As Legislator Fred Larson, D-Jamestown, so aptly put it in his statement Thursday, elections do indeed have consequences.
There has been so much debate over the past couple of years about how much money the Chautauqua County Home is losing, the impact privatizing the home would have on its employees and the county's obligation to the elderly that the issue had become redundant and tiresome. It took voters to make the issue clear for legislators by sending a clear message in November's election that a county-owned nursing home was not something on which the county should be spending its limited dollars. Several longtime public servants lost their seat on the Chautauqua County Legislature because many voters had become tired of saying, quite clearly, that the county is overtaxed and needs to divest itself of non-essential operations to save money only to see less than clear reasoning from their legislators when legislators voted to keep things like the Chautauqua County Home.
Give credit to Larson, a surprise swing vote on the sale when Jay Gould, R-Ashville and legislature chairman, was unable to attend Wednesday's meeting. Larson's statement, published in its entirety in Thursday's edition of The Post-Journal, clearly explains the reasons for his decision by answering concerns over issues like treatment of the home's employees, how much VestraCare was offering, the failed prior attempts to sell and the vague notion of the county's obligation to help senior citizens and framing those arguments against the backdrop set by the November election.
Voters, your will won out. That is the power of your vote. Don't forget it.