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Reader's view: Edgewood Vista CEO erred in canceling meeting

In the March 8 story, “Edgewood CEO: Staff handled rape case properly,” Edgewood Management Group CEO Phil Gisi said a meeting with residents was canceled due to the arrival of the press. As I saw things unfold, News Tribune reporter Tom Olsen and News Tribune photographer Clint Austin arrived at 1:50 p.m. The meeting was to start at 2 p.m. They were immediately informed there would be no pictures, that cameras were not to be used. Austin agreed, and his camera remained in his case on the floor by his feet. It was 2:20 p.m. when Edgewood staff members, confronted by an overwhelming 70 percent of the residents in attendance, chose to cancel the meeting.

Gisi was quoted in the story, saying, “If you can picture a room full of nice ladies and gentlemen in their own home with an outsider there who they didn’t invite taking video, it was just uncomfortable. So the residents were complaining about that. So our staff here decided to cancel the meeting and reschedule it.”

That statement was inaccurate. I saw no one taking video. Of the 30 residents I spoke with later, not one could understand why administration would cancel our meeting.

Later in the article, Deb Holtz, the state’s ombudsman for long-term care, was quoted. She was critical of the cancelation.

“She wasn’t there,” Gisi said. “I don’t think anybody can comment on it unless they were there and had direct knowledge of it.”

Wasn’t it interesting that Gisi was not in attendance at the meeting, either, and then incorrectly stated video was being recorded, leading to the decision? To Gisi I say, honesty is the best policy. He should have taken his own advice and not commented unless he was present.

Carol Johnson


The writer is a resident of Edgewood Vista