MOUNT VERNON — Does the human factor come into play when cost-containment measures are taken to balance a budget? That is the question being raised by parents, friends and staff regarding the abolishment of 32 positions and the closing of Rian Hall at the Mount Vernon Developmental Center.
While there are concerns about the loss of jobs and the resultant ripple effects throughout the community, people are most worried about the effect on the residents of MVDC.
Nancy Shafer, now retired, used to work at MVDC and is currently active with the Ohio League, Ohio’s Developmental Disabilities Coalition. She told the News, “My concern is for fairness to the residents and to their families and guardians. I think sometimes they are totally overlooked in the whole new scheme of things.”
“I’m very disappointed in what they are doing,” said Pat McQuigg, whose son has lived at MVDC for more than 20 years. “I don’t think they realize, whoever’s the head of it, that these [residents] are humans, too, and they have hearts. They should not be neglected, and I feel that’s what is going to happen.”
“Mount Vernon is the kind of community that does not turn its back on individuals with severe needs,” said Jeana Campolo, president of Ohio Civil Services Employees Dixie Local 4220. “We believe in taking care of the least of us. These cuts are the opposite of that. ... We just don’t believe this is what our community would do to people with special needs. At MVDC, there are individuals with profound disabilities and multiple handicaps. These people really rely on the day-to-day care that they get at our center. It’s quality care.”