Most on council won't be reelected
Tuesday night (Aug. 12) I witnessed a low point in Hartselle's governing body. I couldn't believe that this mayor and council could so openly stack the deck to oust Mr. Ferrell Vest from his position as City Administrator. Having him in his position is one of the few good things that happened during the administration. This happened before a packed room full of supporters of Mr. Vest, who were not allowed to speak until after a vote was taken to relieve Mr. Vest of his position with the city.
It is my understanding that Mr. Vest has done an excellent job in his management capacity in fostering a spirit of cooperation and team building with other city departments, including the Hartselle Chamber of Commerce, the Utilities Department, the Beautification Board, the Hartselle Development Board, etc. Many of the representatives of these different groups stood and addressed the council on behalf of Mr. Vest.
They "thumbed their nose," so to speak, at those future voters and supporters in the next election. Not very smart.
I feel I must apologize to the citizens of Hartselle for supporting and donating to the candidacy of most of those making up our governing body. It won't happen again. With the exception of a couple, I was totally and completely disappointed in their action in this dismissal as well as many other actions they have taken during their term.
I anxiously await the next election. Because of Tuesday night's debacle, two men will be reelected. Four will not.
Equity needed for rural hospitals
I write to express my full support for Medicare reform and prescription drug legislation that is being considered by Congress. This bill will provide a valuable benefit to our senior citizens as well as creating more choices through private insurance plans for Medicare beneficiaries to choose from.
As Congress moves forward with such legislation, it is critical that a final Medicare bill include a Senate provision seeking full equalization of Medicare disproportionate share hospital – or DSH – payments.
Under the Medicare program, large urban hospitals receive greater Medicare payments under a more generous DSH payment formula than rural hospitals. As a result, Medicare payment to rural hospitals over the years have not kept pace with their counterparts.
In fact, the non-partisan Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which reviews Medicare payment policies and makes recommendations to Congress, has confirmed in various reports to Congress that rural hospital Medicare inpatient and overall Medicare margins are approximately 7 percent less than urban hospitals.
Full DSH equity now will go a long way toward alleviating this inequity and insure that rural hospitals continue to offer quality health care services.
I hope that Congress passes a Medicare bill soon that includes full Medicare DSH equity for rural hospitals. It is time for rural hospitals payment equity now.
David R. Jones
Chief Executive Officer
Hartselle Medical Center
Council should charge admission
I read with amusement the articles in the Enquirer about the Hartselle City Council meetings. Some thought should be given to having the meetings at the Civic Center and charging admission. It has the potential to be a money maker for the city.
I would like to address the topic of the soccer field in our area. I understand that recreation is a part of school activities be it practice or the actual games. One of the "nuisances" of this topic is the increased flow of traffic in the area and being "disrespectful" of peoples property that live in the neighborhood. We have seen people driving way to fast on these small back streets. The kids have been scaling fences onto private property to get balls kicked there. One final comment; the soccer field is 'not a place' for band practice at ten in the evening! It all comes down to being considerate of others!