UPDATE: August, 27, Curley pulls nursing home sale resolution
Freeholder John Curley called this morning to say that he has pulled his resolution to sell the Monmouth County owned nursing homes from this week’s agenda. County CFO Craig Marshall is on vacation. Curley wants Marshall available to address all of the financial concerns regarding the proposed sale. Curley expects to reintroduce the resolution in September.
Reductions in Medicaid payments for long term care under the Affordable Care Act have led to increasing deficits at Monmouth County’s two government owned nursing homes.
The John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold and the Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center in Wall are owned and operated by Monmouth County’s government. Property tax payers have been subsidizing the long term care of the elderly, disabled and infirm residing in these facilities for decades. From 2007 through 2013 the cumulative deficit funded by Monmouth property tax payers was about $40 million. Despite cost cutting measures and union givebacks, the combined deficit this year is on track to exceed $13 million plus the cost of repairs and capital improvements required to keep the facilities in compliance with state and federal regulations, due to cutbacks in the amount that Medicaid pays for patient care under ObamaCare. 98% of the patients at Montgomery and Thompson are insured by Medicaid.
Freeholder John Curley has been pushing his colleagues on the all Republican Board of Chosen Freeholders to sell the nursing homes for years. Every time the issue gets traction or public attention, patients in wheelchairs and staff members of the nursing facilities show up at Freeholder meetings and plead with the Freeholders not to sell the facilities. The patients’ stories are heart wrenching. The declarations of love for their patients by the staff members are moving.
Michael Renna, 25 of Avon-by-the Sea, was charged today with the October 2013 overdose death of Christopher L. Pesce, a 25 year old resident of Oxford House, a drug rehabilitation transitional facility located in Rumson.
Renna is charged with one count of first degree Strict Liability for Drug Induced Deaths and one count of third degree Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous. He was released from the Monmouth County Correctional Institution after posting $210,000 in bail as set by Judge John R. Tassini, according to Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Marc LeMieux.
New Jersey Future has teamed up with a research scientist from Carnegie Mellon University to support Highlands and Sea Bright in our effort to develop a long-term resiliency plan. One part of this support involves reaching out to and engaging with the public to talk about flooding risk and plausible solutions. To that end, they developed a short survey to understand how best to talk about these issues with community members.
Please help our community in its plan for recovery and resiliency.This 10-15 minute survey will ask about your beliefs on flooding and flooding risk. Your answers will help Highlands, Sea Bright and New Jersey Future make plans for long-term community resiliency. In a few months, New Jersey Future will publish a summary of the answers given by the community.
Monmouth County Freeholder Candidate Larry Luttrell partying with a model and squinting like Frank Pallone in Atlantic City in February, 2013. facebook photo
If you’re a Monmouth County Democrat thinking about a career in government, working on Larry Luttrell and Joe Grillo’s freeholder campaign could be hazardous to your ambitions.
Luttrell and Grillo told the Asbury Park Press that the fact that Freeholder Director Lillian Burry’s 2011 campaign treasurer, Bill Bucco, was given a raise and a promotion after three years in a county administrative job where he streamlined operations and found $200,000 in revenue due the county that was never collected is “politics at its worst.”
I must have missed their press release condemning Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s new job as a “consultant” with ties to South Jersey Democratic Boss George Norcross, which Preito somehow manages to do while collecting six figures from his three government jobs.
Hollis Towns, APP’s Editor of the Future. Photo via facebook
Editors and writers at the Asbury ParkPressare vying to keep their jobs in Executive Editor Hollis R. Towns’ “Newsroom of the Future.”
Gannett, the owner of the paper, announced on August 5 that it is separating into two publicly held companies. APP will be part of a publishing company that will be debt free and own the company’s newspapers including USA Today and 81 local daily newspapers and their affiliated websites. The more profitable broadcasting and digital divisions will be folded into a company that will assume the existing debt and consists of the 46 television stations the company owns or services as well as the websites Cars.com and CareerBuider.com. The publishing company will retain the Gannett name.
The following day, Towns announced on app.com and the paper’s front page that he, along with the executive editors of four other of Gannett properties were charged with creating the “newsroom of the future.” There will be fewer editors and more reporters who will hang out in coffee shops and delis hunting for stories that they will be able to post to app.com without a gatekeeper reviewing their work. And there will be public events like the Sleep Con event they hosted with an advertiser earlier this month where readers could pay $10 to learn how to sleep better by buying a mattress from the advertiser.
What Towns didn’t announce publicly was that current Asbury Park Press employees had to apply to keep their jobs. “To be hired into the Newsroom of the Future” is how is was spun in Neptune.
Monmouth County Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry
Amidst a summer awash in bad news, there is a very good news story I’m pleased to share regarding the redevelopment of Fort Monmouth; a topic I am asked about frequently. Since the fort was closed by the U.S. Army in 2005, I have been a member of both public-private agencies, led by the state, that first planned, and is now executing plans to transform the fort into a hub of recreation, commerce, technology, innovation, education, residential and retail use. Tangible results emerged last year and continue to increase this year. More are on the near horizon, bringing jobs, ratables and opportunities for the public to enjoy new open spaces and recreational options within the borders of Eatontown, Oceanport and Tinton Falls.
As the county’s representative, first on the Fort Monmouth Economic Redevelopment Planning Authority (FMERPA) and currently on the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA), I identified certain facilities and spaces for county use early on. Last year, the Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering took over, refurbished and is now utilizing the fort’s former motor pool, bringing critical services including snow and storm damage removal closer to that region. The county Park System now runs the former teen center and pool, a beautiful facility. Programs initiated there last year have been well-attended and growing. This year, we opened the pool for classes. The reception and attendance have been outstanding. We hope to increase programs at the pool next summer. That’s just the beginning…