As you well know, we have had the opportunity to both speak with you at Council Meetings, as well as view your personal participation as a councilman on the video provided by the County.
In view of your life’s professional calling, we have paid a great deal of attention to your manner of handling the various county-wide issues which come before you.
We have never been very much interested in local politics until the Gracedale issue. We also felt a similar calling or mission to protect the residents at Gracedale from “private hands.”
We have never seen a private nursing facility which permitted the family members of any given resident the opportunity to be totally involved with the care of a loved one. We would imagine that if you would consider an elderly loved one who has all of his/her faculties and is able to lead a normal life with someone “around” to care for basic and simple needs, then any facility would be acceptable.
However, when one must deal with many residents who can do nothing at all, including all bodily functions, rational thinking patterns, speaking, moving, and any other aspect of living of which you can think, one now has a completely different perspective as to the issue of private vs. public ownership of a nursing facility.
If our County is currently in a financial bind for all areas, then we believe that all of you should find other ways—besides a tax increase—to remedy the situation. With what we’ve seen since just August, 2010, Council has spent money, in our opinion, on items which are in no way comparable to the saving and proper care of lives. If we should ever have the opportunity to speak privately, i.e., away from the cameras, lights, and political posturing, we would be more than pleased to be more specific.
As members of COAF, we profoundly believe that the County owes its most beloved citizens a home which would provide families with real, truthful, and heartfelt inclusion in the personal healthcare of every resident. The public sector allows for more personal family participation because it MUST. A private sector company can find many ways around this in order enhance the bottom line profit. This is their very reason for existing.
There really are certain times and conditions when government can operate more efficiently and, at the same time, stay in budget. If the County hires a management organization who knows how to manage this type of process, this new and certified team has to be knowledgeable in both the care of our sick and elderly and allow as much family in-put as is possible, and every case is unique!
Giving Gracedale the opportunity to prove that it can become solvent once again by reorganization, this would be the role which we would be so very happy to see you take.
As we stated earlier, we consider our participation in COAF as a spiritual mission or a calling to help those Gracedale residents who can no longer do or say anything for themselves.
We firmly believe that this is your mission as well when Jesus Christ called upon you to do the very same thing.
If we had not taken note of the way you voted last Thursday evening—March 3—at the Council meeting, we would not be writing this letter.
Before Council’s election of a new president, the yelling, the screaming, an occasional curse word, the constant interruptions, the rudeness, the name-calling have made us aware that we, as citizens, need more and more people serving us who are willing to leave this type of conduct at the threshold of the hallowed halls of government. This experience has made us more in tune with the importance of the election and voting process. Voting is our most powerful weapon which demonstrates that we are, indeed, a free people.
As a resident of Northampton County, we implore you and to be mindful in your heart of those who cannot think or do for themselves, to be more diligent in attempting to take a better look for funding, and to persuade others to give a County-owned Gracedale a chance to survive, so that others may live their final days in the HANDS of people who love them, especially the families who want to be an integral part of their care.
We must also add that there are those residents who have no families remaining. The County and the entire staff will always be there to help them. In addition, volunteers have and will continue to support Gracedale’s long history of care to the poor and elderly at the
Upper Nazareth facility.
Not only should the Home Rule Charter be guiding your decisions, but also your mind and heart as you consider those of our County citizens in need, in keeping with the greatest of charters-- the Constitution of the United States of America.
Reverend Dowd, please be who you really are in keeping with your high calling by helping others who cannot help themselves.