Friday, July 14, 2017

The 20 Council members who voted against even more money for General Hospital.

On June the 20th Council met and adopted the annual operating budget for the city of Nashville.  Several amendments were offered one of which was Amendment number 4 sponsored by Councilman Robert Mendez, which would increase the metro subsidy to General Hospital by $5 million, from $35 million to $40 million..  Any time a proposal is made to increase funding for one part of the budget, the money must come from somewhere else in the budget. This amendment would have taken the $5 million from the reserve fund for new debt.

Metro General Hospital is a money pit that is constantly needing more and more money.  There is no state law or charter requirement that the city even operate a charity hospital.  Metro gives metro employees an incentive to use General and when Metro jail inmates need care they are taken to General, yet General cannot fill its beds. People simply do not want to go to General.  Ever since the advent of medicaid poor people have been able to use the hospital of their choice.  There is little need for a charity hospital, yet we continue to operate General and General constantly needs more and more money. To read a whole lot more about General Hospital, follow this link.

The amendment of add an additional $5 million dollars in subsidy to Metro General failed by a vote of 15 Yes, 20 No, 2 Abstain and 2 Not voting.

These are the 20 councilmen who voted "no," voting against the additional $5 million subsidy for General Hospital:

John Cooper, Bill Pridemore, Keven Rhoten. Freddie O'Connell, Davette Blalock, Jim Shulman, Dough Pardue, Jeff Syracuse, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Tenaka Vercher, Robert Swope, Larry Hagar, Mike Freeman, Mina Johnson, Jacobia Dowell, Bret Withers, Steve Glover, Burkley Allen, Jeremy Elrod, and Angie Henderson.

Those 15 who voted for the additional subsidy are Erica Gilmore, DeCosta Hastings, Nancy VanReece, Karen Johnson, Bob Mendes, Brenda Haywood, Ed Kindall, Fabian Bedne, Sharon Hurt, Scott Davis, Kathleen Murphy, Dave Rosenberg, Nick Leonardo, Anthony Davis, and Russ Pulley.

Abstaining was Colby Sledge and Sheri Weiner.  While an abstention is better than a "yes" vote, I am especially disappointing that Sheir Weiner, who is a Republican, failed to vote "no." Absent from this meeting and not voting were Huezo and Potts.

I do not know why those who voted, voted the way they did.  Some may have voted "no" because they are fiscally responsible or some may have voted "no" because they are Mayor Barry loyalist and since the extra $5 million was not in the mayor's budget, they were not going to vote against the mayor.  In any event, 20 council members voted the right way. If you see them, commend them for their vote.

To view the source material, follow this link. To put a face and district number with the names, follow this link.

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