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Legislature candidate questions if nursing home was good decision

Posted 10 June 2015 at 12:00 am

Editor:

As it gets closer to the county elections, it is a great time to reflect on issues that voters have taken seriously in previous election cycles. This cycle it is likely to be the APEX windmill project that will encourage more voters to get involved and voice their opinions. But the issue that was most important to voters in the last county election cycle, one that many people became involved in and spoke out about, was the county nursing home.

I would like to question my opponent and current Legislator At-Large, Don Allport. Mr. Allport voted in favor of selling the county nursing home to the highest bidder, despite the outcry of county residents that it not be sold.

The Legislature sold the nursing home to “save taxpayers’ money”. In reality, according to the most recent budget that was passed, it saved the average county homeowner a mere $17.60 on their total tax bill. That’s it$17.60. The same Legislature that was glorifying saving taxpayers’ money by selling the nursing home actually voted to give District Attorney Joe Cardone a $10,000 raise in 2010, at the expense of taxpayers.

It is my opinion that when Don Allport approved the sale of the nursing home, he signaled to the patients receiving care there, and their families, that all of the taxes that they paid throughout their lifetimes, the wars that they fought in – Korea, Vietnam, World War II, and many others -were not good enough. “You just haven’t done enough to have treatment that costs an extra $17.60 on county residents’ tax bill.”

Now, because of Don Allport and the rest of the Legislature, more families of “hard to place” residents have to send their loved ones to places further away. They may now be 40, or more, minutes away from their loved ones, instead of 5 to 10 minutes away. To Don and the Legislature that might not seem like that big of a deal, but that makes it harder for families to visit their loved ones.

Many people might believe that the sale of the nursing home is “water under the bridge,” but this decision that was made by Don Allport and the County Legislature is one of many examples that he is perfectly content with selling the county to the highest bidder.

Privatization can reduce the quality of service that residents get, for example: when the deal was struck to sell the nursing home in 2013, it had a four star rating from the federal government. Since the sale, according to The Batavia Daily News, in 2015 the former county nursing home was rated at two stars.

It’s time for the residents of our great county to have elected leaders that put the interest of the residents first.

Best regards,

James White
Gaines
Democrat-endorsed candidate for the County Legislature (At Large Central)