Roodman to step down as hospital district superintendent; three public hearings set

Rich Roodman - Renton Reporter
Rich Roodman
— image credit: Renton Reporter

Rich Roodman will step down as superintendent of Public Hospital District No. 1 in December to concentrate on his role as CEO of the new strategic alliance between Valley Medical Center and UW Medicine.

His decision was expected as splitting his dual role has always been part of the plan so that Roodman could work solely on the development of the alliance.

Roodman has been district superintendent for nearly 30 years; he was one of the key architects of the new strategic alliance in which the public tax dollars are still overseen by an elected board.

Roodman had advised the leaders of the new 13-member Board of Trustees that oversees the alliance, which is responsible for all operations of Valley Medical Center, of his decision. He reports directly to the trustees.
"After checking with the leadership of the Valley Board, I have become encouraged and convinced that I can personally best achieve objectives of the Strategic Alliance as well as fulfill the mission of the District by focusing 100% of my time and attention in the role of Valley CEO," Roodman wrote in his letter to Sue Bowman, president of the hospital district commission.
Bowman will recommend to fellow commissioners Monday evening that they appoint Jeannine Grinnell, the district's treasurer, as interim superintendent. If approved, her appointment would become effective in December.
In his letter to Bowman, Roodman wrote the superintendent's role now focuses almost exclusively on accounting and financial issues and concentrating on taxation accountability and reporting.
The commission could take the next several months to find a new superintendent, after first developing a new job description that reflects the changes in duties as a result of the alliance.
Grinnell indicated to Bowman she might be interested in applying for the permanent position.
Besides acting initially on Grinnell's appointment, commissioners will hold three public hearings, on the property tax levy, on redrawing of the three commissioner districts and the 2012 district budget. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the commission board room at the hospital. There is separate public comment at 6 p.m.
Hospital management is recommending that the commission raise the district levy by 1 percent, the maximum allowed unless the board chooses to approve an excess levy. Governments can raise property-tax levies by 1 percent or the inflation rate, whichever is smaller. The inflation rate used was 2.755 percent.
Next year, that property tax levy would amount to $20,080,355, compared to the 2011 levy of $19,681,672. The 2011 levy was not increased 1 percent over 2010.
Renton and Kent represent about 75 percent of the hospital district's total assessed valuation of about $33.5 billion. Next year, the owner of a typically valued home of $245,200 in Kent would pay $147 in taxes to the district. The owner of a typically valued home of $285,500 in Renton would pay $171 in 2012. In both cases that's a roughly $10 increase over this year.
Nearly all of the taxpayer money goes to pay the debt on long-term bonds used to construct the public buildings at Valley Medical Center, including the new South Tower that houses the hospital's Emergency Department.
The hospital also would distribute about $1.7 million of those property tax dollars to fire districts 17/44, 20, 25, 37 and 40.
The commissioners also will hold a public hearing on the district's 2012 statutory expenditure budget. The budget has three parts, the general or operating fund of $513.7 million, which includes salaries, wages and benefits among other costs; a debt service fund of $25.6 million, which is mostly the bond debt, and $70 million in a capital budget.
The third hearing is on the redistricting of the three commissioner districts within the hospital district – but not the hospital district itself. A candidate must live within a district to run for the commission. The other two commissioners are elected in at-large positions.
The recommendation is to leave the three elective districts unchanged, based on the results of the 2010 Census.
An analysis found the three districts are between 4.52 percent lower and 2.44 percent higher when the district's entire population is divided into three portions.
The hospital district consulted the Washington State Redistricting Commission, the Washington State Elections Division and an assistant state attorney general. It determined the three districts, as currently drawn, meet the legal requirement of being "nearly equal in population as possible."














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