Opinion? Which Opinion?

Staff Writer
Glen Rose Reporter

It was no surprise at the last meeting of the Somervell County Hospital District board of directors when Eugene Brode and Paul Harper voted themselves both to be seated for two-year terms.

Instead of abstaining from the vote because of the obvious conflict of interest, or resolving their tie by honoring the district’s bylaws, they and the other two who voted with them, Chip Harrison and John Parker, demonstrated once again that their primary goal is to serve themselves, not our hospital.

These four want the citizens of our community to believe that the Attorney General’s opinion regarding the tie between Brode and Harper requires our hospital district to violate its own bylaws by seating more than a majority of seven for two-year terms.

It does not.

I'm still wondering just what part of the AG’s opinion they actually voted for since Harper’s motion only said “…to accept this opinion and make it our own.” Was it the part that says "A court could conclude ... that both serve a two-year term?”

The word “could” is an acknowledgement of additional information contained in this opinion that the legality of seating more than a majority for two-year terms is only speculation because Texas law does not address this particular situation, and it has never been challenged in the courts.

Or did they vote to accept the part in footnote No.  on Page 3: "We are not aware of any statute that would preclude the directors of the District ... from agreeing that one will serve a one-year term as determined by casting lots?"

These four board members are using their voting majority to kidnap the next election so that one of them cannot be replaced by a more qualified citizen in May. It’s critical for them to preserve this majority so they can continue their plan to dismember our hospital any chaotic way they can manage.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, all we can look forward to is another year of their flagrant abuse of power and blatant contempt for the entity they were elected to represent.

If you’ll recall, these four are the ones who ran for election to this board so they could rescue our county from what they claimed was the incompetent, fraudulent administration of our hospital. If you’re still buying that line, then you’ll believe just about anything, like a majority of seven is equal to five. And good luck explaining this to your third-grader.

Suzanne Gentling

Glen Rose