Editor's note: Questions are published as submitted by the candidates and have not been edited. Candidate Brian Winters did not return his questionnaire by press time for the print edition. However, his responses are included in the web version of this story below. He did not submit a photo.
Today, Tuesday, Oct. 13, kicks off the first day of early voting for not only the Nov. 3 general election, but some area municipal elections, as well.
One of those local elections that was postponed from May because of the coronavirus was the Gainesville Hospital District Board of Directors. In addition to incumbents Jimmy Mosman and Ken Arterbury, Brian Winters, Eugene Mills, Kari Hutcherson and G.D. “Wally” Cox are on the ballot vying for a seat on the board.
Voters will be able to select up to three candidates, with the top three vote-getters winning seats on the board.
Derrell Comer’s position is the third at-large seat up for election. He did not seek re-election. Comer has served on the board since 2009.
Early voting takes place at the Cooke County Courthouse Annex, 112 S. Dixon St., weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 30 except for Friday, Oct. 16, and Friday, Oct. 23, when voting hours are extended to 7 p.m. There will also be one day of Saturday voting this year. Voters can come in from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24.
The Gainesville Hospital District represents about two-thirds of Cooke County and the majority of its population.
The Register sent each candidate a questionnaire and the following are their responses:
Why are you running? If an incumbent, why are you seeking re-election and how long have you been serving on the board?
Ken Arterbury: As an incumbent I am re-running with the hope that we get (3) conservatives elected this time around. I have been elected twice to represent the property owners/ taxpayers of the Gainesville Hospital District.
Wally Cox: After retiring, I made a decision to take some time to relax and determine what I wanted to do with my time. After being involved in public safety and providing assistance to the public for so many years, I still had a desire to serve and provide a positive impact to the public in some way. Working for a taxing entity gave me insight into the need to be conservative in the use of tax dollars but also provide the highest level of service possible for the citizens we serve. Managing disasters, especially the recovery, required creativity to meet the myriad rules and regulations of the Federal Emergency Management Administration in order for the City to obtain federal funds. Many times, finding the best avenue for compliance required searching for out of the ordinary ways to meet the requirements. I feel this experience will be an asset to the Gainesville Hospital District board.
Kari Hutcherson: As a business owner in Gainesville and a lifelong resident, I have seen first-hand a need for a quality hospital and medical services in our community both personally for my family and for our employees and their families. I believe it is critical that we continue to support our local hospital district so they can continue to support us. A short while back there was discussion of potentially closing the hospital. This was concerning to me as I think it is imperative we have a local option for healthcare for a community our size and I am running to continue the progress made to ensure we have a viable hospital.
Eugene Mills: I am running for a spot on the board to represent the taxpayers in the district. I have been going to all the meetings for the last three years and notice that only two of the members would ask the questions about the finances, but was always told they didn’t understand.The funny thing is, the other board members can’t answer the questions either but would spin it. We need board members to help get the information out to the taxpayers. And that’s why I am running for the board. I want to understand and question some and all of the financial responsibilities of the board. Not just be one of the “yes” men and women we presently have on the board. I also want to keep in mind of the future of the hospital and when the bond comes due we are able to pay it off. Not let Corporate America take all the profit and leave the debt to the tax payers…again. Thanks for your support.
Jimmy Mosman: I am an incumbent, and if re-elected this will be my second term, as I have served three years. I am running again so that I can keep being a voice for Gainesville Hospital District taxpayers and a voice for NTMC patients.
Brian Winters: I have kept up with the goings on of the Gainesville Hospital/District for many years and have been disappointed in the past in the misuse funds. I feel now with the new leadership for the past 3 years that the District is on the right track for success and I want to help continue this success.
What are your three top platform issues, if elected, and why?
Arterbury: My platform issues, (1) to see that somehow, we can have North Texas Medical Center become a stand-alone Hospital without it being a drain on the taxpayer. (2) lower our indigent care, Maintenance and Operation Tax from $300K per month to a realistic amount where we can be invoiced with the amounts per patient, without violating HIPPA. (3) Partnership with another well-known hospital and/or let NTMC become a stand-alone hospital as it once was.
Cox: I feel that I can be a positive member of the Gainesville Hospital District board. I have no personal agenda concerning the District or the hospital. I am not on a crusade to close the hospital or become a micro-manager of hospital operations.
As a member of the Board, I want to help promote a professional and respectful relationship between the District Board and hospital management. I want to promote open-minded and transparent discussion of any questions that come before the Board. I would like to see the hospital grow and expand the services it can offer.
Barring an emergency, I will commit to attending any and all board meetings. As an elected board member, I understand that I will have a responsibility to the citizens to vote on all matters that come before the board regardless of how I or any other board member feels about the issue. I will not walk out of a board meeting to reduce the number of board members below a quorum to stop a vote on an unpopular or contentious agenda item or something that I don’t agree with.
Hutcherson: If elected, the three top platform issues I’m most passionate about are the following:
Continue to improve on the oversight of quality medical services in our community, help provide input to add new services, and solidify the services we currently provide.
Help continue the path to debt re-payment;I feel that we should not saddle our next generations with the debt burden of the hospital district and would like to help support the efforts to pay the debt back early when possible.
I would like the opportunity to provide leadership with the other business leaders in the community to make sure we continue to be good stewards of our resources and stay in a positive financial standing. I strongly believe in partnerships and the benefits of working in a team environment. The partnership with CHC from the outside looking in, has been a great relationship and want to continue to see their services grow. We as a community have a responsibility to not have an ‘out of sight out of mind’ mentality and need to continue to support quality health care in our community.
Mills: The most important is to make sure the hospital provides quality healthcare for the people in the area and is also be financially sound for years to come. I also would make sure the contract between the hospital board and CHC would be followed. And to question some of the financial movements. I want to make sure the taxpayers are getting what they are paying for and the corporation is not taking all the profit and leaving the taxpayers with the bill.I would like board members to talk about issues not just vote on them just because other members say so. I would keep an open mind about the issues and if it has merit vote for it. As a new candidate, I have been to the meetings and witnessed the issues that have been coming to the board and the discussions that have been happening. There are three other people running for the board that I cannot match a face to a name because they have never been to a board meeting and their names have never been announced on the conference calls. That’s why we need board members who take interest in the issues and not be blinded by the connection to their financial interest to the hospital.
Mosman: 1. Quality Assurance and Improvement. I bring complaints forward that our patients have come to me about; without someone bringing patients complaints forward problems can’t be fixed. With the lease of our hospital to Community Hospital Corporation (CHC) we (the directors) don’t have much say about the quality of our hospital per the agreement with CHC. One board member is on the Quality Assurance & Quality Improvement Committee. At a Gainesville Hospital District board meeting I point blank asked the person on the committee what she has done in the three years on this committee to improve the Quality of our Hospital. Her answer was, “that isn’t my job.” It’s hard when the only one on this committee that represents the stock holders, which are the taxpayers, has this attitude or opinion.
2. In the lease CHC run hospital agrees to pay 2.5 Million Dollars a year for three years. Some big decisions are coming in one year because the District will be short this funding. You might ask yourself why this matters? My answer is because seven of the nine people currently on the board just voted to Budget 3.6 Million Dollars a year in ONE line item to give back to CHC. In my opinion, seven of those board members use the taxpayers as an open checkbook.
2. To keep GHD from going Bankrupt. When the hospital came out of Bankruptcy the hospital was making a lot of money…money that I tried to get them to pay on bonds. When they entered into the lease with CHC, seven board members gave away 6 Million Dollars in Accounts Receivable, as well as stocking the shelves with Millions of Dollars worth of Inventory. The way the majority of the board give away your tax money and the 2.5 Million won’t be coming in, it’s going to be a disaster. I am asking you to put 3 conservatives on the board, please vote for Ken Arterbury, Eugene Mills, and Jimmy Mosman.
Winters: Tax dollars - Want transparency and proper appropriation of funds for the taxpayers of the district.
Vision - Want the community to have a better feeling about the care that they can receive from NTMC.
Inspiration - Want the community to be excited in the fact that they have caring and smart business like minded people taking care of their tax dollars.
Briefly tell us about yourself.
Arterbury: I have been married to wonderful women for (53) years together we have (2) children (3) grandchildren and (1) great-grandchild. I am (75) years old retired and play golf at least (4) days per week, I have some college education to my credit, I was self-employed for over (70) years.
I will ask that you re-elect me, alone with Jimmy Mosman and elect Eugene Mills.
We have (4) new people seeking to be elected only one of them has attended our meetings for the last (3) years. Let’s place (3) conservatives on the Gainesville Hospital Board of Directors. Thank you for your vote. Ken Arterbury
Cox: I am a lifelong resident of Gainesville and Cooke County. I am married to the former Janet Street who is retired from North Central Texas College. We have two children, Lacey Lane, a pharmacist in Wylie Texas and Ryan Cox, who is in the emergency management field. We have a nineteen-month old granddaughter, Lennen.
I have a long history of public service to the citizens of Gainesville and Cooke county. I completed the first Emergency Medical Technician course provided by North Central Texas College in 1977 while working full-time for National Supply. I then began part-time employment with the emergency medical service provider at that time. In 1977 I also began service as a volunteer fire fighter with Gainesville Fire-Rescue.
In 1983, I became a full-time employee with Gainesville Fire-Rescue. I rose through the ranks of the Department eventually serving as Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator for the city. I retired in 2018 with over forty years of public safety service to the citizens of Gainesville and Cooke county.
Along the way, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Administration, Development, and Planning from the University of North Texas. At retirement, I held certifications from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection including Master Fire Fighter, Fire Investigator, and Fire Instructor. Through the Texas Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management, I completed the Professional Development Series of courses which is the highest level of certification for Texas emergency management officials. I am a graduate of Leadership Gainesville.
I am an active member of the Texas Fire Museum in Dallas and was recently elected to the Board of Directors. In my spare time I am overseeing the restoration of an antique fire apparatus that formerly belonged to Gainesville Fire-Rescue. With an interest in local history, I enjoy researching the history of Gainesville Fire-Rescue.
Hutcherson: I was born and raised in Gainesville, TX and am the daughter of Larry and Donna Partain. I graduated from Gainesville High School and attended Texas Tech University, where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. I am married to Daren Hutcherson also a local business owner and we have two children, our daughter Rachel is 17 and our son Luke is 14.
Upon college graduation, I went to work in the Semiconductor Industry for approximately ten years and then had the opportunity to work locally in Gainesville in the Oil and Gas Industry. I now have over 20 years’ experience in technical sales, process engineering and product engineering. Responsibilities have included customer development, technical collaboration on product design, project management and operations management. My current responsibilities include facility startup and Vice President of Trident Process Systems located in Gainesville.
Mills: My name is Eugene Mills (54). I am married to my wife Sue of 26 years and we have two children. We run a small cattle herd and we also own a plumbing company, Sett Mechanical, Inc. We have lived in the area for the last 23 years. Both of our children graduated from Callisburg High School.
I grew up in Pulaski, Wisconsin. Graduated from Pulaski High School. Ran a dairy farm in the 80’s, sold it and started building custom log homes all over the US until we moved to Texas in August of 1996. I started my plumbing career at Brandt Engineering and went to the union plumbing trade school. I got my journeymen license in 3 years and by the end of my 5th year had my master plumbing license and got my master med-gas endorsement. After leaving Brandt, I started working service for Natkin Service which was bought out and is now known as Johnson Controls for 19 years.
Mosman: Hello, I am Jimmy Mosman. I am 65 years young; I have been married to my wife Barbara for 45 years. We have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren.
I graduated from Gainesville High School in 3 years instead of 4. In my senior year I won the Industrial Arts Award. I hold an Instructor I and II certification with the Texas Department of Health and have taught EMT Classes for numerous years. I am also an EMT, a First Responder and Fire Chief for Moss Lake Volunteer Fire Department.
Winters: My name is Brian Winters and have been part of this community since birth. I am 44 years old, married with 4 children, and am a graduate of Gainesville High School (Go Leopards!) I currently own Gainesville Glass Co. Inc. which was started by my Great Grandfather in 1945 and am 4th generation owner.