Letter: The other side of coinOnly getting 400 words to counter last week’s Randy’s Ramblings 1,082 word offering seems hardly fair. Nevertheless his last opinion piece concerning decent pay at the county subsidized New Richmond nursing home left much of the story behind the home’s operation untold.
By: Steve Hermsen, Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
Only getting 400 words to counter last week’s Randy’s Ramblings 1,082 word offering seems hardly fair. Nevertheless his last opinion piece concerning decent pay at the county subsidized New Richmond nursing home left much of the story behind the home’s operation untold.
When it comes to pay for the county’s nursing home employees, his opinion didn’t mention the report given to the Board of Supervisors by outside independent sources which stated our pay scale is out of line with industry standards. To ask someone who works the same job if they think the county’s employees are over-paid added nothing to the situation. Would Randy’s opinion be the same if the county subsidized the River Falls newspaper writers earning an extra $2 per hour because they’ve been writing longer than the Star-Observer?
It would’ve been nice if his opinion had mentioned the daily per-patient cost at the New Richmond home of $240 verses $185 at other public run homes throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. His rambling also failed to mention the additional IGT funds given to public run homes that the private non-profits don’t receive. Last year our county home in New Richmond received an additional $433,000 in tax dollar funding that none of the other homes in the county had the benefit of. Yet Supervisor Wentz and others still demand more of our very limited property-tax levy dollars go to a non-essential operation that can’t operate in the black, only benefits 60 people in the New Richmond area, and is a service already provided by non-profits with plenty of capacity available.
To say we board members are hard of heart is a naïve view when not taking into account the choices we must make. It’s easy to conclude why the overspending at the New Richmond nursing home has led to St. Croix County being the only county in the state to institute a wheel tax. Who’s hearts are the hardened ones? Is it the 1,672 homeowners in our county who can’t pay their property taxes, being charged 18 percent on the $5,000,000 owed? Or is it the supporters of the county home in New Richmond who have said they don’t care how many squad cars we take out of service, miles of roads we don’t fix, or people who lose their homes, as long as that county home stays open?
Sometimes 400 or 1,082 words just isn’t enough to tell the complete story.
Steve Hermsen, Hudson
District 13 County Supervisor