The Otsego County Board of Representatives ignored requests for transparency regarding a sale of the Manor. It could issue press releases, but has chosen not to do so, marginalizing our participation in this decision. Its paternalistic governance is unacceptable.
The Jan. 11 decision to retain a consultant should be closely scrutinized. In November, Bob Compani of Gloversville spoke to the county board about the negative effects of privatization at the nursing home there. Experiences elsewhere support this: “The rise of for-profit nursing homes is proving tragic for some of the nation’s most vulnerable people, resulting in a spike in waste, fraud and abuse charges brought by federal authorities, according to a new report.” (Huffington Post 12/31/12).
Unlike Albany, which is “multimillions” (Times Union 1/1/13) behind, we are not as far in the “hole” that other options cannot be discussed, such as an Assisted Living wing. But it appears that the reps have longstanding personal agendas set. Their lack of research and flexibility, and an unwillingness to value the will of the more than 1,500 county residents who signed our petition, make the decision all the more infuriating.
Cuts to personnel, programs and equipment will directly affect care when profit is a motive. With this fragile population, health can turn on a dime and cuts and shortcuts will mean life-or-death consequences. What about our tax investment in the building, on which we still will owe a bond of $1.1 million, plus legacy costs totaling about $3 million? What about accessibility to the Manor for Otsego County residents? Remember the “room” you had “picked out”? What choices will we have for our declining years?
The county reps owe you full disclosure. They need to be held accountable.