LETTER: BET Must Represent Greenwich’s Most Vulnerable Residents

Submitted by Elizabeth K. Krumeich

I have served 3 terms on the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) and have always tried to be a voice for our most vulnerable residents, the elderly, persons with physical and learning disabilities and families who struggle to put food on the table and to pay bills.   

I am alarmed that the Republicans on the BET do not share these same values.  BET Republicans refused to provide needed resources to the Department of Human Services and the Commission on Aging for the past two budgets.  

As a BET liaison to The Nathaniel Witherell (TNW) skilled nursing facility and a member of the former BET Strategic Planning Committee for TNW, I am most familiar with the attacks on the TNW budget in which the Town subsidy has been drastically cut from the historic annual subsidy of $3.0 million to $1.5 million in 2021 to the proposed $1.125 million in the BET Budget Guidelines for 2022.  

Republican leadership seems intent on starving funds for TNW to force through their plan to privatize this important facility that has served generations of Greenwich seniors, patients undergoing rehabilitation, and their families.  TNW is a 5-star nursing home, which is the highest rating given by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, with a new management team and a strategic plan to make this outstanding institution even better.    

We should not undercut these management efforts by squeezing the Town subsidy.    

This is not the time to cut our support for human services.  During the next term, federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will be allocated to the Town to support human services.  It is my hope that funding is not cut for agencies and organizations that serve our most vulnerable fellow residents.  One target for the BET Republicans is the Transportation Association of Greenwich (TAG) which provides vital services for our seniors, including transportation, food deliveries and emergency services, including the recent evacuation of seniors from a flooded facility.  

It has been my honor to serve on the BET.  My fellow Democrats will continue our work and hopefully will receive the most votes and resume the majority.   

Please vote on or before November 2 for all 6 Democratic BET candidates in this all-important municipal election.