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Legislator says nursing home isn’t closing, and it’s wrong to use elderly as political pawn

Posted 1 November 2013 at 12:00 am

Editor:

The Nursing Home is NOT closing, nor was it ever closing. To save the Nursing Home from closing and not bankrupting the county taxpayers, it is being sold. The residents will still be there, the employees will still have jobs and the services will be available for future residents.

Since all attempts to increase revenues, including having Public Health and Board of Elections located in the building and paying rent, were unsuccessful and losses continue to grow, the only option left to save this facility is to sell it to a private sector firm that is in the nursing home business.

Considering that 94 percent of the facilities in the state are privately run, this is the right thing to do, using the elderly as a political pawn is the wrong thing to do. Government should not be involved in health care at any level, the private sector does everything better than government can ever do it.

To address the financial issues facing our county, the Legislature has cut departmental expenses to the bare bones without effecting services.  We have reduced the county workforce by consolidating job functions when someone retires, consolidating departments to reduce the number of management and sharing services with surrounding counties to keep programs available for our county.

The Legislature works closely with the EDA on attracting and retaining businesses. I am the legislator assigned to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to keep communications open so that business concerns can be addressed and to insure that all are working together to promote our county.

Tourism is a $20 million dollar industry for our county. The fishing in Oak Orchard is one of the top spots in the country, with people from as far away as Europe coming here to fish. When this fishing spot was in jeopardy of closing, the legislature negotiated a deal to keep it open.

The current issue facing tourism and recreation is the dredging of the harbor. There are spots where the water is only three feet deep due to sediment build up. Funding has been secured to have the harbor dredged and help keep tourism alive in our county. We are voicing our concerns over the new lake water level recommendations to the state and federal authorities.

We are also working to cleanup “brownfield properties,” to get them back into the private sector and back into productive use.

Orleans County and Genesee County share our director of Public Health. We are spearheading this shared service in the state. Our Department of Health is one of 18 health departments in the country and the only one in the NYS to receive federal money to access the success of this shared service.

To address the ever-increasing cost of Social Services, the Legislature is working with the DA’s office and law enforcement in fighting fraud. Last year DSS stopped the payout of $1.7 million and recouped $88,000 from fraud violators.

The Legislature has hired another part-time fraud investigator to further this effort.  We know there are those who need assistance and they should receive it but those trying to cheat the taxpayers out of money should be denied and prosecuted.

I support and work with SPOC in their efforts to stop the reopening and expansion of the landfill in the Town of Albion. I have met with Gov. Cuomo’s office, Sen. Schumer’s office, Sen. Gillibrand’s office, Sen. Maziarz, Assemblyman Hawley, local DEC and State DEC officials and experts from around the country regarding leachate and orphan landfills.  This landfill should not reopen. The only ones who will benefit are those that own the landfill. The rest of us pay the price.

Thank you. It is an honor to be your public servant in this great county.

Donald Allport
Legislator At-Large
Gaines