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Opinion

May 9, 2013

Board rushed to judgment on Manor sale

The Otsego Manor sale was transferred to a limited development corporation, based on the mysteriously expanding financial model of $5.6 million (according to Otsego County Dan Crowell), to $8 million, then $11 million (according to interim county treasurer Russell Bachman).

It appears that the reps never questioned these calculations, nor sought outside analysis.

These scare tactics forced a quick process ... yet another justification for a county manager. Four county contracts left un-negotiated, another tactic, allowed money to bleed out, justifying dumping the Otsego Manor.

Reps, though ill-equipped to understand the issues, did not seek further education or input, relying on suppositions as fact. No public dialogue was gathered, and “information” sessions were scheduled AFTER their decision had been made, disenfranchising taxpayers.

Had these things occurred in 2010, the Manor might still be in county hands. No cost analysis of forming the LDC, nor subsequent impending lawsuits, was sought. No analysis was done on the effects of cutting salaries and pensions to workers. Nor was any study of the emotional effects on the residents done, some of whom worried about this, carrying that burden to their graves.

Open government, or democracy? It has died in Otsego County, a painful death. Ironically, the reps voted to designate May “Older Americans’ Month,” and May 12 through May 18 “National Nursing Home Week.”

Maureen Culbert

East Springfield

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