Editorial: A missed opportunity for the BIHS Board

Fri, 09/27/2013 - 6:22pm

A perfectly reasonable proposal to the Block Island Health Services Board to recognize the years of service of former Executive Director Monty Stover — possibly through a fundraiser — quickly devolved into a discussion designed to put as much daylight between the Board of Directors and this idea as possible.

According to Peter Saxon, who reached out to the BIHS Board on behalf of Stover in the first place, there are now no discussions scheduled to move the matter forward.

It’s too bad, because there have been two themes that have occupied the BIHS board in recent weeks: reaching out to the community and increasing the group’s fundraising efforts.

Given the support expressed for Stover in the past, this idea seemed an excellent opportunity to mend fences and raise some much-needed cash. Having a productive discussion about how to recognize Stover for his years on the job could have helped the island, helped the medical center and perhaps put some final closure to a matter that has been a preoccupation for more than a year.

We recognize why the idea may have been distasteful to those who wanted Stover removed. Such an event would be seen as a testimonial to Stover, giving people an opportunity to praise the former executive, and lending more fuel to the idea that a mistake had been made.

But, on a purely practical matter in terms of public relations and fundraising, this was an excellent idea. Reaching out to Stover’s supporters could not help but improve the coffers of the health center because more people would be brought inside the tent.

Now the opportunity appears squandered, because the perception is that the BIHS board will be, at most, passive participants in any event that might recognize Monty Stover. This will do little to breach the gap that still apparently exists between the two camps.

Perhaps this can be worked out. It should be. The Block Island Medical Center can use all the friends it can get.