He says it was a promised being fulfilled by County Executive Gardner.
One former elected official says he’s not surprised by Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner reaching agreements covering the future of CItizens Care and Rehabilitation and Montevue Assisted Living Centers. Blaine Young was the President of the last Board of County Commissioners when four out of the five members decided to sell the two facilities to Aurora Holdings VII LLC in 2013. “That was a campaign promise of the County Executive when she ran. So I think she’s trying to fulfill those promises that she made to the people that supported her and elected her to that position,” he said.
Young was a guest on WFMD’s “Morning News Express with Bob Miller” last week.
Gardner announced last Wednesday that three agreements had been reached with Aurora which lets the county retain the two centers. They concern the management of the facilities, sale of Aurora’s business interests in the centers and the settlement agreement itself. She says the county and Aurora signed the agreements on May 12th. Gardner says settlement is expected to take place by September 1st, 2016.
As part of the agreement, Aurora will continue to operate Citizens and Montevue for 18-months, and maybe longer.
When the County Commissioners at the time agreed to sell the centers, they cited the costs of trying to maintain them. But Young says it was more than just that. “It wasn’t just about making money as it’s presented. It was finding a way for the government to get out of the health care, out of the nursing home business,” he says.
The Commissioners decision to sell Citizens and Montevue generated a lot of controversy. A citizens group sued to stop the sale.
Young also says there are some services the government should provide, but running nursing homes is not one of them. “Until we provide first class schools, first class protection in terms of police and fire, first class roads–people are sitting in congested roads going to work right now–and basic services that people expect when they pay their taxes, the government should not venture into other areas,” he says.
But Young says this issue with Citizens and Montevue is settled, as far as he’s concerned. “I think that this issue, in my opinion, is over,” he says. “We had one opportunity to get the county out of the nursing home business. You’re hearing at the city level of getting out of the golf course business. This really gets down to what should the government be in, and what should the government not be in.”