Left – Tom Jensen CEO Right – David Quigg Public Relations Officer
April 22nd 2014 – Since there were only about forty or so of us taxpayers on the hook for the 50 -100 million bailout (SEE HOSPITAL FINANCIALS ) of the urgently oh-so important new Aberdeen hospital district at the Montesano City Hall meeting last night, allow me to paint the scene. Sure there were about 80 present, but for some reason the hospital deemed it necessary to stack the house with their employees.
Don’t get me wrong. They were well trained and on que would jump in to the discussion. They did exactly what they were there to do. Sell a crap sandwich.
Let’s see…there was David Quigg, their Public Relations officer dancing at the head of the room. He smiled really really big and showed off his talent of being able to memorize phrases.
I didn’t catch his opening monologue very well as all I could hear in my head while he was jumping around and preforming his act was the theme music from Tele Tubbies. He is just so happy!
An obsequious performance un equaled on any stage. He is well trained. By-the-way, exactly how does a business so heavily in debt, and according to their own statement, justify hiring a Public Relations Officer? Silly me, it’s not their money…..it’s ours! What was I thinking.
The warm up act over, it was time to bring out the star. None other than Tom Jensen himself. CEO and mastermind of the 100 million cash grab himself. I will give him credit for coming out from under his desk to stand there. But that is about all. A Napoleonic above-it-all attitude, Jensen couldn’t relate to the audience in the slightest. Maybe he didn’t want to, I couldn’t tell. Everything out of his mouth was you…you…you….you Never once we. Not once did I hear it. “you live in a depressed county”. “You have no choice” …and it went on and on like that. Complete arrogance. And lets face it, he is above it all. When I asked for a show of hands in the audience of everyone making over a quarter a million dollars a year, it was only him. And he smirked. To be fair there was one other in the room. His wife who is the CEO of the other hospital present, also making that money. They just couldn’t and wouldn’t relate to how devastating this tax will be on the home owners of the county. He gave the impression that he could care less. And I stand by that statement.
“well, the haves have been paying for the have nots for a long time” - Tom Jensen
To illustrate his thinking on the subject of his new tax and the ramification to those who are barely hanging onto their homes, he again struck his Napoleon pose and bellowed “well, the haves have been paying for the have nots for a long time” and then laughed. It was so funny! On que, his cadre of hospital employees started laughing too. His trained pet-like Public Relations Officer was just beside himself…..master made a joke….and could hardly contain himself. Think Dobby the Elf.
The Montesano home owners in the audience did not find it as amusing. Particularly after an audience member asked if they would be back asking for even more money later. Jensen answered matter-of-factly….”yes”. Again laughter from the hospital workers in the front two rows.
When asked if he could in fact make the hospital self sufficient, Jensen related that he could – but was unwilling to cut any of his programs. HE was unwilling. Absolute detached arrogance. Running the hospital into the ground wasn’t HIS fault, it is OUR fault because we won’t give him what he wants. Communism comes to Grays Harbor. If you own a home you have more than someone who doesn’t so we need to take what you have and give it to others so every one is equal. Well, except for the four hospital administrators pulling in a cool million dollars of our tax money. Being the head Communist is always a good place to be as the theory doesn’t apply to them. Just us.
When asked what will the approximately 600 hospital employees become, Jensen stated, “well, they will be just like Firemen and city employees.” Oh really? We are about to have 600 new Public Union Employees and all the costs and problems that brings to the taxpayer. Ever try and fire one? The safety issue alone of health workers unable to be fired should make the new hospital a really safe place. Right. And Firemen don’t send us a bill if they come put out a fire. The arrogance.
Several Montesano residents in the audience related that we belong in the Elma Hospital district as it is much closer and easier to get to their hospital. We aren’t going to hear much from the Elma Hospital about keeping us in their fold, as again, the two Hospital CEOs are married to each other. Would make dinner conversation difficult you know. The fix is in.
County Commissioner Candidate Al Smith was in attendance as well as both current Commissioners Wes Cormier and Frank Gordon. Frank was put on the spot when asked by myself if he was also planning another levy shift to add to the tax burden this year. He stated “trying not to”. I take issue with that as well, as he knows darn well he is going to. Have to give those public workers another raise you know. Back to sharing the wealth and Communist principals, but that is another column.
Al Smith asked some tough questions. He showed himself un afraid to ruffle feathers and demand facts, not spin. I have to give him credit. To be fair, his opponent Vicky Raines was making similar statements earlier in the day. They are posted in the comments section on montesanotoday.com Vickie Raines article.
According to sources, the hospital has a reserve of about 17 million dollars and they are losing about two million dollars a year. Yes this is oh so very urgent. Well, it is urgent when you have two taxing County Commissioners in Frank Gordon and Herb “I never met a tax I didn’t like” Welch. It looks like it will be either Vicki Raines or Al Smith in Welch’s chair next January. Neither of them are automatic tax raisers. The hospital is feeling the heat. Also at stake is the hospital wanting us, the home owners of Grays Harbor, to pick up their employee retirement and benefit debt. You know, the employees that don’t even work there anymore, but somehow, you and I are now going to be responsible for them. Ahhhh Communisn. Isn’t it just a great system!
Let me be crystal clear on my first hand impression. This hospital administration board, led by Jensen, see themselves as much more important than you. The equity in your home theirs. Jensen stated that this would not be the last dip into that home, as they would be back when they need it. There is no end, and no one will hold them accountable for a dime. They are too important and unwilling to do with less, and you are nothing to them.
There was one lady who I did not have a chance to catch her name, I believe she was from Montesano. She cut through the crap. Crap that even I was standing in. That meeting, or the horror that this new tax will bring to the home owners of the county, is simply a symptom of the disease. The disease is our elected officials. They set the arena in which people like Tom Jensen can find a place to exist. She stated not to Jensen and his trained puppet at the head of the stage, but to us in the audience “we have to be more careful about who we elect into office”.
Boy is she right.
Make no mistake about it, if this lunacy protect the good-old-boys club issue makes it on the ballot, we will have two people to thank for it. County Commissioners Frank Gordon and Herb ” I never met a tax I didn’t like” Welch. I can’t see Commissioner Cormier inflicting as much as a 100 million dollar hit to the county. I just don’t see it. We will also have a complacent harbor media to thank. Deliberately not reporting the debt to the public is in excuseable and a breach of the public trust, designed, in my opinion, to keep the heat off the commissioners and protect fellow good ole boys. If the public really knew what was about to happen to them….this thing would be stopped cold.
VIEW THE HOSPITAL FINANCIALS