Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Mercy Board addresses complaints of fellow board member on committee and hiring decisions

 


Board Member Sue Pederson took issue with several topics in the minutes of the Jan. 28 Mercy Board meeting when the minutes were to be approved at the Feb. 25 board meeting.

“Kelly Goeb (the board chair) said that there will be no committee assignments for new board members for two years,” said Pederson. “That’s not legal. I am elected to serve my people (Silver Township). I want to serve on committees and serve my people. I want to be on the Finance Committee and Personnel Committee where Chris Thiessen (the former Silver Township board member) was.”

Pederson explained that she had spoken with the township attorney earlier that day and told the board that he had said the board cannot determine the degree of involvement of a board member.

Goeb replied that there are exceptions to the rules at times.

“I will not put you on a committee that is complicated,” she said. “There is a lot to learn before I put you on that committee.”

Pederson also had an issue with the board hiring staff during closed sessions.

“You are not doing them correctly, according to the attorney,” she said. “You can’t hire staff during a closed session. It states in the Open Meeting Law that a contract has to be made public. I want to see the contract.”

The interim CEO, Trina Lower, had been hired in December, Goeb explained. She said that the contract was not approved during a closed meeting, it had been approved during a special meeting.

Pederson asked to see the minutes of that special meeting and she wanted to see the contract.

“Once the contract is filled out, it is public,” she said.

Board Member Trish Riel pointed out that the term of interim CEO had been changed to temporary CEO.

Pederson also pointed out that two staff members had been hired during a closed meeting.

“That’s a violation of the Open Meeting Law,” she said. “You are not supposed to hire during closed meetings.”

Temporary CEO Lower explained that there was a different statute that allows the hiring of providers during closed meetings.

Pederson replied that only three violations are allowed before a board member is not allowed to serve on the board anymore.

In the CEO Strategic Plan, it was reported that the nitrous oxide for pain management has been working well.

Allison Horton has now been certified to provide help to mothers that are having difficulty with breastfeeding new babies.

Lower also reported that the Adverse Health Events Report was due out shortly.

The annual report will be distributed at the township meetings on March 12 and the Moose Lake City Council meeting on March 13 at 4 p.m., it was said.

 

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