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Local News

April 4, 2013

Board to weigh options for Manor sale


“It’s cleaner and faster,” she said. “The sooner we can get anxiety of the minds of residents (at the Manor), the better off we are.”

But she noted she could not predict whether the full Manor Committee will embrace the LDC option.

“I wouldn’t want to second-guess people,” she said.

Some board members said while they want to learn more about how the LDC would function, they’re reluctant to cede the authority to sell the Manor to such a corporation, even though the board would handpick its officers.

“I have great reservations,” said Rep. Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta. “It seems to me that doing that will hand off my responsibility to someone who will end up making a decision that we will have no control over.”

At the opening of Wednesday’s meeting, John Imperato, president of the county chapter of the Civil Service Employees Association, told board members they’ve failed to respond to the union’s willingness to accept concessions.

“It seems the added bonus for the county is that CSEA looks like the bad guys who made it necessary to sell the nursing home when no progress was made,” even after the union signaled it was open to contract givebacks, Imperato said.

Later, Rep. James Powers, R-Butternuts, the chairman of the board’s Negotiations Committee, said opening contract talks with the union now would potentially create a bigger budget gap for the county.

“You could break the backs of Otsego County taxpayers,” he said. “I’m not going to do it.”

A grassroots group of Manor privatization opponents, called Save the Otsego Manor, has argued the county should find other ways to keep the facility in public hands, and warned the level of care will decline once a private business takes over.

The Manor Committee will hold the third of three informational meetings on the plan to sell the Manor at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the science wing of Oneonta High School.

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