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June 28, 2013

Public Support for the Poor Part Two

Roy Meachum

Don Linton’s name appears in the midst of details swirling about the sale of the county’s traditional poor houses. The most admired financial figure that I’ve known for more than 30 years opposes the transfer to private hands.


Nevertheless, four of the county commissioners voted to transfer the Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living and assets to Aurora Health Management. David Gray felt no immediate necessity.


Last Friday’s expressed my ambivalence. In the past week, The Frederick News-Post published several items to change my opinion to the negative. The most damaging was the appraisal of Aurora, followed closely by the state board on aging’s recommendations to not sell. While the company guaranteed to maintain the present staff and not throw out current residents; that was only for four years in exchange for $10.75 million, as I wrote, quoting the ad that opposed the sale.


The vote held in Frederick Community College’s Jack B. Kussmaul Theater was a public disgrace. Commissioner Paul Smith rationalized his decision in a note: “(T)his will enable the county to fund expanded services to hundreds of needy seniors who are denied the special benefit of living at Montevue.”


The three other officials in favor didn’t explain, allowing Commission President Blaine Young to front for them. Elections come in 2014.


Three years ago it was a GOP year; all members are Republicans. In 2010, the country was adjusting to have the first African American in the White House. Last November Barack Obama won re-election handily, both in the Electoral College and popularly. This week a Democrat succeeded John Kerry, the new secretary of state. Both Massachusetts’ seats in the U.S. Senate are now safe from Republicans.


It’s difficult to ascertain the popular status of Blaine Young and his next target in political ambitions. Through Maryland’s highways and city streets carom a bus proclaiming his hoped-for campaign for governor. He has announced he would not seek re-election for the Board of County Commissioners, which becomes the county council next autumn. He’s considered the role of Frederick County executive.


David Gray, instead of running for four more years, let it be clearly known he would oppose Mr. Young in that race. The blood is very bad between the two commissioners. Mrs. Gray is a bookkeeper for a very progressive group. Her husband said she didn’t have to consult him on ways to make money.


The transfer of Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living might be considered a battle in the war between the opposing public officials. It looks like!


It’s a shame they were fighting over 230 beds and poor souls.


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