Sunday, November 6, 2011

Regional Care: Who Do Ya Think You're Foolin'?

There's an old joke common among the parents of teenagers, especially teenage boys. After a particularly egregious stunt, one of the parents will invariably say, "Well, he's either going to be the president of his own company or serve time in prison." We're fairly sure the parents of RegionalCare CEO Joe Roach must have had similar thoughts, considering both the quantity and quality of his machinations concerning the location for the new hospital.

Here, from the same erudite reader whom we previously published, is an update (in bold) on current dreams and schemes from Joe Roach and his merry band of pranksters:

Perhaps the 11-2-11 Times Daily comments from a longtime hospital employee have been influenced by the propaganda of her boss. She states:

“RegionalCare has gone to great lengths to find an appropriate location in Lauderdale County; however, it is becoming evident that this is neither economically nor geographically feasible. Roadblocks to that proposal include environmental, logistical, and infrastructure limitations that would be costly to overcome.”

Where does she get this erroneous information? Was she misled by her own CEO, Joe Roach? Are we all being misled by him? The only Lauderdale site under consideration is on Lauderdale County Road 47 according to Rhea Fulmer, who identified this property in a 9-7-11 Times Daily article after meeting with RegionalCare officials. (It appears the Times Daily pulled this particular article from its website already.)

This area includes a 300 acre farm property which is bounded by Cox Creek Parkway, Gresham Road, County Road 47, and Mall Road. Only about a mile from this location is Helton Drive which is the Florence link to Patton Island Bridge. Helton is currently under construction to add more lanes. This 300 acre site is less than ten miles from TVA property, so there should be no distinction between it and TVA as far as being a regional location.

What environmental, logistical, and infrastructure limitations are present at this location? It meets the RCH requirement of being more than 80 acres; it is located on Cox Creek Parkway which intersects HWY 72 as well as the Helton corridor to Patton Island Bridge. This is a good site for the new hospital, whether regional or replacement. It does not interfere with Helen Keller Hospital, and the Cox Creek location already has infrastructure in place including major roads, electricity and water. Too “costly”?

Did Mr. Roach not intend to pay a fair amount for such valuable property after he stressed the importance of “location, location, location”? A prime location is generally very expensive. Roach must honor his contract to build in Lauderdale County. Our politicians must also make this happen. All concerned citizens (and hospital employees) should hold Roach and elected officials in Lauderdale County, as well as the city of Florence, responsible to honor the legal contract. That is the point of a contract.

Someone wrote in to say that this is an ethical issue. Another mentioned integrity. But this is a LEGAL issue. A contract is a legal and binding document. There are serious consequences when legal contracts are not followed.

Roach emphasized that he is not good at losing. Is this really just a game to him? Exactly what, and how much, will our elected officials allow him to risk? If this is a game with high stakes, then the Times Daily appears to be playing along as a pawn. Rather than serve the public, is it serving the hand that buys expensive advertising? How many other letters to their editor have been censored?

Why is Shoalanda Speaks the only one willing to address these questions?

We'll note that after the TimesDaily's reporting on the National Alabama situation, nothing would surprise us concerning this issue.