|Gracedale workers listen to NonProfit Options|
County Control Option
The second option discussed was one in which Gracedale's assets would be conveyed to a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, but the County would still be in overall control. According to Belko, the County would still receive the same Medicare and medicaid reimbursements as a county-owned home. But he indicated the employees would no longer be considered County employees.
Controller Steve Barron pointed out that this would be a disaster. Because all these employees will be considered involuntarily terminated, they would be able to take their pensions.
Another drawback is that there would be a smaller pool for health insurance and workers' comp, which would result in higher costs.
The home would no longer be able to rely ion the County for things like IT services, but would have to make its own arrangements.
Belko stated that Gracedale would no longer be hampered by the bidding requirements imposed by state and county law, but ken Kraft questioned whether that's true. Since the asset itself would still be county-owned, Kraft maintained that all those requirements would still apply. Belko admitted he just didn;'t know and would have to research the matter.
Belko admitted the unpopularity of mass firing and mass re-hiring. "All you're doing ... is taking people's pensions and paying less money, probably minimum wage." complained Ken Kraft "Basically, the employee loses.".
A final drawback, and one driven home by Barron, is that the County would no longer be able to allocate overhead costs to the nursing home. That amounts to nearly $3 million per year.
The third and final option was one ion which the County would surrender control to some outside board. Though this would enable the nursing home to seek higher Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, Belko warned that under this option, the outside board could decide it no longer will house people with no income.
Bob Werner complained that his proposal, which essentially was a "booster club" option, had been morphed and changed.
There was little sentiment with moving forward with any of the options at this juncture. Hayden Phillips stated he is tracking legislation in the state senate that will increase the reimbursements paid to county-owned nursing homes.
After the presentation, John Cusick refused to allow a Gracedale employee to pose a question that occurred to her during the presentation. He noted that she should have spoken at courtesy of the floor. But that occurred prior to the presentation.
Instead of starting this meeting with a prayer to the "Heavenly Father," as he did last time, John Cusick asked everyone for a moment of silence in honor of deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
In the meantime, I am contacting the Satanic Temple so they can lead a "convocation of the godless" next time council meets. Perhaps that might convince him to keep church and state separate.