Indian River County Hospital District

Final Public Budget Hearing: September 23, 2021

Final Public Budget Hearing
FY 2021-2022
September 23, 2021
5:01 PM

TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Kerry Bartlett
Dr. Michael Weiss Ann Marie McCrystal
Karen Deigl Barb Bodnar
Allen Jones- via Zoom

STAFF: Ann Marie Suriano Jennifer Frederick
Kate Voss Jennifer Peshke, Esq.

Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chairwoman

Mrs. Cunningham convened the final public budget hearing of the Indian River County Hospital District (“IRCHD”) at 5:01 p.m. She explained that once this meeting is adjourned, the District will convene its regular monthly meeting after. Ms. Bodnar provided an invocation and Dr. Weiss led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Review of the September 8, 2021 Proposed FY 2021-2022 Budget Information and Approve Tentative Budget – Allen Jones, Treasurer

Mr. Jones stated that this hearing is the last of the two statutorily required public meetings to finalize the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. He explained that the District has held several budget discussion meetings and that the public has had ample opportunity to comment on the final budget. As a review, he stated that on September 8th, the Trustees voted to adopt a proposed millage rate .7612, which is a reduction of 4.98% in millage from the current FY year millage of .8011. This millage will maintain the same ad valorem tax revenue as the current fiscal year. The reduction in millage results in the same revenues to the District as the current fiscal year, but represents a decrease of 1.65% as a percentage of the rolled-back rate. The reason the reduction in millage results in flat revenues is that assessed property tax values in Indian River County increased somewhat over 5% year over year. The District will continue to support agencies providing healthcare services to the public to improve community health. To prepare for contingencies particularly with regard to COVID, the Trustees have built reserves to be able to respond to constantly changing healthcare circumstances. The budget tentatively approved anticipates carrying over $4.2 million in reserves, of which about $1.8 million are restricted for specifically designated needs, and increasing reserves of $3.9 million further to $8.1 million, in order to be properly prepared to respond to potential community needs. He then asked if there was any public comment concerning the budget and there was none. Therefore, he asked for a motion to adopt a millage rate.

Adoption of FY 2021-2022 Budget Resolutions 2021-05 & 2021-06

Ms. Bodnar made a motion to adopt Resolution 2015-05 with a millage rate of .6633. The motion was seconded by Ms. Deigl for discussion. During Trustee discussion, Dr. Weiss made an amended motion to adopt a millage rate of .7144, which would provide a reduction in the reserves. Mrs. McCrystal seconded the amended motion for Trustee discussion. Ms. Bodnar stated that she is not in favor of the higher millage rate. She believes the funds generated from the millage of .6633 provide ample reserves for the District to carry out its mission and address any unforeseen healthcare initiatives. The millage rate of .7144 only reduces the reserves by $900,000, which seems insignificant and an attempt to meet in the middle.

Mrs. McCrystal then made a secondary amendment to the motion and moved to adopt a millage rate of .7612. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Cunningham for discussion. Mrs. McCrystal stated that at a previous budget discussion meeting, Mr. Jones recommended to the Trustees that they allocate $3 million of noncommitted reserves to CCIRH for additional support to the Mother/Baby obstetric wing renovation campaign. She stated that she was initially not in favor of this proposal but after further consideration, she is in support of providing those funds to CCIRH. This is due to the fact that CCIRH has remained committed to serving the needs of Indian River County through the COVID-19 pandemic and tackled the crisis head-on. Without their leadership and resources, this county would be in a very different position. She would like the Trustees to reconsider Mr. Jones initial recommendation and adopt the millage of .7612, which would provide ample funds to support this initiative.

Mrs. Cunningham stated that the Trustees have had many discussions surrounding the budget and subsequently approved a millage of .7612 on September 7th. She respects Mrs. McCrystal’s comments about CCIRH campaign however, she does not believe that at this hearing, the Trustees should make decisions about specific allocations of reserves to specific funding initiatives. She does however support the millage rate of .7612 and understands that some Trustees believe the reserves are high but know there are more unmet needs within the community that the District may be able to support. She would also like the District to complete its Strategic Visioning process which will uncover those needs and the District’s plan to address them.

Ms. Deigl addressed the board and stated that she appreciated the discussion at yesterday’s Chairman’s meeting, and respects the opinions of the board. She believes that the District’s strategic visioning process will take some time and does not believe the District should burden the taxpayers with a high millage before the strategic visioning process has been completed. She is not in favor of adopting a millage with the highest reserve amount.

Ms. Bartlett provided her comments and stated that through the many budget discussion meetings, and her personal goal is to see substantive change in health inequities. The District has the opportunity to address the systemic health issues that are affecting the community and proactively seek partners who share this vision, and work collaboratively. The District will need capital to achieve this, therefore she is in favor of approving the higher millage.

Mr. Jones stated that he agrees with the Trustee comments concerning the District opportunities through the strategic visioning process. However, he believes there are sufficient reserves within the budget to achieve all of the objectives that they are striving for, with a millage of .6633. He would also be in favor of adopting a millage of .7144, which reduced the tax revenues collected, but he is not in favor of adopting a millage of .7612.

There was no further Trustee discussion and Mrs. Peshke indicated that the Trustees need to vote on the secondary amendment to the motion, to adopt a millage rate of .7612. Mrs. Cunningham called the question and the motion failed 5-2 with only Mrs. Cunningham and Mrs. McCrystal in favor. Since the motion failed, the Trustees will now vote on the primary amended motion to adopt a millage rate of .7144. Mrs. Cunningham called the question and the motion carried 6-1, with Ms. Bodnar in opposition. Mrs. Peshke indicated that with the amended motion adopted, they will now need to call for public comment on the motion to adopt a millage rate of .7144. There was no further public comment or Trustee discussion. Mrs. Cunningham made a motion to adopt Resolution 2021-05 which would adopt a millage rate of .7144, which was seconded by Dr. Weiss. The motion carried 6-1, with Ms. Bodnar in opposition. Next, Mr. Jones made a motion to adopt Resolution 2021-06, which would adopt an overall ad valorem budget of $14,728,927. The motion was seconded by Mrs. McCrystal for discussion and public comment. There was no further Trustee discussion or public comment, and the motion carried 6-1, with Ms. Bodnar in opposition. Mr. Jones announced publicly that the millage rate as a percent of the rolled-back rate is a decrease of 7.7%. He thanked the Trustees for their diligent work on this budget process.

Public Comment & Adjourn

There was no further public comment and the meeting was adjourned at 5:30 PM.



William P Cooney MD is an orthopedic surgeon (retired) who has been a resident of Vero Beach since 2004. He practiced orthopedic surgery at Indian River Medical Center from 2006-2015 within the orthopedic practice of Prosports. He served on the IRMC Foundation for four years. Prior to this, he was a Professor of Orthopedics at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, Chair of the Division of Hand Surgery and Vice president of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. He served as the Vice Chairman of the Mayo Clinic Development Department. He has been President of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation, Consultant at Shrine Hospital systems. He was editor in chief of the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and co-editor of the Journal of Hand Surgery. He held grants in hand and wrist surgery sponsored by National Institute of Health (NIH) and Stryker Orthopedics and has over 250 publications in the field of orthopedic surgery, hand, wrist and elbow surgery and microsurgery- free tissue transfers. Within Indian River County, he has served as Chairman of the Board and President of the Hope for Families Homeless Center, Board of the Indian River Hospital Foundation, We Care and Whole Family Health Center medical practices.

Term:  1/23-12/24

Origination: Elected (2 OC)

Occupation: Retired Surgeon



Kerry Bartlett,  of Vero Beach, has more than 30 years experience in philanthropy, including as vice president of the VNA & Hospice Foundation; VNA chief advancement officer from 2001-2007; and executive director of the Indian River Community Foundation from 2008-2014. Kerry is the founder of The Bartlett Company, which focuses on nonprofit and philanthropic consulting. She also is a managing director for Carter, a Vero Beach company that specializes in advancing philanthropy worldwide. Kerry has spent more than 25 years in the nonprofit sector as a fund development professional and has particular expertise in annual funds, major gifts, endowment campaigns and legacy giving. Kerry is also known for creating and implementing effective donor-centered stewardship programs that build, maintain and strengthen nonprofits’ relationships.

Term:  3/21-12/22   |   1/23-12/26

Origination: Appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis
Elected NOC

Occupation: Philanthropic Consultant/Managing Director



Karen has been President and CEO of Senior Resource Association, where she successfully advocates for older adults and their families, since 2006. In that role, she helps provide activities, education and services benefiting older and disabled adults in Indian River County. In addition, Karen provides oversight of the community mass transit system for residents and visitors of the county. As CEO, Karen is responsible for a $7 million operational annual budget and managing more than 100 employees. She ensures that fiscally sound and responsible solutions are created to provide healthcare and a better quality of life for all Indian River County residents. Karen earned a BS in Health Administration from Florida Atlantic University and an MHA from the University of Florida. She was elected to the Indian River County Hospital District Board of Trustees in 2016, and joined the Board in January 2017.

Term:  1/17-12/20   |   1/21-12/24

Origination: Elected 1 OC | Elected NOC

Occupation: President/CEO



Paul Westcott has been a Board Certified Workers' Compensation Attorney since 1999. In addition, Paul has earned his certification from the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Civil and Family Law Mediator. Receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in both Economics and Political Science at Florida Southern College, he continued his education at Stetson University College of Law. He graduated from Stetson in 1988, having been a published member of the Stetson Law Review. Paul has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1988.  He began his practice in a combined civil litigation and transactional practice before serving as an Assistant State Attorney.  He began his career in Workers' Compensation with Rissman, Weisberg, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue & McClain P.A., where he handled Workers' Compensation cases at the trial and appellate levels.  In 1997, Paul opened the Ft. Pierce office of Hurley, Rogner, Miller, Cox, Waranch & Westcott P.A. handling workers' compensation cases at all levels throughout central and south Florida, while managing the operations of that office.  During his nearly 25 year career in Workers' Compensation, he lectured on a wide range of industry topics.

1/23-12/26   |   1/21-12/24

Origination: Elected 1 OC 

Occupation: Attorney & Mediator



Barbara has practiced physical therapy, specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine, in her hometown of Vero Beach since 1981. She was an integral part of the sports medicine team at Vero Beach High School for 35 years. Barbara completed the reserve police academy training, and served with the Vero Beach Police Department from 1982-1989. Her volunteer involvement in the community includes serving on the City of Vero Beach Recreation Committee, Arthritis Association of Indian River County, and the Senior Good Life Games. She and her husband, Michael, enjoy spending their free time traveling in their RV and training their Labradors, Gunner and Chase, in K-9 performance events, including agility and dock jumping. Barbara is a lifelong resident of Indian River County, and received her degree in physical therapy from Chattanooga State College. Barbara was elected to the Indian River County Hospital District Board of Trustees in 2016, and joined the Board in January 2017.

Term:  1/17-12/20   |   1/21-12/24

Origination: Elected 1 OC | Elected 1 OC

Occupation: Physical Therapist



Born and raised in Illinois, Michael was a Theatre and Speech Instructor at Lincoln College when he moved to Indian River County in 1984. He was the Director of Education for the Riverside Theatre for a decade, helping to build the Riverside Children’s Theatre and directing many productions. Michael is well known in the community for his 25 years of service at the United Way of Indian River County, 16 of those years as the CEO. He is very proud of his work with dozens of nonprofit agencies and his commitment to creating and strengthening community collaboratives. Michael was also an Adjunct Faculty member at Barry University for 20 years. He has served on many boards and committees over the years, including: Children’s Services Advisory Committee Needs Assessment, Chair of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for many years, and he was a founding member of the Mental Health Collaborative, the Senior Collaborative of IRC and the IRC Executive Roundtable. As a Hospital District Trustee he is committed to serving all the citizens of our county. In particular, he hopes to see enhanced availability and affordability for behavioral/mental health for all in need.


Term: 1/23- 12/26

Origination: Elected 1 OC

Occupation: Retired CEO United Way



Marybeth’s professional career encompasses 34 years of working for GM/Delphi in a variety of positions. Starting out as a traffic claims clerk, she worked her way through the organization, with roles in Purchasing, Engineering, and Quality and Reliability. She retired in 2009 as the executive director of Global Operations for the Packard Electric Division of Delphi. In this position, she was responsible for 94 plants in 33 countries. Marybeth has served on the board of directors for numerous non-profits, including Northeast Ohio Adoption Agency; United Way of Warren Ohio, where she served as chairman of the annual campaign for two years; Up with People; Head, Heart and Hands of Indian River Club; Indian River Community Foundation, and the Indian River Mental Health Collaborative. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Albion College. Marybeth was elected to the Indian River County Hospital District Board of Trustees in 2014, and joined the Board in January 2015. She currently serves as Chair.


Term:  1/15-12/18   |   1/19-12/22   |   1/23- 12/24

Origination: Elected 1 OC | Elected  NOC | Elected NOC

Occupation: Retired Executive GM