Stop scapegoating our nursing home

By Mike Anagnostakis, Orange County Legislator

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  • Mike Anagnostakis

In Orange County, the legislature is the policy-determining body of the government.

Article IV Section E of the Orange County Legislative manual provides for the Statutory Committees and their functions.

The function of the Health and Mental Health Committee — this committee — Includes:

“To exercise Legislative oversight....over any County Government departments...rendering health services for the well-being of County residents...including the Department of Residential Health Care (Valley View).”

Further: This is the oversight committee that can “initiate and recommend Legislative policy...upon the Legislature’s request or on its own initiative.”

Bypassing this committee, providing no information to its chairman, and then, at the last moment because of media attention, “allowing” this committee to be part of a joint meeting is just plain unacceptable.

This committee and its members know more about the day-to-day operations of Valley View than does any other committee.

This committee and its members know more about the finances of Valley View than does any other committee.

This committee will cast any votes on any policy issue involving Valley View only after conducting a thorough discussion and review of any requests brought before this committee in an appropriate fashion.

I will not allow this committee to participate in any mockery of the legislative process.

Finally, I’m tired of the management and the workers of Valley View being scapegoated for all of the county’s problems. Valley View is the only department in the county that has decreased its cost to the taxpayers these last three years — the only department! In addition, Valley View has used less than 8 percent of the $183 million of reserves used to balance county budgets during the last four years.

If every department had done a fraction of the reductions done at Valley View, we wouldn’t have any financial problems in this county.

Editor's note: Mike Anagnostakis of Montgomery (R-District 17) is a member of the Health and Mental Health Committee of the Orange County Legislature. In 2012 he led, with Democrat Roxanne Donnery, the bipartisan investigation into financial and management problems Valley View nursing home.

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