Indian River County Hospital District

First Public Budget Hearing: September 06, 2023

First Public Budget Hearing FY 23-24
September 6, 2023
5:01 PM

TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Paul Westcott
Karen Deigl Barb Bodnar
William Cooney (via zoom) Michael Kint

ABSENT: Kerry Bartlett

STAFF: Frank Isele Jennifer Frederick
Kate Voss Jennifer Peshke, Esq.

ATTENDEES: Pat Knipper Julie Brady

Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chairwoman IRCHD

Mrs. Cunningham convened the first public budget hearing of the Indian River County Hospital District (“IRCHD”) at 5:01 p.m. She began by introducing Frank Isele, who began his tenure as the executive director of the District. Mr. Isele thanked the Trustees for welcoming him and stated that he looks forward to working with everyone and supporting the community. Ms. Cunningham then led the group in the pledge of allegiance.

Ms. Cunningham stated that the purpose of today’s meeting will be to adopt a tentative millage rate and tentative FY 23-24 budget. The final budget hearing will take place on September 21st at 5:01 PM.

Review of the July 20, 2023, Proposed FY 2023-2024 Budget Information – Michael Kint, Treasurer

Mr. Kint addressed the board and stated that on July 20, the District Trustees adopted a proposed budget for FY 23-24, which included a proposed millage rate increase of 10.73% when calculated as a percentage of the rolled back rate. At the same meeting, the Trustees chose not to increase this current year’s ad valorem tax rate of .5110 mills. He explained that this proposed tax rate will provide an ad valorem tax revenue of $13,572,748. This is an increase in ad valorem tax revenue of $1,618,601 from the current fiscal year. He further explained that due to changes in the funding levels of four programs which were approved at a District meeting on August 16th, there is a very slight deviation in the proposed budget presented tonight. These changes did not alter the millage rate increase over the rolled back rate, the ad valorem tax rate or the tax revenue approved at that July 20th meeting.
Next, he discussed some of the specific purposes and reasons for which ad valorem tax revenues are being increased. He clarified that the ad valorem tax rate is not being increased and that the increase in tax revenue is due to the assessed property tax values in Indian River County which increased over 12% this year. Additionally, the District is carrying forward approximately $9 million in cash and the reserves and investments are increasing by $1.2 million. There is also an increase of $3,290,533 in program expenses, and an increase in administrative expenses of $69,500. He further explained that inflation has had an impact on all of the organizations, the District funds and on the administration of the District, which has caused an increase in overall operating costs. Additionally, the District is adding 6 new organizations with 9 new programs to this year’s proposed budget and in responding to the increased need for services the District is utilizing cash brought forward and the increase in property tax values, to hold its ad valorem millage rate level to this year.

Mr. Kint asked for public comment and community member Julie Brady addressed the Trustees. She stated that she moved to Vero Beach two years ago but has lived in Florida for 20 years. Her adult son has special needs, and she discussed her frustration with not being able to secure a primary care doctor for him. She also explained that all of his specialty care is provided out of county, as she is unable to find providers locally. She questioned this and stated that as a taxpayer providing funds which are given to Cleveland Clinic, there should be better options for primary and specialty care needs. Mrs. Cunningham thanked her for her comment and stated that Mr. Isele would follow up with her directly to gather additional information to assist her further.

Mr. Kint asked if there was any Trustee comment. Mr. Westcott stated that he appreciates the cushion of funds secured in the reserve account and that should the District not move forward with the sale of the Hospice House parcel, there are still adequate funds to support any unforeseen variables. Mr. Kint agreed and stated that there are a few items with regard to District owned properties that will need to be addressed and will incur expenses that are yet to be determined. Additionally, Mr. Westcott stated that he is hopeful over the next year, the Trustees will look deeper into the budget and identify those areas where there could be overlap funding and developing some strategic plans concerning future funding. Mr. Kint informed the board that next week he will be participating in the Children Services Advisory Committee Needs Assessment meeting and one of the agenda items for discussion is to review the funding lanes which may lead to identifying any duplicative areas of funding.

There was no further public comment or Trustee discussion. Therefore, Mr. Kint asked for a motion to adopt the tentative millage rate of .5110, which was made by Ms. Deigl and seconded by Ms. Cunningham. There was no public comment or Trustee discussion and the motion carried unanimously. Next, Mr. Kint asked for a motion to adopt the overall tentative ad valorem budget of $13,572,748, which was made by Ms. Deigl and seconded by Ms. Bodnar. There was no public comment or Trustee discussion and the motion carried unanimously. Lastly, Mr. Kint announced publicly that the millage rate as a percentage of the rolled back rate is 10.73%.

Ms. Cunningham stated that the District next Chairman meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 20th at 10:00 AM. The Final budget hearing will take place on Thursday September 21st at 5:01 PM, with the regular monthly meeting being held immediately after the budget hearing.

Public Comment & Adjourn

There was no further public comment, and the meeting was adjourned at 5:20 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