Divide continues over County Home

It looks like we are again faced with a fourth vote to sell the County Home.

Apparently, if you can’t get the votes you need to force a sale, you just keep pushing until you get your way.

Looking at our county, it is clear to anyone that there is a wide division between North and South. The sheer numbers of residents and the huge difference of issues facing each area makes it apparent that we are ripe for politicians who stretch the truth and exaggerate the details of keeping the Home under county control.

Jamestown is blessed with several great options when one is faced with the need for care. The Lutheran organization has many options for anyone who requires care, whether assisted living, independent living or skilled nursing services. There also is Heritage Village and the same options for care as well as the Tanglewood organization.

All of these options are excellent facilities and offer superior care to those in need. It’s pretty clear why many in the South County do not appreciate why there is such controversy regarding the County Home.

But for those in the North county who have always taken great pride in the County Home, we are trying hard to keep the home open to anyone needing care. Over the years, it went from the “poor house” to what it is now. It is run by a dedicated staff who over the years became attached to the residents and each other and took great pride in their job performance – a family with many family members becoming employees also as time passed.

Whether private pay, insured or Medicaid patients it never mattered. Everyone who needed care was given it, sometime for short periods, some times for years of time.

But now that the Home is not making the county a profit, as it did for many years, it’s time to sell it. Never mind that a study identified ways to save money, ways that former County Executive Greg Edwards refused to allow the home to implement. A gas well never tapped, and again we are faced with another vote to rid the county of the Home.

Never mind that in truth the taxpayers would only pay minimal amount of their tax money to keep the Home under county ownership. Never mind that the federal government reduced the reimbursement rates to all nursing homes and hospitals, which has led to huge problems for all. Never mind that half the county is pleading with the legislation to acknowledge and respect our desires. It will be a “plum in the hat” for those who have their way and approve the sale of what has always been our shining star in the North.

The division is clear for chairman of the Legislature Jay Gould, R-Ashville as his comments in the OBSERVER (Jan. 30) noted about VestraCare: “I think they would do fine up there (in Dunkirk).”

Thanks Mr. Gould for all your concern for us “up here.” I appreciate your concern for the elder taxpayers who for years paid their taxes and worked to ensure that those who needed care received it.

Bravo to you all. Maybe with all your savings you can subsidize more of the airport restaurant, spend more to fight the weed problems in Chautauqua Lake and boost sales of Bemus Point condos while we in the “North” county wait to see our taxes decline as you promised.

Yeah, I believe my taxes really will go down as much as I believe any private organization can provide the same level of care and the same pride in ownership as our county employees have for years!

Susan Swanson is a Fredonia resident.