Indian River County Hospital District

First Public Budget Hearing: September 7, 2022

First Public Budget Hearing FY-22-23
September 7, 2022
5:01 PM

TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Kerry Bartlett
Karen Deigl Barb Bodnar
Ann Marie McCrystal Allen Jones – via Zoom

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

ATTENDEES: William Cooney Pat Knipper
Linda Kloss

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 explained that the only business that will take place is the discussion on the fiscal year 2022-2023, and approving that tentative budget. The final budget hearing, where a final millage rate and overall ad valorem budget will be adopted will take place on September 22nd at 5:01 PM.

Review of the July 21, 2022 Proposed FY 2022-2022 Budget Information – Allen Jones, Treasurer

Mr. Jones addressed the board and stated that there is a formal process to be followed and began by discussing the percentage change in millage rate versus the rolled back rate. He explained that on July 21, 2022, the Trustees adopted a proposed millage rate decrease of 10.27% as a percentage of the rolled back rate, which provided an ad valorem tax of $13,507,002. That resulted in a reduction of millage rate from .7144 to .5774, which is a millage reduction of 19.2%. He further explained that because taxable property assessments in the county increased about 11%, the District would need to tax .6435 to have the same ad valorem tax revenue as the current fiscal year, i.e. the rolled back rate. Since the July 21st meeting the Trustees have had several opportunities to review funding request submitted from local healthcare agencies to provide healthcare to the public. After many discussions between the Trustees since the July meeting, the budget being presented tonight is lower than the budget approved in July. Therefore, he stated that the current proposal is a millage rate of .5537, which as a percent of the rolled-back rate is a reduction of 13.95%, and this millage will result in a reduction in ad valorem tax revenue of $1,774,922.

Purpose of Ad Valorem Tax Revenues

Next Mr. Jones discussed specific purposes for which the ad valorem tax revenues are being decreased. He explained that despite a reduction in ad valorem tax revenues of almost $1.8 million, District healthcare program expenditures will increase by $1,530,614, an increase of 13.5% over the current fiscal year. In addition, administrative expenses are proposed to increase by $265,800. Inflation has had an impact on each of the organizations the District supports as well as on the District, which has resulted in an increase to administrative costs. Despite these pressures, the proposed budget reduces the ad valorem tax burden significantly and increased funding for healthcare services to the residents of Indian River County. He asked for Trustee comments and Ms. Cunningham stated that most property owners received their TRIM notices this past week and in reviewing the same, it was noted that the Hospital District is the only taxing authority that is lowering it millage rate. Mr. Jones added that over the last several years the District has continued to lower its millage rate, while still fully supporting the funding requests brought to them each year.

Adoption of Tentative FY 2022-2023 Budget – Allen Jones, Treasurer

There was no further Trustee discussion and Mr. Jones asked for public comment, which there was none. Therefore, he asked for a motion to adopt a millage rate of .5537, which was made by Ms. Bodnar and seconded by Ms. Cunningham. The motion was open for Trustee discussion and Mr. Jones made an amended motion to adopt a millage rate of .5110. Ms. Peshke indicated that a second would need to be made on the amended motion in order for it to carry into discussion and Ms. Bartlett seconded the motion. Mr. Jones stated that some of the program expenditures for this fiscal year are now projected to be lower than originally anticipated. Combined with reducing some of the agency’s funding request, these effects resulted in an increase in reserves to $8,150,000, despite the reduction in millage rate. He explained that he feels this amount of reserves is excessive to the District’s needs, and proposed that $950,000 of reserves be returned to tax payers resulting in reserves held by the District to be the same as last year, at $7.2 million. Therefore, this change would result in a new proposed millage rate of .5110, a decrease of 20.59% as a percent of the rolled back rate, and a reduction in ad valorem tax revenue of $2,774,291 to $11,954,636. He further explained that this reduction will not affect program expenditures or administrative expenditures and the only difference is a reduction in reserves maintained from $8.15 million to $7.2 million, which are the same as this current fiscal year. There was no further Trustee discussion and Ms. Peshke called the question and the amended motion carried unanimously.

Next Mr. Jones asked for a motion to adopt the overall ad valorem budget of $11,954,636, which was made by Ms. Deigl and seconded by Ms. Cunningham. Mr. Jones asked for Trustee and public comment and there was none. The motion carried unanimously. Lastly, Mr. Jones announced that the millage rate as a percent of the rolled back rate is a reduction of 20.59%. He congratulated the Trustees on their work this budget cycle.

Public Comment & Adjourn

There was no further public comment and the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 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