The St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg has long been known for its excellent care of its clients and now it faces an uncertain future. It is certainly worth noting that Republican Sen. Patti Ritchie, whose district encompasses the center, has worked long and hard to ensure that as many jobs be retained while offering future hope to the families of those clients who may be transferred to other facilities.
While Gov. Cuomo absolutely knows about the high rate of unemployment in St. Lawrence County, he at the same time, by reducing the centers function, will only ensure that our unemployment rate will rise. The loss of any job is truly not in the best interests of our citizens.
Parents and friends of children needing mental health care will be heavily burdened. Imagine traveling to Syracuse or Utica in the middle of winter to be with your loved one. Those of us now living here only travel when absolutely necessary during the winter to those locations knowing how the weather and road conditions change so often.
The Republican Party of St. Lawrence County supports all efforts to retain local jobs while addressing the needs of all employees, parents, friends and clients of the center.
Thomas L. Jenison
The writer is chairman of the St. Lawrence County Republican Committee.