‘Bright’ people have been misinformed about nursing home sale

Posted 4 January 2014 at 12:00 am


It may surprise at least one of your “What, me, Worry?” readers that people can be “bright,” or intelligent, without being well-informed, or educated, on a particular issue. It is also true that those who are both informed and intelligent can disagree. In the interests of education, I would point out the following to people who are ill-informed, or, dare I say, misinformedthough obviously “bright.”

Contrary to an assertion made in a recent opinion piece, not all incumbent Orleans County Legislators were re-elected. Three, of seven, were not.

The only legislators who are on record (Callard and Johnson) regarding the Nov. 5 local election have admitted that the election tasked voters with sorting out several issues that required prioritizing.Though I prayed it would be a single-issue election, it is only through simplification, intellectual laziness and/or convenience that one could reduce the November election to a single issue.

Chairman Callard set aside transparency, public opinion, and democracy, itself, by arguably violating the spirit of the State’s LDC law and misusing an LDC device to dispose of “the Villages” Nursing Home. Its “business” has been conductedfor the most partbehind closed doors.

One Legislator indicated he was surprised that the nursing home sale would go forward without Legislative approval, and he didn’t even know what the bids were!That is what passes for Constitutional, representative, government in Orleans County.

Avoiding any involvement by CGR (The Center for Governmental Research) has been a given with Chairman Callard. This has come at a cost to the taxpayers. CGR was never contacted about doing a feasibility study as it had for the more responsible, Mary Pat Hancock-led, Genesee County Legislature.

That suggests that either the Orleans County Legislature had made its collective “mind” up without due diligence and wasn’t interested in the truth, or didn’t want CGR finding out how important a county-owned nursing home was in Orleans, as well as how uniquely positioned “The Villages” was to being a break-even operation.

One example of how much Chairman Callard’s hand-picked LDC Board cost the taxpayers may be found in its choice of Marcus and Millichap, over CGR, to market “The Villages.” Doing so cost far more tax dollars. At an assumed selling price of $8,000,000 (perhaps 60% of appraised value), Marcus and Millichap would receive a $200,000 fee. CGR would have performed the exact same service for a minimum of 100,000 fewer tax dollars. (Though Marcus and Millichap was thought to be more of a “team” player, even Marcus and Millichap blew the Legislature’s cover on the 2012 Nursing Home “losses” and occupancy in August 2013.)

For some reason, spending $100,000 more of someone else’s money makes “business” sense to Chairman Callard’s LDC Board.

Sincerely yours,

Gary F. Kent