I have been doing considerable research into incomprehensibly bad management at not only the 911 Call center, but at Cumberland Manor. When I started this investigation, I wasn’t certain where it would lead. I entered with an open mind, and a tip from an anonymous source. It has since mushroomed, and I am getting a better sense of the scope of the issues before us.
There are some that say we must keep the Manor, that private companies cannot be trusted to provide the high quality level of care provided at the Manor. Others say it must be sold, that “the County doesn’t belong in the health-care business”. My mind is not made up in either direction as of yet. What I do know is that the Manor is the one single Revenue Producing Agency in Cumberland County.
Before any rash decisions are made, we have to take an accounting of the facts. We know that under the Democratic control, people were appointed and hired that have brought the Manor from a profitable entity to a $two-million a year liability due to poor management, and probably other factors. But, can we look at that $two-million at face value, or are there other financial factors to consider?
Can that flow of money be staunched? If a private corporation can make money with the facility, then why can’t the county? Why isn’t the county? Could it be that the money had been mismanaged under the Democratic power-mongers that still run this county?
What are the costs of selling the Manor? Oh sure, we will have a one-year net positive in revenue, but what after? After all, the manor does not sit by itself. There are other entities that will be affected immediately. These changes will come directly out of the taxpayers’ wallets.
First, the human toll – the loss of jobs. There are two buyers currently interested. These buyers were lined up by a Realtor from Chicago. (what, there were no local Realtors that could handle this sale? Why, once again, do we send Cumberland County money out of the county?) Either company has employees in certain positions, so the following jobs can be expected to be eliminated: Treasurer, Payroll, two from Personnel, and four from Maintenance. And there are another 253 employees whose jobs would be at risk.
The Manor currently, every month, writes a check to the County Treasurer, bringing their checking balance effectively to zero. Almost $80,000 goes to PEER, which subsidizes many public programs such as Meals on Wheels. This money would be lost. Around $800,000 a month from Medicaid would be forfeited.
Also, Joe Rossi screwed the employees at the Manor, to protect certain appointments. Employees with seniority have lost their bumping rights to more recently hired political appointees.
The County Prosecutor is currently housed at the Manor. Should the building sell, the Prosecutor would have to move at a cost of close to $2 Million. At least, that is what it cost for the Prosecutor to move into the Manor not too long ago.
The Manor also houses the County Maintenance Department and the Center for the Blind. Both of these entities would have to be relocated, and possibly now have to pay rent for their premises.
In addition, the Manor currently pays for all meals, utilities and maintenance of the Blind Center. For the Prosecutor’s Office, the manor pays for electric, fuel, cleaning and maintenance, with no reimbursement.
And what happened to the $30,000 Efficiency Study Two Year Plan that the county just paid for? At the very least, the recommendations of this study ought to be carried out. Already there are savings and improvements in efficiency.
We need to nail down just exactly where the $80,000 a month the county receives from the Manor for PEER is going. As I understand, nobody knows. I have OPRA’s being submitted on this and other issues such as purchase orders to Home Depot. Until we weed out the waste and abuse, we will never know if the manor can be a net benefit to the county. However, if a private company can make a profit, I don’t see why the taxpayers of Cumberland County shouldn’t be the recipients of that money instead of private investors?
At the very least, the agencies in line to purchase MUST be vetted, and maintain the very same high standards of care that the Manor is known for. I will be researching the history of these companies. Nursing homes in New Jersey and vicinity usually don’t fare very well under close scrutiny of the quality of care, or the integrity of their billing.