$16 million is not enough for Home

By ELIZABETH M. PHILLIPS

I am a nurse manager and a 20-year employee at Chautauqua County Home.

I listened to the informational meeting online earlier this month. My concerns about this sale of the Home is that it’s all political. What taxes will be saved? The bottom line after expenses, if sold for $16 million, is a little more than $1 million. How much taxes will we save?

I do know that cutting our benefits and adjusting to a different health insurance could save millions. Our hands are tied with us being a union.

Not saying anything bad about our union. I think that they have a bit of one-track mind in these situations. A separate bargaining unit would help. I know another county facility that stayed a county facility by taking a separate bargaining unit.

I do not think $16 million is enough for our home. We have a very nice, fully functional nursing home. With acres of land. Oh and don’t forget the gas well. We are giving it away without even an assessed value.

I don’t thinks we should sell. Focus on our union decreasing our benefits during negotiations, giving us time to implement the recommendations from the CGR report.

The care is excellent at our Home. I do not think it will be less if sold. But one thing you will never have is the continuity of care.

You will not have employees with 10, 20 and 30 years of service. You will have people playing the game they do in the private sector now. Work a few months and then quit and go to another home.

They have nothing to keep them there. Then there are shortages in nursing staff because of this. So who suffers from this? Our residents. Talk to anyone from a private nursing home and see if they know the name of their unit manager, medical nurse or nursing assistant. No, they get a new face too frequently. They have someone that does not know their routine. They have someone rushing to give them care to get the job done.

Please vote no sale. Give us a chance.

What makes you think this company will expand? And if they do expand, exactly where do the clients come from? Lake Shore nursing home is empty. The hospital is bankrupt and working on grant money. Westfield hospital is only an ER. Brooks just barely functions.

How will they make a profit?

It has been a long two years. The sale has been voted down three times, despite our last county executive pushing for a sale. Now we have to leave this in your hands. We have only 19 legislators. I wish this could be put up to a taxpayer vote.

If the Home sells, I see a change in our county economy – and not for the better.

Elizabeth M. Phillips is a Portland resident.