To no one’s surprise the Frederick County Commissioners wasted little time in selling Citizen Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living Facility following a five-hour public hearing Tuesday evening.

It’s now clear the public hearing was nothing more than a “go-through-the-motions” sham and validated claims by opponents that the meeting was being held because of a legal requirement and not because there was any chance the commissioners were interested, much less willing, to change their minds.

A standing-room only crowd of more than 400 people crammed into the Jack B. Kussmaul Theater at Frederick Community College in a last-ditch attempt to stop the commissioners sale of the government-owned nursing home and assisted living center that have served needy local residents for about 140 years.

But four of the county commissioners, lead by President Blaine Young, had already made up their minds. The voting to sell the facilities and abolish the Citizens Board of Trustees began minutes after the public hearing ended after 11 p.m. Commissioner David Gray was the lone dissenter.

We advocated several times on these pages that the commissioners should slow down and make sure this major decision is in the best interest for all involved. It didn’t mean that the commissioners couldn’t have ultimately decided to sell Citizens and Montevue because the facilities do have a troublesome financial history. More than $53 million in taxpayer money has been spent to subsidize them since fiscal year 2000.

The problem, however, is there still are too many unanswered questions.

For starters, the cost-savings being touted by the commissioners were questionable since their own numbers in press releases, interviews and financial statements were off by several million dollars.

And a June 22 story in The Frederick News-Post reported that Aurora Health Management had a mixed track record for resident care with some facilities scoring well in quality checks and others faulted for instances of medical error, inattentiveness and verbal abuse. One of the facilities was rated “much below average,” while two others were rated “below average.” Another two centers were rated as “average.” Only two of the seven facilities were rated “above average” or higher.

That should have been enough to have the commissioners pause, even for a moment, to re-examine the numbers they’ve been force-feeding the public about short and long-term cost savings and also to at least question whether Aurora is the best management option available.

And we still believe that Citizens’ trustees should have been given the year they requested to straighten out the centers’ financial situation. Board members said they were working hard to have the facilities turn a profit and not rely on future taxpayer subsidies.

None of that matters now. The commissioners have once again bullied through another decision that appears to be based more on ideology than what may or may not be in the best interest of the community. And once again, we’re not surprised.

(47) comments

valerie_dale

It wasn't always like this. I have testified in front of countless boards and commissions for 20 years. Facts and information always mattered until this BOCC. The FNP is half right, the reason is ideology. But the real reason is extreme ideology...where government is the enemy.

president8444

Gee only 40 against the sale here , just dems complaining again.

Newthinking7

There is NO other industry in the United States that requires as much labor as Nursing homes. IT is the one industry that can not be mechanized.
It means JOBS. LOTS of Jobs.
Why in the name of you know who would you dump this place instead of embellsihing it to creat more jobs and spin off a desireble place to live.
Not one industry carries this amount of labor. [ frankly that is why F.M.H wont do it. ]
It is what is the future due to the demographics.
This is so stupid what has happened. Simply stupid ,, very poor managment here at this time

dbjanda1

broop1---These Bozos are doing the same as previous boards...They're subsidizing it four more years and then they'll kick the can down the road along with the staff and residents...Why wouldn't they have made it a straight up sale without future subsidies...Maybe they know what's going to happen later under somebody else's watch...Talk about calling the kettle black...Me

bropp1

It's amazing how the FNP gives the prior administration a free pass for spending taxpayer's money like it was their personal piggy bank by spending ~$30mn to build a new facility while completely failing to address the money losing ops.

You may not agree with the decision the Commissioners made, but at least they stopped kicking the can down the road like the previous administrations have done.

dbjanda1

Let's see, everyone is concerned about money and if kickbacks were involved with the selling of the nursing homes...Now that the BoCC had their meeting of futility concerning the issue against legal citizens, can they now concentrate their efforts on removing illegal aliens from the community...They claim to be 'True Americans' then prove it by action unless money is involved...Why else have illegals dictate what legals should do ???...M-O-N-E-Y...Me

jthompson

There is nothing wrong or unethical about legislators making up their mind on a legislative policy choice prior to a public hearing on the issue at hand.

Thomask

This group of BOCC (4 of them) is the most unethical, dishonest, and disingeneous group of elected officials I can remember in a long, long time.
It is pathetic to watch them in action. And the big buffoon can blather on incessantly about his greatness daily on his radio show. Pathetic. But in this county, nothing surprises me. I look forward to our new form of government as soon as it will happen.

KellyAlzan

I do agree, Lenny.

But legislatures are elected to represent constituents.

This deal was dirty from conception. if this wasn't a dirty deal the legislature would have listened to the community.

As you know Lenny, the bright side to all this is that Ba'Lane Young, Billie Shreevies, Kirbie Dalaughter, and Smith will never be elected anything in Frederick county again.

alovelyplace

For those who have not seen these links, please view and share:
BoCC Quorum Pyramid, Rotten on the inside never looked so good on the Outside, The residents of Montevue/Citizens interviewed - they 'Still Hope' we will find a way to keep 'The Promise'. Please don't give up.
http://onefrederickmanyvoices.blogspot.com/2013/06/promise-broken.html

sholman85

Unfortunately a similar situation is unfolding with the city government and the third proposed Walmart on route 40. Bullying, intimidation and an attitude of not being able to do anything better. We will do better on election day.

Colnatejessup

I would submit that even Commissioner David Gray had his mind made up as well before he entered the hearing how he was going to vote. Overall, the process of this issue could have/should have been conducted differently, I agree with the final decision.

Maybe it's just me, but the familiar gentleman speaking near the very end of public comment appears to be experiencing a decline in health. He just appeared different in appearance from comments shared in the past.

wmpratt2010

Why don't you ask them why they answer as they do?

kjswartz

CoinateJessup - we can see by the number of posts you are new to the area. We welcome you in every sense of the word. What you see in our communities' is a foundation based on a guarded historical pride. Everyone is very accepting of new viewpoints.

Our concern is with those things that appear archaic but have been woven into the fabric of our lives.

whalenworx

I think we will eventually learn that something dishonest is going on. Same with the incinerator deal. The ideology theory is likely the basis for all of this but the methods being used to get to the ideology are suspicious. The voting structure on the board is suspicious. Follow the money, and you can see just who benefits from what. If you think that any of this will help out Frederick's residents in any way, you are being fooled. Anyone considering a move to Frederick County should be warned: Frederick is no longer the quiet and non-eventful place it used to be. Now it's looking like corrupt Prince George's County.

KellyAlzan

I assure you. Ba'Lane Young is getting a kickback from the nursing home purchaser.

Either a vacation property somewhere will be deeded on a name of his choice. Or a bag of cash will somehow appear on his front door step One morning. Or perhaps one morning a Visa gift card loaded with a hefty payment will magically be found on Ba'Lane's front walkway.

The public is furious. The payout is so big that it is reason enough for Ba'Lane to follow through with the sale and know that his political days in Frederick co Md are over.

A wise man once said "the biggest intake my father made in politics is that he didn't get rich".......

wmpratt2010

You know what they say; It doesn't matter what you think, it only matters what you can prove.

KellyAlzan

wmpratt - next time you're spending an entire day about how terrible the police are......we'll remember that :)

Kelly

wmpratt2010

I never spent an entire day doing that.

backroomfrederick

You're probably correct. That's why I don't think any of them care about being re-elected for anything. Their attitude towards the public makes me think this is a one term smash and grab. For them to linger in local political circles may not be in their interests after some of these deals go through. I'd be surprised if any of the BOCC outside of Gray live anywhere near Frederick when all's said and done. It's possible their careers in public service in Frederick County are winding down so they don't need support at this point.

president8444

Editor your main object is get the FNP delivered ,you have not done your job so quiet down with advise.Its 8:20 am no paper yet. Late again, again do your job,nosy.

adtwiggiv

I don't understand why the FNP can't perform the most basic due diligence and check the numbers that the BoCC throws around rather than stating them as if they are fact. The public deserves better from our local watchpuppy. The FNP could at least qualify their statements about the numbers with something like "The BoCC Claims,,,". The 53 million over ten year number is a made up figure to bolster the BoCC's decision.

stuckon270

Please substantiate, I am not saying your statement is correct or not, but since you claim to know the numbers are wrong, please state how you know this.

girlpolitic

I wish the fnp would reduce their subscription rates because the Sunday edition has no news and Monday's looks like a comicbook.

KellyAlzan

Jill honey, you wanna talk "comic book"??

LOL

OK!

i) let's start with a few recent months ago when you wrote in the FNP comments that you have exclusive rights to any content you submit online to the FNP comments!! You even made it known that you maintain a log of all comments you submit to the FNP! LOL!! And letz not forget that you insinuated that the FNP was/is plagerizing your comments. And you eluded that you were going to open legal action against the FNP!!

ii) heres another funny comic - not too long ago you had a multi and multi paragraph letter on John Ashbury's website going on and on and on about his terrible the FNP is because the commentors post under Aliases. And you stated that you have never posted under any aliases (which wasn't and isn't true even at the time that you wrote that)!!!!

Yeah baby, I LOVE comic books!! Do you??


primrosefeather50

Yes, it should have been on a referendum, no doubt.

Newthinking7

Pres.. You are right but I still question this entire item. The statements about the 100.00 is valid. That would have supported the entire cut back issue and turned to break even or most likely a development of all these programs, which spins off alot of jobs.
Every one of the programs they have cut or eliminated are classified as "labor Intensive" meaning it takes actualy human effort to complete the taks. That my freinds are call JOBS.
We do not have a plethera of McDonalds or "Bars" for increased employment.
We should be developing human service jobs not only due to the need for bodies in it to do the work but it would have also increased the Frederick County Cultural situation. Which at this point is obviously not so good.

BstD59

It's difficult to believe, but the truth is the county is being run by four children and one adult who has absolutely no control over these children. The decision to sell the nursing homes was nothing more than a spiteful act to prove they are in charge, not the citizens of the county, and they can do what they want, when they want, and how they want. I think they all need to put on their big boy pants and start behaving like the adults they are supposed to be.

LucyLucy

Well it was done deal long, long before the meeting Tuesday night and I think that finally people are starting to figure that out, because nothing, nothing at all made any sense. I am telling you if you weren't there that night you cannot imagine the eerie feeling WE all had watching the meeting unfold, it was SCARY, Blaine's whole demeanor was off, it was like he had just sold his sole to the devil and he knew it and he KNEW that he had done wrong but it was just too late to stop.

I left early right after Vale spoke, because my skin was crawling, I have never witnesses democracy like that, THERE WASN'T ANY to witness. Not sure why they even bothered with us little people?

Anyway please visit the FB page Shame the Blaine Campaign for the latest and most
up to date boycott list and we have a new fight song.

Blaine Young is destroying our Red Neck Paradise and well we need to stop him before he destroys even further.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shame-the-Blaine-Campaign/489681077776883?fref=ts

president8444

It appears as though th FNP has many problems with their delivery and now want to condem the sale of the nursing center.Let it rest know it alls.Mostly dems. who hate republicans ,not turncoat Gray. Will Gray want us to pay? more , you too FNP.Get some gov. money Obama and Kerry give to foreign countries for us.Do something worthwhile Gray complainer.

kjswartz

Hmmmm. Tea Party at President's Place. Check your free will at the door! Independents will be prosecuted with extreme prejudice.

wmpratt2010

This is just stupid. Politicians on all levels already know how they will vote when the topic comes up. Heck the ACA was voted on before ANYONE even read it. Debates and hearings are formalities nothing more. Politicians only change their minds when an incentive is given. Like "Earmarks" for example.

If a crime or procedure violation was broken by all means this should be pursued, howe3ver it doesn't mean that the decision was wrong.

shiftless88

When you write things like this, about how the ACA was voted on before anyone ever read it, we know you're just drinking the right-wing kool aid and haven't actually thought through this for yourself. You REALLY think no one read it? You think these members of congress don't have dozens of staff members whose job it is to read and digest this stuff? You think 100% of it (or even 10%) was all new when brought to the floor? The same was said on Fox about the immigration bill but as pointed out by Hatch, I think, 1100 of the 1200 pages had been published in May and hadn't changed, leaving just 100 pages of amendments (I don't know about you but I can read 100 pages of amendments in about 30 minutes).

Think for yourself and don't just repeat what you've been told. You'll be better off for making the effort.

wmpratt2010

"You REALLY think no one read it?"

Not the ones that voted on it.

stuckon270

This is what happens when one overstates their case. Wmpratt2010 does this consistently along with a significant number of posters here. Using ANYONE is a dead give away of obviously faulty logic. You only have to find one to make that statement false. Once you have been identified as one who does not necessarily to obvious logic, why should the reader give much credence to the rest of the statement.

wmpratt2010

The subject was politicians. NOONE read it before voting on it.


“why should the reader give much credence to the rest of the statement"

Rules for radicals? If I'm wrong tell me how.

The problem is I made a valid comparison and you can't handle it. Obama has done far worse than Blaine ever has.

wmpratt2010

Or Blaine has been accused of I should say.

cellmark

A number of us are wondering why this was not put on a referendum. Why not give back the 100.00 dollars per property that was thrown out.
Wouldn't that cover all this for the poor ?
Frederick county sure has a lot of problems developing here.

Newthinking7

It was stated F.M.H. turned it down for contract, No surprise there, Nurseing homes require much more oversight than Hospitals do, and frankly, F.M.H has done everything they can do dodge more responsibility on any business venture they enter.
It is also noteworthy that the Animal Control and Truck Maintenance departments for the county lose more money with absoulutly no possible return.
As it is now, Frederick county will carry animals but not its citizens who worked here.
The Speech from Smith was a lie, Montevue and Citizens have always triaged there patients. We do not need more room at the buildings for new persons it was working just fine.

fourstoogesandthatotherguy_the

It wasn't a decision "based...on ideology." It was a decision based on the amount that Aurora was prepared to kick-back to the Stooges. Impure & simple. It will come out. One or more of them will end up in prison. The sooner the better.

wmpratt2010

I doubt it.

kjswartz

No, their vote was based upon ideology. The machination of resorting to poor information seemed willful; their desire to make an impact is obvious.

Look at what makes Frederick a special place to live - land, fresh air, tidy open spaces, a warm and receptive local government that matches the tenor of their constituents.

The long while that I've been here, the Young name meant all that. Blaime seemed wild, but the Young Hegemony still appeared somewhat safe. I might have voted for him, I might not have, but having learned at the feet if his father I would expect more respect from him. More constituent services. Not a deaf ear. The turnout should have been enough for them to revisit this decision.

To not do so, we have turned the clock back to Orwell's "1984" and it's us citizens who need to be taught how to behave. Big Brother knows what is good for us; our wishes and desires are checked at the cloakroom door. That isn't any of those charming things I mentioned earlier.

wmpratt2010

All politician's vote was based upon ideology. All of them. The question is were laws broken? Many say so but nothing has come forward.

My "I doubt it" statement was directed toward the "end up in prison" statement. Politicians generally do not go to prison.

kjswartz

You make a fair point: every politician makes their decision solely upon ideology. Not a single politician, federal, state or amateurish locals can be trusted to ask their constituents for input and public will.

Those, after I put words in your mouth, reflect the belief you want us all to share.

We are not prisoners to our elected official's ideology. To use this Citizens/Montevue dictate as an example - this is not the way our public officials decide local business.

But to make my point on ideology - we've had 7 generations of Republicans with their republican ideals whom supported this historic agreement. What changed?

wmpratt2010

What changed?

Intent?

Will?

Courage?

Our politics is broken but not in the way most people think, I think.

wmpratt2010

We also had a relative stable economy for 28 years until 2008. No pressure to cut costs.

kjswartz

So what's your point? World Wars I & II were easier times than 2008?

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