2013
12.16

This week Hutcheson leaders are expected to adopt a new plan to cut costs at the struggling hospital. Specifics of the new plan aren’t known since HMC’s FIVE boards meet behind closed doors.

Hutcheson critics rightly point to multiple boards for ongoing problems. Defenders of the boards and hospital leaders blame current financial struggles on a plan from 1995.

Hutcheson Medical Exterior

Details of this article go far to explain the dysfunction at HMC: Five different overlapping redundant boards, with members appointed by either the county governments or members of the other boards. The boards meet in secret, which is unethical if not outright illegal, and they don’t even follow their own rules about who can serve on the various committees.

Hutcheson’s three county owners are ultimately responsible for this mess because they structured the hospital to run this way and selected the people in charge, but there are enough layers of boards and committees that each county government can point to them and defer blame.

Senator Mullis and Rep. Deffenbaugh (and whoever wins House District 2 vote) need to legislate two or three of those boards out of existence.. Streamline it, make the governance more transparent and simple. Take away their ability to hide their actions or blame them on others, and then it becomes clear who the problems are.   Tiny Facebook

Now confirmed: Walker Transit fees will double in January, from $4 per round trip to $8. New Transit Director Larry Brooks says the county had to raise rates to cover fuel costs, because ridership is up since Lookout Mountain Community Services stopped running busses.

Walker Transit With Client

Brooks says anyone with a medical problem can use Angel Medical, which charges $40 for the same trip, and then bill it to Medicare.

    “‘The reason Lookout Mountain Community Services pulled out is because they were losing money, and that’s the same reason Walker County was looking at it,’ Brooks said, referencing Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell’s decision earlier this year to continue the service after she considered dropping it. ‘It’s not just Walker County. Other agencies [are struggling].’”

Back in July when LU said Bebe was killing the bus service, she claimed to have no intention or thought of shutting it down. Now she was “considering” dropping it.. (At the time she also said raising rates wasn’t an option.) The woman had every intention of killing this all along, and still would shut the busses down if she could get away with it. This fare increase is a step closer to that, cutting back usage in order to justify closing it down later on. She might as well just spit in the face of older and handicapped people who use Transit.

Hope everyone who goes out to the Mountain Cove Farms New Years party to enjoy “heavy horderves” and champagne thinks about old people sitting at home trying to decide if they want to pay their electric bill or ride the bus to Bi-Lo.   Tiny Facebook

The reason Walker County has to raise transit rates was opened to the public last weekend:

Mountain Cove Farms Christmas

A dozen, or possibly two dozen, people showed up for SPLOSTmas Christmas At the Cove on Saturday and Sunday. The craft/gift festival hosted at county-owned Mountain Cove Farms was promoted as an opportunity for the county, and vendors, to make money. So far no financial numbers have been released; if the Civil War Reenactment held there in September is any indicator, they never will be.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

A month after Fred Youngblood shot and killed teen robber Dalton Mcconathy in his Catoosa County yard, District Attorney Buzz Franklin still can’t say if Youngblood will face charges.   Tiny Facebook

Friday Kids’ Station Pre-K and after school care in Wood Station shut down for reasons yet to be explained. The closure leaves many Walker and Catoosa parents scrambling to find replacement childcare on short notice.

Now WEETEach, provider of after school care at Gilbert, Naomi, and North LaFayette, will waive all registration fees for new students who were enrolled at Kids’ Station.

Doesn’t help much if your child was in Pre-K at Kids’ Station but it’s a solution for elementary age kids.   Tiny Facebook

LaFayette Christmas Parade

More on Thursday night’s LaFayette Christmas Parade.   Tiny Facebook

The FBI and a federal grand jury have subpoenaed at least five people from the state ethics committee, which recently was accused of mishandling an investigation into Gov. Deal’s 2010 election campaign.

Deal’s people say this has absolutely nothing to do with him, and hope their secrets stay buried until after next fall’s governor vote.   Tiny Facebook

Summerville will soon get a new Family Dollar store.

The ancient LaFayette store, in contrast, got some new paint.   Tiny Facebook

GA State Senator Mike Dugan of Carrollton has pre-filed a bill allowing schools to teach kids holiday traditions and celebrate Christmas, as long as other winter holidays like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and (presumably) Festivus are also discussed and taught about.   Tiny Facebook

Regardless of what winter holidays you celebrate and shop for, don’t forget about LU.

What does the Underground want for Christmas? Just to have you shop at Amazon through this link so LU gets a percentage of what you spend on everyone else.

Retirees, poorer people, and parents of young children are most likely to say libraries are valuable, but 54% of Americans have used a public library in the last year and a majority of citizens say libraries are an important part of their lives and communities.

As a citizen of LaFayette (or a resident of Walker County), how important is the library to you and your family? Have local leaders made libraries high enough of a priority?   Tiny Facebook

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  1. Time for some radical surgery at Th’ Hutch. They have kicked the can about as far down the road as it will go and now the powers that be will have to make bad choices-As opposed to hard choices ,which could have saved a few of the jobs that will certainly be lost.Catoosa county has essentially cut the hospital off and Walker can’t afford to go it alone and Dade…Well, Dade never has put a lot in the kitty anyway. (They’re pretty smart,if you ask me).

    Hutcheson is a blast furnace for taxpayer money that no amount of subsidy can quench.It would be far better to mail the keys to the place back to Regions Bank (the defacto owner with a first mortgage) than to keep pouring money into a hopeless cause.Make no mistake-any taxpayer bailout of Hutcheson is really a bailout of Regions. I say let Regions shareholders take a haircut here instead of putting more tax money at risk. Back when things looked rosy,I don’t remember Hutcheson paying taxes or contributing to the cost of roads,bridges or schools.They paid the people at the top of the food chain like kings and when the ship started to sink,those people disappeared.

    No more bailouts. Time to start running these things in a responsible way.