Cimarron Memorial has a CEO

Burrus, Trustees, make consessions on contract

by C.F. David

It took several meetings throughout the week; but Cimarron Memorial Hospital has three new trustees on its board and a kind of new CEO.

Wednesday afternoon:

In a special meeting on Thursday morning, the Cimarron County Commissioners gave consideration first to a request from the resigning Chairman Alan Shields that he be allowed to sit on the Trustees board for another week until a new CEO could be chosen.

“I've got a problem with that,” said commissioner Joe Bocock.

Bocock pointed out that in a meeting the previous Tuesday night, Assistant D.A. Stan Manske, the trustees attorney had challenged the three resigning trustees to withdraw their resignations.

“He's right,” Commissioner Bill Percifield told commission chairman Kenneth Manness, “They did resign.”

“I think we have new board members we need to look at,” Bocock said.

“I move we release all three of them,” Percifield said.

The vote was two for dismissal with Maness abstaining.

With that the commissioners met and questioned three volunteers for the board, the Rev. Frank Lynch, Lois Burkhalter both of Boise City and Dan J. Gholson, of Keyes.

Maness looked at Lynch, “If you come out of an executive session, is the public going to be able to make you change your mind about your vote.”

“No,” Lynch replied. Then paused. “Now wait a minute. I feel that we are serving the public,” he added. “I think in the meeting on the 23rd the public made it plain what they wanted. They were refused,” Lynch said.

Percifield raised his hand, “I only have one problem with Rod; he made demands. Will he want two commissioners kicked off next?” He asked.

Trustee Dwilene Holbert turned to Nursing Home Director Nancy Roberts, “I didn't get that feeling, did you?”

Roberts shook her head no.

Gholson spoke up, “We need to start giving a press release every month; to keep the public informed.

Holbert, Lynch and Burkhalter nodded in agreement.

Bocock looked at the other two commissioners, “I move we accept all three.”

The motion passed and all three trustees were sworn in by Associate District Judge Ron Kincannon.

Friday morning

On Friday morning the trustees met at 8 a.m.; the first order of business being the election of board officers

Dan Gholson was elected chairman; Frank Lynch vice-chair and Linda Burns, secretary. Dwilene Holbert retained her title as treasurer.

The second order of business was to interview potential CEO Patsy Shields, of Hauxton, Colo.

Former chairman Alan Shields was present as the trustees interviewed Ms. Shields in executive session.

Coming out of Executive Session the trustees told observers that they were recessing the meeting until 5 p.m, when they would interview Burrus.

Friday evening

Friday's special meeting with Burrus had to be recessed and continued on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Since Burrus had developed automotive problems and was temporarily stranded in Dumas.

The meeting was brought to order by Gholson, who immediately informed the small group of observers about the known status of the loan requests.

The loan request of $100 thousand from the Keyes Bank was reported to be favorable; the loan request of $400 thousand from the Boise City Bank was reported to have unfavorable chances; but would be discussed by the bank's board of directors on July 13. The status of a third loan request for an unknown amount to Clayton's First State Bank was not available.

Gholson turned to Holbert and CFO Joe Garoutte, “We need to set up a meeting next week with Wayne Montgomery, me, Joe and you. Joe, you call him early Tuesday morning,” Gholson ordered.

Gholson looked at each board member and turned to the observers, “We need the largest loan to cover all our bases.”

The board nodded in agreement.

Holbert then asked Gholson how much money was in the bank, Trustee Linda Burns made the point that the financials weren't on the agenda.

Trustee Lynch suggested they might try the City National Bank of Guymon.

Saturday morning:

As the trustees prepared to go into executive session with Burrus, observer Craig Aycock asked to speak to the board.

Aycock asked the board to seriously consider each of their decisions, especially when it came to honoring long-term contracts.

Gholson told Aycock that the board appreciated his input, and then assured him that as a board they took their service seriously.

After nearly two hours in executive session the board returned to open meeting.

The board moved to and accepted Burrus' contract with the stipulation that changes would be made and that the contract would go into effect after it had been studied by Assistant D.A. Manske.

According to Gholson and Burrus, concessions were made by both sides to agree on the contract.

“Will it be OK if I take leadership on Tuesday?” Burrus asked the trustees.

Trustee Burns thrust a finger onto the table top, “I want you to take leadership now!” She turned and looked at the time, “At 10:13 a.m.,” she smiled.

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