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Legislator Eick says Kent’s nursing home claims are ‘ridiculous’

Posted 17 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Editor:

It intrigues me how Gary Kent and company know what is best for The Villages of Orleans when they are not involved with the operations of the facility.

As a member of the Health Committee of the Legislature, two legislators, the chairman and the chief administrative officer meet with the nursing home administrator on a monthly basis. During these meetings we discuss the daily operations, income and expenses, status of admissions and employee issues are reviewed and discussed. We are deeply involved in the operations of the county nursing home.

It’s very clear that Gary Kent continues to use ridiculous, over-the-top statements to argue against the decision made last February to move forward with the LDC process. He claims to know what we are going to need to spend on virtually everything, yet he hasn’t been involved with actual operations of the nursing home in years.

He complains about marketing. The Villages is very near full. Even if it were full, we’d still be bleeding money.

He complains that we haven’t looked closely at other services, yet he is the first to angrily object when we do. We have eliminated other programs and as tough as it is we have eliminated 40 full-time jobs since 2010. The Orleans County government has the third-lowest taxes per capita in New York State (according to seethroughny.net).

He advocates for bringing convicted felons in to mingle with our senior citizens and Albion Central School students in order to get some free labor, putting everyone at risk, then conveniently forgets the HVAC quote for modernizing the old portions of the building was close to $700,000 alone. I am certain that he also fails to consider that any asbestos issues can’t be addressed by the prison work crew.

He makes statements that lead me to believe that he would have us cut Public Safety resources. Does anyone think we are without a crime problem in this county?

The statement I read about the Legislature not doing studies on The Villages is ridiculous. The studies that we have done he claims are invalid and he complains about the use of consultants. He calls for CGR (a consultant) to do a study and literally the next day they publish results of the statewide study on the plight of counties in the nursing home business. He then goes on to tell everyone why that study is no good.

He frequently refers to Genesee County’s CGR study results that they paid tens of thousands of dollars to get, and quotes that Genesee was told not to sell their home. Interestingly, Genesee is looking at sale options as I write this. Why are they looking at selling after they had the magical study done? Why? Because this model of service delivery doesn’t work anymore and their study, if you read the whole thing, doesn’t say what Gary Kent says it does. How many more studies need to be done? How much money must we spend to satisfy Mr. Kent? Personally, I don’t think we could ever spend enough.

The problem is that Mr. Kent doesn’t care how much taxes go up when it comes to the nursing home. How do I know? I know because he said so, on the floor of the Legislature. It’s in the minutes.

I guarantee that I will sign this and send it out to various media outlets and there will be a loud response that attempts to drown out my voice. Why? Because the reality is that Gary doesn’t want to hear any facts or opinion other than his own. He doesn’t want you to hear the facts either.

William H. Eick
Shelby
Orleans County Legislator District 1