The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 25, 2012

OCHS vote on futures of SORC, NORCE frankly has dragged on for way too long

Enid News and Eagle

— We can understand why there was a delay in a vote on closing one of two-state run facilities for the developmentally disabled.

Oklahoma Commission for Human Services, at the request of Gov. Mary Fallin, did not vote earlier this week on a proposal to close Southern Oklahoma Resource Center in Pauls Valley. Some of the patients would have moved from SORC to Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid, and others would have been moved to community-based group homes.

Part of Fallin’s reasoning for a delay in the vote was because she recently appointed a new OCHS chairman and named two new members. She wanted to give them time to get up to speed on the subject before having them vote.

That makes sense.

But we also don’t want to see this issue drag out too much longer. Frankly, it’s already dragged on too long.

The issue has been discussed for a couple of years now, and that’s not good for the clients of the facilities, their families and employees, all of whom continue from day to day not knowing what’s going to happen.

Some look at the delay as a good thing, seeing Fallin’s actions as a change of heart from wanting to close both facilities, to possibly keeping them both open.

Others see it as more of the same, holding the facilities, their clients and their families hostage in a political game.

Whichever side you come down on, there has been a delay in the vote. We hope, though, this delay is not something that will drag on and on.

The situation needs to be resolved so everyone involved will not have that cloud of uncertainty hanging over them.