Singing River Retirees Get the Floor

Nearly one week after the primary elections, the Singing River Health System retirees were allowed to voice their opinions to the Jackson County Board of Supervisors once again.
Not only was public comment back on the agenda today, the board actually welcomed questions from the retirees and even had some questions of their own.
“We need an independent trustee and it needs to be a retiree and it needs to be somebody that knows something about the pension plan.” This is what one retiree had to say after Jackson County Board President Barry Cumbest asked the retirees their opinion on whether the board should hire an independent trustee. This was all part of a question and answer session after the meeting.
Cynthia Almond, a Singing River retiree, said, “There are administrative positions that need to be vacated and replaced with somebody that’s really got a good interest in the hospital and how we can get the hospital turned around.”
The board also asked the retirees their opinion on raising taxes with hopes of rescuing the fund, a move that might not sit well with Jackson County residents. “We do not want to raise taxes for this and still don’t plan on raising taxes for it, but I wanted to get as many comments from the public as I could on it,” said Cumbest.
This comes after last week’s primary elections where at least two supervisors were voted out, Mike Mangum and John McKay. Now, Troy Ross will likely face off with another Republican in a runoff election. Today, he decided to hold his own question and answer session with the retirees after the meeting was over. “I think we’ve actually done something productive and the whole thing has come down to someone needs to step up and lead this process and make sure Jackson County does the right thing,” said Ross.
Ross tells News 25 he feels they’ve made real progress for the first time in eight or nine months, something the retirees appear to agree with. “I know, in my mind, I feel a lot better about the way they’re handling things, but we’ll see,” said Almond.
Retirees are asking the hospital administration and trustees to get involved in the conversation so they can all come up with a solution together.
The Jackson County Supervisors would like to invite current Singing River employees to join the discussion at their next meeting.

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