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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Citizens-Montevue Sale Delayed

George Wenschhof

Last night, The City of Frederick zoning board of appeals issued their ruling in favor of the appeal of the subdivision by the Frederick Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) of land to enable them to sell the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Care facilities.

The unanimous vote will require the BoCC to either appeal the decision in court or resubmit the subdivision to the planning department in the city.

The zoning board of appeals found the city planning commission had erred in approving the subdivision because the application was incomplete and they had not considered the reason behind the subdivision and the impact it would have on the community.

This action will certainly delay the privatization of the facilities and sale to Aurora Health Management by the county; they had hoped to happen by the end of this year.

In addition to this set back, the county is still facing litigation pertaining to the sale, which led the Maryland Board of Public Works to delay approval of the sale, as long as there are unresolved legal actions.  This decision confirmed by the Board of Public Works despite theatrics by Blaine Young to proffer them a check for $200,000.

The action by the city zoning board of appeals highlights the continued reckless and ill conceived moves by Frederick County board president Blaine Young to privatize government services.

Particularly unsettling, in this case, is the contract purchaser has been managing the Montevue and Citizens facilities following ratification of the contract of sale.  In some ways it reminds one of the “fox guarding the henhouse” fables.

Collection of bad debt has been an issue with the facilities and there has been talk debt is being written off by Aurora that may adversely impact the county financially and would, if true, benefit the contract purchaser at the time they took ownership.

It appears the county in its rush to sell the facilities, failed to act reasonably and agreed to terms that were less than satisfactory.

Stay tuned.
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