To the Editor,
I found it quite disappointing that the editor of The Putnam County News and Recorder and the Putnam County Courier, Doug Cunningham, featured in his June 4th edition of “Cunningham’s Corner” an editorial entitled “WIC Program on the Block.” He cleverly spun a negative connotation to mislead the public by insinuating the Putnam County Legislature cares more about dollars than babies.
He went onto compare the Legislature’s vote to support a resolution opposing the NYS Reproductive Health Act, which supports thirdtrimester abortions up until the moment-of birth, to the consideration brought forth to separate WIC services from the county to a nonprofit agency. I found it appalling to use the opposition to the egregious RHA as a comparison on a multitude of levels. lt is concerning, disheartening and far from the truth to allude that any Legislator, or the Commissioner of Health, would support any overture adversely affecting services for women, infants and children. While the consideration to separate services from the County would save taxpayer dollars, we remain steadfast in our focus to ensure services remain intact within the County.
Open Door gave a compelling presentation at the Legislature’s Personnel Committee meeting, outlining the broad range of services they provide and embraced the opportunity to offer WIC services in addition.
They indicated they felt it was advantageous for patients and clients – including mothers and babies – to offer a full scope of services under one roof. They were optimistic and confident they could expand WIC services to better serve the needs of the community.
As Chairwoman of the Personnel Committee, I would not have chosen to bring this matter forward if there remotely was any chance the county would be remiss by reducing or eliminating WIC services in Putnam County. This is simply not the case. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Cunningham could have spoken to the Commissioner of Health, anyone at Open Door or even listened to the audio minutes of the Personnel Committee meeting and still have drawn the erroneous conclusions that he did.
Perhaps the only irony that should be cited is the Putnam County Courier is the designated official newspaper of Putnam County and may be more interested in selling newspapers than maintaining the demonstrated integrity of the Putnam County Legislature.
Legislator, District 4