To the Readers' Forum:
Having followed the sell or not sell the County Home issue, I've come to a few reasons that haven't been discussed, at least in the media. It seems that the major reason being given is that seling it will save the taxpayers you and me money.
Having done a little research and reading between the lines, I've learned that there are a few other reasons why the County Home should be sold.
Recently, I asked County Executive Gregory Edwards how many counties in the state own rest/nursing homes. His reply was that an approximate number is that 10 years ago, 50 counties (I believe there are 62 in the state) had nursing homes. He said that many have been sold or closed; now approximately 34 have them and, of that 34, 16 are now for sale or under analysis for sale.
"I am aware of only (two) of the 16 that are not hemorrhaging tax dollars," he said, adding that one of the two is in Monroe County and is attached to that county's hospital, which makes it efficient and has direct transfers of patients.
Perhaps some history will give reason for county ownership. After moving to Mayville in 1971, one of the historic places talked about quite often was "remember the County Home out there in Dewittville?" From that I gathered that's how the current legislature became owner of the County Home.
Ask yourself now, "In this modern day and age, shouldn't the County Home be owned by people in the nursing/rest home business?" Another question you might ask, "What do county executives and legislators know about running a nursing home?"
Now, although this may have little to do with the subject of sell or keep, it should be noted that in addition to the county legislators serving on the ad hoc committee, eight members are County Home union members and only one is from the general public. In addition, Chautauqua County has three reliable hospitals and one just over the border in Cattaraugus County plus a number of privately owned rest homes for senior citizens and those in need of medical care.
Ask yourself, "Why would anyone be against selling the County Home to a corporation already in the business?" In addition, do you really believe that a new owner would fire everybody already employed by the County Home?
It's time to move in to the real world, the 21st Century, in which nursing homes are becoming more abundant every day and the needy are given proper care. It's also your chance to get government out of your life.
Ann E. Weidman