Grossmont Healthcare District 2010-11-23 special meeting regarding resignation of Stieringer
Citizens Oversight (2010-11-23) Raymond Lutz
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, Grossmont Healthcare Board
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I just suddenly realized that my corrected vision is not really good for these sort of distances.
Actually, I'm really glad that Terry Franke of Californians Aware asked that this be an open meeting. It gives me a chance to say some things that I would not have otherwise had the chance to say.
I'm confident that, as typically happens when public agencies go into open session following a flawed closed session, the result is exactly the same, it's just doing it with public input, which is fine with me.
I just want to say that the past 18 years have been probably the best years of my life. I've really enjoyed working with this board and with the predecessor boards.
I would say too that there is not a better group of people that is assembled here today.
During the 18 years, I've been able to serve with some true giants, and at the risk of forgetting somebody, let me say that I served with George Hurst, perhaps our finest board member, Bill Herrick, and the present president, Gloria Chadwick. -- the pantheon of giants on teh board.
Also, I've had the tremendous opportunity to serve with some great staff members, including Harry David... Nancy Smith, I think everyone knows how good she was at preserving the district, and I think behind building this building.
Certainly Jeff Scott, despite what the previous speaker (Ray Lutz) said, I think Jeff Scott has served the district extremely well, and I would hope that he would continue to do that.
I know that I can be a... I could grasp for slander or liable, but I'm not sure now that I can be as a private citizen and no longer a board member, so perhaps some caution should be used when using terms like "fraud" and that sort of thing.
I'd like to use this as an opportunity to correct several fallacies and misstatements that have gotten around distribution.
The first one was that the position of projects liaison monitor was established for a particular individual. I think that if you check the record, you will find that the position was established in 2007 2008 and has been unfilled for at least three years. I don't think that I established that position.
The second fiction is that former board members are ineligible for employment by their agency. It could be a legal question, but I'm not aware of any such prohibition. In fact, I think those of you who read the newspaper will agree that this happens frequently. As recently as January of this year, I recall one of the National City city council members was selected to be the fire chief, or something like that.
The third fiction is that I was promised that I would be hired for the position of projects liaison monitor. Uh, the fact is that, my only expectation is that I would be considered on my merits. Multiple applications were anticipated and in fact multiple applications were received.
The fourth fiction, and I really feel very strongly about this, is that I voluntarily retired. I think any reading of the record would show that my retirement or resignation was engendered solely with the expectation that I be considered for the employment, without any assurance that I would be. But the unfortunately thing is that because of a former board member and failed congressional candidate, that the process of filling the position ceased, and neither I, nor any of the other applicants were considered for the position. I resigned with full expectation of being considered.
The fifth fiction is that propects of economic enhancements motivated my application, and the fact is, this is partially true. As a member of CALPERS, I would have received more when I ultimately retired from that position because it pays more than this position does. I want to assure my fellow collegues that that wasn't my primary motivation, although it was a motivation.
The sixth fiction is that by sharing with individual board members my plan to resign, I conducted a serial meeting. I heard this from some people, but I spoke to each of your prior to my resignation, not becuase I was lobbying, because you had no decision to make, the decision was going to be at a staff level. I did that so you would not be blind-sided, so you would know in advance what I was doing.
There was no action, I don't think, I would leave it to the legal people to decide if I was conducting a serial meeting, but I don't think so.
The fact that we are meeting today is a result that I could not have foreseen as an unintended consequence of the political gadfly.
The seventh fiction is that I threatened to sue the district. I don't know where anybody got that. I think that those of you who know me know that I am pretty much nonlitigeous.
In fact, I don't think I've ever sued anybody as an individual. As a board member here, you will recall that I supported the successful government code section 1090 lawsuit a few years ago, and uh, as a matter of fact, uh, if you look around, this building that we are meeting in today was built because we were successful on that and I think we were sound legally.
The only, I recall, nusance lawsuit filed by Mr. Ron Dahlgren, I remember that. He sued the board, and in order to settle that nusance lawsuit, we laid some public money on him, taxpayer money, that we could all agree we would rather use for improving the healthcare of the constituents of our district.
But I did not threaten a lawsuit, nor did I contemplate one, nor did I contemplate one now because quite frankly, I think there is no basis for a lawsuit. It doesn't matter.
The eighth and final fiction was that I contacted Californians Aware regarding the failure implied by the Ralph M. Brown act. I think some of that came up because some of you know that I have been a 15 or 20 year member of Californians Aware and the California First Amendment Coalition. I want to assure everyone, that I did not contact Terry Franke, nor Peter Shear, either directly nor indirectly. I can't remember the last time I talked with Terry Franke, it must be years ago.
Finally, I'd like to take the last part of my five minutes that the chair has graciously given to me to make the suggestion that if the district still feels that the employment position is required, and I tend to think that it is, that it could be filled either as an employee or a consultant, much in the same the way many people serve the district currently serve. I want to assure everybody that that would allay some of the fears that my benefits as a former board member would not accrue at that point. I am fully vested with CALPERS pension and I am fully vested in the health benefits of the district, and if board were to decide in an open meeting that they would fill this position, then they could certainly make it is consultant position or it could be understood that if I would win it, then I would serve as a consultant rather than an employee gaining an additional benefits.
My thought is that in order to remove this from politics as much as possible, the decision as to who would be hired, should be in the hands of some neutral individuals. A lot of times public agencies appoint a committee of some sort to interview the applicants and determine if any of them are qualified, and if so, make a recommendation to the CEO as who he should hire. But that is my suggestion to you.
Let me just repeat again that I bear absolutely no malice toward anybody, I hope that no one bears malice towards me. The fact is that some words have been used to describe me that I think were not correct characterizations, and I would ask that people not use those in the future because since I am not a public official any more, some of the exemptions to slander and uh, slander, being verbal, no longer would apply to me.
I thank you all very much
[Total time from "good morning (6:41) to "very much" (17:43) was 11 minutes.]