The newly elected Graham Regional Medical Center Board of Directors has so far met twice.

Both times the meeting opened to public concerns about board transparency, and both times those concerns were raised by Kent Pettus.

Pettus, one of 16 nominees, ran for but was not elected to the board in April. His concerns over operational transparency were echoed by many within the hospital district upon its establishment as a taxing entity.

The board's first meeting, May 22, opened with an exchange between chairman Larry Kovar and Pettus, who raised the concern that, except for a brief period at the beginning of meetings, the public was not allowed to make any comment on matters up for discussion or approval. He wanted to know how someone could make an informed comment on anything before it has been discussed.

It was established that the board's preferred method for public comments or questions was through a catchall email address, Questions sent to that email address would be forwarded to appropriate members of the board, their responses would then come back through the same address.

“Several weeks ago I used the portal to ask a question, and either we have portal problems or something else is wrong,” said Pettus at the most recent board meeting June 26. “I never got an answer to my question.”

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.