Medina Journal-Register — Legislature failed to look before it leapt
As a proud citizen of Orleans County, I must respond to Legislator Eick’s “Reader View” published Sept. 25 in the Journal-Register.
The problem with the legislators’ decision on The Villages is that it was made without a thorough investigation of what they were doing. Had they waited for the August report on New York State’s public nursing homes, conducted by the Center for Governmental Research, they would have realized that Orleans County is one of the last places that should be selling its nursing home.
The three conditions that are cited in the report as reasons not to sell are all present in Orleans. We have a rapidly growing senior population (fifth-highest rate of increase out of the 33 counties that have public nursing homes), a high proportion of “hard to place” people such as Medicaid eligibles and Alzheimer’s sufferers, and few other long-term care options other than The Villages of Orleans.
On top of that, the legislators ignored public sentiment expressed at the public hearing. They seem to think they can do whatever they like, keep people in the dark and possibly even distort the truth. Their attitude in 2008, toward the sales tax on home heating fuel, was indicative of how out-of-touch they are with the generally decent people who live around here.
These same legislators are quick to fault food stamp recipients, but think nothing of taking from their elders all the freedom and security won for them by their parents and grandparents. Mr. Eick and the other legislators think the county really cannot afford to do right by people who have always been there for us. Our senior citizens have paid their taxes, secured our freedom, fought our fires and otherwise sacrificed to help build the county into what it is today.
The comments Mr. Eick has made about CGR may not tell the true story. The cost of a county-specific CGR study is worth it, considering the expert information that could be reaped. Did the Orleans County Legislature ever investigate what a study would cost? To my knowledge, the answer is no. What the legislators are doing is like me trying to repair an automatic transmission without having a shop manual on transmissions.
Are these public servants afraid the CGR would reveal true facts and show that our county nursing home, The Villages of Orleans, should not be sold?