Friday, October 28, 2011


Leaders of Ulster County’s business community have come out in favor of County Executive Michael Hein’s plan to privatize the Golden Hill Health Care Center.

Yup., that's all we needed to hear. The Chamber, just like the League of Women Voters, were well aware that the Executive had his LDC plan in place for over a year, finally comes out with a high-five in favor of privatization. Surprize there!

Ironically, when I pulled this article up on the Freeman website, I was first confronted with a push bubble asking which of the Republican candidates for President I would chose. I was like, I have to see these faces this early in the morning?
How would I know that I was going to read about another one in just a few seconds.

For people who actually think that government and especially healthcare, should be run like a business, it comes as no shock to anyone that the Chamber would go this route. In this aspect, they are no different than the National Chamber in their pursuit of "Cut and Run" budget management.
The press release said the chamber’s Government Affairs Committee has been meeting for the past several months with the Hein administration, county Legislature representatives and residents and employees of Golden Hill to understand the benefits of privatizing the nursing home.
The benefits of privatizing would be limited to whom ever owns the facility and/or the stock holders. Understandably, Hein welcomed the chamber board’s vote.
Exec Hein said: “I am pleased to see the growing support within the community for this plan that both keeps Golden Hill open and moves it into private ownership, there is no question these decisions are difficult, but my commitment is to both protect taxpayers and make sure services get delivered.” At this point, I half expected to hear him say he found WMDs in Iraq as well.

Hein has appointed three members of his administration to sit on the corporation’s board. Those three members will draft bylaws detailing the final composition of the board and the rules under which it will operate. If this LDC is to happen, the Legislature should hold a majority of seats on that board. I don't see how the needs of the facility's clients will be addressed otherwise. It's bad enough that we are disturbing an entity that works, let alone hand it over to an unaffiliated private operator who's sole directive is profit. Sounds right for the Chamber.
One factor that escapes most people is that the $8Million that the LDC is poised to borrow isn't for the upkeep or past debt of Golden Hill. It's for the general revenue shortcomings in the 2012 budget. With a million dollars in annual pay-checks coming out of the Executive's office, we can't reform departments like DSS, and trimming upper management? Sheesh!

And you wonder why the middle class has taken to the streets across America.


Anonymous said...

Want to get to the bottom of this? Carnright should at least investigate all the rumors surrounding the deal between Hein & Aaron regarding Golden Hill, Legislature Rodriguez might be a good place to start, after all he is a Aaron employee and should be privy to some of the innerdealings.
From what has been made public, (and that's not all that much), the campaign contribution connection and the GH deal sounds lousy with corruption. Why wasn't GH opened for outside bidding, why was the deal struck in the back rooms where the likes of men like Aaron do the taxpayers the most harm?
I think between Eliott & Holly there should be a full blown investigation and Hein should disclose all his communications ie:emails and meetings with Mr Aaron. If we were dealing with credible men none of this would be necessary, but when you mix a questionable character like Aaron with any local politician it usually means the taxpayer is on the hook.
Does anyone hesitate to think Sennett would miss this opportunity?

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the Family Council of Golden Hill. Yestday, an employee and I called Hein's office and requested to meet with him in person. We explained that we were not coming to fight him on his plan, but to discuss the concerns of staff and families about the transition process. We wanted to find out what plans he has made to ease the process for both residents and staff. We received a call back and were told that he would not meet with us. This speaks volumes. I bet if I were a member of the chamber of league of women voters I would get a meeting!

Anonymous said...

Family Council members don't have anything to offer to Hein. You have no money, no political clout and you don't have good news for him. Hein likes good news, not bad news.

If there was a respectable person in that office, they would listen to anyone and everyone.

Hein is s phoney! He has fooled a lot of people, but I think the bloom is coming off the rose.

He better hope the rumors are true about him moving into the Cuomo administration, he is in for a fight for the next 4 years!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, the local media will pick up on this and do a full blown write up that should appear as HEADLINES and not buried on the back page of section one. This is extremely serious because, guess what folks? Everyone thought the charter form of government was the answer and Michael Hein is the saviour. He's a piece of crap and that is keeping it decent. If the Family Council member is reading this, the only way to get news coverage is to push the reporters for a scoop. Get on it right away.

Jeremiah said...

It is sad that this whole deal seems to be done, and done in secret.