Fortuna, CA- This morning at the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce’s Annual State of the City Breakfast, Mayor Sue Long announced that a contract has been signed with Fortuna’s New City Manager, Mark Wheetley.
According to Mayor Long, Council is “still working on some of the logistics for a firm start date and should have that information available early next week.”
Mayor Sue Long has stated that Mark Wheetley is “…enthusiastic, energetic, and approachable. He will be a great Asset to the City of Fortuna.”
Mayor Pro Tem Tami Trent said, “I am very excited to get a City Manager that already knows and loves Fortuna.”
Council Member Doug Strehl said, “I’ve known and worked with Mark through the Redwood Empire League of Cities and am very excited that he will be our City Manager. Along with his expertise and our great city staff “Fortuna Strong” will get stronger.”
According to Council Member Dean Glaser “Fortuna City Council has chosen to hire local rather than utilize a hiring firm to advertise for candidates outside Humboldt. The Council had utilized outside hiring agencies in 2002 and 2012. This time a local candidate has successfully met the Council's mandates and will be our City Manager for 2017. I'm truly delighted with our choice and I've known him for the past 10 years.”
Council Member Tiara Brown stated “The staff at the City of Fortuna are extremely dedicated and hardworking. I am thrilled to have Mark on board. With his leadership and forward thinking mentality, Fortuna's future is bright.”
The City Council is expected to announce Wheetley’s start date soon.
Today, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), introduced AB 275 that would provide additional protections to residents of skilled nursing facilities when those facilities have a change in license status or operation, such as closure. “Residents of skilled nursing facilities are among our most vulnerable citizens and they must be protected,” said Wood.
Last year, Rockport Healthcare Services, the owner of the only skilled nursing facilities in the Eureka area, announced that it was closing three of its five facilities. More than 100 residents were going to be displaced and moved far from their families. Despite an outpouring of support for the residents from the community, and many meetings with stakeholders, including the Department of Public Health, Partnership Health Plan, and Asm. Wood and Senator Mike McGuire, Rockport did not change its plans. “It’s very likely, however, that the community’s efforts, the media coverage and the many meetings held may have caused them to reconsider as they subsequently decided to close only one facility,” said Wood.
“During those many months,” said Wood, “residents and their families were on a roller coaster ride of anxiety. It became obvious to me that new protections would have to be put in place to prevent this trauma from happening to other residents in the future.”
This bill requires facilities to provide 90 days’ notice to residents and if resident’s concerns cannot be appropriately addressed, the Department of Public Health can add another 90 days. It requires a patient assessment by both a physician and mental health professional and gives the department the authority to require a patient transfer plan to assure that patients’ needs have been considered. And finally, another provision was included so that whenever two or more facilities propose to close on the same date, the facilities will be required to prepare a comprehensive community impact report.
“Although this was an issue that affected a rural community I represent, this situation could occur in more densely populated areas where beds are limited or similar ownership situations exist,” said Wood.
Women's March on Washington, D.C.
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