Sunday, October 09, 2011
UPDATE: I failed to point out that Legislator Robert Parete did submit a plan for Golden Hill and long term care. The Parete plan would reduce taxpayer subsidy and enhance long term programs like home health care services, meals on wheels, assisted living ect. Again not every legislator has held this up but what Hein has done has forced the entire legislature now to make a decision.
County Executive Mike Hein did something 33 other elected officials in this county have failed to do for almost a year..he made a decision on the fate of Golden Hill. I disagree with the County Executive, I strongly believe that Golden Hill needs to be kept as a county run facility but with that being said those quick to point fingers at Hein as the bad guy are mistaken.
For almost a year there has been a debate about what to do with Golden Hill. There have been talks about privatization, restoring the current facility, building a second facility, building two new facilities and nothing has been done. My mother is a resident of Golden Hill, I have been to countless meetings with her and it's always a run around from committee members and a complete waste of time.
While I think County Executive Hein has been clear from day one about his concerns as to whether or not the county can sustain the cost of the facility, he has also been clear throughout this entire process that this is a policy decision that the legislature needs to make. Executive Hein and the public have been very patient for the legislature to make that decision.
However there comes a point where enough is enough. The legislature just does not get it, they are so disconnected from the public and think they can sit on an issue until after the election or as long as they can hold out and hope no one will call them out on it. That was the way government operated for decades in Ulster County, until 2009 when our charter changed and when Mike Hein became our Executive. The days of pulling the wool over the eyes of the residents in this county is over.
Mike Hein said it best: GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO CHANGE. You can't have it both ways, you can't sit on an issue and keep delaying it and delaying it and than cry when the tough decisions need to be made. Hein gave the legislature more than enough time to make a decision on what to do with Golden Hill and when they failed to act, he made it for them. The legislature now hypocritically is attacking Hein for not allowing them to make the decision...Are you kidding me?? Maybe they would of gotten around to it in 2015.
Not every legislator has tried to stall the process, there have been legislators that have been pro Golden Hill from day on, like Jeanettee Provanzano, Carl Bafiglio, Mike Madsen, Fred Wadnola, Frank Fellicello and Dave Donaldson. There have been also been legislators that have come out in favor of privatization like Ken Ronk, Wayne Harris, and Jack Hayes. At least these legislators (and this is not a full list) have taken a position.
A lot of legislators however have come up with excuses and unrealistic road blocks that need to be moved before they can vote one way or another. These legislators care more about self preservation and fear of losing an election than they do about Golden Hill or county residents. Mike Hein is not the enemy, he is a reformer of county government.
Mike Hein has now forced the legislature to act on this matter, while Hein has stated he will veto any plan that does not include the sale of Golden Hill in the budget, the legislature can override that veto. The legislature can finally step up and show the public what they are made of, like Jeanette Provanzano tried very hard to do last month and deserves a lot of credit for her hard work.
If you want to sell Golden Hill than stand up and look into the voters eyes and tell them that by voting for the budget as proposed. My personal hope is the legislature will work together in a bipartisan manner and adopt their own budget that does not include the sale of Golden Hill, the legislature as a whole is as powerful as the executive and if enough of the legislative members are united not even the Executive's veto can stop them. Enough with the delay tactics, and misinformation; it's decision time.
Posted by Jeremy Blaber at 5:25 AM