Weatherford Democrat

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March 7, 2014

Meet before taking seat?

PCHD director asks to meet recommended board appointee before voting on approval

By CHRISTIN COYNE

The Parker County Hospital District Board of Directors recently delayed appointing a board member to represent Precinct 2 after one board member voiced concerns about the process used to select a candidate from the applicant pool.

The person recommended for appointment by a committee of board members and district personnel to fill an unexpired term formerly held by Precinct 2 representative Jim Austin, who died unexpectedly in January, did not make an appearance before the full board during discussion of appointment.

The board’s attorney stated during the Feb. 27 meeting that the board used a committee interview process to keep the candidates – being considered for a public board – from having to answer questions in a public venue.

Recent board meetings have been attended by just five directors, and the three board members – Mike Carter, Melvin Woody and board president David Barbrick – who were on the committee that interviewed the six candidates could have voted in their recommendation for appointment during the public meeting.

The board is composed of seven members elected to four-year terms and oversees nearly $11 million in annual property tax revenue. The hospital district owns Weatherford Regional Medical Center and is responsible for providing EMS services across the county, medical care at Campbell Clinic, indigent medical care assistance and administers an immunization program.

Though only one board of directors position is vacant, at-large board member Nolan Queen, 87, has not been active for almost a year. Nolan has not attended a meeting since April due to health issues, but he has not resigned.

Barbrick told the board that those whom the committee interviewed were each fantastic.

“The resumés are just unbelievable,” Barbrick said. “We interviewed Tommy Wright, Earl King, Selma Johnson, Russ Authier, Marie Welsh and Gayle Hall. It was a pretty tough decision. We all talked about it a little bit. I think the committee would like to recommend Marie Welsh for that position.”

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