MIAMI (CBS4)-Miami-Dade County Commissioners picked three current Jackson board members and one new face on Tuesday to serve as the nucleus of the new board governing Miami-Dade’s public hospitals.
Marcus Lapciuc, chair of the old Public Health Trust board, was the top vote getter with nine. Joe Arriola, Stephen Nuell and newcomer Darryl Sharpton each received seven votes from the 11-member commission. They will take over as soon as they take the oath of office and the county posts bonds for them.
Lapciuc said he would try to hold a meeting of the new board as soon as possible, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. It already has several pressing matters facing it, including the selection of a new external auditor.
The commissioners voted Tuesday morning on paper ballots without discussion.. The votes of each commissioner were not immediately available.
The new Financial Recovery Board replaces the Trust board that has overseen the county’s public hospitals since 1973.
The new board will ultimately consist of seven members, but a county ordinance states it comes into existence as soon as four members are named.
According to the ordinance establishing the recovery board, Andy Madtes, president of the South Florida AFL-CIO, also gets to nominate someone. On the recommendation of Jackson’s unions, he selected Joaquin del Cueto, a retired Miami-Dade fire fighter and current Trust member.
Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, head of the Dade delegation, also gets a selection. He has yet to announce his choice.
According to the ordinance, the mayor also gets a selection, but that office is vacant because of the recall of Carlos Alvarez.
The Tuesday meeting was a carry-over of a discussion last week that sparked considerable debate after Commission Chairman Joe Martinez proposed that the University of Miami and Florida International University select representatives to serve on the board. Several commission members objected, saying it wasn’t right for entities that have financial relationships with Jackson to be on its board.
Arriola has been a member of the UM board of trustees and was UM’s member on the current Trust board.
In an e-mail Monday evening, Martinez said he was sticking with Arriola not because he was recommended by UM but because “his bio is still perfect for this board, as are all the candidates I am recommending. Politics should not dictate the make up of this board. Its mission is too important.” Arriola is a veteran businessman and former Miami city manager.
Arrriola wrote the commissioners a letter dated Friday that he had resigned from the UM board.
Last month, John R. Combes, president of the Center for Healthcare Governance, told a Miami-Dade task force examining how Jackson should be governed, that it was not good practice to have representatives of stake holders who had financial relationships with the entity. The unions also get a seat on the recovery board.
Michael Kosnitzky, a former Trust chairman, noted that UM not only has a $135 million a year contract with Jackson but also has a hospital right across the street from Jackson Memorial. “Good corporate governance would not permit a representative from a competing hospital to serve on the board of another hospital,” Kosnitzky said last week.
Martinez had also originally nominated Jorge Arrizurieta, vice chair of the present Trust board and the person recommended by FIU. On Monday afternoon, a Martinez spokeswoman said Arrizurieta’s name is “being removed from the list of nominees.”
Arrizurieta said he hadn’t voluntarily withdrawn. “I’m shocked at the debate on what constitutes a conflict. How a board member appointed by an academic partner is a conflict and one appointed by the unions is not is truly shocking.” He said that he had no intention of resigning from the FIU board. He noted that last week the commission passed on first reading a resolution giving FIU its own seat on the Public Health Trust, which could come back into existence because the recovery board is intended to have a life of no more than two years.
Lapciuc is an international trade businessman. Nuell is a longtime attorney and Sharpton is a veteran accountant.
Others receiving votes: Robin Reiter-Faragalli, head of a consulting company and a current Trust member, six votes; Robert Holland, a lawyer, three votes; Michelle Austin Pamies, a lawyer, two votes, Martin Zilber, a lawyer and current Trust member, two votes; and Gladys Ayala, a lawyer and current Trust member, one vote.
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