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October 30, 2014

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County commission to pick new leader, discuss UMC oversight in meetings this week

Packed agendas await Clark County commissioners in their first week of meetings in 2013.

Commissioners will pick a new board chair at their Monday meeting, which begins at 9 a.m., and on Tuesday will conduct a special meeting beginning at 2 p.m. to discuss changing University Medical Center’s governance structure.

Here are three hot topics to watch for during the meetings:

A new leader

The commission will shuffle its seating arrangement and elect a new chair and vice chair. Susan Brager is the current chair and Steve Sisolak is the vice chair. Commissioners interested in the top spot will have to do some campaigning among their colleagues to secure the four votes needed.

Perks of the spot include a prestigious resume-builder, presiding over the board’s meetings, and choosing which intergovernmental boards and agencies commissioners will sit on.

Coroner’s inquest

The controversial coroner’s inquest process into officer-involved shootings, which has sparked several lawsuits, is before the board again as commissioners consider different ways to conduct the inquiries.

Two separate proposals will be heard by the commission — one a small tweak to the language of the county code that wouldn’t drastically change the process and another that would repeal the current ordinance and replace it with a new process that includes an ombudsman to represent the interests of the family of the shooting victim and the public during the hearing.

Changes at UMC

During a special meeting Tuesday, commissioners will review a plan that would allow University Medical Center to be turned over to a public corporation that would be a subsidiary of the county.

Leaders at UMC worry that the open board meetings it currently is required to conduct put it at a competitive disadvantage. The proposed change, which requires the Legislature’s approval, would allow a new UMC board to conduct portions of its meetings pertaining to strategic, operational or planning items behind closed doors.

During the board’s regular meeting Monday, UMC will present a report covering upcoming changes and challenges prompted by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which places new rules and regulations on hospitals and will increase the number of insured Nevadans.

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