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Fight to keep nursing home county-owned isn’t ‘political’

Posted 29 May 2013 at 12:00 am

The perception that opposition to the sale of Our Orleans County Nursing Home, “The Villages of Orleans,” is “political” doesn’t square with reality. The Orleans County Legislature is entirely Republican.  But, saying our opposition is “political” is off-base.  It is offensive to the many Republicans involved in the various activities of “The Concerned Citizens of Orleans County,” as well as those merely displaying yard signs.

Regardless of party, our only goal is to stop a sale we believe is NOT in the public interest.

A look at those working to stop the sale reveals an amazing amount of diversity.  Though I am a Democrat, our treasurer is a Republican.  Our secretary is non-affiliated.  The organizer of our hugely successful spaghetti dinner is a Republican.  Many of those who spoke at the Legislature’s public hearing in February are republicans. Several of our more adamant activists are Republicans, as are the two petitioners in our Article 78 action.

A close look at those who have taken part in our six demonstrations over the past three months reveals that participants included several registered Conservatives, a self-described “liberal,” numerous Republicans, three people who identify with the Tea Party, Democrats with no family connection to the Orleans County Nursing Home, and a number of C.S.E.A. members who are Conservatives, or Republicans, including their President.

There are many Democrats involved as well.  These include Grace Denniston, Kay Walter, Gail Miller, and Bob and Marie Rice, among others.

The proposed sale of Our County Nursing Home, following the ill-advised transfer of our Continuing Day Treatment Program to Genesee County, makes me think I should run again for the Orleans County Legislature. Should our Legislature Chairman dissolve the LDC and “shelve” the sale, I would happily withdraw from consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Kent
Albion, NY