To the Editor-
Despite diligent efforts of a vocal group of concerned citizens, some on the Portage County Health Care Center committee and the County Executive haven’t gotten the message.
The overwhelming majority of members of the public who have attended recent PCHCC committee meetings have tried to communicate the desire to keep the PCHCC under county operation and control. Public comment during three PCHCC committee meetings leaned heavily in this direction.
Yet, at the September 21st meeting, the committee chair suggested it was news to him.
The agenda for the 9/21 meeting included discussion and possible action of a request for proposal to the private sector to take over operation of the health care center. It was disclosed the county has already reached out informally to Whispering Pines, Atrium and others for this purpose.
Now, the committee proposes to initiate a formal process to solicit private sector interest.
The county’s director of procurement was tapped to give a crash course in the request for proposal process; what he termed “RFP 101.” He presented one possible RFP template. Astonishingly, one member of the committee made a motion to move forward with the RFP.
It was embarrassing when other committee members had to inform this clearly confused individual that it would be impossible to bring such a motion since all they had before them was a blank slate. It is troubling when someone who is clearly in a fog has so much power to decide the fate of this institution.
It makes no sense to waste county employee time and taxpayer dollars pursuing private sector takeover when so many are vehemently opposed. In October, 2013 Portage County contracted with Schenck & Associates to “analyze in detail the operations of the facility and provide recommendations for improvement.”
The summary of this document concluded if the county were to construct a new 100 bed facility, it would be profitable within five years.
The next PCHCC meeting is scheduled for October 19th. Attend if you can. Someday you may need the PCHCC and if some in county government get their way, it won’t be there for you.
Stevens Point, WI