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Opinion

December 30, 2013

County must reverse new meals policy

County must reverse new meals policy

On Dec. 9 I sent an email to each county representatives protesting the change to the Meals on Wheels Program. Five responded to my messages, one was Mr. McCarty, who at least had the courage to abstain on that vote.

One respondent told me that about a third of Meals recipients have already been switched to frozen meals and there have been “no reports of any serious issues.” I guess we wait until a weekly delivery volunteer finds someone who’s been on the floor for two days before we have a serious issue to report.

In terms of cost, we’re talking less than one tenth of one percent of the county budget, a budget that increased only 0.14 percent over 2013s.

The state-imposed property tax cap of 2 percent is in no danger of being broken! If the board boosted the increase to 0.24 percent, the managers would get their raises and we’d still have a real Meals on Wheels.

I’m told it can’t be undone, that they’ll revisit the issue next year. We all know once a program is cut it almost never comes back. I bet within a year, because of the change, at least one person who used to get a daily hot meal and a little human contact will instead be in The Manor. What will that cost the county?

You can’t undo it? Bull! Money is moved around as needs change. The need is now, before the daily Meals on Wheels structure is dismantled. Next year is too late.

Dennis Fowler

Otego

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