Letter: Supervisors simply ignoring our voteSt. Croix County constituents overwhelmingly voted to keep the county nursing home in New Richmond for the second time since 2008 with the same high percentage (2-1) of support.
By: Norm and Shirley Matzek, Hudson, River Falls Journal
St. Croix County constituents overwhelmingly voted to keep the county nursing home in New Richmond for the second time since 2008 with the same high percentage (2-1) of support.
Yet our voices continue to be discounted by our representatives who follow their own agenda.
Even County Board Chairman Daryl Standafer, whose district voted highly in favor of this safety net, stated publicly that his agenda included three items, including to close the nursing home.
He has worked relentlessly toward that goal. His second agenda item was to establish that County Administrator Pat Thompson be in charge of all operations, budgets, hiring/firing employees, and strategic planning, including facilities.
At the Health & Human Services Board meeting April 4, Thompson stated that he had initiated efforts to reduce to 50 the number of beds available, that this was an operational decision, and he needed no approval from the board.
Further, his authority allows him to reduce to zero beds. He made no reference to the referendum vote or future quality of care.
The reason given for the downsizing was meeting the budget. February/March is early to be concerned about meeting annual budget.
Under his operation, he has succeeded in reducing patient numbers: 60 in January; 58 in February; and 53 in March. This reduces annual revenue for the nursing home by a minimum of $465,000.
The nursing home must start accepting patients again. St. Croix County voted to know they will be cared for, independent of wealth. Limiting beds to “No Room at the Inn” is unacceptable.
Please call or write your representatives. About 11,000 citizens (63%) voted YES. Now let’s follow up to insist that our voices are heard.
Let’s join together to take back our democracy here in St. Croix County.