County Response to Shands
Their intent may be to answer questions and prepare for the future.
But in some ways, it appears to be like the build- up to a boxing match.
A "he said, he said" war of words... That everybody hopes will end with a meeting on the minds.
"Not sufficient. Helpful, constructive."
That's what Alachua County Commission Chairman Mike Byerly thinks about a letter sent to the county regarding Tim Goldfarb's no-show at a may meeting regarding the closing of Shands AGH.
In the letter - which Byerly responded to with a letter of his own - Shands CEO Goldfarb said he'd attend a July 15th meeting about the same subject under certain conditions, including ... No questions about the closing of AGH.
We interviewed Byerly, and this is what he had to say:
"The important thing for the board of shands healthcare to understand is that it is a public hearing. Any citizen is free to attend, make any statement they wish, ask any question that they wish. This is the democratic process and it's not negotiable."
Goldfarb called the request that he attend the may meeting "inappropriate."
"I felt and the board felt it was inappropriate," Goldfarb told TV 20
Byerly ... Begs to differ.
"We're doing our best to gather information, inform our citizenry, try to make public policy decisions as an elected body moving forward. I can't think of anything that would be a more appropriate subject for a public hearing than that."
If the July 15th AGH meeting does happen as planned, it'll include comments from county commissioners, Gainesville commissioners, and the public.
One hour will also be set aside for a presentation made by Goldfarb.
Byerly says regardless of whether or not Goldfarb shows, the meeting is important.
"We have to decide how we're going to cope with the consequences of the closure. There will be significant consequences for providing healthcare in our community. What do we do with it? That's the focus of the meeting moving forward. How do we cope? How do we adapt?"
2 questions ... That might be answered on the 15th, but then again ... They might not.
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