I don’t know if anybody saw the propaganda piece in Saturday’s Daily Journal, an article lacking any critical thought whatsoever. It could have rolled off the County presses it was so one-sided. The article seems to have one purpose, and that is to disseminate fiscal fear. Joe Smith is usually more discerning, but he disappointed me this time.
Cumberland County can’t complete a sale of its money-losing nursing home before Jan. 31, 2012, according to lawyers for the county.
That legal determination is seen as a serious setback, given the likely repercussions to the county’s 2012 budget. The county forecasts another multimillion-dollar budget deficit in 2012.
I cannot fault the article on a factual basis. It gives a clear overview of what needs to happen legally before the Manor can be sold. However, it doesn’t ask the question of whether the Manor should be sold.
It references the figure bandied about about the $2 Million annual loss of revenue at the Manor. And this figure is accepted as bedrock, unchangeable. However, county taxpayers paid for an intensive study last year. this study showed that over $2 Million could be saved if certain changes were implemented. My question to the Freeholders, none of which have ever even spoken to the accountant at the Manor, is why have these changes not been implemented?
Was that study a fraud? Was it simply another way to pump tax dollars to Lou Magazzu/Bill Whelan cronies with no intent of ever following up on the advice? Why hasn’t the plan been given a chance? The Manor was profitable once – profitable until the Lou Magazzu juggernaut figured out a way to use it as a political outlet rather than run it like a nursing home.
And not one person in the county will publicly ask about the almost million dollars in PEER funding that will be lost, or the many county safety-net programs for impoverished seniors that will be jeopardized. Nobody in the county seems to care about the time-card fraud at the Manor and at the 911 Call Center (employees that bring this up tend to be fired or reprimanded). These time card issues, for one, seem to be a way to bring expenses under control.
It would be refreshing if even one of our local papers would take the lead on this story, and report the other side. The sale of the manor would lead to a one-time net positive for our taxes. One time! That’s all. It would also be a factor in increased unemployment, as many key positions would be eliminated by any company with an infrastructure already in place.
The very fact that two investors are lining up to buy the Manor indicates that money can be made. If this is the case, why shouldn’t Cumberland County taxpayers benefit rather than investors? And why should we give up almost a Million in PEER funds, and be saddled with the costs of relocating (or paying rent for) several agencies and the prosecutor that share the building? Not one person from either political party, let alone the local media have asked these questions. Haste makes waste, and in this case haste can hurt the taxpayers much harder than we imagine.