Archive for the ‘UCLD8-Letters to the Editor’ Category

Elder Care

August 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Ulster County Seal

Elder Care in Ulster County    August 25, 2011

Some members of the Ulster County Legislature are drafting a resolution to require the County to continue to operate a skilled care nursing facility, despite the fact that County Executive Mike Hein has predicted a $25 million dollar budget deficit for 2012. The Executive has also questioned the reliability of New York State funding for the facility. The federal government is running a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit and New York State has a $9 billion dollar deficit. We are in an Economic Emergency and my colleagues are proposing $100 million dollar expenditures. Ulster County does not have a good record of managing such projects (Ulster County Jail cost overruns).
I am resolved to keep the 280 bed Skilled Care Nursing License in Ulster County. That said I believe a Public/Private Partnership of “Elder Care” service would be the best approach to maintain quality care and tax relief to the citizens of Ulster County. I prefer to identify our medical needs as “Elder Care” as opposed to the name of one facility. There are tens of thousands residents of our county reaching the elder years. We need a comprehensive strategic master plan to address the needs of this population group. We have the opportunity to create an Elder Care Campus Model in our region that will answer the needs of our seniors as well as create economic growth. The senior housing and adjacent medical facility at the Ellenville Hospital are an example of “Campus Design”. The addition of a skilled care nursing facility at that location would complete a holistic and symbiotic treatment center for elders. That model could be duplicated throughout the region and would facilitated keeping seniors in their own homes longer. Independent senior living and assisted living is much less expensive than skilled care institutions.
Raising County Taxes 30% to build one facility will negatively affect thousands of seniors and other residents who are barely able to afford current costs of living in our county. We can and will maintain high caliber health care for our Elders and we will do it in a cost effective, pragmatic manner. We can change a challenge to an opportunity by partnering with Adult Housing Professionals and recognized Elder Care Providers. The needs of our aging populations are too personal to be relegated to election cycle antics. Our seniors deserve to maintain their dignity and are due our respect. Proper planning not politics is the solution to our Elder Care needs. It’s time for all parties to work toward that end.

Legislator Jack Hayes, District 8

Chairman  Law Enforcement & Public Safety  Committee

P.O. Box 1800
Kingston, NY  12402
Telephone:  845 340-3900
FAX:  845 340-3651


Prosecutor’s Laments

Ulster County SealUlster County Legislature

Michael Hein
Ulster County Executive
County Office Building
244 Fair Street
Kingston NY 12401
May 23, 2011

Dear Executive Hein,
I hope you are well and coping with this exceptionally moist Spring season. I am sure you are aware of the Saturday, May 21,2011  Daily Freeman article “Prosecutor laments lack of suspect monitoring” reporting remarks of Dutchess County Senior Assistant District Attorney, Edward Whitesell, regarding the monitoring of 17-year old Tavia Alvarez by Ulster County Probation. My first reaction to the article is that our Melanie Mullens, Director of Ulster County Probation, is among the finest Probation Professionals in New York State and her competence is above reproach. It is my understanding that our counties (Dutchess and Ulster) enjoy superior cooperative relations among the Criminal Justice Communities. The recent rash of violent crimes in the Mid-Hudson area and some unfunded mandates from New York State has taxed the resources of our Criminal Justice Services. If “monitoring” of high risk persons in our justice system is an area in which policy needs to be adapted to our changing times, I assure you the Ulster County Law Enforcement and Public Safety Committee stands ready to assist and provide any legislative policy amendments/changes needed to support our dedicated Criminal Justice professionals.
On May 14, 2011, I contacted Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Robert Rolison regarding the joint Dutchess County District Attorney/Legislature pilot Domestic Violence study to GPS monitor high risk persons who have been issued an Order of Protection. The Chairman and I plan to meet in the near future. We have also collaborated on regional emergency communication discussions and I am sure we can address any issues with regard to this instance.
The protection and safety of the people in our area must be our primary concern. I know with your background of a law enforcement family you agree. I look forward to combining our efforts to that end.

Very Truly Yours,
Jack Hayes