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Opinion

April 5, 2013

Board should have asked the public

I am a concerned citizen of Otsego County. I am writing due to my concern about the planned sale of Otsego Manor in Cooperstown.

I am very distressed about the plan of the County Board of Representatives to sell the Manor without input from the residents of Otsego County. Initially, the board went into executive session and made the decision to sell without placing the plan on the agenda so that concerned citizens could voice their thoughts — be they negative or positive.

The board states that the county cannot afford to subsidize the Manor any longer. But it is able to hire a consultant for advice. I feel that the consultant would help investigate options to preserve the Manor.

I am also interested in the status of the funds from Medicare and Medicaid. Have we been reimbursed for any of these funds or is the government stockpiling the monies? If we have been reimbursed, that is fine. I am sure that the reimbursement would go a long way to subsidizing the facility.

We do not want to go the way of the Delaware County Nursing Home/Countryside, which was forced to close after privatization because the entity that bought the facility didn’t pay the vendors who supplied the needed supplies. Our residents in the Manor deserve better than that.

I also feel that the public should be able to vote on a referendum that allows them to say yes or no to the proposal prior to any final determination.

The county board should consider raising the sales and property taxes to help offset the subsidy. As people say here in the county, we subsidize our garbage, why not our elderly and those in need of care that they cannot receive in the community?

Elizabeth Sellars

Cooperstown

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