… And a new Board member
What seemed like a sudden change to the makeup of the Southern Mono Healthcare District’s Board of Directors on Thursday had actually been in the works for several months.
Shortly after coming out of closed session from Thursday’s Board meeting, Board Chairman Jack Copeland resigned. He had sat on the Board for approximately seven years.
“I am resigning from the Board, effective now,” Copeland said. “The reason will become evident when you get to new business [a segment of the agenda].” Copeland then got up and left the meeting.
Under new business, hospital CEO Gary Boyd explained that the hospital plans to enter into a partnership with Mammoth Mountain Ski Area to increase the hospital’s presence at ski area properties, as well as in ski area print and electronic media. The hospital would also be allowed to use MMSA’s logo in its communications if it chose, Boyd said.
“Each year about 1.4 million skiers and riders visit Mammoth Mountain and they often don’t even know the hospital is here,” Boyd explained.
The Mountain came to Boyd with the idea several months ago, and he felt it was an important program for the hospital. As discussions progressed, however, it became clear that Copeland, a VP at Mammoth Mountain, would have a conflict if he remained on the Board.
“To move forward Jack could not be a Board member,” Boyd explained. While he was saddened that Copeland had to leave, Boyd felt that exposure to 1.4 million people was the best thing for the organization.
The Board’s legal counsel, David Baumwohl, will also be unable to represent the Board on this matter because MMSA is a client.
The only details that Boyd provided to the Board about the particulars of the agreement were that it would be a five-year obligation that would cost the hospital $45,000 the first year, and have an incremental increase each year following.
Boyd said he would speak with Baumwohl about whether or not the agreement needed to come back before the Board with details since it deals with money, but it may also be under Boyd’s authority to move forward even without the Board’s approval.
If Board approval is necessary, a special meeting will need to be called because the program is all ready to be implemented this winter, according to Boyd, and the next regular Board meeting does not take place until after the Mountain opens on Nov. 10.
In the meantime, the Board’s Vice Chair Lynda Salcido took over as Chair after Copeland’s departure. There is now a vacant position on the Board. Rather than spend the money to hold a Special Election, Baumwohl recommended filling the seat by appointment instead. The position will be publicly noticed and the Board would hope to fill the seat at its regular November meeting.