November 15, 2021 Commission Minutes
GOODLAND CITY COMMISSION
November 15, 2021 5:00 P.M.
Mayor John Garcia called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Jay Dee Brumbaugh, Commissioner Aaron Thompson and Commissioner Gary Farris responding to roll call. Commissioner J. J. Howard was reported absent.
Also present were Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Frank Hayes – Chief of Police, Joshua Jordan – IT Director, Kenton Keith – Director of Streets and Facilities, Neal Thornburg – Director of Water and Wastewater, Danny Krayca – Director of Parks, Mary Volk – City Clerk and Kent Brown – City Manager.
Mayor Garcia led Pledge of Allegiance
Approval of Agenda – ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh to approve Agenda as presented seconded by Commissioner Farris. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
PRESENTATIONS & PROCLAMATIONS
- Goodland Regional Medical Center (GRMC) Update – Craig Loveless – Craig introduced Amy Powell, Clinic Administrator and Infectious Control Nurse. Craig stated, I want to periodically update Commission on GRMC. October 18th we presented results from community health assessment to the public. There were four issues for community focus, the first being child care which remains an ongoing issue. We formed a group to address issue. Our second was economic development, where our focus group is getting started through strategic doing. Third issue is behavior health which is an ongoing effort. One of our providers is pursuing additional education to assist as this is an ongoing issue in all communities and we see it here. This is not a specialty area but a segment of on-going primary care. Last issue is provider recruitment and retention. We recruited a new physician and anticipate start date is January 10, 2022. Mayor Garcia asked, is physician a general health practitioner? Craig stated, he is Hilton C. Ray, Board Certified Family Practice physician. He has been in Lamar for a number of years and is struggling to find housing in Goodland. We have been following up on the strategic plan for the hospital and discussed things we need to do to strengthen health care in community. Our first focus is to strengthen core strategies and services, making sure care we provide the community is quality service, being best and safest service we can provide. We have to be smart and know what our hospital can safely support. Our second focus is on the patient and quality care. With a hospital discharge patients will receive a survey addressing services provided. This is required by Medicare as we get paid bonus dollars based on quality scores we receive. This is economic development for the hospital and the community ensuring quality care is provided to the community. We are working on our cost structure; many do not understand how we get paid. As a Medicare provider, the hospital gets paid 101% of our costs but Federal Government takes back 2%. So everything we do at hospital is losing money except where we have commercial insurance. Of all our services, 62 % are Medicare services so this is pretty important. We are also working to improve employee satisfaction; we cannot function without our employees. We have formed an employee engagement committee for our employees. You have to know what it takes to get the job done. We have heard a lot in the community about vaccine mandates. The hospital will not impose a mandate; however, we are subject to federal legislation so if Medicare states it is a condition for employees to be vaccinated, we will be mandated from this legislature. OSHA is imposing mandates on private businesses; however, there is a permanent stay on the mandate at this time. We are under CMS mandate which has not been enforced at this time. Does federal government have right to impose mandate? We will comply with our regulators to get paid and keep our license. Commissioner Farris asked, on the Medicare payment is that what they pay you or does that include supplement plans? Craig stated, the supplement plans are different and pay separately. Commissioner Farris stated, so you get a little profit. Craig stated, a little bit but supplement plans are considered part of the remaining 38% of cost not under Medicare. Mayor Garcia asked, what are patient numbers doing? Craig stated, in hospital we average about six patients a day, but today we are at eight. Our ER visits average two hundred a month but this month we are on track to hit three hundred. Amy stated, clinic visits are three hundred plus, which is where we were before COVID. Craig stated, we are seeing a shift in care numbers everywhere and are looking more at preventive care, encouraging annual physicals. The community is fortunate to have a hospital. Mayor Garcia stated, in your last report you were reaching out to neighboring communities, how is that going? Craig stated, it is mixed. We have good response from Burlington with us helping them out, but not much response from other communities. Rural healthcare is tough and very independent, but I will continue to reach out to them. Mayor Garcia asked, is Oakley a Centrua facility? Craig stated, not any longer. None of the other hospitals are owned by Centura, it is all local ownership. Mayor Garcia asked, are your needs and strategic planning considered long term needs for community? Craig stated, we look at being community partners and yes it is our target for next several years. Our strategic plan is a three to five year plan that is updated annually. Commissioner Thompson stated, most comments I hear from the public is the lack of maternity services. Craig stated, we provide prenatal care but no deliveries, which goes back to providing services that are safe. We do not have resources and do not want to take the risk. It is a high risk process. The decision was made before my arrival and I do not see it changing. This is not unique to Goodland. Family practice can manage day to day healthcare management but we need experts and specialists for specialties. Commissioner Farris asked, if babies are delivered elsewhere, do they tend to continue care elsewhere? Craig stated, we have heard that but it is not particularly true. We track data of services done by zip code for deliveries and services and data does not show that being the case. They will generally follow-up one time then come back to primary care physician.
- Introduce New Police Officers – Frank stated, we hired two new officers November 1, Officer Kroskey and Officer Angelos. Both officers will start academy January 3, 2022 and complete April 8, 2022. Mayor Garcia stated, welcome, we appreciate your valor in stepping up.
- Introduce New Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer – Kent introduced Jeff Dinkel as the City Building Official/Code Enforcement Officer. Kent stated, Jeff has contractor experience and transferred from the Parks Department. Jeff stated, I was foreman on a crew in Hays that built houses and have done local contracting work. Mayor Garcia stated, it is a challenging job and I think Jeff comes with a lot of experience and public relations.
- 11/01/21 Commission Meeting Minutes
- Appropriation Ordinances: 2021-22, 2021-22A, and 2021-P22
ON A MOTION by Commissioner Thompson to approve Consent Agenda seconded by Commissioner Farris. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
- Review of Board Appointments – Kent stated, there are two appointments presented to Commission. Kin Huang has been recommended by Cemetery Board and the Goodland Housing Authority has recommended Karen Peck to replace Ben Schears. Both appointments would be filling unexpired terms. ON A MOTION by Commissioner Farris to approve the appointment of Kin Huang to the Cemetery Board and Karen Peck to the Housing Authority Board to fill unexpired terms seconded by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh. MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-0.
- City Manager – 1. The 2021 ballot issue proposed by Sherman County was defeated. I have reached out to the County Clerk for our next step. The County Commission chose to pursue the issue shortly after New Year with new Commission because the new ballot issue will need full support of them. It will be determined whether the ballot issue is early or later in year. 2. Reallocation of funds from Building Inspection has gone well except for tree removal, but we are working on getting it cleared up by year end. 3. City staff worked with the school district to cleanup yards in the community today. 4. Annual Christmas parade will be Saturday November 20th at 5:00 p.m. The first annual holiday event will take place the following two weekends. 5. City offices will be closed November 25th and 26th for Thanksgiving holiday.
- City Commissioners
Commissioner Thompson – 1. No Report
Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh – 1. No Report
Commissioner Howard – 1. Absent, No Report
Commissioner Farris – 1. Contractors are asking for some of dirt to help fill in basements, can we still do that? Kent stated, I will discuss policy with staff. Commissioner Farris stated, it helps keep cost down on demolition. Kent asked, are you asking for nuisance cleanups or to fill in basements. Commissioner Farris stated, this was private property with basements. 2. Staff was doing a lot of work today with clean up.
- Mayor – 1. Staff worked hard on clean up today. 2. Danny are you going to have to hire someone? Danny stated, yes we are advertising. 3. Happy Thanksgiving.
ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION BY Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh seconded by Commissioner Farris. Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting adjourned at 5:35 p.m. Next meeting is scheduled for December 6, 2021.
ATTEST: John Garcia, Mayor
Mary P. Volk, City Clerk