Commissioners need to hear from public.
The Berks County commissioners appear determined to sell Berks Heim. This is most unfortunate, because many Berks Countians feel that Berks Heim is, and should be, a high priority.
Asking Heim workers to cut their pay to save the Heim from a sale is an attempt to create political cover for the commissioners and shift blame to workers who have earned an excellent reputation for high-quality service. A desire for quality requires that it be paid for. Cuts in payments for those services will engender lower quality service.
The $18 million deficit figure is misleading. County budgets are done annually, not on a 10-year basis. The deficit could just as easily be presented on a 100-year basis. Then, instead of $18 million, it would be $180 million. Budgets are annual.
There are alternatives. First, trim other budget allocations to find the money, as $1.8 million is a small fraction of the budget. Second, eliminate or reduce other county services. Berks Heim is not a lower priority than every other county service. Or develop a combination of these.
The commissioners need to be told that Berks Heim is a high priority.
Thomas W. Gajewski Sr.
Editor's note: Gajewski is a former Berks County commissioner.
Treat Berks Heim as a high priority