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Supervisors right to seek finances

After months of sitting virtually in the dark all the while trusting others to guide them, the Adams County Board of Supervisors took a wise step Monday.

County leaders agreed to ask for financial information from the board of trustees of county-owned Natchez Regional Medical Center.

For approximately six months, the hospital has been for sale and for more times than we can remember, hospital leaders have promised that buyers are circling and a sale was imminent.

At the same time the hospital has refused to release any detailed financial information to supervisors or the public, citing confidentiality.

Ironically, any potential buyer should have been provided the very thing supervisors seek as part of the due diligence process of the sale; so in effect, out-of-town companies with deep pockets may know more about the fiscal health of the hospital than the owners.

Anytime someone is seeking to sell something — a house, a car or even a hospital — it’s vital the seller know what it’s worth.

Supervisors, as the public’s elected representatives, by law must ultimately make any decision about the future of the county hospital.

But without knowing the up-to-date financial stats of the hospital, supervisors have no clue if any offer — apparently one is on the table — is sufficient to cover the hospital’s debts.

In our judgment, supervisors have placed far too much credibility in the hospital board to date. The county has gone along with the hospital board’s plan, but thus far it’s proven far from fruitful.

We’re glad supervisors are becoming more proactive.

We urge supervisors to continue pressing — to the point of filing a lawsuit if necessary — to obtain accurate financial information so they can both consider the hospital’s health for the purpose of analyzing a possible sales offer, but also to inform the public.

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