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The Clarendon Enterprise
Clarendon, Texas
March 1, 1973     The Clarendon Enterprise
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March 1, 1973

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local residents fight hospital bill; sub-committee to decid USTIN .. The Donley County Hospital Bill, faced with seven Donley County citizens, was referred to Sub-Commlttee Monday following debate before the Jse Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. bill, which calls for the election of hospital board has already been passed in the Senate. It calls the election of the three members whose terms expire year on April 7, and the election of the remaining 4 on the first Saturday of April next year. he bill wa,s challenged Monday by seven local residents. se persons askedthat all 7 membersbe elected this year, than Just 3. Personsopposingthebillas it stands who rneyed to Austin include G. W. E stlack, Delbert Robertson, McMurtry, Forest Sawyer, John Bass, John Judd and Rattan. Journeying to Austin to support the bill included Judge Billie Christal, County Commissioners Gene and John Swinney, and Dean Singleton, publisher of Clarendon Press. bill was referred to sub-committee after vigorous of the subject. The bi11, when it leaves the sub-corn- will be approved by the governmental committee, go to the House floor for a House vote. When approved in the House, it will be sent to the governor for his signa- ture, making it law. If any changes are made in sub-committee action, the bill then would return to the Senate briefly for final appro- val there. The only change likely to be made to the bill would be a provision which would give each member of the board a place number. Committee members suggested that the place system would make for smoother operation of the board, This means that each member who files for elec- tion would file for a certain place. If there are three places on the ballot to be elected, eachvoterwould get three votes, one vote for each place. If there were four places on the ballot to be elected, each voter would get four votes, one for each place. This would mean that the majority of the voters would probably elect all board members. Asthe elec- tion provisions now stand, a candidate could win election while not gaining a majority of the vote. This would ellmin= ate that, Rep. Phil C ate s introduced the hospital bill to the 23-mem- ber House committee Monday. After his opening remarks, County Judge Billie Christal told the committee, "We feel that the board needs to be elected by the people. But we op- pose the election of all 7 members at once because we don't want to upset the present operation of the board." Christal urged the committee to pass the bill as it is. CommissionerWhite was the next witness. He told the com- mittee that it was very important that only three melbers are elected this year. "We need stabilization of the board, and we can't have this if we completely shake up the board. To elect all 7 at once could upset everything the present board has accomplished," White told the committee. He urged the committee to pass the bill without changes. Delbert Robertson took the stand next, telling the com- mittee that he represented a "group of voters in Donley County." He asked for what he called a compromise, call- ing for the election of all 7 members this year. He told the committee that a petition indicated to him that many voters want all 7 elected, rather than Just 3 this year. "We want our democratic right to elect all 7 members now, not Just 3," Robertson told the committee. "We feel it would be wrong to elect Just 3 now, and have 3 elected members and 4 appointed members." A committee member asked Robertsen why he didn't want .continuity on the board, and Robertsen, apparently not know- lng what the word means, said the board would have con- Donley County, Texas March 1, 1973 2 Sections Volume I, No. 42 / Jimmy Floyd and Russell Keown, drink it up in the old saloon in "The Sagebrush Sal,,, which will be presented tonight at 8 p.m. at Clarendon High lmt ) ........................... } has a serious chat with Jake the Snake episode of "The Sage of Sagebrush Sal,', which MRS. BARBARA COSPER, right, presents a check for$100 to Maurice Risley, secretary- treasurer of the Donley County School Board. The check, which is the proceeds from the annual Beta Sigma Phi Charity Ball, will be used for human development. Looking on are Mrs. Pearl l lermesmeyer and Mrs. Bright Newhouse, human development teachers. Board defeats resolution attempt The Donley County Hospital District board of directors, in a meeting filled with chaos and discord, Friday defeated a move by board member Delbert Robertsontopass a reso- lution calling for the election of 7 board members on April 7. Robertson had asked the board to pass a resolution asking the Legislature to ammend its present Donley County Hos- pital Bill. The present bill, pending before the House and al- ready passed by the Senate, calls for election of board mem- bers, rather than appointment by the Commissioners Court which is the procedure now. The present bill calls for the election of those three members whose terms expire this year on April 7, and the election of the other four members in April of next year. Robertson's resolution would have all 7 board members elected on April 7 of this year.His motion came in view of a petition which was presented to the board. The petition, which had 529 names on it, many of them on it twice, called for the election of all 7 members on April 7. Then, accord- ing to the petition, the board would divide into three groups, one group of three and two groups of two. Rudy Renfer, attorney for the hospital district, presented an opinion from Austin which said that the 3-2-2 provision of the petition was unconstitutional, thus voiding the resolu- tion on the petition. President Bright Newhouse said that since the petition was unconstitutional, the board was in no position to accept it. t h stage Thursday night at 8 p.m. in the high Robertson made a motion that the board pass a resolution ::ynelre a calling for the election of all7 members, with the deletion E Yed by Kim Newhouse, and Jake, of the 3-2-2 provision. O. C. Watson seconded the motion, e, are the two leading characters and a vote was taken. The vote came to a 3-3 tie, with Rob- a, sponsored by the speech department at ertson, Watson and Jane Bownds voting for the resolu- High, Admission is $1 for adults and 50 for tlon, and J. S. Hinds, Jeff Walker and Bright Newhouse vet- Photo by Will Lowe) ing against the resolution. Being a tie, the question failed. yeff New nursing home announced nursing home is planned for Clarendon, according sort of handywork can be offered for public sale. ant made this week and Industrial Fo ...... by the Road Runners An entirely new concept is under study that would po- the uuuauon. The foundation announc- vide a bus which would be stripped of its interior furnish- new nursing home will be built on a 2-acre ings and fashioned with a ramp gate in the rear that would est Clarendon, Just behind and west of the take wheel chairs aboard and secure them in place, while ch. the bus traveled out to Greenbelt Lake to allow the patients and operallng the 40-bed facilitywill be the Jans- to be unloaded to fish from a barge. )rporation of the Southwest. Negotiations with this Additional ideas will be pursued by the operating firm in of t he COmpleted last week, according to officials of an effort to blend the needs and wishes of the patients with Foundation. the many recreational facilities in the lake area. Spokesmen for the Jansway Corporation have expressed an Will use all lOCal help, and 20 persons will be extraordinary amount of enthusiasm over the growth pos- foundation said. The Jansway Corporation sibillties of this area for rural health care. In conferences work closely With the educational institutions in work Study and on-the-Job training, this week with executives of the Amarillo Chamberof Com- merce, spokesmen for Jansway indicated that the Amarillo as are being completed and will be officials feel that this area immediately off theCaprock and ey In two Weeks, the foundations spokesman ical Cost of the project is expected to Dun around glen, $ within a short range of Amarillo could become the rural counterpart of the huge metropolitan health complex planned nher ot innovations are planned for the operation, over the next 20 years for the Amarillo locale. garden space with water furnished for to continue with their outdoor activities. Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Benson spent the weekend visiting taught, and products that evolve from this Mr. and Mrs. Richard Finch in Irving. Before the vote, a heated discussion was held by board members, with interruptions by several citizens. A group of women, including Mrs. Helen Rogers, Mrs. Lilly Knox, Mrs. Gladys Baten, and Mrs. Marie Hill, assisted by G. W. Estlack, spoke in favor of electing all 7 members. They expressed their feeling that the latest four appointees were not legally appointed. A court decision has proven that the appointments were legal. They made various other interup- ring remarks during the meeting. tinuity if all 7 were elected. This remark got a chuckle from the legislators. A nether representative asked Robert son why he wanted the tour whose terms have not expired to run this year. Robert- son told the committee that the four were not legally ap- pointed in the first place since two were not landholders at the time of appointment. He was told that an appointee does not have to be a landholder to hold an appointive office. He then went further into why he wants these four to run. "These four members have always opposed everything we qo," Robertson said. "We had a good, workable board until the commissioners decided to appoint these people to the board. We had the hospital on the way to being opened, and these four people have voted in a block to keen the hospital closed. Everything we three old members try to do is out- voted by these new members." He continued, "We feel thatthehospital can never work as long as these people hold the majority on the board. They continue to hamper the operations of the board." With these slams at the four board members, which, in- cidentally, include Bright Newhouse, J. S. Hinds, JeffWalk- er and R. D. Cagle, memberslookedat Robertson with ques- tionable eyes. "Are you trying to tell us that these members want this hospital closed?" one member questioned. "Well, they've tried to keep it closed," Robertson said. Robertson brought up the old controversy concerning Dr. George Smith and the board, and recalled some events from the controversy. This brought a question from the corn mlttee. "Do you mean to tell me that you have a doctor in Claren- don, and he doesn't practice in the hospital?" one member asked in disbelief. "Yes, that's right," Robertson said. "Why doesn't he practice in the hospital," the repre- sentative said. "Well, I Just don't know," Robertson said. "We've offered the facilities to him for his use, and he never has accepted them." The committee, by this time, was giving Robertson quite a raking over the coals, quizzing him left and right about the situation. After Robertson sat down, Estlack made some comments for their cause. Then Gene White was given the floor again. Gene explained to the committee several things concern- ing the hospital board. He said that the old board members were replaced partly because they had filed a lawsuit against Dr. Smith. He said that the Commissioners Court felt that the action was irresponsible, and decided to put four new members on the board for that reason. White explained that the four members who Robertson had criticized were working very, very hard to solve the lawsuits so the hospital could be opened. "These four are the members who are trying to get the hospital open." White contradicted most of the statements which Rob- ertson had made, and told the board again how important it is that only three board members are elected this year. He said the hoard is very close to having the hospital prob- lems solved, and said a completely new board might hamper the hospital settlement. Cafes gave the closing remarks, tellingthe committee that the problem was a "personal" problem involving Smith and those who oppose Smith. White told the committee that a lawsuit is keeping Smith from practicing at the hospital. Joe McMurty, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, told the committee that Smith could practice at the hospital any time he wishes. White dis- agreed, saying that the suit forbids Smith to practice at the facility. After the meeting, White produced a copy of the suit, which does forbid Smith from practicing at the Medical Center facility. The committee chairman thanked eachpersonfrom Donley County for attending the hearing. Cafes said that the bill could pass the House as soon as next Tuesday, and thus be signed into law in time for the April 7 election. Deadline near in local races Administrator Was Langham reported to the board that Medical Center is in deep financial trouble, and will have to be closed down, nursing home and all, within a short time if some money is not borrowed. He said he is having pro- blems now paying the utility bills, and said something would have to be done immediately. The nursing home is down to 16 patients. The hospital has many outstanding debts, Langham reported. Langham said that he had talked to Extendi Care, an or- ganization that leases hospitals and operates them as a private enterprise. He said that he had received applica- tions from the firm. A motion was made by O. C. Watson to allow Langham to complete the application and return it to Extendi Care. The hospital district is responsible for paying the bond indebtedness, while the hospital is run by the group, with no other obligation to the district. Langham said he would check into the system. The motion carried. Attorney Renfer and Newhouse reported that much pro- grass has been made towards the settlement of the lawsuits involving the hospital district. Newhouse attempted to call an executive session to discuss the suits wlththe board, but G. W. Estlack objected, and refused to leave the meeting. Under the circumstances, Newhouse asked that the meeting be adjourned. Jane Bownds made the motion, Robertson seconded, and the meeting was recessed when the motion carried. After the meeting, Estlack accused Newhouse of illegally trying to close a meeting to the press, and said that New- house could be fined for the incident. Estlack produced a copy of the Open Meetings Law. Newhouse, to date, has not been fined by anybody, and isn't likely to be. With deadline approaching for candidates to file for local offices, no races had become evident Wednesday afternoon. Deadline for all elections is March V, which is next Wednes- day. Voters will go to the polls on Saturday, April 7, to vote in the city, school and hospital elections. And at 5 p.m. Wednes- day, only candidates for the school board had filed. James McAnear, a veteran member of the Clarendon School Board, filed for re-election earlier in February. His term expires in April. Eldon Lyles, the only other school board member up for election, told The Press that he will not seek re-election. Gene Alderson, a local automobile dealer, has filed for the board to fill Lyles' seat. No other candidates have filed for the board. Two councilmen and the mayor will be elected on April 7 in the city election. Mayor Flip Breedlove and council- men Glenn Wallace and Cecil McAfee had not filed Wed- nesday. All are expected to file for re-election. No other persons had filed for city elections. The hospital situation was still a little confusing Wednes- day. The bill which calls for the election of hospital board members rather than appointment was in a House sub-com- mittee, and there was no way to know for sure if it would be passed in time for candidates to file. Rap. Phil Cafes said that he feels sure the bill to elect three members would pass in time for members to file. A county official Wednesday expressed the opinion that candidates for the hospital board could file on the deadline day, even if the bill has not passed by then. All deadlines are Wednesday, March 7. To file for the school board, one can file at the school administration building. City candidates must file at the city hall, and hospital board members must file with the secretary of the present hospital board. HELP!! UHF Tv in financial needl.I. The Donley County UHF TV System is in serious financial trouble, and the system needs the help of EVERYONE who uses the UHF system. The system, which was formed by a group of interested citizens in 1967 to take over the system which was to be moved from the area, needs money from each person who has a UHF antenna. The operation of the system requlrespayment of the mon- thly dues to pay for a loan retirement, maintenance, lease, taxes and replacement parts. Many antennas have been installed with the user falling to pay his monthly dues, and this has causedthe system to run deep in the red, as the monthly charge is based on payment by all persons using the system. The payment, which has been$2per month, has been raised to $3 a month to cover increased costs. Every persons using the UHF system MUST pay his monthly payment and put the system back on a paying basis. Otherwise, the system will have to be closed down and NOBODY who has a UHF antenna will have television viewing any more. The board ofdirectorsofthe Donley County UHF TV System asks that each person using the system send $3 to Box 853, Clarendon, or drop your payment off at the Simmons Insur- ance Agency or at Henson's. If you have questions about the program, call A. R. Hanson or Bob Bell. Your immediate cooperation is asked, as the system is in a financial mess. If you want UIIF service, you must pay your monthly payments.