Several months ago, following articles in the Times Union about the problems at the Saratoga County Mental Health Center, the New York State Office of Mental Health did a surprise monitoring visit to our local clinic. Some weeks ago, I FOILed the county for a copy of the report.
I received their response. Redacted County FOIL Re OMH
If you look at the documents you will see they have blacked out virtually all of the monitoring report. I contacted the New York State Office on Open Government and spoke to Robert Freeman, its executive director. I described what I had received. He offered that while they have considerable latitude to keep confidential opinions and recommendations, they cannot redact any facts in the document. I know that the document included at least one fact.
The local county is required by their contract with the state, to provide a certain level of staffing. Due to the rash of resignations at the clinic they were out of compliance. According to Freeman, such a statement should not have been redacted. I expect there other observations of fact that were damning as well.
This is just another example of not only the opaqueness of our county government but a commentary on our two supervisors. Matt Vietch has strenuously defended the county in the matter of the clinic. Peter Martin has been silent. I would point out that Martin is a Democrat. It speaks volumes that he can behave disgracefully at the expense of the many people in desperate need of services and not fear that Charlie Brown, the chair of the city Democratic Committee will speak out on the issue.