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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Young Heavy Handed with City Alderman over Proposed Citizens/Montevue Sale

George Wenschhof

Blaine Young
The proposed sale of Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living, already beset with legal questions surrounding deed restrictions on a sale, has now entered a new contentious stage.

In a strongly worded official letter, dated June 11, 2013, Frederick Board of Commissioners President Blaine Young (R), used strong language when addressing the members of The City of Frederick board of aldermen, who oppose the sale of the Citizens/Montevue complex.

Young points out in the letter the county has assisted the city in numerous projects over the years and asks for the aldermen whom oppose the sale if they will agree to provide city funds for half of the projected annual $6 million loss the county has been spending to supplement the facilities.  The full text of the letter can be read here.

When I asked Mayor Randy McClement (R) his response to Young’s letter, he sent me an email saying “The BOA at the Wednesday June 12th Workshop, requested that this topic be placed on a future workshop for discussion. I am working to schedule that workshop."

Democratic alderman Michael O’Connor responded to my inquiry by saying “City taxpayers are county taxpayers, so the residents of the City of Frederick are already participants in the support of Citizens and Montevue, which I think is appropriate.
O’Connor added “the City has not taken a formal position on the proposed sale, but I do not believe the action a majority of the Board of County Commissioners appears determined to follow through with is in the best interest of our community, the citizens (of the City and county) who call these facilities home, those who may need this care in the future, and the legacy of all the past volunteers and residents.”
Young did not respond to a phone call or text message prior to publication. What is unknown is whether a vote was taken by the Board of County Commissioners supporting this letter being sent to the city or whether Young acted unilaterally.

The Frederick Board of Commissioners have set a June 25 public hearing where they will decide whether to move forward with the sale and if they will disband the board of trustees who oversee the facilities.

A July 9 Frederick News Post editorial, says in part, “Both measures need to be tabled. 
This is a complex issue that encompasses not only moral and historical elements, but also legal ones.

The trustee’s board has asked the Maryland attorney general’s Office for a formal opinion on the legality of the sale.  We hope the office will also weigh in on the commissioner’s move to remove the trustees board.  This is an area of state law the county’s own attorney noted as vague and could lead to a legal challenge.”  I agree.

On Friday June 14 at 1:00 PM ET, the League of Women Voters of Frederick County will host an informative discussion of the financial analysis of selling the Citizens and Montevue facilities.

It will be held in downtown Frederick at the C. Burr Artz Library Community Room, located on the first floor.  For more information, click here.

Plan to attend.


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1 comment:

One Frederick - Many Voices said...

Great scoop and blog post George!