Commission Taps Gainer, Two Others For Bay Health Foundation Boa - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Commission Taps Gainer, Two Others For Bay Health Foundation Board

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It appears the battle between Bay County commissioners and Bay Health Foundation trustees is over.

County commissioners approved three nominees – including George Gainer – to fill vacancies during their Tuesday meeting.  It was a low-key ending to months of contentious debate and could mean the Florida Legislature won't be getting involved, after all.

Olivia Cooley and Scott Barloga were the other two nominees approved to fill vacancies on the hospital's foundation board.

Gainer's appointment satisfies the county's demand that a commissioner serve as a trustee in order to keep watch over the hospital employee pension fund.  Commissioners believe the county is liable for the $100 million fund if the special district is dissolved and want a say in managing it.

When trustees resisted, commissioners asked the local legislative delegation to back a bill creating an irrevocable trust and ending the foundation's oversight of the pension.

Gainer said his appointment might make that legislation unnecessary but the county will keep it as an option.  "They don't want any problems with the pension fund any more than we do… and if we see something that needs to be changed, I am sure that the board would be amenable to that," Gainer said.  "I don't see any need for any legislation at this time."

Gainer, who opposed Bay Medical Center's privatization, and the two additional trustees will serve four year terms.

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