Lake Shore Hosp Auth: Helping the Indigent with Pens, Pencils, Pedometers & Unhealthy Food
Posted April 12, 2016 06:40 pm
Governor Scott's Board has a long history giving trinkets to the indigent. Here are Hosp Auth mementos: pens, pencils, collapsible cups, a pedometer. All paid for with LSHA public funds.
Auth Manager Berry turned away from Ms. Lemley, who was to his left.
COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Last night Governor Scott's Lake Shore Hospital Authority Board met for its monthly meeting. Floating on a sea of public money and accountable to no one, the Governor's appointees, as well as Authority Manager Jackson P. "Jack" Berry, generally ignore the public refusing to answer any questions. When resident Barbara Lemley asked about various items that were paid for by the Authority all she received was the back of Mr. Berry's head and the cold shoulder from the Chair and the other board members.
Before last night's meeting, Ms. Lemley reviewed the Authority's Operating Fund check register. She found what she thought were questionable expenses, some of which were: "Captured Memories... Shands pie, $69.95;" "Amazon office expense, pie frame, $42.24;" and a check to "LaDonna C. Boyette" with no explanation, $312.
Ms. Lemley came to the meeting with the intention of asking the Governor's Board and Manager Berry for an explanation.
Chair Loretta Chancy as Ms. Lemley addressed the Bd.
Ms. Lemley followed the Authority rules and filled out a public comment card. Chairwoman Chancy recognized her to speak. Ms. Lemley went to the lectern. She addressed the Board, Chairwoman Chancy, and Manager Berry, who as she walked to the lectern, turned away from her.
Ms. Lemley began, "On February 19, 2016, there was an amount of $756.78 for discount mugs; it's labeled 'promotional.' Ms. Chancy, what is the purpose of promotional discount mugs and how does that benefit the indigent?"
Ms. Lemley paused for an answer. No one attempted to answer. There was complete silence. Mr. Berry remained turned away from her. Chairwoman Chancy covered up her face.
Ms. Lemley continued, questioning a $42.24 item that was on the check register as Amazon frame for Shands -- pie frame and another expense to LaDonna Boyette for $312.
Ms. Lemley forgot to mention the "Captured Memories... Shands pie, $69.95" although it was on a list of items that Ms. Lemley handed your reporter before the meeting.
Board member Janet Creel asked if the money was spent for defibrillators. See LSHA Defib Photo Op "Great for Exposure" – Not Great for Safety – Recipients Leave Empty Handed.
Again, there was silence.
After a question about the sales tax, which was ignored with another long silence, Ms. Lemley asked, "Will you be answering these questions later?"
There was more silence. Manager Berry was still looking away from her. Chairwoman Chancy continued to ignore her. Ms. Lemley took her seat.
Time Marches On: What Was the Promotion?
Promoting elective plastic surgery with public funds.
Saggy Boobs, Droopy Eyes, Mommy Makeovers
Twenty minutes later, after the Governor's Board bollixed a fence bid approval by completely ignoring its own purchasing policy, Board member Ron Foreman inquired about Ms. Lemley's questioning of the "promotional mugs."
Mr. Foreman said, "Barbara raised an issue about the $756.78. And the category was promotional mugs... my question is, 'What was the promotion?'"
Manager Berry responded, "We buy those things every year when we run out."
The Healthy Choice?
Chicken Alfredo was the main course at last year's Ladies Night Out, sponsored by the Authority.
Mr. Foreman followed up, "But what's the promotion? Is it about preventative healthcare or something that would benefit the indigent? Or was it promoting something that is germane to our Authority? That's what was not discussed. What was the promotion?"
Mr. Berry replied, "OK. What we buy those things for is for health fairs – when we have health fairs as give away things. Cynthia, tell them what's in it. I don't know what all's in it."
Cynthia Watson, part of the two person Authority office staff, took over, "You have pillboxes; we had little meters for when they're out walkin'. Let's see, we had little bandages."
Sonja Meads, Mr. Berry's personal assistant added, "We have band aids."
Ms. Watson added, "And it had the logo on it."
Mr. Foreman asked, "So the promotion was based upon a health related theme?"
Manager Berry, without missing a beat, "Right."
Chairwoman Chancy was on Manager Berry's tail, "Right."
Gov. Scott appointee, Ron Foreman, defends Berry at every opportunity.
Mr. Foreman said, "When you use the word promotional it sounds like it might be something -- a very indirect theme. In reality it was about the Authority, preventive healthcare -- which I think is well within our budget. I don't think there is an issue. I think we did exactly what our budget intended for us to do."
Mr. Berry seemed relieved, "Promotional Cups is the name of the company."
Mr. Foreman explained, "The word promotional has many, many connotations. If the theme of the promotion was health related issues I think that's right down our theme. I don't have any problem with it. I think we are well within our budget and our guidelines."
If Mr. Foreman had asked to see the check register he would have discovered that the item was classified as an "office expense," not an educational expense.
Ms. Chancy followed up, "Also, when things go on sale is the time to buy them. That's always something to think about."
Board member Creel wanted to know, "Did it last a year?"
Mr. Berry answered, "They last more than a year. It's been a couple -- three years since we had to buy any."
None of the Governor's Board members questioned Mr. Berry's earlier remark made just a few moment before, "We buy those things every year when we run out."
Chairwoman Chancy closed the conservation, "You have to put it in perspective," she said.