2013-09-26 / Front Page

Board dwindles as chair steps down

MCF chair resigns, dismissal halted

MANISTIQUE – Just days after the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners threatened dismissal, the chairperson of the Schoolcraft County Medical Care Facility Board submitted his resignation.

During a special meeting Friday, commissioners unanimously accepted the resignation of Gary Demers, the MCF board member they appointed. In his resignation letter, Demers noted that, following the Sept. 17 commissioner meeting, he decided to step down.

In that meeting, commissioners agreed to begin the “process” of dismissing two MCF board members – Demers and their other appointee, Dixie Anderson. The third board member, Keith Aldrich, is appointed by the governor. The commissioners cited Demers and Anderson’s role in the facility’s financial woes, noting the members should have paid more attention to the MCF’s finances.

During that meeting, Anderson explained that the former MCF administrator, Jerry Hubbard, had not been showing the board the documents portraying the facility’s dire situation, and had assured them any financial problems were “temporary”.

She added that the commissioners had always had two of its members attend the MCF board meetings as well, and they had never caught on to any financial mishaps, either.

In his letter Friday, Demers said his resignation would take effect immediately so that the board and the facility could move on.

“It is timely to submit my resignation to the appointed DHS (Department of Human Services), MCF board position that I have been dutiful and responsible to in my service,” he wrote.

“I encourage our community to support the county board of commissioners, as they move forward.”

After accepting the resignation, commissioners noted that the MCF board vacancy would be posted, and letters of interest from the public would be accepted. They also voted to stop the process to dismiss Anderson, whose term ends next month.

“We have a lot of work to do in the coming five, six weeks, and I certainly appreciate the idea that Gary steps up in this way, and is certainly going to be an advocate for the medical care facility,” Commissioner Dan LaFoille said.

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