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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

BPW Reaffirms Decision to Delay Approval of Citizens/Montevue Sale

George Wenschhof

The latest grandstanding move by Frederick Board of County Commissioners  (BoCC) president Blaine Young (R) to proceed in a reckless manner in the sale of the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Care facilities has been met with a now familiar answer from the Maryland Board of Public Works (BPW).

Young, who is intent on selling the facilities, is obviously frustrated with the delay in approval by BPW.

He recently sent a letter with rational for proceeding with the sale to BPW enclosed with a $200.000 check, which he argued satisfied the county obligations.

BPW Executive Secretary Sheila McDonald has returned the check and reiterated what had transpired at the previous BPW meeting on the matter.

The letter, said in part, "Board of Public Works Action. At the open meeting in which the Board of Public Works reviewed your request, the members were concerned: (1) due to the pending Frederick County Circuit Court litigation in which the propriety of the proposed transfer is being challenged; and (2) with the process the County Commissioners used to decide to approve the transfer and proffer the check. Comptroller Franchot moved, "[U]ntil litigation is resolved the Board should defer action on this Item." Upon Treasurer Kopp's second, Governor O'Malley called for the vote and the motion passed unanimously. The Governor then advised County Commissioner Blaine Young, "The ayes have it. We're going to postpone this, Mr. President [of the County Commissioners], until the court actions are complete."6 

The Board of Public Works action to defer its review of your request "until litigation is resolved" means the Board has not authorized transfer of the grant-funded property nor has it determined whether (or how much) repayment might be required. Both of these contractual conditions must be satisfied before this Office may accept your tender."
The entire letter may be read here.
It is only common sense for the Frederick BoCC to wait to transfer the facilities until litigation has been resolved.
In the meantime, allowing the contract purchaser to run the facilities, makes little sense and is not a wise safeguard of taxpayer funds. 
The Board of Trustees should be reinstated and management of the facilities conducted by someone/entity not connected to the contract purchaser until such time the disposition of the facilities is determined.
Stay tuned.
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