I have been following with interest the debate about the Manor. It is my understanding that there were three goals. The first was to pay off the debt incurred to build the Manor. The second was to divest the county of any further financial obligations. The third was to choose a buyer that will provide quality health care to our seniors.
Both of the finalists accomplish the first two goals. Only VestraCare has a proven track record to meet the third goal. Why would the county choose a company that has the lowest possible rating? Regardless of what Focus Ventures “inherited,” it has not improved in three years. VestraCare, on the other hand, has consistently maintained the highest ratings at two different facilities.
In addition, nothing has been said about the fact that the chief operating officer of VestraCare lives in Otsego County, has raised a family here, and clearly has a stake in our community.
Yes, there is a $3.5 million difference between the two proposals. How much quality are we willing to sacrifice for a one-time infusion of cash? The Manor will be around long after the county spends $3.5 million. It’s this sort of short-term thinking that has put our upstate communities into the precarious positions they are in.
I also find it odd that Focus “anticipates establishing a long-term relationship with Bassett.” Shouldn’t it have thought of that before submitting its proposal? Bassett is a first-class health care company and it says something to me that it chose to partner with VestraCare.
I ask the decision-makers to not sell out on our seniors. People who have worked, paid taxes, raised families and supported our community for years deserve dignity and quality care.
Danilyn “Kiki” Foreman