Clipped From Pampa Daily News
'The conflict is who's running PAMPA NEWS Thundoy, Augurt 12, 1976 3 the ByANNABURCHELL Pa mpa News Staff MCLEAN— Robert Monogue, administrator of Highland General and McLean hospitals called what he termed a "town hall meeting" with the 26 hospital employes here Wednesday to discuss the conflict between the hospital and the Commissioners Court. "The hospital and myself have been quite a topic of conversation recently," he said adding that he believed the controversy to be "a lack of communications." The controversy stems around a resolution passed last week by the commissioners asking for Monogue's resignation or discharge. The hospital board Monday night voted not to comply with the court's request. Monogue told McLean hospital workers that the conflict between the hospital and the Commissioners Court was triggered with the submission of a budget which had been unanimously approved by the hospital board. Referring to the meeting where the budget was submitted Monogue said. "It wasn't a budget meeting. It was donkey barbecue. I just didn't know I'd been invited." He told the employes that he informed the court that he was never aware that "quantity was a substitute for quality," referring to the Commissioners request for more details than were included in the nine - page budget presentation. He added that the budget he submitted was a good one with input from every department. Commenting on the progress of the McLean hospital where Monogue Texas Republicans pav •*• JL J to visit with By DAN MCDONALD Associated Press Writer DALLAS (APi-With his endorsement of President Ford behind him. former Texas Gov. John Connally has returned to his home state where all 100 Republican national convention delegates are pledged to Ronald Reagan. But more than 300 Texas Republicans tossed more than $115,000 into Republican coffers Wednesday night for the privilege of hearing Connally, a former Democrat turned Republican. And Connally told them what they wanted to hear at a reception at an exclusive country club where wealthy Texans from across the state came to listen to the man often mentioned as a potential running mate for President Ford. Connally, 59, met first privately with about 75 persons would be able to do anything." . Walter Wendlant, a Republi-' can candidate for the Texas i Railroad Commission, said Connally has "great support among Republicans across Texas." "No one ever mentions his indictment when Republicans get together and talk about Connally," Wendlant said. Connally's indictment, trial and acquittal of federal charges that he accepted a $10,000 bribe to help raise milk price supports were far from the minds of the 250 persons who gathered to listen to Connally. The silver-haired, tanned Connally and his wife, Nellie, left the private meeting and joined the main party as the piano player belted out "The Eyes of Texas." Connally was all smiles as he worked his way through the crowd shaking men's hands and kissing some women's cheeks. In response to a question from the audience, Connally said he had no regrets about coming down from his fence- straddling position to back Ford. Connally said, however, he planned to fight those who have attacked his character since his support of Ford. "The attacks don't bother me but I don't like it." he said. "It's a mean political environment in which we live." After Connally's talk, one man said he felt Connally was a dynamic man of principle regardless of what party label he wore. Connaliy switched to the Republican party in 1973. "If Connally had stayed in the Democratic party, the battle this year for the Demo- .cratic presidential nomination would have been between Connally and Jimmy Carter." the man said. lasses last year wert in the thousands each month, Monogue said, "This hospital is doing better than I ever projected. I made no changes (in the budget) except to increase LVN salaries .... it was resubmitted and passed unanimously." On Jan. 2 the county commission approved a 54-page budget presentation. However in explaining the controversy which now exists, Monogue said a story appeared in the newspaper (Pampa News) on salaries of hospital employes. "I found it a little objectionable to see our salaries published on the front page. I mad no objection." However, he said he asked the editor of the newspaper if it were newsworthy to print the salaries. "He said he did," Monogue continued. He then explained that his recommendations for salary raises have been cut by the Commissioners Court. "My pleadings or comments obviously fell on deaf ears," he said. He added that he often hears such comments as "when will these raises ever stop?" "I might be a running mate to Gerald Ford if I had the answer to that," he added. "The conflict is who's running the hospital. I don't know ... We have an excellent member of the board here today." He was referring to the presence of Ed Patman of McLean. "Where?" asked an employe. "Mr. Meecham (the former hospital board member from McLean) visited us regularly. This man never has." Patman explained that his duties are to make broad policy decisions along with other board members "I haven't worked behind Bob's back?" Patman said. An employe asked, "Do you think we have?" "No," Patman replied. "I think what's going on at the newspaper and the court is." Patman then commented on the progress of the McLean Hospital during recent months. "I don't deserve any credit for this, "he said "I don't think so either," the employe said Discussion turned to efforts which were made to close the McLean hospital. "We are fortunate in that these facilities are self sustaining," Monogue said. He added that whether or not one likes Fred Neslage. board chairman, "one needs only to look at his record" — referring to the many hours of work Neslage has contributed in the interest of the hospitals. Patman said he thought "a lot here have the wrong idea that Bob (Monogue) and Fred (Neslage) are about to close this hospital." Wilma Hayter, dietician for both hospitals who lives in Borger, said long before Monogue was employed there was conversation about closing the McLean hospital. "It comes up every year — almost like the measles," she said. It was at that point that Gray County Commissioner Ted Simmons inserted: "I do know that Mr. Neslage and Mr. Monogue went so far as to hire an attorney to find out how to close this hospital. We feel like what you all (the hospital board and the administrator) do reflects on all of us (the commissioners court i." Monogue then told Simmons "We're not going to get together." Gladys Hill, a nurses aide, said it was only natural for the employes to get concerned. "Board members do make mistakes." Pauline Burnett, nurse aide said. "Everyone does," Monogue said. "Even if our differences are not resolved today or tomorrow Highland General and McLean will continue to operate," Simmons reassured the employes. He added that he tried to be more careful with county government money than with his own. , Helena Stubbs. a registered nurse, said "The commissioners have voted to fire you (Monogue)." '< Monogue explained that' the hospital board had voted five to one to retain him. ' "Whether or not I 'm employed next month is my perSoiial problem — these are difficult and technical matters. I don't know just exactly what will come of it, "he said. Barbara True, an employe, said, "i feel that whatever the commissioners have done they represent the wishes of the voters." "What makes you think that?" Monogue asked. "I imagine you can be elected to something and have 49 per cent of the people hate you." "In a small town like this it is known what the voters want. In a small town like this there are no secrets — not in McLean.'' an employe responded. Monogue said he found it "hard to swallow — the status of these raises." Simmons reminded Monogue that his salary $1,950 per month is "considerably higher than the county judge's." "I don't vote on my salary," Monogue said Horace Williams, administrative assistant, said he wished the hospital could increase everyone's salary. "I'm real sorry you didn't get your raise. I think you deserved it." Ms. Burnett said to Williams. Monogue said he had a "tough time doing anything that isn't controversial." Patman said that if Monogue is forced to resign, one who takes his place "will take a long hard look," speaking of the administrator's position. Barbara True an office clerk, said any hospital administrator's position is political, unless it is one in a private facility. "I'd hate to see politics lessen the quality of medical care in this county," Patman said. Monogue explained that in a most widely recognized book on hospital administration one finds that "politics and health care don't mix." "Medicare is here," Ms. True said. The discussion later returned to Patman's lack of hospital visits. "I thought our board member was to speak for us," an employe said. "Why have one?" asked another employe. "We want our board member to ask about how the hospital is doing ... what we need." Mrs. Burnett said she could not see where Patman had shown any interest. "Polly, if you have a complaint, I have a phone." Patman said. "I'm not talking about complaints. You don't know anything about this place. We like to see you around," she answered. "Unfortunately, I'm a poor boy and I have to work for a living." Patman said. He added again that the McLean hospital is operating well through no credit of his. "We're not going to give you any credit either," Ms. Burnett said. Every Day Relief from High Prices • Jeans O Shirts © Blouses © Jackets © Recycled Jeans SIEAM CLEAN your own carpets RENT OUR RINSENVAC-thenew compact carpet cleaning machine that lifts dirt, grime and residues out of carpets ... and does the job professional cleaners charge up to a hundred dollars for. ' "Steam" is a generic term commonly used to describe the hot water extraction process of carpet cleaning.