Letters to the Editor: March 25 Edition

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By The Staff

CEO announces opening

I am pleased to announce that Gadsden County will soon be embarking on a new era in health care. The recent signing of the lease between Capital Regional Medical Center  and Gadsden County is the first step in providing this community much-needed health care services.

CRMC is addressing the immediate healthcare needs of the citizens of Gadsden County and the surrounding area. Our initial plans are to provide a full-service emergency department along with laboratory and radiology services.

Some may ask why we are opening emergency services only. Although the hospital is licensed for four beds, those beds will not be initially operated pursuant to an agreement with the Agency for Health Care Administration.

The benefits emergency services will bring to Gadsden County include:

• Emergency health care services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Gadsden County.

• Area residents will receive the same high-quality emergency care they have had to travel outside the community to receive at CRMC in Tallahassee.

• The emergency facility will be staffed by experienced emergency room physicians as well as nurses and technicians highly-trained in providing emergency care.

• The emergency facility will be equipped with state of the art medical technology, lab services, and radiology including X-ray, CT and ultrasound.

• Immediate health care needs will be met onsite, without sacrificing access to appropriate medical technology.

• Approximately 45-50 new jobs will be created in Gadsden County.

There is a need in this community to act quickly on this matter. The Gadsden County area has been without immediate access to hospital services and emergency care for far too long. Health care needs should be met on a local level, quickly, efficiently, and with an emphasis on providing high quality care. CRMC has stepped up to fill that need for Gadsden.

The opening of this emergency service facility will help Gadsden County’s emergency services as well.  At a time when health care-related costs are of high concern, the addition of emergency services in Gadsden is projected to cut the cost of emergency transportation services in half, saving Gadsden County approximately $1 million annually. We are proud to be able to help reduce costs by providing these services locally.

Our opening date is anticipated to be on or around June 1.

We look forward to serving your health care needs in the future.

Bud Wethington

Chief Executive Officer

Capital Regional Medical Center

Reader challenges commissioner

In the March 11 edition of the Gadsden County Times, county Commissioner Brenda Holt wrote a letter to the editor stating, "I spoke against county commissioners threatening and speaking badly to county employees." She also wrote, "If the county commissioners and managers do not stop the practice of mistreating employees I will name them in the media along with their unlawful deeds."

Public records show that Holt called Johnny Williams on Aug. 4 at home, at night, and threatened him. This was relayed to all the county commissioners by e-mail Aug. 5.

In addition, Holt wrote, "I have been told that if I speak in favor of employees it may cost me my re-election." I doubt that speaking in favor of employees will cost Holt her re-election, but the following voting record and misinformation should.

 1. Holt claims to be an advocate for the poor folks in the county, yet approximately 2 years ago Holt, Dixon and Price voted to raise the gas tax by 5 cents per gallon plus 9/10 of a cent per gallon. Thank God for the votes of commissioners Lamb and Croley, and the fact that it took a super-majority to pass, or else everyone in the county would be paying 8 to 10 cents more per gallon for the last 2 years and in the future.

 2. Having failed to get the gas tax approved, Holt, Dixon and Price passed a 3 percent communications tax which did not require a super-majority.

 3. Recently, Holt was the only commissioner to vote for a property tax increase, yet Holt has not paid her own property taxes in over 2 years.

4. Holt, Dixon and Price voted to fund a $100,000 house to be built, yet no one knew where or who was going to build it. The house is now sitting vacant on Brumby Street and the county is trying to sell it. More tax dollars thrown down the drain.

5. We all know about the misinformation that Holt gave about the hospital, that the county had $45 million in tax money to spend, when in fact the half-cent sales tax was an indigent health care tax. When the hospital board convinced HCA to take over the operation of the hospital, Holt was the only commissioner to vote against HCA moving forward.

6. Holt claims to be an advocate for jobs, yet as recently as the March 2 BOCC meeting she voted for a resolution from Liberty, Franklin, Leon and Wakulla counties to delay or stop the reconstriction of Lake Talquin Dam, which is a federally-mandated and fully-funded $8 million project in Gadsden County.

No, Commissioner Holt it, will not be because you speak in favor of employees that will cause you to lose your re-election, but the above voting record should.

Ed Allen


Thankful for the behind the scenes people

After the news that ADAGE had withdrawn its air permit application, the celebrations in Gadsden County were many and varied.  This thank you note is to the many people who helped make this victory possible. 

Several organizations earned our thanks, starting with Sam Palmer and the fired-up members of the local NAACP.  Many thanks are deserved by James Maloy, Leonard Robinson and the tireless members of the Concerned Citizens of Gadsden County.  We give thanks for the wisdom and fearless leadership by the pastors of many of the Gretna churches.  I would also like to thank the many hundreds of people who signed the “Say No” petition and the numerous writers who submitted letters to the editor. 

We appreciate our health care professionals, especially Dr. Holifield, Dr. Saff, Dr. McCoy and Dr. Termotto, who spoke in public and to their patients and wrote in opposition to the biomass incinerator.  We are grateful to the veterans of the BG&E biomess debacle in Tallahassee who unselfishly gave of their expertise in bringing us up to speed on this issue in record time.  Members of the Coed Bach Action Team cheerfully supplied information about biomass plants operating in Scotland.  Brenda Holt is to be applauded, as one of the few local politicians who got off the fence and stood with us.  Rev. Clarence Jackson and Jeff McNealy are to be commended as open-minded fresh new candidates running for Gretna City Commission.  These candidates actually live in Gretna and have the city’s best interests at heart  –  unlike some currently in city government.  One person has tried to characterize those against biomass as the “unfortunate few.”  We are the people, the fortunate many, who call Gadsden County home.

Laura Robbins Schell


Sheriff lauds emergency responders

I believe that one measure of a community is how well its members come together for the common good in time of tragedy.

On March 8 when a terrible school bus accident placed the lives of almost 50 children and an adult in jeopardy, our community showed what it's made of. The outpouring of concern and the magnitude of the aid offered by agencies and individuals was heartwarming.

While in the midst of trying to assess the damage and tend to the needs of the injured, the attitude of everyone involved was one of care and concern for the victims. They worked fast and efficiently. To say everyone worked together for a common cause would be an understatement.

As the chief law enforcement officer of this great county, I am proud to be associated with the caliber of people who responded to this tragedy. The students were kept calm because the individuals who attended them were calm and professional every step of the process. The public needs to know who was there to lend a helping hand. If you have any contact with these agencies in the coming months, please tell them that their contributions were appreciated.

A special thanks goes out to the  men and women of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office, Emergency Medical Services personnel in Gadsden, Leon, Liberty and Jackson counties, Fire and Rescue, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida State Hospital medical staff, fire department and hospital security, city of Chattahoochee firefighters and police officers, Air Methods Helicopter, Air Heart Helicopter, Sycamore Volunteer Fire Department, Department of Transportation aMotor Carrier Compliance and community volunteers.

Morris A. Young

Gadsden County Sheriff

Why is this such a lopsided affair?

Is there something wrong in Gadsden County and the state attorney’s office in Quincy?   There are several reported cases of animal abuse and neglect in Gadsden County of those a few became cases and only one was there an arrest.  

Did Gadsden County Manager Johnny Williams, county Commissioner Doug Croley both call the state attorney’s office and become involved in only the Hawkins case? Why on Feb. 9 did Williams have the dead horse found on private property on Old Federal Road buried using county equipment, then not report it to the sheriff's office or call the state attorney and prosecutor for arrests and prosecution? Why in 2009 didn’t Williams and Croley get the prosecutor to arrest and prosecute the owner of those nine abused and malnourished horses? Why do the people of Gadsden County put up with this nonsense?

I hope the people of Gadsden County see what is going on. Dirty politics. Williams, Croley and Gadsden County prosecutors, you will not be able to control the people of this county.  Wasn’t it Gadsden County that had the first riot in Florida?

Now the county has more progressive citizens that are forward-thinkers.  I saw progressive thinkers at the Armory during the biomass fiasco and was very impressed with the new innovative ideas.  There were people from all professions and walks of life having discussions about the future of Gadsden County. There was one young man on stage fighting by himself against the plant. I admire his courage.

If all the caretakers of the county were able to form a think tank, an action group and an evaluation committee, then this county would be able to become successful.

Stand up, “new thinkers” in Gadsden County. You have many other people that want and need your help that are willing to work with you.  I have family in Gadsden County and I want them to be safe, happy, healthy and productive, not abused.  Keep up the good fight.

Johnnie Holt