Letters to the editor November 12 to 18
During this season of Thanksgiving, the Port Jervis Salvation Army would like to thank you for your continuing support. The impact of the pandemic has created unprecedented needs by your neighbors in Orange and Pike counties and the Salvation Army has been there for those who are suffering.
Because of you, during the current crisis, the Salvation Army has been able to provide meals for school children and food boxes for entire families. More than 700 of your neighbors are being served every month; close to 100 family food boxes are delivered, as well.
Because of you, 50 to 75 people are able to pick up milk and a variety of food items from a take-out table at the Port Jervis Salvation Army community center; the table is replenished and available Tuesday to Friday each week. Some neighbors need help with rent and utility bills. Others need clothing such as shoes and coats.
Your generous financial support is what makes all of these essential services to your neighbors possible. The demand for critical help continues to grow—as does the Army’s need for continuing support.
As the holiday season approaches, so does your local Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle fundraising campaign. Never has your participation been so important!
Please donate when you see the Red Kettle and hear the ring of the familiar bell. With demand skyrocketing because of the pandemic, your support is needed more than ever.
And there’s a great way to give if you are staying home. Join the Paper Kettle Challenge by using your cell phone: just text pjredkettle to 41444. Call 845/856-3214 for more information. Give online at www.salvationarmyny.org/give.
Captain Kelly Ross
Port Jervis, NY
I hope every one of you voted your conscience. Then commit to accept the outcome of the elections with a full heart for the next four years. The one who wins will rightfully be my representative, whether I voted for him or not, because I was part of the system that selected him.
Lastly, please, if there is a question about votes, please allow the lawyers and judges to do their jobs, and then accept their decision. They get paid the big bucks, and our opinions will not change anything, except to give us agita.
Rabbi Ben-Zion Chanowitz, Landfield Avenue Synagogue
Regarding the potential lease of the Care Center at Sunset Lake and CHHA
I’ve had the pleasure of working collaboratively with Sen. Jen Metzger for the past year. Together, we’ve successfully tackled NYSEG service issues in the Town of Highland, the addition of a handicapped-accessible van to our public transportation fleet and the expansion of broadband service in Sullivan County. I’m grateful for her support of important local initiatives and issues.
So I was surprised and deeply disappointed when—without any call to me or notice to the County beforehand—she jumped into the fray over the potential lease of our Care Center at Sunset Lake in Liberty and our Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA).
In an October 12 letter, she accused the Legislature and the Sunset Lake Local Development Corporation (LDC) of rushing and ignoring a legally required review and approval from the State to transfer the management operations of these agencies. Unfortunately, it’s clear that Metzger was rushing when she penned that letter, goaded by a small group of folks who don’t really know what they’re talking about either.
We’ve done the research on state law (which Metzger’s team should have done, as well), and the simple answer is we’re not to the point of transfer yet. The LDC continues to seek and review proposals from potential operators. They’ll then pick up to three to recommend to the Legislature, after which we legislators will pick one. Once an operator is officially chosen, then and only then will it make any sense to apply for review and approval from the state. You can’t review and approve an operator when one doesn’t yet exist.
I think the Senator and her staff already know this. Frankly, I suspect her letter was completely political in nature, timed to appeal to her base in the weeks before an election that she now appears on the verge of losing. I could have written this letter prior to Election Day, but unlike Metzger, I didn’t care to play politics on the backs of some of our most vulnerable citizens. After all, our three goals with this initiative have always been—and still are—to improve the quality of care, protect the taxpayers and preserve the jobs of our workers.
However, I couldn’t let the inaccuracies and accusatory assumptions in her letter stand, and I encourage the Senator, in whatever remaining time voters have allotted her, to reach out to my office directly to better understand how and why this Legislature and LDC have undertaken this significant effort.
Robert A. Doherty, Sullivan County Legislature Chairman & District 1 Legislator
Editor’s note: Sullivan County and Sen. Jen Metzger’s office seem to be interpreting the law differently. For clarity and comparison, here is the language from Metzger’s letter:
“Public Health Law (PHL) §3606 establishes that the DOH commissioner cannot issue a certificate of approval to any home care agency without written approval of the [Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council] PHHC. §3611-a(1) further states that “[a]ny change in the person who…is the operator of…a certified home health agency shall be approved by the public health and health planning council…” 10 NYCRR §760.13 mirrors this requirement, and further defines what documents are required from the applicant seeking approval of such transfer. Lastly, 10 NYCRR §760.15 requires that in all other transfers of operation that do not require the prior approval described in the above sections, the person or entity seeking approval as a controlling person of an operator of a CHHA must file an application within thirty days of becoming the controlling person. The applicant is prohibited from exercising control over the CHHA until the PHHC approves.
“On August 13, 2020, the County Legislature authorized the transfer of management of the Care Center and the CHHA to the LDC, who are then tasked with procuring a third party to “transfer and/or lease” these entities to. The transfer of management would likely be viewed by the DOH and PHHC as a transfer of operation that would trigger the need for review and prior approval. There is no indication that the County has applied to the PHHC for approval of the CHHA transfer, either before the August vote or afterward. Further, it is my understanding that the DOH has not received any such application.”