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10/11/2012 5:00:00 PM
HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ELECTION: Carney believes hospital on right path

Marty Bachman

BLYTHE - Jim Carney has served as president of the Palo Verde Valley Healthcare District Board for the last four years. He is currently running for a second four-year term, stating that Carney said that board has made numerous improvements to the hospital since he joined the board and that his only motive in running for re-election is to continue the progress.

"I don't own anything and I'm not getting any money for it," Carney said about his role on the board. "I'm concerned because the community of Blythe needs a hospital and it needs to be an up-to-date hospital. Where does anyone in the valley go if we don't have a hospital here? They can travel to Parker, the Coachella Valley or Imperial County and they're all 90 miles away."

Carney said the board has spent quite a bit of money on equipment and has worked steadily on a master plan for the buildings, many of which have to be torn down and replaced by 2020 due to having to meet state seismic standards requirements.

"We have to tear down three buildings," Carney said.

He said that the plan is to build a new area for medical records, where all records will be digitized and state of the art. The emergency room will be expanded and a new X-ray area will be built the administration will be moved to the north of the property and in the end the hospital will be completely redone, with a new entrance, improvements to surgery, new patient rooms and a new eating area.

"This will all be done in stages," Carney said. "In eight years they'll have a facility that is seismically safe and you'll have a more modern facility. Total patient care will be raised and it will be more of a full service hospital."

Carney said that one of his missions as a board member was to attract more doctors and specialists to the area, but, for reasons he didn't want to discuss, the task has turned out to be harder than he thought. Still he felt that with new and more modern facilities, the hospital will be more attractive to medical staff looking to move here.

He acknowledged the board has received criticism for the pay of the hospital's CEO, Pete Klune, but that prior to Klune's arrival the hospital had a history of turnover in the CEO position.

"He has spent 25 years in hospital management," Carney said. "He's seen all the different style of hospitals and the knowledge he has benefits us. You can get someone cheaper but it; like driving a big truck or driving a little tiny truck - both will get you there but you'll feel better with the bigger model."

Carney said that since Klune's arrival, the turnover rate in upper management positions has also leveled off and the hospital has become more stable than it had been in the past.

Because the hospital business is seasonal (It's busier in the winter with the influx of snowbirds), Carney said that he wanted to do more to keep local nurses working in the slower months and that a plan was in place to cross-train nurses so they can work in different areas, which will alleviate the need for traveling nurses.

Carney also hopes to keep working to improve the hospital's revenue stream, which has rolled up and down relative to the fortune of the state of California and their budget maneuvers. Keeping the hospital open, he said, is his number one priority.

"The people of Blythe deserve their own facility," he said.

Related Stories:
• TIMES ENDORSEMENT: The community needs to unite behind Jim Carney and Rosalie Carlton
• Four candidates vie for two Healthcare District Board seats
• HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ELECTION: Carlton cares about community
• HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ELECTION: Hudson claims hospital is losing millions
• HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ELECTION: Sartin driven by patient care

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: Meow Meow

Jenson, Are you kidding? They say, "birds of a feather, flock together", that would be true in this case. You and ole Generous Jim Carney need to ride off into the sunset. Your times have passed, if they ever were.

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: No Bob No You are CONFUSED AGAIN.

Bob, School Board, the one thing you and Jim Carney have in common. Let me remind anyone who might be reading, NEITHER ONE OF YOU HAVE DONE ANYTHING TO THE GOOD.

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: Who Cares Bob

(deleted) Let me just say this, why don't you try it on the School Board? You seem to have a "special" realationship with the "Marty's", how about doing what you got VOTED in to do? Then,maybe, just maybe, I would listen to your thoughts. You bragging on your writing skills is like Bachman calling he and Evans concert promoters.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: @ Bob JENSEN

Many times Marty did not post my comments exposing Carney and Carlton, and I do not have high hope for this one either.

Bob, (deleted) you will see that your "constituent" will reject you in the next election.

Tell me, one thing that he or Rosalie did stood up against the MEC in the first two years of his term, and one thing he stood up against MEC for in the last two years of his term. NONE except (deleted)
In Fact they listen to the physicians’ advices and made millions in the first two years, and then did what the CEO says in the last two years and lost millions!

(deleted) what other facts did you base your opinion on, and why should we care about your opinion when Dr. Brooks, and Dr, P has spoken against Carney and Carlton and in support of Sandy Husdon and Trina Sartin???

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: Concerned shadow

Mr Jensen, It won't matter if there's no money left. The aftermath and clean up from the contracts Jim Carney voted for and Ms Carlton is going to cripple us for a very long time. Then what? We need our hospital. He voted and made poor decisions to the point you wanted to recall him? I'm sure you can understand where we are coming from trying to work in a hospital with him.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: Bob Jensen

There is a saying that "A man that does not have enemies is one that never stood up for something."

I will probably hear more than a few catcalls for what I am about to say.

I have every reason to hate Jim Carney as he worked with Alan Jensen and Yul Whitney to force me into an early retirement.

When working for another online publication, I raked him over the coals as often as possible and joined the effort of his recall from the school board.

I still do not agree with his decisions in that arena and still am saddled with cleaning up what he and a few others left the current board to deal with.

However, I was one journalist that did attend the Healthcare Board meetings and saw a different side to him.

He is the epitome of the old western Marshall that takes no guff (from MEC) and maintains the hospital on an even keel.

I feel he has served the population of Blythe well as President and will do so in the future. I expect to see a "High Noon" conclusion to the drama between himself and the (deleted)' Dr. Salohlbie.

He has indeed taken the High Road by not glorifying himself or demeaning his opposition. Talk about class.

I still disagree with his efforts on the School Board, but I, for one, will vote him and Ms. Carlton into office tomorrow.

I hope that my friends and constituents will consider these points and do the same.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: @ to the shadow knows.

You are one hundred percent correct in your assesment. The Carney and Carlton supporters have tried very hard to divert and deflect the failures of their candidates away from them and point the finger at others. Unfortunately for them the facts are the facts. The worse part of it all is that Carney and Carlton have thumbed their noses up at the community and do not even have the decency to go to a debate or any other public forum to answer questions or hear peoples comments. Those that will not talk tend to be hiding from things

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: to the shadow knows

This stuff has been hard to follow. This is what I seen for myself. I read a copy of the man Mr Klune 's hospital contract. It was dated feb28,2011. The contract was signed by Mr Carney and Beatrice Pinon March8,2011. The Hudson women was not serving on the board I went to the hospital website and looked for myself. That is sometimes the problem with small town gossip.

It is alot of money ,way over 3 times more money than the Ceo in Brawley hospital makes where my daughter works.It's a larger and busier hospital
How will we sustain these kind of paychecks to the "upper management" people of the hospital? The hospital seems it needs alot of remodeling and better services than we get. We were having a discussion about this town and why these elected people think they can just give the taxpayer money away. If I was younger i would run.

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: Hate a (deleted)

I'm going to go with the "little truck" and vote Hudson and Sartin all the way. Seen enough of Carney to last a lifetime.

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Article comment by: @ The shadow knows

If you read the post from the non carney supporters you will see that yes they do acknowledge the fact that three of our four candidates were involved in the initial contract. It is the Carney and Carlton supporters who seem not willing to acknowledge that. This is exactly why we should be asking ALL our candidates to go to a public debate with moderators and rules that they all can agree on. Like I have said in other post, I am sure the college would be more than happy to facilitate such an event. There are way to many questions out there that need to be answered. All the second hand information that people provide is useless to me and many other voters. People in this community deserve the right to ask questions of those wanting to hold office. If people had been following things they way they should have our town may not be in the situation that it is in. For heavens sake, every board in this town is a mess! At least Hudson and Sartin had the guts to talk to people. I was there and I can tell you that they did not refuse to answer any question that was asked. All the armchair quarterbacks here had the right to go ask all the questions that they pose here. I know I would go ask Carney and Carlton any question that I have posed here, even in a room full of his supporters. Obviously they would not!

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Article comment by: The Shadow knows

To What did I miss
Lets get the facts straight! Mr. Klune was hired at 250,000. and six months later he was given the raise by Hudson for 350,000. I'm sure Carney was aware but out with medical issues. Hudson was driving that train. These people started it and not one of the three refuses to take ownership for the initial high salary. Stop pointing fingers at everyone else!

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Article comment by: @ @ what did i miss

You are correct. The original contract in Feb. 2009 was for $250,000 (Hudson, Carney and Maley ), Feb. 2010 was for $350,000 (Hudson, Carney and Maley), Feb. 2011 was for $450,000 (Carney and Maley).
It was said that Hudson and Carney had already verbally agreed in advance that Klune would be making $450,000 at the end of 2 years if still an employee! Check with Hudson....

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Article comment by: @ what did i miss

Actually everyone has been talking on here about the most recent contract given the CEO, but if you want to talk about the one from 2009 we can talk about it. The 2009 contract was indeed approved by Sandy Hudson along with Jim Carney and Rosalie Carlton for significantly less money than the one approved by the 2011 Jim Carney board. The 2009 contract did not have an evergreen clause ( automatic renewal with no ability to renegotiate) unlike the 2011 Jim Carney led board contract that does have that provision in it. The 2009 contract did not have excessive yearly compounding percentage raises in it like the 2011 JIm Carney led board does. So it seems to me that the Jim Carney led board did a much worse job of negotiating the CEO's contract than the board of 2009. One would probably like to know why the guy deserves such a lucrative contract? Unfortunately though we can not get Jim to come out in a public forum and answer these types of questions

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Article comment by: @ @ what did i miss

Kind of like smoke and mirrors. We where discussing who approved the CEO and administration hiring in 2009 and you changed it to a current contract revision which we all know was not when Hudson was on the board. You replied "Well actually I did not know that sandy hudson or the doc had such power to approve the ceo's latest contract" They are no longer thank god. Who would want two people making those kinds of decisions Hudson who has filed bankruptcy and Sahlolbei who is being accused by the hospital of fraud making or recommending those kind of decisions.

Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Article comment by: @ @ just me

No. It is not allowed to have political agendas taken up at Board or City Council Meetings. They can not respond to your inquires.

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