- Rich Klein
EDITORIAL: POOR EXAMPLES OF PUBLIC SERVICE
In yet another vile display of so-called public service, Nicholas Salomone, Jr. - chair of the the Sullivan County Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee - today told a resident that he would not talk publicly about what learned from a recent "surprise" visit to the Care Center at Sunset Lake.
Salomone told resident Catherine Scott, who was making public comments during the committee's meeting today, that the reason he would instead discuss his findings at a "work session" with other legislators instead of in public was that Scott would take what he said out of context and possibly publish it. He said Scott would "twist" her words.
Sorry, Salomone, your job is NOT to decide to keep the public in the dark cause you have no backbone to face Scott, an activist resident, who complained about some of the conditions at the Care Center.
Among them was that one resident there had to wait nearly an hour to have a diaper changed because of the shortage of staff. Scott's mother has been a long-term resident there. The Care Center is operated by Infinite Care.
Meanwhile, the former chair of the Health and Family Services Committee, Legislator Nadia Rajsz, said that she was extremely concerned about the future of Garnet Health / Harris, which already has shuttered critical units amid rumors that the hospital could close.
Rajsz said that she recently met with an unidentified board member about it.
But as she spoke, she was rudely shut down by Legislature Chair Rob Doherty, who immediately bragged that he and other legislators had a meeting this week with Garnet Health CEO Jonathan Schiller to discuss the issue. Doherty also told the public that the State Department of Health has issued a "gag order" that public officials can't discuss Garnet's plans. (The SullivanTimes has asked the DOH about this).
Sorry Doherty, Schiller is departing and will have little influence, if any, on the future of the hospital.
Why didn't Doherty & Company meet with Al Pilong instead? Isn't he the new chair and CEO of the entire Garnet Health organization?
Instead of leading the public fight in the community to preserve Garnet in Sullivan, Doherty today instead defended the hospital's lack of transparency, saying "not one employee has been laid off."
As for the Care Center, Salomone would only say that he found the institution less dirty "than expected. "
Unfortunately, we have found Doherty and Salomone's behavior today more arrogant and self-serving that we expected from public officials anywhere.