News

County Home Should be Sold
Date:  12/16/2012
ArticleType:  Chamber News

Chautauqua County's largest employee union is making an attempt to negotiate a deal with County Government that would keep the County Home operated as a taxpayer subsidized entity.  No matter what the union puts on the table it does not change the fact that the home will need to continue to be subsidized by the tax payer. Regardless of the contents of the Civil Service Employees Association proposal, this does not change the fact that the home would continue to operate with its ‘arms tied behind its back’. There are a variety of restrictions placed on County-run nursing homes by the New York State Department of Health. For example County homes are prohibited from offering assisted living and independent living care. These care options are more profitable than skilled nursing. There are examples right here in Chautauqua County where privately owned operations have blended skilled nursing care with a mix of assisted living and independent living options and have been profitable. These facilities continue to serve Medicaid clients while growing their campuses and creating new job opportunities. The state of New York will not allow county governments to diversify their services like these private operators.

     In addition, the Legislature already approved a measure which called for the County Executive to continue negotiating with a potential buyer for the County Home.  If lawmakers truly don’t intend to sell the facility, then that is a needless waste of taxpayer dollars and requires the County Executive to do a lot of work for nothing. 

The Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturers Association are squarely in favor of honest change in local governments that will help to reduce taxes and improve the business climate and quality of life here in Chautauqua County.  Real, substantive change is necessary, and the sale of the County Home is one step in the right direction. 

We are asking County residents to continue contacting their County legislators about this issue.  The next vote on the County Home should be a vote to sell it. Call or email your County Legislator on this issue.

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