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Dr. James Reidy's recent letter regarding Erie County Medical Center's director of nursing, Karen Maricle, and the appointment of Richard Slisz was off base.

Maricle serves under the direction of Chief Executive Officer Paul Candino, not the board of managers. Any demotion or reassignment of her would be Candino's decision.

Reidy also showed poor taste and a lack of historical perspective by calling Slisz a political hack. As chairman of the Erie County Legislature in the late 1970s, Slisz helped secure more than $30 million to complete the stalled construction of ECMC and later helped prevent its turnover to the private Buffalo General group.

Members of the board of managers serve long hours on various committees and receive no pay or perks. On the other hand, administrators are among the highest paid in this state. On top of that comes a yearly plea for five-figure bonuses.

Some senior ECMC physicians double-dip with sweetheart deals connected to the University at Buffalo Medical School and some even triple-dip with favorable rates on ECMC space for private practice. Some of these same individuals then have the unmitigated gall to go public in an attempt to prevent a cleaning lady from getting a 3 percent raise.

As president of CSEA, Local 815, I have a simple wish list for ECMC as we enter the new millennium.

First, a take-charge, full-time CEO. Second, a director of nursing and a medical director who would stay out of labor relations. Instead, they could concentrate on improving the nursing and medical staff.

Perhaps then the unions and the labor relations department could work out their issues.



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