Resident questions why county spending $7 million-plus on addition to administrative building

Posted 18 April 2018 at 4:37 pm


Will a new Orleans County administration building provide improved service to the taxpayers?  Would the plus, or minus, seven million dollars—regardless of how funded—be tax dollars well spent? Will anything the current 4-3 Republican majority decides to do serve the actual best interests of the residents of Orleans County?

In 2011, we supposedly could no longer afford to care for elderly residents in a county nursing home we had spent several millions renovating during my initial term, but we can spend millions on new “digs” for the current political crowd/“administration.” It is extremely doubtful that having improved graphics, new sidewalks, newer desks and the latest technology will help us make better—even courageous—decisions.

Any chance solar panels will cover the new facility’s roof? Who knows, emboldened by posh office space, maybe our sitting legislators will take a stand on some matters with serious implications for the future of Orleans County’s assets. Unfortunately, more comfortable chairs won’t help our representatives understand what an “asset” is. By the way, assets include not only Four Star federally-rated nursing homes but histories, hospitals, varied wildlife habitats, and visiting nurse certifications.

With the cover provided by a “Stormy” in Washington and a “Percocolation” in Albany, the burning-need-for-a-new-administration-complex-fiasco can be pulled off with only Lauricella, Lofthouse, Longer, yours truly, and a handful of others noticing. (What do those conservatives know anyway?) Most people here long ago threw up their hands in hopeless resignation that anything the 4-3 legislative majority does will actually be beneficial to the vast majority of us regular folks.

When The Villages County Nursing home just had to be sold, at least five relatives of then—and some even now—sitting legislators professed opposition and even revulsion. The 2019 county elections are a long way off, but wouldn’t payback for the current anticipated utter waste of taxpayer dollars—and another arguably bonehead play just announced—be awful? One former chairperson has to be getting restless.

One consequence of a certain flipped seat might be a change in county leadership. In fact, as things stand right now, flipping that one seat would guarantee it.

Yours so truly,

Gary Kent