Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Saving Rolling Meadows
I heard the word crisis associated with the proposed closing of the Rolling Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center during the Fond du Lac County Board's meeting this week. It was used several times.
Those who have family members staying at the home or who work there painted a wonderful picture for the Board. It was one of a family atmosphere where workers go beyond what's expected of them to make residents comfortable.
Frannie Trewin, whose worked there more than 30 years, told a great story of a friend with Alzheimer's who is in Rolling Meadows and the promise she made to take care of that woman. She says the woman is battling dementia, but recognizes her when she comes into her room.
County Board member Mel Heller had tears in his eyes as he told about how the care at Rolling Meadows probably saved his life. It wasn't the only story like that heard in the legislative chambers of the City-County Goverment Center Tuesday evening.
Some employees even offered to make concessions to keep their jobs and continue to provide care for the residents at Rolling Meadows.
County Executive Al Buechel says the County went through something similar in 1978. I don't know that history, but would love to hear about it from someone who does.
Understand that whatever decision the County Board makes in the next couple of months it won't be an easy one. I would like to say one thing however. That is that family members of Rolling Meadows residents and employees at the Center are lucky to have had the opportunity to speak in a public forum about the proposed closing.
They still have time to try and change the minds of County Supervisors, look for other jobs or facility arrangements for residents. Private companies can't say the same thing. They make a decision to close plants, lay off employees or sell off pieces of a company and employees have little say in the matter.
They also don't have the option of raising taxes to stave off closing whether it's through raising a tax levy or instituting a sales tax. Beware of the silent majority though because they weren't as well represented at that meeting as those interested in saving Rolling Meadows. They could weigh in if a sales tax or spending more taxpayer money on the Center goes to referendum.
Some day there will be those of us who need a facility like Rolling Meadows. Whatever facility that may be, we can only hope it offers the same type of employee dedication and care that Rolling Meadows does.
I didn't really have a photo from Rolling Meadows for this blog, but if you have one please feel free to send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.