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The Tentacle


December 10, 2013

Privatizing Not Always Good

Harry M. Covert

One Sunday afternoon each month it was a pre-teen's bounden duty to visit the hometown Old Folks Home. The fun was distributing cookies, cake and smiles, handshakes and hugs.

 

Accompanying adults handled the piano-playing and song-singing. In an hour it was over. The residents smiled, some had tears and thanked the visitors.

 

The old folks, not senior citizens in those days, found themselves residing in the city-owned property shared with the City Farm. Actually a low-level jail.

 

The latter housed city prisoners serving time for minor offenses. They tended gardens to feed themselves and the patients. Many of the time-servers were excellent kitchen maestros as well as expert imbibers. Prisoners also cleaned streets, recreation areas and other municipal properties. When it snowed, they shoveled streets.

 

The city farm and old-folks home did save money. The facilities included blacks and whites living together without troubles.

 

New laws and state rules and regulations today govern ageing and poverty services. This is how the Frederick County matter of Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living still hits a nerve.

 

It is serious and important to all of the people in the local facilities and those residing in the confines of the county.

 

The question still arises why the properties and services on Rosemont Avenue are being privatized?

 

Attempts to supposedly save "taxpayer monies" can be described as insensitive, uncaring and wrong. In the long run, savings will be negligible.

 

While there is a strong element promoting cutting and slashing services is good for local government and the people are a bit suspect. Charitable groups in the community are always busy doing good fund-raising for all sorts of worthwhile causes with plenty of 10-K walks and runs, bake-offs, flower shows and others.

 

The primary agency is government responsible for helping the poor, the indigent and mental and physically challenged whether we like it or not – local, county and state.

 

What?

 

Yes, it is. The property was sold to the county for that purpose many years ago. It is surprising how politicians and government managers can affect a sale of donated property in the guise of being frugal.

 

This conversation may not be politically correct for modern day conservatives or other political persuasions.

 

With all of the largesse enjoyed in these parts, local people at the bottom of the rung should not be dismissed, left to suffer indignities of old age, no place to live or have medical care. Facing dementia, Alzheimer’s and other disabling ailments are heart-breaking.

 

To sell the property or to have a private non-governmental agency operating the facility leaves a lot to be desired.

 

This issue will not fade. It should not. There should be no angst, no griping or complaining. Taxpayers can feed people around the world and provide help at home, too.

 

hmcovert@thecovertletter.com

 



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