/her resignation... is simply not looking.

Ray and DRMC are in BIG trouble. I am sure that the new "Sheriff" is just another attempt for Ray to exhibit his rule by intimidation and remind us all that He is the boss! There are many excellent, long-time employees of DRMC who have suffered under Ray's tyrannical rule for far too long. It is time for a change!

If you wake up each day and dread going to work... there is a problem. Become active in changing things for the better and DRMC can once again become a quality health care facility AND a good place to work. This blog is dedicated to inspiring people to make positive changes for themselves and their communities.

DRMC will never improve until the employees, citizens and public officials get actively involved and demand change.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Follow the Spray-Painted Road...

"Tencent" changes the subject:

I'm going to veer away from the county story (not that it not interesting and certainly deserves public discussion) and I want to comment on something else I read in the paper tonight. Mayor Hudson's new health initiative.

Are there that many people in Greenville that need to be told to get off of their duffs and walk? I see walkers and joggers all the time in my travels around town. Who is the mayor trying to point to with this initiative? My parents and their neighbors used to walk every evening for their health. Until the crime got too bad.

Marking walking paths in the streets is just as bad as putting signs on the people saying MUG ME, MUG ME! The plan would probably work in some neighborhoods, but not all. Nope. I think the mayor is just trying to add a shiny star to her list of political brouha.

And if the mayor is going to list meals from local eateries, I'd like to see the break down of calories, fats (saturated, unsaturated, transfats), carbs, sugars, sodium, fiber, cholesterol, vitamins. There are more people in Greenville that are subject to stroke and heart failure than those worrying about having their thick thighs show up at a social. Any meal posted by the mayor should be reviewed by a dietitian for it's values.

Exercise should be a daily part of anyone's regime. But not set down by city workers spray painting streets.


I must admit that I was a bit amused by the "simplicity" of Mayor Hudson's "walking trails". If spray-painting a street makes it a walking trail, we should bill Greenville in August as a "public sauna".

I commend the mayor's efforts to stress the importance of exercise and good health, but the writer makes a valid point about crime in our city. This is the perfect time of year to be out walking, but safety is a major concern.

Okay... let's get out and enjoy the Blues this week! Like it or not, this event does bring in a lot of revenue for Greenville and has put us on the map. It is an important part of our heritage as "Deltans", because even if you don't enjoy listening to the "blues", we all know how to sing'em!


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Show Me the Money!

Exerpt from Delta Democrat Times:

A significant drop in the county's automobile tax roll assessment has many officials looking for answers. During the Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, county Tax Assessor John Greco presented members with the official September countywide tax roll. In his presentation, Greco reported a dramatic drop in the assessed value of automobiles - approximately $2.9 million - in two months.

“Obviously, there is something wrong here,” Greco told supervisors. In July, Greco submitted to the board a preliminary tax roll, by which the county set its fiscal budget. That report contained the assessments on real property, personal property, mobile home property, public utilities and automobile property. Of those properties, Greco is responsible for generating the figures for real, personal and mobile home properties, as well as county public utilities.

The tax collector's office is responsible for submitting to the assessor's office the figures pertaining to automobile property, after which Greco will compile those figures with the other assessments to create a total county assessment. A final tax roll assessment is then presented to the board in September. In July, the tax collector submitted an assessment figure of $55,531,296 for automobiles. For the September roll, the tax collector submitted an assessment figure of $52,583,174 - a difference of nearly $3 million in less than two months.

“How this happened, I just don't know,” Greco told the board. Washington County Tax Collector Patricia Lee told the Delta Democrat Times this morning that although she knew the reason behind the dramatic drop, she did not wish to comment on it further.

Since Lee took office in 2004, the county's assessed value for automobiles has dropped approximately $7.5 million from a value of $60,205,033 in 2004 to a value of $52,583,174, as of the September 2007 rolls. During the meeting Tuesday, board attorney Willie Griffin suggested that supervisors contact the Mississippi Tax Commission and ask for the agency to investigate the matter.

Surely there is no relationship between this "short-fall" and the previous indictments of four employees of the Tax Collector's office?

Let's see...we have lost $7.5 million dollars of tax revenue in the three years that Patricia Lee has been Tax Collector; Ms. Lee states that she knows the reason for the lack of funds...BUT... she does not wish to comment on it further...Duh?

Is this our idea of public accountability? We certainly wouldn't want to make Ms. Lee uncomfortable by asking her where the $7.5 million dollars went. Perhaps the state tax commission will be "less considerate" of Ms. Lee's feelings when they ask her to pony up for the missing revenue!

This is a prime example of why Greeville has become the laughing stock of the Delta. We elect incompetent, irresponsible stooges to manage the fiduciary affairs of our city, and then are simply aghast when they show their true colors.

So, now we have uncovered corruption and incompetence in our county government, health care system and public education systems! Unbelievable???

No, I believe in Greenville!


Monday, September 03, 2007

A Vote of "No Confidence"

Anonymous said...

Hopefully after all the comments about questionable practices in the Leland School District there will be some investigation. Even if the school board is too passive to act on the allegations, maybe this information will find it's way to Jackson to someone with some authority.

Too bad Leland teachers can't just have a vote of no confidence like they did at Valley and got rid of their president. School board elections will be very important in November. There are two openings and this is the chance for Leland voters to take their school district back from the Greenville administrators who don't care how much we pay in taxes.

A vote of "no confidence" in our current political system is largely symbolic. It is simply a statement by citizens that they have lost confidence in a leader's ability to govern effectively. Its purpose is more to inform than impeach; however, it can be a very powerful message to board members, like in the recent case of MVSU President.

Leaders who are irresponsible or who have lost the confidence of the public they serve are essentially "lame ducks". As such, they become a liability to both the public and those who put them in power.

Look at Alberto Gonzalez. Once he had lost the "confidence" of both republican and democratic leaders alike, his history was written. He tried to delay the inevitable, at the embarrassment of the nation, until the President himself told him it was time to go.

However little faith we have in our democratic processes, they are there to let the public be heard. In the case of Dr. Richards, Leland residents need to address their school board with these issues and demand that they be investigated by an impartial third party.

The Board will have only two options: Refuse an investigation which would make them look complicitous and a bit arrogant; or, agree to the investigation, accepting their responsibility as board members... and let the chips fall where they may.