January 31, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.

Time to shake my head

By J. Patrick Reilly-preilly@thedodgevillechronicle.com

Sometimes things happen in the news business that makes me shake my head. One of those times was last Wednesday morning when I received the "news release" from Iowa County that they had voted the night before to close Bloomfield Manor and move all residents out by April 1.
Why did I shake my head?
Because I covered the board meeting, at least the open session, and watched as the board approved two hospitality aide positions for the home along with a summer intern who wants to become more educated in being a nursing home administrator.
The Chronicle was also represented when the board came back to open session and simply voted to table the referendum about keeping the nursing home open.
True, the closed session was held partially to discuss the future of the home but at no time was it mentioned it would come to a vote. While what the board did is not illegal it does pose the question why did they not announce the decision when they returned to open session? It is hard to believe the board which preaches transparency did this.
Instead of a story which could be reported by the news media we get a news release that states action on closing was taking place that very day. My question is how could all the i's get dotted and the t's crossed from 9 p.m. Tuesday to 8 a.m. Wednesday to start closing the home and relocating patients? I know things move fast in a world of technology but I doubt the agency receiving the closing document is in business 24/7.
But as they say, life goes on.
I only hope in the future the board leaves the news reporting up to the news people and decisions up to the public.
Also the question has to be asked....was the board afraid a referendum would pass?