BY Monica Lambert
In a series of five interviews, The KV Sun reached out to the candidates running for positions on the Kern Valley Healthcare District’s Board of Directors.
There are five candidates running for four open positions. These vacancies are for four-year terms.
Fred Clark is a Farmer’s Insurance agent in Lake Isabella. He is also the current president of the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce and a past president of the Kern Valley Exchange Club. He is running for a position on the KVHD Board of Directors because he believes he has the business ethics and compliance experience needed for the job.
Clark served fourteen years as executive vice president and general manager of a California-based trucking company. With twenty-plus years of small business management as well as current agency ownership of Fred Clark Insurance in Lake Isabella — which is a contracted agent for Farmers Insurance — Clark is well-versed in management and staff interactions and in working with state and federal guidelines and compliance issues.
He understands the constraints of small-business budget requirements. Additionally, he strongly believes that more community members need to get involved.
As voters have rejected financial support for KVHD’s larger needs, Clark feels the board needs to find ways to have better control of a long-term financial game plan.
“The current board has a couple of very strong and talented individuals who bring a great deal of value to the board, but new views and ideas are beneficial to the future of our hospital,” Clark told the Sun. “Board members need to do the research and bring problem-solving solutions, not just vote on administrative recommendations.” He believes some of the current board members have voted on issues without the required study and research during a time when research and solutions are critical.
The biggest issue facing the facility is the seismic retrofit of the buildings. Voters rejected the bond issue, and the retrofit has to be done.
Clark feels the financial health of the hospital, and how funds can be raised with better controls in place, is worth taking a look at.
A full-time resident of the Kern River Valley, Clark moved here in 2014. His family has been in the area since the 1970s, and he feels strong ties to the community. Not one to just sit back and complain, Clark, says he understands the critical issues of community involvement and support. He will be looking for creative ways to get community members to fully support the KVHD.