MAYVILLE - Members of the public are being encouraged to attend an ad hoc committee meeting next week regarding a financial viability report on the Chautauqua County Home.
County Executive Greg Edwards is leading the parade.
Edwards on Friday released a Monday Morning Memo spurring the public to attend the session, which is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.
"To ensure the future of the Chautauqua County Home and that it remains open for all of us, I urge you to get the facts, look at the long-term picture, and voice your opinion in favor of the sale or lease of the County Home to a private entity," he said.
The ad hoc committee, chaired by legislator John Runkle, R-Stockton, is expected to deliver cost-cutting measures of the home to the full legislature later this month.
"Everyone should have read the report by now," Runkle said recently. "And everyone should be informed."
Edwards, however, criticized the 22-member ad hoc committee. Membership includes seven legislators; the legislature's financial analyst and attorney; and 11 County Home union employees.
"More than half of the members of the ad hoc committee are union employees," the county executive said. "Four of the seven legislators on the committee have stated they are opposed to a sale.
"If you would like your voice to be heard about selling the County Home, an option that is not supported by union members, please attend the ad hoc meeting next week."
Runkle said he encourages as many people to attend the meeting. He added that it would be premature to come to a conclusion without discussing possible ways to trim operating costs at the Dunkirk skilled nursing facility.
"I just want to get all the cards on the table," Runkle said. "While it's true a lot of the committee includes County Home workers, it's them that will have to agree to the concessions."
Edwards said even with union cutbacks, the county will be forced to front money on an annual basis.
"Taxpayers cannot afford to keep pumping millions of dollars into the County Home to keep it afloat," he said. "We need to sell or lease the County Home and taxpayers need to have their voices heard."