I am a Waupaca County taxpayer. It has recently come to my attention that the County Board has been using our tax dollars to fund a business that has historically lost over $1 million a year for years, and wants to continue to funding it, even though there is no realistic reason to do so.
I have called and talked to over half the board members personally, and discovered that most of them have no idea of the facts of this problem.
A “suspend the rules” motion was pushed through at the November meeting and it allowed no discussion prior to the vote being taken. Several of the board members did not understand that they were actually passing a resolution to spend another $1.3 million to renovate this business.
The committee that did the study has told other board members that Lakeview Manor is the only one of their kind able to provide the services needed. This is not true. They cite the Wisconsin DHS Initiative to Redesign the Dementia Care System.
The initiative is available at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov. It will be “examining results from the inventory of providers to determine whether further development of regional facilities is warranted.” The timeline for this examination and determination is not until 2015. There is no basis for the message given to the board members prior to their vote in November.
The entire health care industry is changing. The focus to keep people in their homes or ALFs or CBRFs is the future. All Waupaca County nursing homes continue to take people with dementia who may or may not have the challenging behaviors. We as other taxpaying businesses could collectively pull together and find appropriate placement in our county.
Not one board member was able to give me one other reason for the taxpayers to continue to support this business. How is it that we need to support a business that has never and is not projected (by their own budget projections) to break even.
It also competes with the private sector businesses, ALFs, CBRFs and nursing homes in the county that pay taxes.
I believe that an injustice is being done the the taxpayers of our county and that this $1 million can be better spent on lessening the debt we have or on another social need. Board members said to me: “Sure we used to lose $1.5 million annually, but now it’s down to only $800,000.” They didn’t seem to blink an eye. I as a taxpayer am appalled at that.