|Published every Tuesday Phone/Fax (530) 336-6262 P. O. Box 224, Fall River Mills, CA 96028|
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”
President Abraham Lincoln
Here we go, the last week of July. Up next: back-to-school, the Inter-Mountain Fair and fall sports. I hope you all have been enjoying your summer because there is not much time left.
I sat down to write my column like I normally do each weekend and I am absolutely blank. I get a spark of an idea to write about and then I look out the window and start to daydream. My mind has been hopping from one thing to the next. All of the sudden I am realizing it is almost August. I looked at the calendar and realized there is something planned almost every weekend in the next month. Concentrating on writing Blue Skies is proving to be very hard.
I have settled on the fact that my thoughts are enough. I have been thinking about what a great weekend it has been. My cousins came over from Eureka to visit this weekend. It sometimes takes visitors to remind me how lucky we are to live where we do. There were actually several events we could have taken them to this weekend. We chose to enjoy our surroundings.
They have been here many times and always love coming back. Being from the coast our warmer weather is a little hard for them to handle. They think 70 degrees is hot. I told them they were lucky we are actually in a cooler spell. We took them to a local restaurant, which they LOVED.
We took them fishing at McCloud Reservoir. While in McCloud we decided to go look around the cute little town. There are so many things around us to do, I often forget until we have company. It was a wonderful weekend.
They enjoyed the simple daily tasks that we get tired of; feeding the bottle calf and irrigating. They loved looking around the yard and ranch and appreciated things I forgot were there. They noticed the fawns, hawks, frogs and owls. They appreciated the beautiful water at McCloud and noticed every creature along the bank. On the trip there, each doe alongside the road was pointed out. The sunsets were awed over.
Not only did I enjoy spending time with my cousins, I enjoyed seeing the place we live through another set of eyes. So the challenge for the remaining time this summer is to see and appreciate the little things that surround us each day; to find the Blue Skies in each moment of each day. We are truly blessed. I challenge you to do the same.
Bad decision Editor: What in the world was the Mayers Memorial Hospital District’s Board of Directors thinking when they bought out the contract of CEO Matt Rees, effectively firing him?
Did they even consider everything he has done for them? He took a beleaguered district whose financial situation was terrible and only getting worse and turned it completely around under very unfavorable circumstances. He not only has made it solvent again, but has increased its income base for years in the future. He has been willing to go to those who make the laws that influence what happens here and see that the legislature does not forget that rural hospitals are extremely important to their communities. He has done this so well that he was named the 2014 Advocate of the Year by the Association of California Healthcare Districts.
We don’t know what caused the disagreement between Matt and the hospital board because that information is private. But if it was a personality conflict or someone didn’t agree with some of the decisions that were made, so what? In this world we don’t always like everyone we come into contact with, and we certainly don’t like every decision that is made by administrators in many different venues. The results are what show the worth of what is done. In this case, the results have been outstanding.
As it appears that this particular deal has been completed,we would suggest that Matt be put on the short list of those who are now being considered for the CEO job before he decides to take a position elsewhere. He has the knowledge needed to do the job, knows the laws and follows them and produces very positive results that we have all benefited from. Don’t let this highly competent person slip away.
Harold and Gail Bassett
Fall River Mills
I wrote a spirited editorial last week leaning on people with trashy yards.
I don’t apologize for it.
However, One of those I took on was a vacant lot on Second Street in Fall River Mills. It was and is pretty bad at the moment. The property owner who has only had the property for a few months dropped by the office and explained.
The place had been a rental before he bought it. Whoever was renting it allegedly totally trashed the residence and when leaving left the trash almost knee deep inside.
He says the pile of trash, which doesn’t have any garbage or other decaying matter in it is the junk he removed from the house and that he will haul it all away once he finishes getting trash and the construction debris out.
In the meantime he said he is buying tarps and will cover it.
It is only right to let folks know that he isn’t some slob who doesn’t care and that he is doing his best to improve his property and wants to be a good neighbor.
On another subject...
Mayers Memorial CEO Matt Rees and the hospital district’s board of directors quietly parted ways late last week.
I’ve watched the hospital, its boards and CEO’s operate for the past 34 or so of my 38 years of reporting. I have also watched them come and go and as far as I’m concerned Matt was one of the best ones.
I’m glad he was here, sorry to see him go and wish him the best in the future.
Mayers has gone through one of the roughest periods in its history in the past five years.
The state has made impossible demands like forcing the hospital, already having a hard time financially, to rebuild to new standards without providing the money to do so.
The State, Feds and major insurance companies have demanded that the hospital serve people, claim they are paying for those services and yet dragging their feet in paying and only paying portions of their treatment.
Doctors are being pirated by large urban hospitals and becoming scarce in rural areas.
In the early days the hospital attracted doctors, wooed them, supplied them with offices and other perks. Now that is against the law.
It used to be that rural hospitals handled their major emergency patients because the only way to a trauma center was by ground ambulance. Now they are flown to those trauma centers often without ever seeing the Mayers Emergency room.
It takes a special person, a qualified person, to come into an established rural community and as an outsider make necessary changes, modernize, meet the challenges, and keep everyone happy while going forward.
Matt was lucky and unlucky at the same time. He was sharp, experienced and energetic. He had a good board to work with. He had an excellent staff and continued to develop and recruit that staff. He had a good, caring community.
Over the past five years Mountain Echo has recorded the changes, the improvements, and the accomplishments.
Matt set the atmosphere for improvement and moving forward.
He did a lot of work in the healthcare field that benefited Mayers.
At the same time he hired and set the stage for people like Val Lakey who lobbied and worked so hard to get the state to make changes. He hired and set the stage for Caleb and Louis to not only put major systems in place to modernize the hospital, but to make policy and directional changes that help the hospital survive. Marlene has done a marvelous job raising funds for a number of things including the pending construction. He helped the Chief Financial Officer and others, all the while doing things that increased morale of employees throughout the hospital.
As far as I’m concerned Matt was a good CEO and I’ll miss him.