More than 50 community members, Wrangell Medical Center (WMC) staff, and city officials filled the City Council Chambers Tuesday evening at the Borough Assembly Meeting. Hospital staff and members of the community gave testimony regarding ordinance amendments that would change staff policies and financial reporting requirements at the city-owned hospital.

Numerous Wrangell Medical Center staff members expressed concerns with the differences between City and WMC employee policies, while other community members agreed ordinance changes need to occur.

Of the four proposed ordinances considered by the assembly, one was approved on its first reading. If passed it would change eligibility requirements for WMC Board members. Amendments to the ordinance make it possible for tenants of the facility, contractors, or even hospital employees to run for the hospital board. It also allows for the Mayor and Assembly to fill a vacancy on the WMC Board if one should open before a term is up.

The Assembly voted to table the remaining ordinances requiring hospital employees to act in accordance with Borough personnel policies and grievance procedures, as well as stipulations on the reporting of hospital revenue. The three remaining ordinances are tabled until further review is done by the City’s attorney. Assembly Member Mike Symons wants the Assembly to understand the full implications of the proposed ordinance changes.

The second reading of the ordinance regarding WMC membership will be heard at the next Borough Assembly Meeting on April 10th.