BIHS by-laws do the job

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 8:30pm

Recently, The Block Island Times was asked to review the by-laws of the Block Island Health Services Board of Directors, and we did.

It is an imperfect document — why on earth any board would want up to 20 members is beyond us — but it is detailed and thorough enough for the job. There should be no worries that the BIHS members can do what they please without consequence, or do it out of the public eye.

One issue that remains persnickety, however, is the question of transparence, but that can be put to rest.

Certainly, the BIHS by-laws do not address how, where, and when to post notice of its regular monthly meetings. That, however, is covered by the agreement the Medical Center has with the town of New Shoreham. We would ask that the board simply add in language to the governing by-laws to address the issue directly and be done with it. Having some overlap in that area would do no harm.

The issue of transparency has also been linked to the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of the facility’s nurse practitioner. On this we could not agree more with Board President Cindy Baute, who said those matters will not and should not be discussed publicly. This is simply an issue of protecting the privacy of the individuals involved. Speculating on what may have happened is not helpful.

Also, as Baute pointed out, there is a public input section at the beginning of every BIHS agenda, during which members of the public can address issues and ask questions. Any member of the public can, and is encouraged, to attend a meeting and receive information first-hand.