06 June 2015

[TPC] - Saturday Quick Bites - Talkin' Hospital, Budget Shortfall, et al

The Piedmont Chronicles 

~ est. 2010 ~

[State of GA]
[Newton Co.]

Saturday Quick Bites - Talkin' Hospital, Budget Shortfall, et al

~ Hospital

The whole agreement between the Hospital Authority and Piedmont is 300 pages. We can almost guarantee the usual hijinks and shenanigans. Because, Covington Way.

From the looks of it, it really doesn't change anything. You will still have the Authority, and you will still have Newton Health Systems. Yes, there's a thing about the management only staying on one more year - but who will be serving on the governing board for the next several decades?
As one Covingtonian recently said - this seems to be a situation of the foxes guarding the hen house

In terms of not having to pay out that millage for indigent care - there is no legal basis for the county paying that out. Never has been. But as we've been told, due to Piedmont's status, they couldn't take those monies even if the wanted to. So it's not like they're doing any huge favors. Again, this is as we understand it.

So...Banks Craig? Tommy's boy? Is he the one that drafted this thing? And is a Craig the attorney for the Newton County Hospital Authority? Inquiring minds want to know.

~ Newton Co. Budget Shortfall 

Anybody out there know what the budget shortfall for Newton is right now? If you said $10 million, you'd be correct. It's a bad state of affairs.

To be honest, as we understand it, you can cut that amount by 50% - dept. heads wishing for the moon and all that. Then cut another good bit off the Sheriff's request.So, let's say an approx. $2 million dollar shortfall.

Options to meet this shortfall: 

- go to in-house attorney - save approx. $400-600k.
- do away with millage for hospital - several hundred thousands.
- privatize ambulance service - several hundred thousands
- change the recycling center contract - approx. a few hundred thousand in savings.
- not another dime on Bear Creek - a fair sum.
- get the Tax Commish to collect on unpaid property taxes - several hundred thousands. 

And there are many other options.

As the Chronicles understands it, this has to be done. There can be no millage increase.Per the BOC, we have to return to the FY 2014 level - that was included and entered into the official record when they increased the millage rate two years ago.  

So many other moving parts, naturally - the landfill drama, Bear Creek, lack of morale with county employees all across the board. And my word - The Library. How bad is that at this point? A million bucks to redo the HVAC system? 

Questions, folks, so many questions. We're doing our best to get some answers. And if you start to feel down and blue, just always remember that there are a lot of folks - more than 12, who are smart, savvy, and passionate - that are really working hard on all of these issues. It always makes me feel better to think about that. And as one of my favorite C-town activists always ends his emails with, remember this - "you are not alone."

Til next time.