The Baldwin County Commission rejected the appointment of a county staff member to the South Baldwin Hospital Relocation Group in a 3-1 vote after several questions were raised about the need for the group’s existence.
Commission Chiarman Frank Burt said he had received a letter from South Baldwin Regional Medical Center’s CEO asking for the commission to appoint a representative to the hospital relocation group, and he had asked Baldwin County Clerk/Treasurer Kim Creech to serve as that representative.
Commissioner Chris Elliott said he felt the relocation board was an unnecessary body, as he felt the Hospital Authority, which is appointed by the commission, fully had the ability to assist with and make such decisions.
“We make appointments to the South Baldwin Hospital Authority, so I think this is superfluous,” Elliott said. “I don’t know why we’re having another separate group that dilutes the appointments we make to the hospital authority. The hospital authority should be more involved.”
Elliott questioned whether Burt had discussed the request with any members of the hospital board or city officials from Foley, with Burt answering he had not spoken to either.
Commissioner Skip Gruber said Foley was considering not taking part in the relocation group.
“They were talking about maybe not even participating because of them not being forthcoming to them in the beginning,” Gruber said.
Commissioner Tucker Dorsey said Gulf Shores had appointed Councilman Jason Dyken as its representative but was unaware of what the City of Orange Beach might be doing.
Dorsey said while he was appreciative about the healthcare needs of south Baldwin County being addressed, he was unsure if the commission needed to have representation on the group.
“I am against this appointment,” Dorsey said. “I think we need to see how Foley, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach collaborate with making something happen here.”
Dorsey suggested that the commissioners could simply attend the relocation group meeting without becoming a member of the group.
“This is not an official board appointment,” Dorsey said. “We can still participate in the meeting.”
All of the commissioners but Burt voted to reject the appointment.