Follow the rules

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 8:15pm

The members of the Block Island Health Services Board should heed the advice of some of its constituents: follow the guidelines outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order and create some separation of duties between Dr. Mark Clark and the board. Some compartmentalizing is necessary.

At the outset of the Block Island Health Services Board meeting on Monday, June 18, 2019, Board President Cindy Baute announced that the agenda for the meeting had been changed to accommodate the interns who had prepared a presentation about preventive care. Audience member Sean McGarry called for a point of order, stating that any change to an agenda needed a vote by the board.

Baute countered by saying she hadn’t changed the agenda, she simply “re-ordered it.”

According to Robert’s Rules, any changes to an agenda requires a two-thirds vote of the assembled quorum.

These items are not frivolities, or niceties, especially when public funds or public business is involved. They are essential.

The reason we say that is because there is no more important institution on the island than the Medical Center. We need to trust it, and the people who run the Medical Center need to trust us. Right now, for too many people, that trust is tenuous. The Board needs to make some changes. It needs to become autonomous so that it can have objective oversight of Dr. Clark, and it needs to follow the rules of order, no matter what its bylaws or its agreement with the town states.