Volume 104, Number 23 - June 7, 2007
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Eiden gives up RHCB seat
The Rural Health Care Board, having just filled Jud Faler’s empty seat with Kenneth Shriver, is now faced with another resignation. Garry Eiden, from Marbleton, resigned effective June 5, noting in a letter to the newspapers, “I have never served on a board that has been such a mess.”
Eiden, probably referring to the Health Care Coalition (HCC), said he has “never seen a group like the coalition group that has so many problems with the board’s decisions.” The coalition is, according to his letter, acting like “crybabies.”
“It’s very interesting to me that a public representative would perceive input from the public as being crybabies,” Cindy Van from the HCC responded.
“If he’s no longer interested in serving then it’s very appropriate he resigned,” she added, citing Eiden’s attendance at meetings. According to the Health Care Coalition, Eiden was absent from a third of the regular meetings held since the last election. After the last HCC meeting, held the day after Shriver’s appointment, Van sent out the minutes to all of the board members. As Shriver had attended, and would therefore receive the minutes, she said she wanted all of the board to have the same point of view of the HCC, and not give Shriver a different reference point.
Those minutes chronicled the HCC’s opinion of Eiden’s attendance. The coalition wanted to keep the lines of communication open, she noted.
“The coalition felt his lack of participation is disrespectful to the public who elected him and also to his fellow board members,” explained Van.
In his letter, Eiden noted he did not understand the HCC’s discontent with board decisions, as the board had been elected by the voters to do “what they think is right.” At a meeting several months ago, when a vast group of concerned citizens voiced their opinions in support of retaining Dr. Judy Boyle, Eiden commented that almost 65 people of the 65 who attended “were concerned with Dr. Boyle.”
However the opinion was voiced by almost 100 percent of the attendees, 65 people is only “a small percentage of the total number of voters,” he added.
“Garry will be missed,” stated Rural Health Care District director Randy Johnson, who was “absolutely certain” the same process for replacing Faler will be used to fill Eiden’s seat.
Faler resigned at the beginning of May due to health reasons. His seat was advertised; candidates were reviewed by the board, and appointed during an executive session. The board has 30 days to fill an empty seat.
Eiden was absent from that meeting, when Shriver was appointed to the board. In his letter, Eiden recommended Dick Kalber of Marbleton as his replacement.
Kalber had applied for Faler’s open seat, but Shriver was the only candidate that Bill Budd, Walt Bousman, and Dave Racich could agree on, said Johnson. Because there were only three board members at that special meeting, the vote had to be unanimous as the appointee had to be decided by a majority of the sitting board, regardless of how many were absent.
In light of Eiden’s attendance, Van pointed out that the Coalition is also concerned that of the past nine regular meetings held, six were in Marbleton/Big Piney and three were in Pinedale. Meetings are supposed to be evenly split between the north and south municipalities. The north versus south county vote may be felt when Eiden’s seat is filled, as Bill Budd is now the sole board member in south county.
Van was unsure if anyone from the coalition would be interested in applying for the board position.
“It’s appropriate for the board to appoint somebody who will be committed to health care in the county and hopefully who will listen to what the public wants for their health care. That can only be positive for the county,” she said.
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