Letter to the editor: Camden at risk of losing unique identity

Posted:  Monday, March 17, 2014 - 10:15am
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Now that that Fox Hill has shown Camden residents that it can go it alone and doesn't need a zoning change, and can "milk this cash cow" for $2,000 a day for eight ( rather than 12 persons), what stands in the way of the local bed and breakfasts deciding to rent out only eight of their rooms for a far greater rate, and cash in on this "gravy train.”

This could be much more lucrative than the average two- to three-night stay at a B&B. All a B&B will have to do is bring in a staff of local psychologist, plus therapists from the local mental health providers, and care for eight people in the B&Bs’ existing eight bedrooms each with a private bath. Those B&Bs along Route 1 have easy access without disturbing a quiet residential neighborhood, such as Bay View Street. Presumably MacLean has a huge pool of patients to send up here, as long as they get a referral fee or "manage" the program.

The B&Bs do not provide the same secluded setting as Fox Hill, but under Department of Health and Human Services regulation, the confidentiality will be gone because DHHS requires that outside visitors must be allowed. DHHS requires all patient medical records, and reserves the right to transfer patients to other facilities.  (Will the "rrich & famous" subject themselves to these rules?)

So if our Camden B&Bs and their eateries, would become closed to the public, it will adversely affect the downtown shops and restaurants, except those supplying the patients. 
 
The Commissioner of the Department of Human Services in Augusta is the person to contact if you have any input as to whether you believe that a license should or should not be issued for a permit for a rehab hospital for out of state residents, to use eight bedrooms on a private residential estate in the premiere oceanfront residential neighborhood in which the abutters oppose commercial use,.
 
Three men — Paul Gibbons, Tom Rodman, and Phil Levendusky — may have had this end run in mind all  along, and that will be revealed when through Freedom of Information Act requests to the State of Maine Attorney General — the finances, and investors names will cease to be a secret.  Anyone who wants to know the truth should start sending letters to Maine DHHS and to Maine Attorney General,, Augusta. 
 
I also recommend you relay your views in writing or by email to the members of the Maine Legislature who represent this area. Camden is at risk of losing its unique identity.
 
I am in favor of community group homes for the purpose for which they were intended. The long-term mentally retarded and long-term physically disabled, and not for the likes of Fox Hill. It is just trying to make a profit by providing a quick fix for wealthy addicts via more medication rather than long-term rehabilitation in their own communities, through AA and NA.
 
Felicity Ferrell lives in Camden.