Notes From Focus Group held on 10/9/2018
I held a Community Listening Session on October 9, 2018. Concerned residents raised questions, identified core issues and made
suggestions to help the hospital move forward. It was a very positive meeting. I complied the notes and presented what we had developed to the DCHS Board at their meeting on
The tone of the meeting was more positive than in the recent past. My
presentation went fairly well, although I was not able to read the document in its entirety. I had only enough time to touch on some of the questions, issues and suggestions put forth by the
focus group. The mention of hospital billing concerns seemed to draw some attention. I gave each of the DCHS Board members and Bart Stupak and his associate, Andrew Currie a copy of the complete
document. Several DCHS Board members stated that they appreciated the comments.
Mr. Stupak reported that after reviewing DCHS financials, the hospital
in not even close to being in “dire straits”. He stated that he has seen hospitals in much worse situations. The biggest problem facing our hospital is a cash shortage (something they could easily
remedy by collecting on unpaid bills, perhaps?)
I found out that the DCHS pension plan is 70% funded (very good by
today’s standards) and that all retirees are still getting their monthly payments- even if they had opted for the lump sum buyout. No one who is eligible is going without retirement
Venable LLP is going to do a feasibility study to determine which
services need to be enhanced, reduced or eliminated. They will be looking at every department and into every nook and cranny to find out where the money is (or is not) to be
Thank you to all who participated in the focus group. Thank you for
your input and taking the time to share your concerns. We will have more sessions as the hospital moves forward on its journey.
10/2/2018: With the withdrawal of two potential partners, DCHS faces tremendous financial
and organizational challenges.
The DCHS Board of Trustees has announced a “restructuring”.
I pray that it will solve most of the problems that the hospital faces, but there is no
guarantee that this move will prevent bankruptcy. The "restructuring" will cost DCHS a lot of money. I hope it is worth it.
The Administration and Board must commit to following ALL of the recommendations of legal counsel, Venable, LLC. If the current Board
and CEO are unwilling or unable to make the tough choices necessary for survival, a fresh start with a new Board and Interim CEO will be necessary for our hospital to move
My full care and concern is with the hospital employees, retirees and our community. I
call on all area residents to support the employees and
retirees of DCHS by using the services the hospital
provides whenever it is appropriate to do so.
We are all in this together. We need a hospital in our community!
Lake Antoine Park Partners received grants for Park improvements from Michigan Arbor Day Alliance, BOSS/Toro. Inc. Weyerhaeuser
Dickinson County has been awarded for a DNR Recreation Grant for a "Big Kids" play area. The tot lot, funded by a CUPPAD grant is
The Campground Host at Lake Antoine Park was a huge success.
The First Ever Crafty Flea Market on September 8 exceeded all expectations. Lake Antoine Park hosted 50 vendors and more than 1300 visitors
for the event.
FORD AIRPORT: AN IMPORTANT COUNTY ASSET
Ford Airport is one of our County’s greatest assets. It is an often unrecognized economic engine that drives commerce in our area.
Ford Airport Facts:
- More than 4000 boardings and deplanements in July 2018. The target for 2018 is 20,000 passengers.
- 18,500 annual passengers- the minimum of 10,000 passengers was reached by August 31, 2017*
- 28 locally-based aircraft
- 63 employees (private vendors)
- LOCAL ECONOMIC IMPACT: $16 Million
- Classification: Tier I, Commercial Service, Primary non-hub: allows highest priority for Federal and State grants*
- Regulatory Compliance with FAA, TSA and MDOT(Aero)
FY 2018 Projects:
Repaving of Runway**: Done in 2 weeks!
Expansion of parking area- 50 new, free parking spots!
NEW HANGARS for MJ Electric, CSA Air and EAA
* if there are more than 10,000 annual passenger boardings, Ford Airport receives a $1 million Federal grant for airport mantenance and upgrades.
**Paid for with Grant funds and 5% local match
7.20.2016: It is with great pleasure that I anounce that I have been appointed to the Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) Economic Development and Taxation
Committee for a two-year term. This is a volunteer position with no cost to Dickinson county taxpayers. I am very honored to represent Dickinson County and the Upper Peninsula on this
In order to be a write-in candidate for Precinct Delegate, you MUST RESGISTER WITH THE COUNTY CLERK. PLease consult her for filing deadlines.
For County Board meeting minutes, follow this link:
Click on "Meeting Minutes" on right hand side of page.