From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 3 - April 17, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Burnett disputes minutes

by Cat Urbigkit

Dr. David Burnett of the Marbleton/Big Piney Clinic was notably absent from Monday night's Sublette County Rural Health Care District Board meeting in Pinedale.

In an interview Tuesday, Burnett said the reason for his absence is his dissatisfaction with the board's willingness to address the issue of the accuracy and editorializing in the board meeting minutes.

For a case in point, Burnett pointed to the minutes of the Jan. 21 special meting to discuss physician recruitment and retention, which summarize the session with "While Dr. Boyle tried to focus on her issue at hand, she was overshadowed by Dr. Burnett's promotion for retroactive parity."

The minutes don't jibe with the Examiner's reporting of that session and Burnett said in an interview Tuesday: "That needs to be corrected. That's not an accurate statement."

The minutes of the board's Jan. 13 meeting provide a second example, Burnett said, with its description of Burnett's hesitancy to attend a special meeting for his contract extension, and statement, "Dr. Burnett finally agreed to the special meeting."

"That's painting a picture that I'm trying to be obstinate when that simply wasn't the case," Burnett said, noting what Burnett had actually said at the meeting was that a special meeting was not required for his contract extension, but contract addendums were another matter.

While RHCD clerk Juana McGinnis drafts the meeting minutes, it is the board that votes to accept or amend the minutes to accurately reflect what occurred at the meeting.

Burnett said he told several board members last month that until the issue is resolved, he won't be making public statements in board meetings, so there is little point in his attending board meetings.

"My point is, they're opinionating and not accurately reporting in their minutes," Burnett said. "I'm not going to continue to have my words and intent summarized without the chance for review for accuracy."

Burnett said he wants two things from the board: an amendment to the two meeting minutes at issue, and for the board to review and change its policy to allow the clinic contracting physicians and the emergency medical technician supervisors to have the opportunity to review the meeting minutes before the board finalizes them.

Contacted Tuesday evening, board chairman Walt Bousman expressed surprise that Burnett had resolved to be absent from the meetings because of the issue with the minutes. Bousman said when Burnett expressed concern about the minutes, the board spoke with McGinnis about how the board wanted the minutes to be written.

"I believe the board has addressed the issue," Bousman said. "We've had a chat with Juana about it. As far as I'm concerned, the situation has been addressed."

Bousman said he would certainly entertain a motion from a board member about amending the minutes of the meetings that Burnett finds offensive.

Bousman said the board will make it a point at its next regular meeting to address Burnett's concerns, including discussing allowing the physicians and EMT supervisors review of the minutes before the board votes to approve them.

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