By: Andy Alcock
September 10, 2013
Leon County, FL - After a two month ordeal, Bond Community Health Center will get Leon County tax dollars.
Tuesday afternoon, Leon County Commissioners voted to fully fund Bond this upcoming budget year.
The move comes after a vote to suspend Bond's $800,000 funding in July.
"Twenty-eight percent budget reduction, that means real bodies, real lives are going to be impacted," Bond Board Chair Antonio Jefferson told commissioners.
Jefferson made it clear the stakes were very high.
When the commissioners voted to suspend Bond's funding in July, it put $2-million of the health care center's budget in jeopardy.
In the two months since that time, Bond responded to county questions, including about some yet to be resolved issues.
Commissioner John Dailey argued Bond's funding should be delayed to make sure the center's admitted administrative problems are checked and fixed.
"I think we have a good road map in place," said Dailey. "Quite honestly, at this point, I want to see some proven results," he said.
Commissioner Bill Proctor led the charge to suspend Bond's funding.
At the workshop, he was the last of the 7 commissioners to show up, arriving 20 minute late, but spoke the longest.
Part of his remarks included criticizing Bond for failing to hire a full-time chief executive officer.
"It's very hard for any institution of any type to operate a facility with all the interims," said Proctor.
But Bond's top candidate for the job, Richard Perry told us exclusively in August he turned it down due to concerns about community support, including the suspended funding.
In the end, only Dailey voted against full funding for Bond.
"Motion carries 6 to 1," said Commission Chair Nick Maddox.
"We're very pleased with the outcome," said Jefferson.
With the funding issue now resolved, Jefferson says it will be easier to hire a new full time CEO.
He says that issue should be resolve in the next few weeks.
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