Election 2010: Tahoe Forest candidates forecast challenges, brainstorm solutions
TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; John Mohun and Robert Hartsfield debated Tuesday night for the right to occupy the single vacant seat of the Tahoe Forest Hospital District, vacated by the resignation of Mary Lou Austin last March.
Mohun described himself as the more well-rounded candidate with local experience in a variety of medical, legal and business arenas including working as a paramedic for Tahoe Forest Hospital. He further mentioned employment as an attorney and with local ski resorts.
Hartsfield based his qualifications on his financial expertise and said he has demonstrated fiscal savvy within the community working on the oversight committee for construction of Truckee High School among other projects.
Candidates were asked about what they saw as top priorities and looming challenges for the district, the regionand#8217;s largest employer.
Outlining a series of foreseeable hurdles, Mohun said federal health law reform will carry significant financial impact to hospitals, especially relating to required coverage of illegal immigrants.
and#8220;We’re going to have a tremendous job trying to resolve those problems,and#8221; Mohun said.
Hartsfield agreed with Mohunand#8217;s assessment and said community collaboration would be needed.
and#8220;Time will tell how this will unfold and we need to have responsible people to handle that,and#8221; said Hartsfield.
Competition with Reno was another concern posed to the candidates, who were asked how or if the district could confront Renoand#8217;s big-city advantages.
Hartsfield said transportation and labor are the major factors influencing Tahoe Forestand#8217;s costs but did say the district has an advantage in labor.
and#8220;The lack of a union helps with employees,and#8221; Hartsfield said.
Taking a different approach, Mohun said education and technology are areas that could make a profound difference in costs between Truckee and Reno.
and#8220;Medicine in and of itself is a labor-intensive business,and#8221; said Mohun. and#8220;Reno has had the ability to invest a lot of money in (information technology) which reduces labor costs. That relationship needs to be analyzed.and#8221;
To close the question and answer period, candidates were asked what the worst decision of the current board of directors has been in the past 10 years.
and#8220;I’m somewhat lost to answer the question not knowing the activity for the past few years,and#8221; said Hartsfield.
Without attributing the decision to the board, Hartsfield said parking issues were a concern.
Similarly Mohun, declined to identify a poor decision made by the board, but said a widespread problem with local medical administration is that the advancement of technology is outpacing board decision making.
and#8220;Technology is moving quicker than the board itself,and#8221; Mohun said.
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The Truckee Town Council has unanimously approved of a pilot program to remove snow on privately maintained paved trails in the area.