Big Bear Lake, CA — The Bear Valley Community Healthcare District now has a five-member board, given Tuesday’s appointment of Dr. Michael Hartstein, one of six Valley residents to apply for the position on a term that extends through November. According to the district’s acting CEO Rudy Shutta, “Dr. Hartstein was appointed to fill the hospital board seat vacated by Bill Speyers. Dr. Hartstein was sworn in by the acting CEO at approximately 9:15 on Tuesday night. The next process was that the Registrar of Voters was notified, and the oath of office was signed by Hartstein [and Shutta], and delivered.” At the healthcare district’s February 10 meeting, all six applicants were interviewed by board members Dr. Chris Fagan, Brad Summers, Ron Peavy and Kathy Bauch in open session and, following that, Hartstein had received a nomination from Summers, a motion which failed given just two votes, as Peavy had voted nay and Bauch abstained. Those vying for Speyers’s seat (with one excused exception) were present at the February 23 meeting, and candidate Jim Gonzales publicly expressed his support of the board, no matter whom they selected. It was Bauch who nominated Hartstein this round, and given the support of Bauch, Summers and Fagan, he took the appointment in a 3-1 vote. Hartstein will now join his fellow healthcare district board members for a special closed session meeting on March 9, during which time union negotiations will be addressed; the next regular meeting of the board takes place at the hospital on March 23. Shutta tells KBHR that following the closed session portion of this Tuesday’s meeting, there was nothing to disclose in open session with regard to Vi Colunga, the district’s CEO on paid administrative leave.
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