West Volusia Hospital Authority Commissioner Brian Soukup has resigned from the board, citing conflicts with his work schedule.
Soukup has missed five Hospital Authority meetings since he was sworn in in January.
“Due to a significant and unanticipated change in my work status which requires me to travel and be out of the area a great deal, I regretfully tender my resignation as WVHA Commissioner, Group A Seat 1, effective Immediately,” Soukup wrote in his resignation letter submitted to the Hospital Authority Sept. 15.
“As an athlete, I have always believed in giving 100 percent and that applies to my professional life as well,” Soukup wrote. “Due to my unanticipated increased work responsibilities, I feel that I am no longer able to adequately fulfill my duties on the Hospital Authority.”
The Hospital Authority’s enabling legislation provides for the termination of commissioners who miss six sequential meetings. The Hospital Authority generally meets monthly, but meets twice in September because of budget hearings.
Soukup ran unopposed for his seat on the Hospital Authority Board, which had been vacated by Commissioner Dr. John Hill. Soukup and Hill have both been outspoken about their desires for the Hospital Authority to collect fewer tax dollars from West Volusia residents. At times, Soukup has gone as far as claiming the Hospital Authority should be dissolved and called it a “scam.”
“I hope that moving forward you not only think about the Indigent in our community, but also the working poor that are dealing with inflation, higher taxes and struggling to make ends meet,” Soukup wrote in his letter of resignation.
His ardent desire to cut taxes often led him to tangle with fellow commissioners.
One instance came during an April 2021 Hospital Authority Board meeting, when Chair Voloria Manning attempted to declare Soukup out of order during a conversation in which he said he believed more than half of the people served by the Hospital Authority’s health card program were undocumented workers living or working in Pierson.
Manning argued that the conversation went off-topic from the board’s agenda, and told Soukup he could not “take over” the whole meeting. She then called a vote to declare him out of order. The vote failed, and Soukup was able to continue.
The Beacon was unable to reach Soukup to discuss his resignation.
With Soukup’s seat empty, the remaining four commissioners of the Hospital Authority Board must select an individual to complete the remainder of his two-year term, which ends in 2022.
Soukup’s resignation will be discussed at the Hospital Authority’s next regular meeting, which will begin immediately after the Board’s final budget and tax hearing at 5:05 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Wayne G. Sanborn Activity Center, 815 S. Alabama Ave. in DeLand.