County leaders should protect local assets, have public plan for future

Posted 3 November 2015 at 12:00 am


Does the Great and Powerful Oz have a secret master plan for Orleans County? Why is he so unwilling to tell us what it is?

Under the Oz master plan, one asset after another is sold, folded into Genesee County, or allowed to founder, or wither. Among these are Medina Hospital, the former County Nursing Home, the Visiting Nurse Service certification, the Continuing Day Treatment Program, our historical institutions, and now, perhaps our environment itself.

The Great and Powerful Oz decided who our next sheriff would be, by some accounts, 3, or 4, years ago. What would Oz do if he didn’t get his way and his choice came in second, or third? He really thinks he can get away with anything now that he emerged unscathed in 2013.

Would The Omniscient Oz eliminate the Sheriff’s Department road patrol?  It is one of our finer assets, and you may know how hard it is for the Omniscient Oz to recognize the things that really matter to his subjects.

The Wizard believes that we need to follow the lead of other counties, apparently because he believes Orleans County is no different than any other place. That may have helped him decide to sell one of the finest long-term care facilities in New York State.

Though belated improvements have been made with walk in mental health services in the Land of Oz, he initially disregarded the advice of one in-house expert and decreased access to such services by shifting the Continuing Day Treatment Program to Genesee County. Fortunately, he was able to revisit that mistake. Occasionally that is possible.

Among the mistakes that cannot be undone is the loss of the County Nursing Home.  Though Mr. Blajszczak, a Land of Oz court jester, thought of it as just an experiment, it is another asset that is gone forever. Of course, to P.B., it doesn’t matter. In fact the only thing that really matters in the Land of Oz are the whims of the Great and Powerful Oz.  But, such losses show how pathetically out of touch he is with his subjects.

You see, when you are the Great and Powerful Oz, you do not need surveys. All you need to do is bemoan the lack of them when you need an excuse not to lead. Or perhaps you just need to delay until after an election. Or you may wish to avoid a decision that might reveal part of your master plan.

Oz would have his loyal lemmings believe elections are equivalent to surveys. But personalities and the range of issues before voters make elections an unreliable barometer of what your subjects think.

A humble subject of the Great and Powerful Oz, and someone I consider a good friend, suggested something that never occurred to me.  He said The Oz may have refused to take a position on wind turbines in northwestern Oz because he may have invited Apex into the Land of Oz in the first place.

After all, lands beyond Oz had fallen for what was blowing in the wind.  Perhaps I am still failing to comprehend how devious the Oz can be. Perhaps my friend hit on something.

One of Oz’s northwestern prefecture subjects, thinking globally, correctly noted we have only one planet. She failed to act in a locally appropriate way when she wrote that turbines only take up half an acre.

Does the Great Oz even understand what a phenomenal asset the environment of his Land is? His subject might want to “research” the wildlife habitat we have all around us in the Land of Oz and what an industrial wind farm would mean to it.

Wind turbines are seen as environment-friendly, and they are, in the right places. The Land of Oz isn’t one of those desolate places that are right for them. But others have made mistakes. Why can’t we?

For The Great Oz, any howling from the turbines in Roscoe, Texas, or the barrens of North Dakota, may seem like beckoning from the Sirens of Greek mythology.

Most sincerely yours,

Gary Kent