County Home administrators, supervisors clear air regarding closure

ABERDEEN – In an emotional appearance, former Monroe County Home directors Angela Shackleford and Nancy Wilson appeared in front of the board of supervisors Monday to clear up any misunderstandings regarding the closure of the home.
Shackleford said 3rd District supervisor Carol Crawford told her to no longer accept residents from a meeting in October, but Crawford didn’t recall the conversation.
“I didn’t tell you to stop. My comment would have been that at some point in time, we would have to come to that point eventually. Whatever I said, I misspoke and didn’t understand the implications of what I said and you didn’t understand what I said. The board has been talking about this for years,” Crawford said.
Among one of Shackleford’s biggest concerns with the board was the lack of maintenance on the building, which was rebuilt in 1948. The dozens of photos she passed around the board table told the story.
“I’ve had to prop up a stick to hold the sink in the kitchen up. The fire alarm was so old and faulty, it couldn’t be replaced. Termites have been a problem for 12 years. I’ve had to put bricks on the roof to hold shingles down. The generator has been out. It’s my job to make sure the residents are safe and I’ve shown Carol Crawford all the problems we’d had,” Shackleford said.
Crawford apologized for not making a more detailed list of the maintenance issues.
“We took an obligation to maintain the building. You took an obligation to maintain the building. The people who were failed, though, are the people who have lived there 20, 25 years. I’ve told people the only way I’d retire was if the home left me and guess what….it left me,” Wilson said.
The board commended Shackleford and Wilson on the work of not only maintaining the building before Jessie Tate came to help, but for the work they did with the residents throughout the years.
“Some decisions have to be made in your head and the business side tells you it was a liability, but there’s still that personal touch. I think we have to agree we hate you’re closing. We deeply appreciate the job you’ve done and we were faced with a difficult decision. The thing I hate the most are the misunderstandings,” said board president Billy Kirkpatrick.
As of Monday’s meeting, Wilson and Shackleford were working on the final arrangements for one last resident and as soon as she was placed would turn in the keys to the County Home.
“If we touched one heart today, we did our job. We wanted to show the human touch and that it wasn’t just walls,” Wilson said.
In other business, the board proceeding in closing a transaction to purchase real estate, which includes the former PeopleLoungers building and nearly 50 acres of surrounding property in Nettleton to retain current jobs and add 100 new jobs.
According to Creekmore, the funds utilized for the project are guaranteed by a letter of credit, which means puts the property in use without effecting taxpayers.
The board also approved a resolution to hire four independent bailiffs for the county’s court system at the rate of $70 per day.

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at ray.vandusen@journalinc.com.