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November 29, 2013

Citizens-Montevue Reversal

Roy Meachum

The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals slapped Frederick County Commissioners’ President Blaine Young's knuckles. It has to do with the proposed sale of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living Facility.


So, Winchester Hall faces another bump on the road in the way to sell the Citizens-Montevue complex to Aurora Health Management. The Millersville-based company is already running both facilities, prior to ownership, which might take time.


The problem that I have comes with the $30 million price. How does Aurora earns back that hefty sum without it costing patients? In medicines and services? I’ve never seen a company plan to recover it. And only a limited management contract for four years?


“The board of trustees was dissolved in June when the county commissioners voted to move forward with the sale of the two facilities,” according to Jen Bondeson. The Frederick News-Post reporter then talked to President Young, who anticipated the transaction would slow down – until March. But it eventually would go through.


The Board of County commissioners is running out of time. Last year the citizens voted to switch to a charter government, which means fine for the supporters of Blaine Young as county executive. Not so fine if the post goes some place other than Mr. Young. I’ve never encountered mobs intent on selling Citizens-Montevue, holding nooses and pitch forks; I could be wrong.


Is this the issue that transforms 2014 into a crucial argument for the county’s history?


A friend has a theory that the Citizens’ facility could pay for Montevue’s patients’ treatment. Maybe. If a payoff is possible, why don’t the county commissioners keep it in their pockets?


Either way, Charles F. Trunk, III, thinks it’s wrong; as a former board of trustees’ member AND serving on the city zoning board for nine years, Mr. Trunk filed the petition that the board accepted. There have been various stories and people who have come out against the sale. Once a quiet thing on Court Street, it has become noisier and noisier and attracted many people.


In essence, in this case and certainly others, the Frederick Board of County Commissioners march to a drummer, which the voters don’t hear!!!


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