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Thursday, Sep 19 2013 10:43 AM

'First Look': Mike Maggard tackles KMC, animal shelter changes

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    Scott Cox talks with Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard about Kern Medical Center and animal control on "First Look with Scott Cox."

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It's been a busy couple of months for Mike Maggard, chairman of the Kern County Board of Supervisors.

The board fired Kern Medical Center CEO Paul Hensler on Sept. 9 after a meeting in which they learned more troubling information about the public hospital's finances. But the decision, Maggard said, was already coming.

"Documentation wasn't matching up like it should and something was amiss a few weeks leading up to the decision," Maggard said Thursday on "First Look with Scott Cox."

Maggard said the hospital asked the board to increase its budget from $90 million to $160 million, but it was too much money that would come from reserves.

After an in-depth investigation, Maggard said, the Board of Supervisors found the numbers the hospital had given were wrong and the hospital was losing money.

"We brought on John Nilon as the interim CEO the next day after the decision was made and he's been one of the best choices we have made," Maggard said.

With a positive attitude about the future of KMC, Maggard also expressed hope about the future of animal control in Bakersfield.

The problem isn't just the hundreds of dogs and cats wandering around Kern, Maggard said. The problem also lies in the pet owners who aren't responsible about getting them spayed or neutered.

But amid the impending separation of the city and the county's animal operations, Maggard said the community has responded positively.

"I don't think there has ever been a time when we have talked more about animals than now," Maggard said.

Many people are adopting and fostering dogs and cats. The county's goal is to find shelter for every animal by the end of the month.

Maggard said the owner of DC Shoes, a popular clothing line, recently came to Bakersfield in a private airplane, drove to the animal shelter and said, "I'm here to get me some loving, where do I get an animal."



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