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Advertise on the Tentacle

May 7, 2015

Pennywise, Pound Hateful

Harry M. Covert

Sure looks like County Executive Jan Gardner, known in some quarters as Her Worship, is determined to wipe out homes for some poor and needy people.

The proper phrase is she’s dogged and a bit sneaky in trying to strip an obligation of the county for a $3.25 million payment to Aurora Holdings. Aurora is now the official operators of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and the Montevue Assisted Living facilities on Rosemont Avenue, Frederick.

No matter what opponents of the sale of the property to Aurora Holdings think, it is a legal procedure. It is not fair and proper to risk “kicking out the residents” of Montevue. Officials at Montevue will probably avoid drastic measures for the residents.

Still, everybody is aware that Mrs. Gardner has the leadership role in the County Council government, but she need not show such contempt and disregard for the past County Board of Commissioners.

The executive opposes the sale of the Citizens Care/Montevue, but the action was taken before her election. Already the county has made two payments of $3.5 million to Aurora Holdings.

What’s to negotiate at this point?

Surely the May 1 payment supposedly, $3.25 million, is to be placed in escrow. Well now, how does Aurora operate and provide for those in assisted living and those recipients of care and rehabilitation?

The agreement between the county and Aurora says if payments are not paid on time, the operators are not required to provide care.

Certainly no one in Frederick County supports evicting the patients. The county, hopefully, is not that cold-hearted, but it sure appears that the county executive is bound and determined to destroy any and all decisions of her predecessors.

The Montevue land was given to the county solely for the benefit of the poor and needy. The matter is going to end up in Circuit Court and a judge will have the last word.

This is a shameful report. Her Worship wasn’t even going to report her actions. Councilman Billy Shreve let the cat out of the bag on a radio show, forcing her public announcement and excuse making.

The county executive and present County Council has an obligation to honor the deal. Councilman Shreve deserves credit for calling out the untoward and sneaky deal to hurt Aurora and its constituents.

There may still be opposition to the sale, and actually there is; but some consideration and serious courtesies is due to those being served by the Montevue facility.

It is amazing that Council President Bud Otis has made no comment regarding the matter. He continually gives the impression he’s a follower instead of a leader. The council appears rather lackluster. The only outspoken members unafraid to speak up are Kirby Delauter and Mr. Shreve.

The next four years with the current council and Her Worship are headed for leadership and actions that are unpleasant, disruptive and hurtful to the growth of Frederick County.

Already some shabby decisions from the executive have set the pace. One of the most disturbing was the cavalier manner in which fire chief Denise Pouget was dismissed. Several other changes have occurred. No need to mention them here.

How will the Montevue matter be solved? People may not want to admit it, but there are large numbers of sick and ailing citizens throughout Frederick who need public support.

There is no reason for county officials to be so pennywise and hateful.


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