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  Commentary April 17th, 2008

The Editor 

by lyle e davis

Comes now the walking wounded from Palomar Pomerado Health District.

We are hearing from doctors, nurses, medical techs and administrative staff. They all seem to have legitimate complaints.

Example: “Our president and CEO, Mike Covert, is being paid $649,000 a year, yet we mere mortals are asked to contribute part of our hard earned money to PPH so they can furnish the new hospital! We are asked to donate from our "PTO" (Personal Time Off) hours! He is paid more in one month than most of us earn in a year!

PPH has informed us that the hospital bond issue “BB” will only pay for about half of the needed amount and is limited to building expenses only. Has the general public, who voted for this measure, been informed of this? Do they know they voted for an empty structure and that additional funds through donations would be required to furnish it with beds, equipment, supplies and even garden landscaping? Just what did we vote for exactly? Were we misled?

Indeed, I have in my hand several copies of the "Employee Capital Campaign Newsletter." In the March 7th issue, they "suggest" employees make a three year commitment/pledge. But, in a letter dated March 25th, Mike Covert (you'll remember him. He's the fella they're paying $649,000 a year to act as the president and CEO), well, he up and suggests these same employees make not a three year commitment but a three-to-five year commitment!

Ah, yes. Mike Covert. He sure does know how to spend other people’s money.

Something is terribly wrong here! Not fair!

I remember back when I worked at Omaha Public Power District and all the suits decided it would be a lovely idea if every single employee donated to the United Fund. 100% employee participation was the goal. Pressure, some subtle, some not so subtle, was brought upon staff by management. Ever since that time I have had an absolute dislike for any company that applies management pressure on staff to “voluntarily” donate to any cause. Make the information available, but leave it to the individual employees as to whether they donate or not.

This amounts to a shakedown of PPH employees by Mike Covert and his minions.

We call upon PPH management to back off. Leave your staff alone to do their job and don’t bug them to help fund a project you decide is important.

It’s interesting to note that this coming Saturday is the “kickoff” of this Employee Capital Campaign. They are having a softball tournament starting at 1pm at the Poway Sportsplex. Food is provided for PPH employees and their immediate family.

One wonders if the staff will have to kick in to cover the cost for that event as well.

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