Nursing home will be sold, sparing county from big deficits in future

Posted 4 November 2013 at 12:00 am


In regards to the upcoming election, I can’t hold my silence any longer. Being the husband of Legislator Lynne Johnson, I have witnessed first hand the time and effort Lynne has dedicated to her job as legislator. I have also witnessed the long hours of countless meetings along with the many phone calls she receives day and night seven days a week.

What is most troubling to me is the published misconception or misunderstanding of the facts regarding the Nursing Home called “The Villages” that has caused her a lot of anguish. I am writing to set the record straight.

The Fund Balance or in other words the set aside cash reserves for “The Villages” is approximately $4 million. The expenditures to offset the loss of “The Villages” is approximately $2 million per year. The fund balance will be exhausted in two years.

The IGT (Inter-governmental transfer) of money from Albany that is used to supplement Medicare and Medicaid payments to “The Villages” will no longer be available in two years because the New York State government is cutting the program.

These two major sources of funding on the revenue side of the budget gives you the false impression that “The Villages” is breaking even or profitable. Nothing could be further from the truth. If “The Villages” had been retained by the county, in two years the deficit of over $2 million per year would have to be raised through the local taxpayers with the cash reserves depleted and the IGT non-existent. This would lead to a double-digit tax increase.

The other important misconception is that by electing a new Legislature body, you can stop the sale of “The Villages.” You can’t! The ownership of “The Villages” was contractually transferred to a separate entity called an LDC (Local Development Corporation).

Twice this transfer was argued in a court of law and both times the judge ruled the transfer was legal. The contract between the County and the LDC is to sell “The Villages” to the best bidder that would meet preset conditions of retaining the current staff and residents along with it being used as a learning center for the Albion Central School.

It is a binding contract and cannot be rescinded.€¨So, in closing, with regards to “The Villages,” it will be sold no matter who you elect and the people who are running for a seat on the Legislature that say “they will stop the sale” are either misinformed or, if they do know the facts, are purposely misleading you, the voting public.

As for me, I WIN either way. If Lynne is elected, the county will retain a very smart and dedicated legislator. If she loses, I get my wife back and she will make far more money in business with less hours spent away from home than she is making as your legislator.

Jeff Johnson