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Letter to the Editor:

After attending the most recent City Council meeting I feel compelled to give some of my opinions as to how our City Council functions for our City of Gaylord. I could plainly see that we have a very passive City Council and a Mayor who seems to be on his own agenda for the City.

I was surprised to see that hardly any comments came from the City Council members of their opinions especially when it came to Lakeview Homes.

Our Nursing Home Liaison was very vocal but no other City Council member would voice their opinion.

If they don’t know, then they should do their homework. They have the obligation as our elected officials to perform their tasks for the whole city and not just the committee that they are appointed to for the City.

The report from Mr. Anderson from Pathways revealed another path that Lakeview and the City Council could pursue in the near future. Whereby, the City could pursue competitive bids for the Lakeview Homes and not just talk to the developer from Mankato. There are real buyers out there if the City really wants to look or even cares to look and they are not mystery buyers.

Mr. Anderson stated that right now without any changes to Lakeview, the Lakeview Homes would be worth 1.5 Million Dollars. With a change in operations of $250,000, the Home could be worth 2 to 2.5 Million Dollars.

If I had made any of these changes, I would have been harshly criticized by these same people who wanted to make a profit from the Nursing Home.

The City Council almost never talked about quality care in relation to Lakeview.

It seemed to me and my Department Directors that there was a double standard when it came to Lakeview and the City when it came to investing our cash or bidding out of town for supplies. The City could go out of town, but we had to stay in town and therefore earned less interest income.

This is just one example. I have many more examples.

It looks to me that the City Council and the Mayor have got their planning process in reverse on the issue of selling the nursing home. How come they don’t involve the Nursing Home Board- in the process of negotiating with the developer? The Mayor promised to meet again at a meeting between the Lakeview Board and the City Council. When did he plan on having this meeting?

The City needs to realize that the State of Minnesota could deny the sale of Lakeview unless the State is notified of a pending sale. This has happened in the past, according to Pathways Health Services. The State holds the keys to future funding for whoever owns Lakeview.

They need to start over and get it right this time. They have a very competent City Administrator who they choose to dump all their projects on and then when he does his job they can only critize him or even run another investigation of the City Administrator.

I honestly believe the developer is a very fine person and has a great concept for developing this project but he is going way too fast for the city.

The City Council and EDA need to slow down and do it right. This is only fair to the citizens of Gaylord and to our most precious people, who are our aging seniors who desperately need to continue to receive the kind of care they have received all these years.

John Berger

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