Candidates, hospital speak at Meet and Greet
About 30 voters came out to hear from hospital administrator Frank Beaman and candidates in the election for mayor of Jacksboro and place 6 on the Jacksboro Independent School Board of Trustees Thursday, April 25 during a candidate meet and greet at the Legacy Texas Community Room hosted by the Jacksboro Herald-Gazette.
Beaman told the group about the Jack County Hospital District’s bond proposition stating the hospital is looking to refinance existing debt for better terms and the refining will not add additional debt or increase taxes.
During the question and answer portion, John Berry asked why the hospital would consider refinancing when it currently has a historically low interest rate.
Beaman said if the conditions are not favorable, then the hospital will not refinance.
“I think we have proven to be pretty good stewards with what we’ve done and if it’s not favorable, I’m certainly not going to advocate for it,” he said.
Berry also commented that the debt was originally not approved by the voters.
The hospital’s legal representative David Spiller spoke to that.
“It was approved. With revenue bonds, you don’t go for voter approval on revenue bonds unless there is a petition and a call and so forth like that. So to say they weren’t approved, they were approved by the hospital board that is duly elected by the citizens of Jack County and they went through all the legal and all the proper process to get that done. It had to be financed some way and that’s what was done,” Spiller said.
Berry said the refinance will shift the debt from a revenue obligation to a general obligation to which Spiller replied, it still has to be repaid.
“The taxpayers are on the hook for it whether it’s a revenue bond or a GO or whatever the bond is. A debt is a debt is a debt,” he said.
Berry also commented that Jack County taxpayers are shouldering the burden for services provided by Faith Community Hospital outside of Jack County. He is referring to two rural health clinics and four nursing homes FCH operates elsewhere.
Beaman responded that each of those operations help lower taxes because they are all profitable.
To read the complete article, see the May 1 edition of the Herald-Gazette.