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Sparks fly at city council meeting discussion of hospital board reappointment

Tuesday, June 20, 2023, 7:48 pm News Flash Archive

The Greenwood city council voted to reappoint fire chief Marcus Banks to the Greenwood Leflore Hospital board of trustees this afternoon, setting up a major conflict with the Leflore County board of supervisors, which last week voted to appoint Dr. Margie Pulley to the same slot.

Banks had served out his term, which ended June 1.

Video of the entire council meeting may be seen here: Greenwood City Council meeting of June 20, 2023

The supervisors voted to appoint Pulley to take over from Banks last week. Supervisors Sam Abraham and Anjuan Brown voted against the appointment, apparently favoring Mr. Banks for reappointment.

The problem lies in the fact that the position Banks has occupied is a "joint appointment" by both the city and the county, so there would have to be some consultation and agreement between the two bodies in order to fill the position.

Complicating things is the fact that, as far as the city is concerned, Mayor Carolyn McAdams has the sole power to nominate the person to fill the position, and the council then confirms or rejects the appointment.

Some supervisors expressed the view that there needs to be a change in leadership at the hospital. The hospital is teetering on the brink of financial collapse.

To warm things up at today's council meeting, Mr. Troy Brown, who is running for county supervisor in District 5, appeared before the council on the public agenda. He spoke about what he viewed as problems with both Pulley and Banks. He claimed that Pulley would be expected to side with the supervisors, while Banks could always be criticized for having a conflict, since the Mayor signs his check as fire chief.

Brown expressed admiration for both candidates, but seemed to be advocating for the selection of a compromise hospital trustee that both the city and county could agree upon.

Mr. Brown's remarks begin at the 10 minute mark in the above video.

When the council came around to considering the resolution to reappoint Marcus Banks to the hospital trustee post, Ward 6 member Dorothy Glenn spoke out strongly against it. She claimed that it is the supervisors' turn to select who they want for the joint position.

City attorney Don Brock corrected Ms. Glenn, explaining that this is a joint appointment, and that neither the city nor the county is allowed to fill this particular slot alone. Mutual consent is required by the law. Brock stated "we don't take turns. It's a joint appointment."

Brock stated that the supervisors made their appointment of Pulley without conferring with the city first. He reminded the council members that Mr. Banks was originally appointed with the joint agreement between the city and the county last time. Brock concluded, that "without agreement, there can be no appointment."

Glenn then stated that she:

stands with Mrs. Pulley, she's definitely going to get my vote . . . . Mrs. Pulley is a smart lady, and she will not be persuaded by nobody [sic] else.

Ms. Glenn argued that the council should not vote on the appointment at today's meeting.

Then, Glenn stated:

You know what Mayor, you choose all the people you want to choose on these boards . . . you call everybody [i.e., council members], you didn't call me, per se. That's what you do all the time.

And it's not right for you to do that.

You wrecked the hospital and everything else, that's what you do all the time.

Mayor McAdams interjected:

These people have minds of their own . . .

Glenn continued:

No they don't. You do this all the time, you call these people.

At this point, council president Ronnie Stevenson called for order, and the motion to reappoint Banks was approved, with Ms. Glenn casting the sole vote against it.

Several council members stated that it would be necessary for the city and the county to confer and come to an agreement in order to move forward on the appointment.

The council's discussion of the Banks reappointment begins at the 21 minute mark.

Earlier today, the Greenwood Leflore Hospital Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting.

According to the financial report given by Mrs. Dawne Holmes, the Hospital had an overall loss of $957,114 in May.

For the first eight months of the fiscal year, the overall loss totals $7.31 million, even after including grants and gifts from the city and county totaling just over $4 million.

Total revenue in May was $5.01 million, while costs were $5.97 million. Cost per day has trended down slightly for the past 3 months.

At the end of May, the cash and equivalents were $3.28 million. Of the cash left, $2.10 million cannot be touched legally because it is in trust to cover the malpractice insurance. That would mean that in reality, at the end of May, there was $1.18 million in cash on hand available to spend.

As of the end of May, the hospital still owes Medicare $4.89 million. The Medicare loan is being paid down at around $100,000 per month.

Mrs. Holmes provided a brief update on the FEMA grant requests. One of the requests was amended and resubmitted.

The board then went into executive session, with the public and the press excluded for 22 minutes.

Video of the hospital board's meeting may be seen here: Greenwood Leflore Hospital trustees meeting of June 20, 2023

To review our reporting on GLH and its financial woes, please see here: Index of Greenwood Leflore Hospital news articles

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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