Our Readers Respond

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Letter to the Pilot

Leave room in Destination Park for historic structures


During a recent visit to Storm Lake my wife and I heard about great plans for developing the Storm Lake area with particular emphasis on the lake itself and its immediate surroundings.

Some of our Storm Lake friends expressed misgivings concerning the eventual fate of certain Storm Lake area historical structures. These structures include the Pioneer Log House and the rural one room school house.

After having lived in Storm Lake for almost 35 years, we learned to appreciate local history and came to value the existence of these fine old buildings.

Their present site was well chosen. It is a prominent spot on the lake among stately, mature trees and includes a fine, enclosed garden plot.

Well, we hope that these historical structures remain in their present location, there is always the danger of development with the result that such fine, old buildings are relegated to some inferior, out of the way location. In that case, it would be as if a community is ashamed of its past.

While Cathy and I have returned to our Ohio roots, our Iowa connection remains healthy.

- Otto and Cathy Petsch

Conneaut, Ohio

Do med center decisions spell arrogance by board?


Over the past year we have seen remarkable things happening at the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center with regards to the improvements made to the physical plant. As each area is completed it is opened and would make any hospital and its service area proud for not only the facility but the caring service provided by the line staff on a daily basis.

We wish the letter could be completed after having said the above as it would be a resounding tribute to the leadership exhibited by the elected body of officials called the BVRMC Board of Trustees. While public service is always welcomed and commendable there are some things that have happened and continue to happen that diminishes the pride and confidence in the "leaders," I say leaders quite loosely!

During the past year under Chair Sharar and Vice Chair Huntington we have seen the adult daycare program close even though a little patience could have provided continuity of support services for this important staple in some people's lives. We have seen the first time sanctioning of alcohol on campus under their leadership... During this time we have seen a paving contractor return to the hospital to correct design flaws that were not seen by paid staff who walked the area daily or by the trustee grounds committee members who toured the area. One excuse was that the architect designed the flaw and the contract was already signed. Most times when noticed early, such things as handicap parkers walking through rocks or having to take the long way around can be renegotiated in a contract. One can only imagine the costs of a crew fixing the problems on a Friday afternoon and evening as was the case...

We now have the dialysis unit being sold. The hefty figure that is reported probably was attractive to pay some bills. We now know why the hospital auxiliary was looking for the bills to pay for the equipment they wanted to buy but were never received.

When made public last February the board could have simply said that they were looking at some options including the sale of the unit... Instead they chose not to communicate. Pure arrogance!

Previously the dialysis patients had their meals discontinued to cut costs. One wonders what the priorities are with this group as they continue to have their meals at meetings and as reported buy the holiday booze.

In July the board (held) a closed door retreat which will enact a new governance policy. Apparently with an independent thinker (Crippen) such things have to stop. We also have an urging of Thompson by one of his colleagues to resign. Why did you abstain on dialysis Bob?

Perhaps it is time to return the hospital oversight to the county supervisors. One doubts they would close programs without public hearings nor would they even consider purchasing alcohol...

Lacking that perhaps the next best thing would be to sell the hospital lock, stock, and barrel. The issue of public information and use of funds would be moot, the county coffers would benefit, and the hospital would be free to rise and fall on its own merits. In addition the board could and would be free to do as they please without an increasing number of people asking just what are they doing out there?! A dumb idea? You betcha but seems to be within this board's ability!

What you have seen with this board is what you will continue to get. Time to retire all seven of them!

- Donald L. Parrish, Sioux Rapids