I heard the catch phrase “think dirty” many years ago at a course given by Dennis Dycus (along with the now politically incorrect “three b’s and a d”) and it came to mind as I followed the coverage of the Jackson County Sups telling the SRHS retirees to shut up at Monday’s meeting and today’s resulting editorial at the Sun Herald declaring the only remaining recourse the retirees have at this point is at the ballot box. It was a conclusion that Slabbed New Media reached as a matter of editorial policy three weeks ago when I wrote the following:
Just a thought but if I were one of the dedicated retiree picketers I’d strongly consider scheduling some days at the county courthouse to force the Sups to come clean on everything Billy Guice has found.
Now back to thinking dirty. Slabbed revealed the first big clue to the big picture on March 11th when “No one can serve two masters…” A SRHS Conflict of Interest Series Part 1 was published and SRHS Trustee Scott Taylor revealed the fundamentally interest conflicted position he occupied trying to engage the plan participants on behalf of the very organization that had tried shafting them just a few months earlier. When pressed in comments by Cisco Aguilar Taylor melted down and that was an important data point. You see folks Scott Taylor was appointed to the Singing River Trustees by Supervisor John McKay not to help the retirees. He was appointed by McKay to help McKay win reelection by making the Singing River problem go away.
Then bad news Friday, April 10th, 2015 arrived:
SRHS releases financial statements, announces job cuts ~ Brad Kessie
The SRHS PR spin was evident in the WLOX headline as there should have been no equivalency between the release of the 2014 year end and new job cuts related to continuing losses. Of course that did not stop CEO Kevin Holland from sticking to those ridiculous PR talking points blaming the auditors for a management perpetrated financial fraud:
CEO Kevin Holland says the health system is moving in the right direction and its Strategic Turnaround Plan is working, but there are still difficult decisions to be made, including cost cutting measures.
“The inaccurate historical financial statements due to the audit issues, combined with the pension plan revelations, have created significant and unprecedented challenges for our organization that have required substantial actions for us to remain viable and sustainable,” said Holland.
My reaction was immediate and straight to the point:
— Slabbed New Media (@SLABBEDblog) April 10, 2015
That press release was not just a damning indictment of the political cronies that try to pass themselves off as management at Singing River Hospital, no siree. It also means after the Supervisors and their financial advisers have kicked the can about 20 different ways before more recently going into hiding, commenter Observer’s original financial observations here on Slabbed, which comported to my own, again come to the fore:
Experience tells me that financially things will likely end up badly for the retirees, a prospect many have privately acknowledged to Slabbed New Media. But that does not mean the fight for justice is complete, far from it in fact.
In a few months there will be state and local primary elections across Mississippi and the voter mood continues to be foul as last year’s Senatorial primary bore out. I’d encourage the stakeholders at SRHS to start thinking biblical: 1968
By protesting in the front of the County Courthouse the retirees and their supporters will serve a strong reminder to all of the Jackson County voters of the little people that are being shafted Mississippi style by the local political machine. And it would attract renewed media interest in the protests, which many of you may be surprised to learn have continued almost daily to this day at both of the Singing River Hospitals and the Dogan and Wilkinson law firm offices in both Pascagoula and Ocean Springs. This scrappy group of retirees’ determination to find justice should never be underestimated.
To the politicians in Jackson County that read Slabbed regularly I’d like to remind each and every one of you the plan participants, especially the retirees, are not children and they should not be treated in that manner. These folks are completely invested and intertwined in the local community. They are aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers and literally your neighbor. Show them the respect they deserve and shoot straight with them. Given the disaster that has happened on your watch, it is the least you can do.