IS IT TRUE MARCH 21, 2016

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IS IT TRUE we read a well written, detailed and interesting article in Sundays Evansville Courier and Press did on  our local Hospitals building spree?  …this article give a lot attention to the future expansion efforts of St. Mary’s and Deaconess hospital facilities and how they are looking for ways to lower costs of services?  …we are surprised that  this article didn’t make any reference concerning the excessive annual salaries that both CEOs of St. Mary’s and Deaconess hospitals make each year?

IS IT TRUE were hear that the owners of  the new Evansville Hockey team entertained a past coach of the Evansville IceMen during the last couple of days?  …we look forward to the local sports writers to give us an reason on why did the owners of the new Evansville Ice Hockey team invite a past coach of the Evansville IceMen to Evansville?

IS IT TRUE we wonder if the main stream media are aware when the  LST move from their present location the City contract with Inland Marina may have some expensive contractual issues to deal with?

IS IT TRUE we hear that our readers agree that its inappropriate for our part-time City Council members to receive an extremely generous  $20,000 Health Insurance benefit package paid by the taxpayers of Evansville? …we  now hear that our part-time elected County officials are also receiving this generous $20,000 Health Insurance benefit package paid by the taxpayers of Vanderburgh County?

IS IT TRUE CCO poster Joe Wallace said: “Does anyone think that $20,000 health insurance in a country with a per capita income of $28,011 is sustainable? Even when compared with the median family income of $53,000 for the nation ($42,000 in Evansville) this is an insane level of expense. This cannot continue”?

IS IT TRUE we hear our readers strongly disagree with the decision of the Mayor and City Council giving the Developer of the Downtown Hotel over $20 million dollars without having ZERO ownership?  …we now  would like to know who are the individuals that are going to benefit from this $20 million gift from the taxpayers of this community?

IS IT TRUE we wonder if you are aware that City-County Officials have discreetly increased our property tax assessment over the last several years which in turn have increased our property taxes?

IS IT TRUE we are pleased that you agree that the Mayor and the 2015 City Council shouldn’t have committed $57 million dollars to the I U Medical School without the local taxpayers having any ownership in this project when it is finished?  …we would like to know who are the individuals that are going to benefit from this $57 million gift from the taxpayers of this community?

IS IT TRUE we hear that a candidate for a Vanderburgh County office may have some legal issues concerning the collections of past personal debts?

IS IT TRUE in yesterdays “READERS POLL'”  question was if the election were held today for State Representative District 77 who would you vote for?  … that Lori Sherman received 158 votes, Brandon Lee Ferguson received 114 votes and Ryan Hatfield received 116 votes?

FOOTNOTES: Our next “IS IT TRUE” will be posted on this coming Wednesday?

Please take time and read our newest feature article entitled “HOT JOBS”posted in this section are from Evansville proper.

If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us citycountyobserver@live.com

Todays “Readers Poll” question is: If the Republican primary was held today for Vanderburgh County Clerk who would you vote for?

Copyright 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

54 COMMENTS

  1. ” …we are surprised that the Evansville Courier and Press didn’t make any reference concerning the excessive annual salaries that both CEOs of St. Mary’s and Deaconess hospitals make each year?”
    How much more do they make then comparative Ceos at other non profits? I have been in both facilities in the last two years both seem to be run well.

    • According to sources how in the hell can the CEO’s of both hospitals look people in the eye and receive seven figures of income and say we need to control costs while people like the Mayor’s wife sits on their board approving expansion of facilities and layering on additional fixed costs!!!

      • Well now. It’s real smart to compare the CEO of the hospital’s pay by calling it a nonprofit, and then try to stretch the comparison to the CEO of “Shoe’s for Kids.” They are both important, but dramatically different jobs. Ignorance and resentment rules…..apparently. You get what you pay for. Imagine if you DID save $200K by hiring a cheaper guy at the hospital…..and the place goes to hell in a handbasket. Saved $200k, but lost MILLIONS by doing it.

        • Now imagine that same new CEO that is working for $200K less managed to cut costs to the patients while actually maintaining excellent service.

          It works both ways.

          • Shoot, imagine if they would work for free, and could encourage all their employees to work for free, and implemented programs that resulted in 100% cure rates for anybody treated at their hospitals or clinics! That would be awesome!!!

            Both Deaconess and St. Mary’s are health care entities which consist of many thousands of employees and dozens and dozens of buildings, operating in probably the most heavily regulated and legally onerous environment possible. It’s an enormous machine with a billion moving parts, and being in charge of it all is a huge responsibility. A million + in compensation only seems like a lot to folks who have spent their lives in a service industry or similar blue/pink collar work. In the white collar CEO world it’s not.

            Considering there are probably surgeons and other medical specialists in the employ of Deaconess and St. Mary’s who clear nearly a million dollars a year in compensation, it doesn’t seem crazy that the person in charge of the whole shebang would make pretty high coin as well.

          • PAK…..seemingly correct logic, but the real world doesn’t work that way. The marketplace rewards performance – both ways. (Do your job well, you are offered more money. Don’t do your job as well or efficiently saving money, you don’t get offered more money.)
            Under the scenario you described, it isn’t likely the guy working for $200K less is as efficient as the guy who gets paid more. The marketplace determines the rate. (i.e., the guy making $200k less…is likely to give you poorer performance).

          • I seem to remember that Al Einstein was a patent clerk when he was doing his best work. Not exactly a high paying position.

          • Pressanykey:
            Excellent….!
            “I seem to remember that Al Einstein was a patent clerk when he was doing his best work. Not exactly a high paying position.” (Ghostbusters.)

  2. “Does anyone think that $20,000 health insurance in a country with a per capita income of $28,011 is sustainable?”
    Every one I have talked to is in the same situation. Health insurance and health care have gotten unaffordable for all but the rich and poor. I took a friend to get their prescriptions the other day but when she found out they were $320 she could not afford them. She already pays $600 a month for a bronze plan. She was downsized at sixty one last year and is living off her retirement saving till she turns sixty two. It will be three years till she can get Medicare and it will take part of her SS to pay for it then. Most working people are not in much better shape. It is not unusual for health care to take 20% of your after tax income and that is with insurance. As a retired person it is my biggest expense evan with Medicare. The affordable care act is neither caring or affordable.

    • PERHAPS the better question is….
      “Is it possible to get a qualified, professional and experienced person to even consider annual stewardship and service on the Evansville City Council for around $41,000/yr.? ($21K pay plus $20K in healthcare).
      So….
      Would Joe Wallace serve for that amount? No.
      Would any capable professional leader (the kind needed to serve) work for that amount? No.
      Is it smart to make sure the total compensation is so low for the job that you get totally, unqualified indigents willing to do the job? No, it’s not smart.
      The people who do nothing but sit and drink coffee and gripe…do they think $41K is a lot of money? They do actually, which is why their job is to sit and drink coffee and gripe.

      (Joe Wallace’s point is not to cut benefits and compensation you fools, it is to raise local per capita income beyond $28K. This same diatribe comes from the fools who want to cut Teacher’s pay and benefits cause they make more money than 7-11 shelf-stockers…and what do they get? Horrible teachers instead of excellent education professionals.)

      • My comment was more about targeting the excessive cost of health insurance than it was about the compensation of the City Council. I have not problem with a compensation package worth $40,000 for council members. What I do shake my head in disbelief over is that the Citynof Evansville pays a $20,000 benefit to everyone on the payroll. This must amount to about $20 Million per year.

        I have absolutely no interest in any elected position at any price. Why? Because the media is merciless toward public servants digging up dirt back to kindergarten and because so many seem to be either self serving, fools, or both.

        Yes, Don Becker you hit the nail on the head. It is time for the nation’s workforce to develop skills that command a higher wage from companies that can make an honorable profit by employing them. We have been in a race to the bottom for too long.

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  3. IS IT TRUE that Sinister Schaefer and Bill Fluty our county assessor has been spotted in the stair well of the Civic Center discussing how to increase property taxes to support Winnecke’s wild-eyed spending!!!

  4. “IS IT TRUE we hear that our readers agree that its inappropriate for our part-time City Council members to receive an extremely generous $20,000 Health Insurance benefit package paid by the taxpayers of Evansville? …we now hear that our part-time elected County officials are also receiving this generous $20,000 Health Insurance benefit package paid by the taxpayers of Vanderburgh County?”

    What does this even mean? Are these folks given a $20,000 check in order to offset their purchase of private insurance? Do they get $20,000 put in a medical savings account they can draw off of to cover medical expenses? Where does this figure come from, and what does it entail?

    • DB….you’re not saying the $20k figure is a “straw-man” argument, are you? That it’s just made up in order to editorialize and get a chance to gripe?

      • I don’t know, Mr. Becker, I’m genuinely confused as to what the $20K means. As one example, I know my city FD healthcare is valued at ‘$X’ for employee cost estimation and tax purposes, but if I don’t go to the doctor a single time in a year the actual cost to the taxpayers is $0. Similarly, since the city is self-insured, if I have some type of horrible accident or have a kid who is gravely ill, taxpayers could be responsible for a tab of many hundreds of thousands of dollars for my healthcare per annum.

        I just wonder what magic number the $20k refers to.

  5. Time to inject some real figures:

    First of all, I am not picking on Linda White or any other person. I am reporting facts.

    According to their 2014 Form-990 filing, (figures for 2013), As President/CEO of Deaconess Healthcare Systems Inc. (EIN 35-1532889) President White’s compensation is listed as:

    (D) reportable from organization: $361,819.00

    (E) reportable from other related organizations $977,894.00

    (F) other compensation from related organizations $242,388.00

    Total 2013 compensation $1,582,101.00

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    According to their 2014 Form-990 filing, (figures for 2013), As President/CEO of Deaconess Hospital Inc. (EIN 35-0593390) President White’s compensation is listed as:

    (D) reportable from organization $970.294.00

    (E) reportable from other related organizations $369,413.00

    (F) other compensation from related organizations $242,338.00

    Total 2013 compensation $1,582,045.00

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    According to 2014 data released by the Social Security Administration (24,140) individuals in the United States reported income between $1,500,000. and $1,999,999. President White would have been in that group.

    • Your tacit argument seems to be that Linda White’s services are not worth the level of compensation she is being offered, though. Is that correct? Or that if she would take a paycut then somehow the proverbial $50 aspirin we all hear about would only be $5? Correct me if I’m wrong, PAK, I don’t want to put words you your mouth.

    • You just lit a light bulb for me, Press. Do you still have a link to the membership list of the organization that Ed Hafer heads? EBC, I think it is. Please re-post it if you can.

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  6. Wow, for 24 council meetings what does the Council Members receive. Well let’s start with receiving $833 per meeting or in an hourly rate of $416 per hour. In addition, they paid approximately $75 per month, their portion of the health care premium. They pay a deductible per family of $1,750 per year. They have an unlimited dental coverage in which the members pay 50% and the City pays 50% of all dental, braces, crowns, implants, and they have unlimited usage of the free clinic and free generic drugs for the entire family. Within the free clinic they also have access to the wellness programs, i.e. Bob’s Gym, YMCA, with monthly co-pays of $15 entire family. The coverage also includes alcohol/drug, food, sex, gambling addictions unlimited. All of this is included in the deductible of $1,750 per year per family.

    • So Liquored Up……I take it you also think the Sunday Preacher or the Parish Priest…..well they work 1-2 hours on Sunday each week for around $25,000 to $30,000 an hour.
      Foolish and infantile analysis L-Up. Preposterous, ignorant comment.

  7. My dear CCO, thank you for brings this healthcare situation concerning our part-time City Council Members. Hell this is not a cadillac plan its a Mercede-Benz plan and what this town needs to consider is a name change. To what, how about Suckersville. Hopefully, Delta Bravo needs to reconsider his position concerning the part time council members and their families.

    • SUSAN:
      He’s not advocating a position.
      He’s making it clear……if you run your life, your business, your City and the process by which you hire a builder to build you a home……on A LOW-BIDDER basis…….your home will be made of cardboard with paper windows.
      This ignorant narrative that you should always accept the guy who is willing to work for the low-bid…..is dumber than batsh….

    • Susan, I don’t have a position to reconsider, since as of yet nobody has been able or willing to detail where this $20,000 number comes from. I gave an example from my own city job (see my 12:45 post). If the City Council members get a check for $20.000 per year dropped into their accounts to take care of medical care, that seems like a ton of money for a part-time position. If they are given health benefits that are, for actuarial purposes, valued at $20,000, it doesn’t really mean anything if their actual expenses are nil.

      Does that make sense?

      • Don’t know where the $20,000 figure came from. There are costs just for a person to be covered under the plan even if they have no claims even under self-insured plans.

        • Sure, I presume there are set administrative and clerical costs whether a person uses the benefit or not. I doubt if the 2-3 bulk mailings I get per year or the cost of my two laminated insurance cards is in the ballpark of $20,000 though!*

          *come to think of it, considering the rocket scientists we have running our city finances…

      • In 2016, the cost of health care for the City of Evansville will top 28,000,000 with a workforce of 1,400 full time employees come to $20,000 per employee. Of course, these employees have dependents, but, nevertheless, the cost of healthcare per is nearly $20,000. But, when the cadillac excise tax kicks in and under the current provisions anything over 11k per will be assessed the 40% tax or in the aggregate to the city $4.2 MILLION. So, those firefighters and police officers who think they have issues in their contracts now better keep your arms and legs inside this moving vehicle. Btw belt up!!!

  8. The amount of money Linda White makes is crazy. I know this about both hospitals. The people who carry bedpans, cook, and scrub so patients can get good care don’t make a living. They don’t get enough hours to get health insurance and it isn’t because of Obamacare. They were doing that before anybody ever heard of Obama.

    • Good point. I also find it funny that people don’t realize premiums were skyrocketing before Obama even hit the US Senate. The fact is we pay double per capita than any other developed nation does on Healthcare for very sub standard care. The only way to make the old system work is to let the uninsured die on the doorsteps of hospitals. You know, the “christian” thing to do.

      • That’s true. Employer premiums for healthcare prior to the ACA were increasing an average of 13-15% per year while employee deductibles rose 10% per year. The ACA isn’t the definitive answer, but those massive annual increases were driving all of the US’ middle income households into the ranks of “uninsured Americans.” Romney and the Conservative think tanks created the first ACA programs…you have to give Obama credit for adopting that smarter approach than watching nearly all of middle American lose it’s healthcare. Those who oppose the ACA have no answers…only bitching from their sideline bench.

    • I’m far from an apologist for corporate America’s CEO’s, but comparing what the head cheese of multi-million dollar organization makes as opposed to the folks who empty the bedpans is about as apples to oranges as it gets. I’ve got a part-time gig in the ER of a local hospital, and the work I do is important (in my opinion), and I directly effect the quality of patient care. I don’t expect or deserve to get paid what the doctors get paid, however, or the Nursing chief of staff, or the head of physical therapy, or (insert other guy or gal who gets paid more than me). Different skills and responsibilities.

      • Yes, some people are smarter, work harder, can do different things, etc. We get it. What we are pointing out is that the CEO and the janitor cleaning his office have about the same gap in their respective worth throughout time, but the compensation difference has balooned astronomically. Class mobility has become nearly impossible.

  9. For God’s sake…..tiresome, tiresome, tiresome – and silly, – narrative goes on here day, after day, after day….from some people:
    “If you earn a high income for what you do for a living, then you are a crook, are corrupt and are overpaid.”
    There is a difference. True corruption is clearly wrong. But simply because you earn a lot of money, too many resentful disastrous people in here…can’t handle it. Calling a spade a spade folks.

  10. What is the concern about Jeff Pyle being in town? Considering he was the ONLY coach to ever have a winning record with the Icemen, I hope they are talking to him about a coaching job. Again, why the concern as if it is something wrong? The Icemen are leaving, by their choice, and a new team is coming in.

    • Reading today’s announcement in the C&P about the new hockey team’s hiring of Jeff Pyle. Team owner Mark Hall appears to have his hands full. Jeff Pyle’s 2013-14 record with the IceMen was actually a losing one. If you count the overtime losses the record was 31-41.

      The writer also says the team “just missed the playoffs” that year. Well they missed the playoffs by 11 points, I would hardly call that just missed. He was fired by the last three teams he coached, Texas, the IceMen, and a team in Italy where he didn’t even finish the season.

      In 14 years in the ECHL and the AHL, Pyle’s teams never won a playoffs championship and missed the playoffs completely in his last four years of coaching. He despised much of the IceMen staff at the time and was often rude to fans when he was out in public at team functions.

      And in response to Bake McBride’s comments, the IceMen were forced out of the Ford Center when it became clear that the City of Evansville no longer wanted them. The City then went on to give VenuWorks the money to purchase an SPHL team and VenuWorks owns 90% while Mark Hall owns 10%.

      In effect, the City of Evansville and the taxpayers own the team.

      • I would think with all of these facts, you would be aware the team owners name is Mike, not Mark. Pyle’s only season in Evansville was also marred with a string of unfortunate injuries of key players down the stretch that year. He actually had the team in 1st place at mid-season, a feat that hasn’t been close to being duplicated since. Getting fired by the Icemen means little considering the number of casualties that have occured within the organization in the last 5 years.

        I never had a lot of personal interaction with Pyle, but don’t recall ever hearing about him being rude to fans. Certainly, I am sure he was no where near the classless level we have heard both Riggs and Geary sink to in the last few weeks.

        I don’t know about being forced out. Seems I recall Geary being the one who abruptly stopped negotiating, jumped up from the table, skipped across the blue bridge and held an in your face press conference with Major Payne. He sure didn’t act like a scorned lover then. Of course, after he realized $5million wouldn’t scratch that dump, he became the victim.

        I don’t blame the city for doing whatever they did to get a creative deal done after that point. So what if they didn’t offer Geary the same assistance. He has burned a lot of people over the years.

        • Hall is what we call a titular head. VenueWorks, subsidized by the willing and unwilling citizens of Evansville, own that bush league team. Pyle is a failed coach. Somehow appropriate that he be back to coach the VenueWorks House Team.

          Next time somebody calls front man Hall the owner, I’d like to see some financials proving his wherewithal.

          • That’s hilarious. Bandana. If you are so concerned about the finances of this, I would suggest you go down to the new team’s office any weekday afternoon and speak directly to Mr. Hall about this. I am certain he will give you all the facts that you need.

            The reality is though you would most certainly lack any fortitude to actually do that. It is much easier to lob false accusations from behind a hidden screen name.

            If you do decide to sack up, please be sure to come back with your findings. Until then, you have as much validity as a Ron Geary deadline.

          • Bake, you’ve spent too long in the oven, you craven coward. Ring the basting bell or you’ll dry out. An apologist for lloyd Winnecke and instant superfan and as needed ‘owner’ Mike Hall, doesn’t get much worse than that. Ho ho ho.

            Must have hit a nerve, Bake.

            Cheapo team, a coach no legitimate team wants, weak bench cheering them on from anonymous forums led by the famed kiln fodder…the legendary Bake McBride.

            As with most of the subterranean deals foisted on the citizens of Evansville by this administration, they get gouged over this pathetic and desperate attempt to get a tenant for the Ford Center.

          • Bandana, the good news is that you won’t have to get those new tires right away for your Yugo so that you can drive to Owensboro to see your beloved IceMen play. You have a whole year to save up for them. The bad news is that you and many of our other local progressive hockey fans went below even zero credibility when Mr. Geary admitted he was unable to fix the arena in time for the next season. The diversion created by attacking Mr. Hall will probably not suffice to cover up your earlier heartfelt testimonials to Mr. Geary’s business acumen. I suppose it is worth a try, though.

            J. Coddington “Comrade Hugo” Fetlock IV
            Maximum co-coordinator
            Organizing for Idiocy
            Evansville Cell

      • Your assessment of his record is incorrect the fact is that overtime and shootout loses do not count as loses because you scored a point in the standings so yes in fact he had a winning record. As far as the ownership of the team yes Venueworks owns 90% of the franchise tag not 90% of the team. Furthermore Mr. Hall has the right to buy back that franchise tag at any time and has plans to purchase it in 3 years or less.

  11. Is it true our new downtown hotel is going to have a cheap cheap looking split-faced block exterior similar to a warehouse in lieu of a nice brick or stone veneer? Who approved this pituful design idea? We want more for our money, someone needs to birddog the Developer on this ordeal, did the city receive a huge credit??

    • Lee how much business travel do you do? Proximity is a huge priority and what a hotel offers inside as far as amenities is a way bigger concern for most travelers than the exterior of a building…

      • Yes, JPL I do travel and our new Motel 6 will probably be a nice fit for EVV, Owensboro again will put us to shame. Our forefathers who built the Civic Center understod that these facilities represent what we stand for and Motel 6 seems to address that issue, we should have built a metal building according to concept.

  12. Reliable sources have confirmed that Carol McClintoch a/k/a Christmas Carol sits on the Board of Deaconess together with Linda Bennett President of USI. Now, Keith Jewel the CEO of St. Mary’s should stop wondering why Linda White CEO of Deaconess and Linda Bennett where spotted at a cafe having lunch together. Sources indicate that he desires to be appointed to the USI Board of Trustees with the hopes of his one million donation to USI in the effects to spice up the deal. Do we have Texas Holdin going on here . . . as Ms White would say, “I raise ya”

    • Us lowly folks have little chance to ascend to the Master’s table when the apparent fix is in. With both of these hospital CEO’s knocking down seven figure salaries while the lowly folks struggle to pay for their healthcare and they wonder why old Bernie has gone some traction???

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