To the editor of THE EAGLE:
After reading Julia Bolton’s boilerplate-heavy letter on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the North Adams Regional Hospital to the Northern Berkshire community, I found myself wondering: what was plan B? Volunteer or no, the NARH board owed a fiduciary duty to the institution it served, an excellent health care facility that 40,000 people in North Berkshire have relied on for generations.
It seems clear that the NARH board put all its eggs in the basket of a partnership with Berkshire Health Systems. We can’t know this, of course, because the NARH board members are apparently refusing to communicate with the community except through bland missives like Ms. Bolton’s letter.
The NARH board’s failure to plan for the possibility of unsuccessful negotiations with Berkshire Health Systems -- or at least to alert local stakeholders, institutions, and our state and federal representatives to that possibility -- is inexcusable.
There’s an unfortunate trend in our society right now of absolving elite decision-makers of their wrongdoing. We must look forward and not back, as we are repeatedly told by our elected officials and their spokespeople. I, for one, would very much like to look back at the decisions of the NARH board and hold all of its members accountable for what went wrong.