TEASER: Birdies and Bogeys

Birdie, by David Kilarski, who recently retired as chief executive officer of FirstHealth of the Carolinas after more than seven years leading the organization.

During his time leading FirstHealth, the business went on a growth spurt and solidified its position as a regional provider of health services for southeastern North Carolina. FirstHealth opened a small-scale hospital in Hoke County, considered a risk at the time but now aped by many others. It bought the hospital in Richmond County, opened facilities in Sanford, and rolled out a massive computer software installation across the entire company.

“Dave has been a great leader for FirstHealth of the Carolinas through a time of extraordinary change and challenges in health care,” says Carolyn Helms, chair of the FirstHealth Board of Directors.

Kilarski kept Moore County’s crown jewel safe in place, where it shines on.

Bogey, by Denise Racey, who stepped down last month from the Whispering Pines Village Council just two years into a four-year term. Racey gave up her post because she didn’t like the way things were being run in the village.

“I don’t normally quit things like that, and it was never my intention to,” Racey said of her decision to resign. Instead, over the last few months, Racey felt left out of administrative decisions the rest of the Village Council agreed on.

“It has more to do with the running of the village and personnel decisions,” she said. “It kind of broke my trust, which was disappointing and upsetting.”

Sorry, but things don’t always go your way, even as an elected official. The responsible thing to do, if you find yourself on the outside looking in, is to serve your constituents even more aggressively in a watchdog role. Quitting is simply not acceptable. If anyone broke trust with the village voters, it was Racey.

Birdie, by Jack Kelley, the Southern Pines boy who is leading a campaign to have the town consider building a skate park for those seeking a place to practice their sport. Jack has been circulating a petition to present to town officials, and he has several hundred names already.

Downtown Southern Pines has terrain favorable for skateboarders, but the activity is prohibited. That spurred the middle-schooler to think outside the box.

From Jack’s perspective, a downtown skate park seemed like the obvious solution. He wrote a plea to town officials and designed the petition forms with help from his social studies teacher.

“I really didn’t have a good speech when I started,” Jack said. “I was nervous, but I was still getting signatures because people agreed with it.”

Bogey, to Jamie Boles, our state representative who finds himself in the middle of controversial legislation that his own industry of funeral home directors opposes. Boles is working on behalf of a bill that could directly benefit a fellow legislator by lessening the licensing requirements to become a funeral director.

A so-called “provisional license” is opposed by the N.C. Board of Funeral Service. “It is clearly intended for a member of this House who is not a licensee but wants to be,” said Mark Blake, of the N.C. Board of Funeral Service.

Boles, who owns Boles Funeral Home, is a licensed director. He is a co-sponsor of the bill in the House. When work leaked of an amendment that would limit the provisional license to lawmakers, Boles blamed the state organization for “breached confidentiality.”

The provisional clause seems a solution in search of a problem, and would do nothing but weaken protections in an industry that routinely deals with sensitive and vulnerable populations. Boles’ role serves no purpose other than to serve his political masters.

(2) comments

Kent Misegades

The skate park in downtown Apex is a good example to follow in all respects. It was privately funded, I believe.

Jim Tomashoff

Just as I predicted. Kent will only support spending public money on things that he will use and that financially benefit him. He once argued that sidewalks in communities that currently do not have them should be built only with money paid by people who will use them. So I sarcastically wrote that Kent would erect barriers to keep people out of parks unless they paid to use them, put money in the slot, the barrier can be lifted up. I guess I wasn't too far off.

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