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Praying legislators don’t sell ‘safety net’ for seniors

Posted 1 May 2013 at 12:00 am

Editor:

On Feb. 27, 2013, the Orleans County Legislature voted to establish a Local Development Corporation (LDC) to begin the process of selling our county-owned nursing home, the Villages of Orleans, to a private owner.

This vote took place after dozens of passionate pleas from taxpayers at the meeting, begging them to find alternatives to the LDC.

I am thankful to George Bower. He is the only legislator to vote no to creating the LDC. He is a good man, and has always had the well-being of Orleans County at heart.

As a 50-year old taxpayer, I am dumbfounded at the other legislators’ decisions to proceed with the LDC, especially after hearing dozens of their constituents voice their opposition to it.

One taxpayer pointed out that an LDC is a non-regulated shell corporation that has little oversight and no accountability to taxpayers.

Several family members of different village residents told of the exceptional care that their relatives receive at The Villages of Orleans. They also described private facility “horror stories” about the lack of care that their relatives had received at private facilities prior to making The Villages their permanent home.

Another member of the public explained that private nursing homes may not accept Medicaid or uninsured clients. Our county-owned facility currently accepts all county residents, regardless of ability to pay.

The final taxpayer to speak before the vote stated that private nursing homes have no direct accountability to taxpayers for the quality of services or cost control.

I pray that the Orleans County Legislature will reverse course and decide not to sell one of our community’s most valuable assets, The Villages of Orleans. There is too much at risk for the future of our community in privatizing the “safety net” of public nursing home care.

Sincerely,
Timothy Good