Michael Harkavy was the chairman of the Saugerties Democratic Committee before running for Ulster County Legislature, District I. He and his wife, Barbara, have a daughter in Michigan and four grandchildren. He has a bachelor of science degree from Queens College in New York and master of science in biological sciences. He worked his way through school as a research assistant at University Hospital, then went into education. He taught biology and environmental studies, then was appointed to a new position of ombudsman, where he helped students deal with the issues of the time – war, drugs, and unrest. He moved to Saugerties in 1985, and he and his wife have established a pottery business. Harkavy has served on the Conservation Advisory Commission, the Winston Farm Alliance and the green energy task force, among others.
What do you believe should be done with Golden Hill, the county-owned health facility?
Golden Hill should be preserved as a county facility. I do think that there needs to be some changes in the model so that it can be self-sufficient. In talking with people down at Golden Hill, with the staff, one idea that I think can work if we are looking to renovate or build new, is to make sure we have a full rehabilitation center within Golden Hill. The private sector has those facilities, and those facilities are revenue-producing. If we can find ways of having a rehab center, possibly lease certain areas for assisted living. There needs to be a way to pull revenue into the facility. Rehab has 100 days paid for through Medicare, and that goes directly to the facility. There have to be changes. If you provide new services, you may also get more reimbursement.