TERM LIMITS PETITION FOR CMH BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Foundation is a private corporation established in 1987 by the very same Citrus County Hospital Board members that had operated the institution prior to the establishment of this private entity.
In 1990 the Citrus County Hospital Board leased CMH, a public hospital, to the Private Foundation run by their selected private members. They will control the hospital until 2067!
The Private Foundation has seven Directors that self-elect each other to serve on the Foundation Board. There are five Public Trustees chosen by the Governor to represent our interests, but they are outnumbered. Some Directors from the Private Foundation have served on this Board for decades. The Private Directors dictate policy and have total control, and answer to no one. There is no public oversight.
The Foundation relies on tax revenues to offset losses, and it has increased dependency on ad valorem tax revenue. Since 2004 they have received $48 million from taxpayers. This amount does not include the millions in tax revenue recently approved.
CMH does not pay any taxes to Citrus County. They are also a tax-exempt entity. Surrounding counties do not impose a "hospital tax" on its residents. All hospitals are faced with same problems as CMH. Nevertheless, most hospital are making a modest profit or breaking even. Seven Rivers Hospital, for example, does not enjoy the same benefits that CMH does. On the contrary, they pay taxes and receive no tax revenue.
Many of their satellites throughout the county are operating in the red. This does not seem to concern CMH. They can always increase their millage rate to cover these loses. The problem is that they are competing with themselves. Not only are they hurting the hospital and the taxpayers of this county, they are also creating an unethical and destructive monopoly that is crowding out healthy competition.
Why is this happening For starters, a private not-for-profit entity has been given control of a public, tax supported institution, without taxpayer oversight!
CMH spends millions on expansion, public relations, marketing firms, advisors, consultants, administrative salaries, while budgeting for operating losses and revenues from taxpayers. CMH, by their own admission, will need to undergo massive improvement/alterations/renovations in coming years estimated to cost $60 to $70 million. Who do you think will have to pay for this too
The citizens of this county are concerned about wasteful spending, the lack of accountability, transparency, the fostering of destructive competition, and rising taxation associated with this entity. Since, this is a public institution supported by tax revenue, it must answer to the taxpayers of this community. We cannot seek help from our elected Commissioners because it appears that they do not have the authority to intervene.
Therefore, concerned citizens have mobilized to try to educate, motivate and engage the community to join our efforts to bring about positive change.
WHEREAS, Concerned citizens of Citrus County believe that in order to have proper representation on these Boards, the Private Directors and the Trustees must be elected by the registered voters who reside in Citrus County.
WHEREAS, The Private Directors should reduce their numbers from seven down to four Private Foundation Directors.
WHEREAS, Term limits should be imposed on these Directors and Trustees in order to avoid cronyism, corruption, and mismanagement. We recommend a term to be no more that two, two year terms.
This petition will be forwarded to our State Representatives in Tallahassee to urge them to take legislative and/or legal action on behalf of our community. They are responsible, as a result of past concessions, and inaction for what is currently taking place, and they must now take appropriate action to change it. I urge everyone to sign this petition. We may not have a strong voice in Washington, but we still have a strong voice in Citrus County. Let us not lose it by our inaction. Please sign this petition, it will only take a few minutes, and help us bring about long overdue responsible solutions, including public oversight of CMH. Thank you, Edna Mattos