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Selling nursing home is taking easy way out

Posted 17 June 2013 at 12:00 am

Editor:

When we elect any of our government officials, we elect them to run our government in a professional, business-like manner, setting aside all personal and party-driven agendas while working for the common good of all their constituents. We expect them to roll up their sleeves and find solutions to difficult problems, such as how they can save OUR wonderful county-owned nursing home facility. Sometimes it means actually putting in the time to turn over every stone to try and preserve one of the reasons we are proud to live in this county.

As a lifelong resident and 42-year taxpayer of Orleans County and as child of family members who have, in the past and who currently are receiving compassionate, long-term care in The Villages, it deeply saddens, disappoints, and angers me to see that our expectations for our current County Legislature are not being met. Our elected officials instead have tossed their hands up in the air, given up without seriously considering our input, and passed the buck to their newly formed three-man Local Development Corporation with instructions to sell the Nursing Home, thereby relieving themselves of any and all responsibility or liability. Maybe times have changed but to me that amounts to taking the easy way out.

Here’s a radical thought … How about slowing things down a bit, and finding a way to keep OUR Nursing Home by using the expertise of true professionals? One of the consultants interviewed by the LDC at their May 15th Board Meeting, The Center for Governmental Research of Rochester, indicated that his firm has consultative experience with government agencies to find ways to reduce expenses. He also stated that Medicare reimbursement for the next four years would remain flat not decrease. I thought for sure that the LDC Board would use this opportunity to further question Don Pryor about his thoughts, ideas and perhaps suggestions on cost-cutting measures for The Villages. But, they didn’t because their minds were obviously set on selling, not finding a way to make it work. What a fantastic opportunity was lost. Also, although this was announced as a public meeting, those persons in attendance were instructed at the meeting’s beginning that there would be no public participation.

The next “public” Local Development Corporation Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 20 at the Public Health Department Building Conference Room at 1 p.m. If you are concerned about what is happening to your publicly owned nursing home and the residents and staff, I urge you to attend this meeting. If we cannot participate with words, let our presence show them our concern and commitment.

Marie Rice
Albion, NY