Cypress withdraws contract

by C.F. David

Hospital Trustee John Smith began the Monday night Trustees meeting by telling the board and the crowd who had gathered once again to observe the meeting that the Federal and state taxes had been paid.

Smith continued that the employee's dependant insurance and workman's comp would be paid on Wednesday, June 30, thus meeting the criteria for keeping the facility compliant.

Employee Marlene Clifton asked Smith about the hospital's payroll due on July 7; Smith answered that as far as he could see, the payroll would be on time.

Trustee Richard Hitchings then told the board and audience that Cypress health System had withdrawn their contract with the hospital due to the lack of “...public and county support.”

Trustee Dwilene Holbert asked Hitchings what the status would be on the thirty-plus-thousand-dollar debt owed to the consulting firm. Hitchings and Trustee John Smith reassured Holbert that the debt had been erased as promised earlier by Cypress.

“A written notice will come by mail,” Smith added.

Assistant District Attorney Stan Manske assured Holbert and the board that the contract could be dissolved with a thirty-day written notice, from either party.

Since Trustee Linda Burns had not been at a previous meeting where a motion was tabled about CEO Rod Burrus' contract the trustees entered executive session.

Upon returning to open session, Holbert made a motion to consider hiring Burrus with a 12-month contract; the motion died for lack of a second.

The board, later in the meeting returned to the question of Burrus' contract in an effort to answer hospital employee's questions as to why, the board refuses to hire Burrus.

Chairman Alan Shields stood and told the questioning employees that by leaving, Burrus had abandoned them.

He told me I had to sign his contract and remove these two men from the board,” Shields said pointing at Hitchings and Smith. “I can't support a man like that,” Shields added.

A female employee took the microphone and told the group that having been an ardent Burrus supporter, she had changed her mind when he left.

“I lost all credibility for him,” she said.

Trustee Linda Burns took the microphone. “I've been on vacation. I thought when I got back here, we'd have a CEO. I get a paycheck at my job; if i get mad, I can't walk out,” Burns said.

She pointed at Smith and Hitchings, “I don't govern who's on the board. he told me he had three demands, the contract, Cypress gone and these men off the board. i asked him if they were negotiable, he said ‘No.' I'm worried about that flexibility thing,” Burns said.

Manske suggested that the trustees test Burrus' flexibility.

“What I've suggesting is that you redraft his contract; and then I'd challange you three to withdraw your resignations and make that part of it, a new contract and the same board.,” Manske said.

Observer Craig Aycock took the mike, and reminded the employees present that if they had walked away from their jobs they'd be terminated. “Why should the one in charge, have priviliges,” he asked.

Clifton took the floor again and told the board that the revolving door on the CEO's office had made the hospital unstable. “We're on our third CFO,” she pointed out. “We have got to have some consistancy in this facility,” she said.

I talked to a lady that can be here tomorrow,”Shields said.

Shields continued that a woman named Patsy Shields (no relation) could be here on Wednesday to talk to the board.

Clifton asked why the name was familair, Shields pointed out that she [Ms. Shields] had worked here for Castle Rock. He then pointed out that she no longer works for Castle Rock and hadn't for years.

“Oh...I'm not sure I could work with someone from Castle Rock,”Holbert said.

“She's not with Castle Rock,” Shields said.

“I know, but...” Holbert said

Clifton, added that she now remembered Ms. Shields and said she was “...easy to work with; was good with billing and was knowledgable about hospital operations.”

another employee spoke up as to how “fast” the visit would be.

“I know it's fast,” Trustee Shields admitted. “But everyone said they wanted a leader in that office.

The board then decided that since three members could meet with Ms. Shields at 8 a.m on Friday morning, Trustee Shields could call and ask for a meeting.

The board adjorned.

Boise City News
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