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Miami-Dade commissioners shrink Jackson board

The board that governs the public Jackson Health System will soon shrink, following a decision Tuesday by the Miami-Dade County Commission.

The Public Health Trust will be reduced to seven members, from 17, in May. The smaller trust will be the same size as the Financial Recovery Board that has been temporarily overseeing the financially troubled Jackson system since the spring of 2011.

“The smaller number... definitely is a step in the right direction,” Marcos Lapciuc, the financial board chairman, told commissioners after they approved the change.

While Lapciuc had argued that a smaller trust would make Jackson more nimble, Martha Baker, union president of SEIU Local 1991, had opposed the reduction, in part because the nominating council that would appoint trust members would be made up of current financial board members.

But the proposal was amended to include the president of the South Florida AFL-CIO, or his or her designee, on the nominating council. The nominees will then be approved by county commissioners.

A divided commission only narrowly moved the measure forward in a preliminary vote in October. They deferred another vote scheduled for earlier this month.

But on Tuesday, without discussion, commissioners gave the plan final approval with a 7-3 vote.

More here.