MCH board to vote on retiree settlement

first_img Facebook Church leaders condemn mayor’s disparaging comments The Ector County Hospital District board of trustees will meet during a special session Friday to vote on a mediated settlement agreement involving Medical Center Hospital retirees.The meeting is set for 5 p.m. Friday in the boardroom at Medical Center Hospital, 500 W. Fourth St. The board is expected to meet behind closed doors to discuss the case for the second time this month prior to voting on the settlement agreement Friday. The board went behind closed doors during a regularly scheduled meeting March 6 to discuss a litigation update on the case.“I can’t discuss the details because of pending litigation,” District 1 board member Bryn Dodd said Wednesday.But she did say she was shocked because the issue came up faster than she expected. Dodd said she thought the case may get put on the backburner due to the financial situation the hospital is currently in, but will be happy if they can come up with some kind of agreement for everyone involved.The ECHD board voted in October 2016 to kick about 380 retirees off the hospital insurance plan and created Health Reimbursement Accounts for them instead, but many of the retirees have said it wasn’t enough to cover secondary insurance policies.Board members at the time said the cuts were expected to save the hospital about $3.25 million.A group of 317 retirees and dependents then sued Medical Center Hospital to get their original healthcare benefits reinstated, but in April they lost a court battle when a judge found the group failed to show there had been a contract where the hospital district waived the immunity it has as a governmental entity from such lawsuits.The group retaliated in May by helping new hospital board candidates campaign and successfully unseat the incumbents in districts 1, 5 and 7.Since being elected last year, two of those new board members, Dodd and District 5’s Don Hallmark fought remaining longtime board members and former administration to find a solution both parties could agree on.In July, Hallmark presented a new proposal to try to reinstate some of those benefits, but it was shot down in a 4-3 vote with many board members saying it was a numbers issue. Dodd and District 2’s Mary Lou Anderson, both of whom have family members who are retirees, voted in favor of the proposal with Hallmark.Instead, a proposal by District 7’s Ben Quiroz was approved that allowed the rollover of funds in the HRAs.After that meeting, MCH retiree and former HR director David Meisell said many of those HRAs went untouched because retirees were afraid to use them. They were under the impression it would jeopardize their right to use the hospital over the benefit changes. Not only that, but some didn’t have the $1,000 to front for their premium, he said.Quiroz said during the July meeting it would be best to let litigation run its course since an appeal had been filed because of a failed mediation attempt following the court’s decision in April.Hallmark said Wednesday he thinks something has finally been agreed upon that will work for everybody.“I have no idea what the agreement is, but I can tell you this: it was brought back because of the change of our administration. Our administration has seen, not just with the retirees, but with their current employees, the dissatisfaction of how that happened,” Hallmark said.It was a need that had to be filled and the current administration put it back together, he said.“I feel overwhelmed that we have fought this fight continuously, have not won a vote, but have changed it all,” he added. “It was a fight against past administration, a bad plan or no plan and a board that answered yes way too often.”The board is also expected to consider an 1115 Waiver consultant agreement with Gjerset and Lorenz LLP., during the Friday meeting. Pinterest Pinterest Landgraf staffer resigns following investigation Facebook By admin – March 15, 2018 Local NewsGovernment MCH board to vote on retiree settlement Bryn Dodd, left; Don Hallmarkcenter_img WhatsApp Twitter Landgraf prepares for state budget debate Previous articleUTPB lecturer’s VR book gains new lifeNext articleSULLUM: Trump, slayer of drug pushers admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Foolproof Roasted Pork TenderloinFruit Salad to Die ForSouthern Style Potato SaladPowered By 10 Sec Mama’s Deviled Eggs NextStay WhatsApp Twitter Home Local News Government MCH board to vote on retiree settlementlast_img read more

MLB hot stove: Top five remaining free agents who aren’t Harper or Machado

first_imgThe calendar has turned to February, and real baseball will actually be played this month with teams reporting to spring training. As all eyes watch to see which teams Bryce Harper and Manny Machado ink behemoth contracts with, it seems not even MLB’s hot stove could evade the cooldown of the polar vortex, leaving some of the offseason’s most talented free agents without a deal.FAGAN: Ranking the top 79 MLB free agents Not every team can sign either Harper or Machado, and when that finally does happen, there will be a lot of money left for teams to spend. Here are the top five remaining free agents not named Harper or Machado and where their best fit may be.5. Gio GonzalezGonzalez has made at least 31 starts in seven of his past eight seasons with the Brewers and Nationals. Last season, the 33-year-old pitched to a 4.21 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 32 starts, and he finished sixth in NL Cy Young balloting as recently as 2017.Both New York teams have been tied to Gonzalez. The Mets are looking to upgrade from Jason Vargas’ 5.77 ERA at the back of their rotation, and Gonzalez has dominated at Citi Field with an 11-2 record and 1.75 ERA in 17 games.Mets have maintained dialogue with Gio Gonzalez’s camp. Question is whether Gonzalez is enough of a rotation upgrade to warrant expenditure, but the Mets’ starting pitching depth is also extremely thin. As noted previously, Gonzalez has a sub-2 ERA lifetime at Citi Field.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) February 1, 2019The Yankees were reportedly interested in Miley, but with his signing in Houston they now could turn their eyes to Gonzalez to provide a more reliable option than an aging CC Sabathia. Best fit: Mets4. Marwin GonzalezCalling Gonzalez a Swiss-Army knife is an understatement. The utility player has proven he can play any position on the field other than catcher. He had a breakout season in 2017, helping the Astros to the World Series by posting a .303 average with 23 home runs, 90 RBIs and a .907 OPS. He regressed last year, hitting 16 homers with 68 RBIs, but should remain an attractive option for any team looking for a player who can field multiple positions.The Astros may no longer have a need for Gonzalez after signing signing Michael Brantley and trading for Aledmys Diaz. The Brewers are in need of a second baseman still, but likely aren’t interested in giving Gonzalez the type of contract length he wants. The Dodgers could potentially be a landing spot if they are looking for a security blanket should another long-term injury in the infield present itself this season.Looks like the Brewers aren’t done. Marwin Gonzalez, Jed Lowrie, Wilmer Flores, Josh Harrison are among the FAs who have played second and third base. Mike Moustakas said he was open to trying 2B last year after the Brewers traded for him, but it never happened.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 10, 2019Best fit: Brewers3. 3B Mike MoustakasIt seems whatever team finishes second in the Manny Machado sweepstakes will likely land the former Milwaukee third baseman. Following a 2017 season in which he set a Royals record of 38 home runs in a season, “Moose” found little success in the free-agency waters, opting to sign a one-year, $6.5 million dollar deal before his eventual trade in July to the Brewers.A reunion with former Royals teammate Eric Hosmer in San Diego seems imminent and would provide a veteran presence for a team rich with talented infield prospects, such as Fernando Tatis Jr. The Royals remain without a solid option at third, and the right-handed heavy Phillies batting order would benefit from lefty Moustakas should Machado end up elsewhere.Best fit: Padres2. SP Dallas KeuchelKeuchel turned down a $17.9 million qualifying offer from Houston to test free-agency waters, and the Astros just signed Wade Miley to a one-year deal, but Houston and several other teams remain in the mix for the lefty.The #Astros, after signing Wade Miley to one year,$4.5 million deal, still hope to bring back former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel too— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 31, 2019The 31-year-old is coming off a season that saw him go 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 153 strikeouts in 204.2 innings. He’s spent his entire seven-year career in Houston, and given that the Astros have four starting pitchers entering a free-agent year (Miley, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Collin McHugh), a long-term deal with Keuchel may be smart.The Phillies have been rumored to have serious interest in Keuchel but are preoccupied at the moment with Harper and Machado, and the Brewers have emerged as a possible dark-horse candidate looking to beef up their rotation.Best fit: Astros 1. RP Craig KimbrelThe gap between Kimbrel and the next best reliever is wide. His resume speaks for itself as one of baseball’s elite. He’s had at least 31 saves in each of his three seasons with the Red Sox, and has a seven-year career total of 333. But last season his ERA jumped more than a full run from 2017 and he had a laborious postseason performance with a 5.91 ERA despite converting all six of his save opportunities.His postseason performance paired with reports of his exorbitant contract demands of six years and $100 million seemingly has teams unwilling to pursue him. With Kimbrel turning 31 in May, something more in the neighborhood of $16 million a year in today’s reliever market seems closer to what he’ll get. Given his history with the Braves and Red Sox, they seem like the most serious contenders to sign Kimbrel even with both teams’ GMs playing down reports of interest.Best fit: Braveslast_img read more