Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Hospital staff and officials speak out at meeting:
Mason’s termination from WCCHS again comes into public question

The former chairman of the Wyoming County Board Supervisors on Tuesday publicly questioned the termination of Dr. Paul Mason’s contract with the WCCHS.

Arcade Supervisor Doug Berwanger
ArcadeSupervisor Doug Berwanger spoke during a session of the board’s Committee of the Whole. He’s also a former member of the Wyoming County Community Health System’s Board of Man-agers.

Berwanger said the hospital is a department of the county. As a result every hospital contract has to be approved by the board of managers, and there is a county resolution from 2011 requiring every hospital contract in excess of $50,000 to be approved by the county’s Board of Supervisors.

“The contract approvals or any changes or terminations have been consistently handled through that process,” he said.

Arcade Town Supervisor Doug Berwanger, expresses concerns and questions the validity of the termination of Dr. Mason from WCCH at the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday March 8, 2022.

Berwanger said that at a Jan. 25 board of managers meeting, it’s widely recognized Mason’s contract was terminated. However, he said what actually happened was there was a motion by Dr. J. Thomas Reagan and seconded by Dr. James Wawrzyniak that the board of managers wished to pause pursuing the termination of the Buffalo Bone and Joint Surgery contract. As a result there is no vote to terminate the contract.

“The attorney wrote a letter to Mason terminating his contract on Feb. 8,” Berwanger said. “So how did Joe McTernan cancel it and he wasn’t even authorized to do so without board resolution anyway? So who directed the attorney to do the termination?” McTernan had died Jan. 24 after a brief illness.

Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Becky Ryan said they would be going into an attorney-client discussion following the Committee of the Whole meeting and all his questions would be answered.

The crowd pushed for a statement to be released after the discussion with the attorney.

No statement was released as of press time Tuesday.

Minutes from the Jan. 25 meeting were made public online later on Tuesday afternoon. They showed that the motion to pause the termination was defeated 2-7. The Daily News had requested the minutes in February.

No resolution for the termination of Mason’s contract has been presented to the Board of Supervisors.

Berwanger’s statement occurred during the session that — although typically sparsely attended — saw members of the public gathering into the supervisor’s chambers at the Wyoming County Government Center, to fight for Mason’s reinstatement.

The chamber was packed with people sitting on wooden chairs, papers in hand, waiting to speak about Mason’s contract or support those who did.

Mason — a highly popular orthopedic surgeon — had been with Wyoming County Community Health System since 2014 and went full-time with the facility three years later. He has been cited by many as a key figure in turning the hospital’s once-problematic reputation around, and replacing it with one of excellence.

Mason’s contract was terminated by the WCCHS board of managers — a highly controversial decision which has generated protests, including among doctors and staff.

Karin Rice, a registered operating room nurse at WCCH, started an online petition last month to bring Mason back. The petition currently has more than 2,500 signatures. Rice said during Tuesday’s meeting that this number was close to 8 percent of Wyoming County’s voting and tax-paying population.

“Dr. Mason ranks in the top 1 percent in orthopedic surgeons not only in the rural community comparison but at a national level as well,” she said.

Rice said from the time former CEO Joseph McTernan came two years ago there were problems that were not present, to her knowledge, under retired CEO Donald T. Eichenauer. She said it became apparent from the start McTernan was determined to remove Mason from his position and tarnish his outstanding reputation.

“Our previous CFO Amy Chase indicated at the time of her resignation in writing in her correspondence to the board of managers that everything Mr. McTernan centered on revolved around Dr. Mason or his supposed shortcomings,” Rice continued.

She alleged e-mail correspondence exists showing McTernan refused to provide any financial information to Dr. Mason and forbade both Chase and the director of the orthopaedic clinic at the time to provide him the information which was easily accessed prior to McTernan’s hiring.

Carrie Vangrol, owner of Warsaw Family Care, said she looked at the requirements for the new CEO. She said there are no requirements — no education requirements, no leadership requirements, no exper-ience requirements and no residency requirements. Vangrol said there is a requirement to change the status quo, and asked what that means.

Vangrol said the hospital is $1.5 million in debt and asked where the state and taxpayer money went.

Laura Dutton, a registered professional nurse at WCCH, said staff are afraid to come forward.

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Walter D. “Pete” Mairs, 81, died peacefully on July 23, 2021. Born in Avon, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1939, Pete was a longtime resident of Geneva, N.Y., and these past many years in Buffalo, N.Y., as well as his beloved Silver Lake. Pete is survived by his wife, Linda Bergstrom Mairs, a loving and true companion; children, Mimi C. Mairs, Jonathan B. Mairs; sisters, June Huff, Helen Dole; brother, Thomas Mairs; stepchildren, Daniel Brinkworth, Jennie Ramsey; sister-in-law, Anne Bergstrom, eight beautiful grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. A service and celebration of life is planned for the fall when all can share the joy of Pete’s life together. Arrangements by Stephenson – Dougherty Funeral Home, Avon, N.Y.

Editor's Note: It was a privilege knowing and working with Pete Mairs during his presidency of the Silver Lake Institute. He was a kind and gentle man, but also firm in his leadership. I served as Treasurer and Chaplain of SLI during those years and I could always depend on Pete's presence in the worship service. He was a man of faith and a gem of a human being. May he rest in God's care.


Gerald C. Sahrle, 80, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was born on Oct. 10, 1941, in Wayland, N.Y., to the late Charles A. and Helen I. (Blowers) Sahrle. Gerry was a line foreman for 32 1/2 years for NYSE&G, working out of the Perry and Hamburg locations, and was a Town of Perry Councilman. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Constellation Lodge -404 in Perry. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and woodworker. He is survived by his wife, Valary A. (Conley) Sahrle; 1 son, Gerald (Pamela) Sahrle II of Silver Springs; 2 sisters, Millie Edmond of Greece, Bonnie Fink of Winston-Salem, N.C., 3 brothers, Ronald (Linda) Sahrle of Dansville, Robert (Susan) Sahrle of Springwater, Kenneth Sahrle of Dansville; 5 grandchildren, Bradley Musscarella, Stone and Winston Sahrle, Conley and Cooper Gayton; along with many nieces, nephews and friends. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Sahrle, who passed away in 2012. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Gerry will be laid to rest in West Perry Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, P.O. Box 204, Perry, NY 14530. For more information, please call (585) 237-2626 or to leave a message of condolence, visit Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 North Main Street, Perry, NY 14530.

Editor's Note: Gerald and Valarie could always be seen in the family pew with Pamela, Stone and Winston at Perry First United Methodist Church and continue to be loved. Gerry will be sorely missed. Both were supporters of the Arts at the Silver Lake Institute and Valarie was active in painting and participating in the Annual Show in August. Valarie's presence was always valued and appreciated.


"Kathy P." passed November 8, 2021, of Hamburg and Boston, NY. Beloved daughter of Joseph and Barbara Michalak; loving sister of Daniel Michalak; devoted wife of the late Jeffrey Praczkajlo; cherished mother of Jennifer (Shawn) Jump; loving babcia of Lily Jump; also survived by many beloved family members and friends who became her family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Editor's Note: "Kathy P." as she was better known to us at Silver Lake was an annual summer visitor for most of the last number of years at the invitation of Silver Laker Julia Hoffner. She stayed at the Hoffner Cottage, and became known as both the fun visitor with the vivacious smile to the neighbors at the intersection of Haven Ave. and the Ames Walkway. Kathy P. and Julie could be seen walking and talking between the cottage and the Hoffner boathouse where they could be close to the water. She was also occasionally seen at the Saturday morning breakfasts at Stoody Hall. Her stay was anywhere between 4 days and a week where she had the opportunity to develop a love for Silver Lake. She was not yet eligible for retirement when late last week she developed "a cold" and had to remain home from her job. She did not update her condition over the weekend so the local police made a wellness visit and found her deceased on Monday. She was one of those many people who found Silver Lake and friendship for brief respites where she also found new strength and energy to return to work. She is being particularly mourned by those in the Haven/Ames neighborhood. She will be memorialized next summer at the annual Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Epworth Hall.


Brenda Joan Paddock, 82, of Perry, born April 15, 1939, now resides in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brenda met Jesus as her Savior in 1965. She met him in person on Nov. 14, 2021. She had a beautiful homecoming with music, singing and praying, leading her into Glory. Her last words were “I am well, I am well.”

Brenda’s greatest loves were her family and friends. Brenda had five children with her husband Roger: Don and Daelene Paddock of Florida, Jody and Tim Von Sanden of Pavilion, Bradley and Jeanie Paddock of Warsaw, Jennifer and Paul Guy of Massachusetts, and Nathan and Jill Paddock of Perry.

Brenda dearly loved her grandchildren: Jessica Morillo, Nikki and Clint O’Brien, Luke Paddock, Paul Paddock, Ian and Brooklyn Paddock, Joe and Louana Paddock, Burke and Megan Paddock, Aaron Paddock, Ellen Paddock, Andrew Paddock, Rachael Paddock, Abigail Paddock, Erik and Cassandra Von Sanden, Jacquelyn and Michael Jones, Tim Von Sanden, Brandon and Brandee Paddock, Jamey and Laura Paddock, Peter and Kara Guy, Candy and Jay Waitkevich, Marlo and Ryan Bolger and Jenna and Rory Peterson.

Brenda was blessed and loved her great grandchildren: Chloe, Olivia and Nicholas Von Sanden, Joshua and Jaxon Morillo, Jameson and Cassandra O’Brien, Atlas Paddock, Noah and Ezra Jones, Colton, Brantley and Charlotte Guy, Cameron Waitkevich, Amelia Bolger and Brennen Leonard.

Brenda is also survived by her brother and sister in laws; Frank and Emma Paddock, Viva and Jim Phillips-Richardson and Kurt and Lynn Paddock.

Brenda first started working as a secretary at Perry Central School. She then assisted her husband building Paddock’s Breeding Service. Roger and Brenda together built and ran the Sandsabarn teenage nightclub. Brenda was owner and operator of Serendipity Travel. Brenda’s pleasures included playing organ and piano. She played at a number of area churches along with performing for her loved ones. UPDATED -- Brenda also played with conviction at both indoor and outdoor services at the Silver Lake Institute where her grandson, Luke, sang at Epworth Hall on several occasions and was appreciated by all who heard his inspiring voice.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Noble and Freda Buckland, her husband Roger and son Bradley.

A Committal service at West Perry Cemetery will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at LaGrange Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made in Brenda’s honor to the LaGrange Baptist Church 7092 LaGrange Rd. Perry, NY 14530 or to the First Congregational Church P.O. Box 156 Perry, NY 14530. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 N. Main St., Perry, N.Y. 14530. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit

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