Thursday, September 8, 2011

Robin Yess to Ulster County Legislature: Why No Action on Golden Hill?

TO: Ulster County Legislators

Good evening. Sorry to say – it’s me again.

While I am aware that many of you were not members of the Legislature when the attached report was presented, a fair share of you were. Whether you were or you weren’t, I suggest that you read the attached report and meeting minutes.

In the spring of 2007, Chairman of the Legislature Dave Donaldson authorized the formation of the Blue Ribbon Health Care Services Advisory Panel to address the issues surrounding Golden Hill Health Care Center, a county-run nursing home.  A group of volunteer citizens including Steve Kelley, Anthony Marmo, Francoise Dunefsky, and Peter Roberts spent more than a year researching the solutions for Golden Hill Health Care Center and submitted a written report in July 2008 and formally presented it to the Health Services committee in September 2008. Their findings after more than a year of work suggested first that “The Committee recommends transfer of the 280 nursing home beds at Golden Hill from County ownership to private ownership.”

Also in the Executive Summary of the report dated July 2008 – “Timely consideration by the Legislature will ensure an orderly transition from an outdated facility in need of major costly repair and requiring annual taxpayer subsidies, to new state of the art facilities with the same total bed component, providing better geographic access, without additional cost to taxpayers.”

So I must ask what did the Democrat-controlled Legislature do with this report that took a year of meetings and volunteer time to pull together? Could it be that because the report recommended privatization that Chairman Donaldson and Health Services Committee Chair Rob Parete decided the best course of action is no action at all because too many union jobs exist at Golden Hill? From July 2008 when the report was released until the end of the Legislative session in December of 2009 no action at all was taken.

So now here we are more than three years after this report was submitted and more than four years after the Committee first met and we are no further ahead. You have made no decisions, made no plan for repairs, and made no plan for reducing the taxpayer subsidy.

I would like to ask every Legislator who was serving during the 2008/2009 term and who continues to serve today and all current Legislators  – what do you intend to do to address the problems outlined in this report and the subsequent report from November 2010 titled the Ulster County Golden Hill Special Task Force Report?

What are you going to do now besides vote on a nonsense resolution (#197) that makes only a statement about keeping Golden Hill, but does nothing to address any of the problems?

Read the reports and please, make some decisions that result in taking action!

Robin Vaccai Yess, CFP
Fee-Only Financial Consulting
181 Church Street, Suite 101
Poughkeepsie NY 12601
(845) 471-0764

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