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As Long as We Remember...

December 4, 2012

Confusion in My Bald Head

Roy Meachum

Added to the usual chaos in my bald head, confusion entered by the official announcement that the Board of County Commissioner is accepting bids to sell or lease the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living.


Led by Commissioners’ President Blaine Young, four out of the five members agreed last Thursday to sell or lease the operations. David Gray was absent, maybe because he wanted nothing to do with the enterprise. Only in June, Mr. Gray witnessed the ribbon-cutting on a $35 million facility, to replace the “old” Citizens and Montevue buildings with a new facility, which brought many praises.


Even six months ago, Mr. Young and the others were carping about the ongoing costs of what used to be, in the early 19th century, the county’s Alms House. As recently as 1960, Citizens/Montevue operations were run without Frederick taxpayers’ dollars. When I moved from Bethesda, in 1983, there was not a lot of ruckus on something guaranteed by the Constitution’s preamble. I especially mean the U.S. government was founded on the “promotion of the general welfare.”


This is an all Republican county board – even Mr. Gray belongs to the GOP. Nationally their party crusades against “entitlements” – Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. They deserve credit for Barack Obama’s victory last month. It wasn’t even close. The sitting president triumphed in the popular vote – by two million – and more comfortably in the Electoral College: 332 v. 206.


Social Security was started under Franklin D. Roosevelt, and helping the poor and old to pay medical bills was born with Lyndon B. Johnson’s political muscle and arm-twisting on July 30, 1965, over 40 years ago. Working people have planned their retirements based on the programs.


With absolutely no power on the national scene, Blaine Young and his cohorts do what they can in a county dominated by Republicans. I protest with every fiber that I possess. Mr. Young and other GOP commissioners I count as personal friends, which forms no excuse for their abandoning the poor and old.


Commissioner Billy Shreve abstained during last week’s voting, to give an appearance of objectivity. But Mr. Shreve has thundered for penny-pinching in county departments, including the library. The reason for his not voting was because his “day-job” is in the real estate industry. To register him as an “objective” broker would be to set off fireworks among voters – and cost his political future.


Of course, asking for bids is not the same as throwing the families and elders out in the cold, vicious world. My mother drew her last breath in a nursing home in Louisiana six-and-a-half years past. She drew my father’s railroad pension and the Social Security checks she had contributed to since 1936.


The Board of County Commissioners must look at the faces instead of only dollars.


It’s the American way!


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