‘Concerned Citizens’ already own nursing home and want to keep it that way

Posted 22 November 2013 at 12:00 am

To the Editor:

With all due respect to Mr. Paul J. Blajszczak, the Citizens of Orleans County already own the Nursing Home, as we have for the past 183 years.

It was first formed as a service to The People in 1830 as a “County charge” (a legal way to say a county responsibility) and has continued as such for the past 183 years. It was never intended to be “a business.”

It was a guarantee that in the later stages of life, or when a citizen needed care, it would be there for them. This enduring public and sacred commitment to the people was reaffirmed in 1960 during the dedication of the “new infirmary” on Route 31 in the Town of Albion – the building the current County Legislature is trying to sell off to a private bidder.

During the dedication on that Sunday afternoon of August 28, 1960 the County Board of Supervisors (County Legislature) said: “We take pride in dedicating this new County Home and Infirmary to the people of this County, and especially to those who, through no fault of their own, may find it necessary to avail themselves of its services.”

How far we have come in 53 years. Unfortunately, we seem to stand ready as a county in allowing a private profit-oriented company to dictate to our citizens who will be able to be cared for there and who will have to go elsewhere. This is not a scare tactic but the truth.

Obviously the original intent of the creation of the infirmary was to keep it a publicly owned institution of quality care for all the people regardless of ability to pay. Thus it has remained for several lifetimes. We need to keep it that way.

Once it goes private, what do you have for yourself or your loved one? Of course you could go elsewhere, maybe Buffalo, Albany, who knows? They will not have to accept who they don’t want.

Call your legislator and tell them to stop trying to privatize the nursing home. If you don’t know who that is, call the clerk’s office at 589-7053.

Thank you.

Al Capurso