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LETTER: Saving county taxpayers money: do we really need a Long Term Care GM?

(County of Lambton)
(County of Lambton)

Dear Editor:

A posting for a General Manager (GM) for Long Term Care (LTC) has been advertised on the Lambton County Job Posting website, which indicates the position will be vacated sometime in May. 

Now is the right time for County officials and councillors to carefully examine this position and whether or not there is any merit in even filling this role. 

In this current fiscal climate, every potential area of savings should be carefully considered. I’m sure that all taxpayers who are facing considerable hikes in taxes as well as utilities, groceries, etc. would agree.

The 2022 Sunshine Club reports that this position carries a hefty salary of just under $200,000! Surely, this money could easily be used in so many other more meaningful ways.

Perhaps the money would be better utilized for desperately needed healthcare staff who are directly involved in the care of our frail and vulnerable seniors, currently residing in county long term care homes.

What is more important, someone at the bedside of our loved ones or someone sitting in an office far removed from the day to day operations and the ongoing struggles and issues involved in providing direct care? 

How many staff would $200,000 get you? Three, perhaps four healthcare providers? That not only sounds like a fair trade, but one that is fiscally and morally responsible.

Each of the three county LTC homes is run by an administrator, who, by the way are all on the Sunshine List. Could not one of them, or all three report to the county CEO, or perhaps another GM, let's say, the GM of Public Health? Long term care falls under public health and it would make perfect sense that reporting should lean that way.

Historically, the LTC GM is fairly new. This position has only had two GM’s since its creation in 2009. This created LTC GM position has been awarded, in both cases when it was vacant, to current county employees. A close look at the effectiveness of those individuals in the position and what difference they have or have not made needs to be carefully scrutinized.

One could say that by always hiring from within, there brings a sense of fostering an “ole boys club” mentality. 

Certainly, overseeing the needs of our vulnerable seniors in long term care deserves more scrutiny than who you know or who is scratching your back the best and most often.

Let’s get rid of the potentially ineffective and costly middle man/woman and put people in place that our seniors in long term care desperately need and deserve.


Mary Ann Shaule
Retired Lambton County LTC Employee