Is sale of Home the beginning?

Editor, OBSERVER:

The $16 million deal approved last week by our legislators has impoverished our county and stripped us of an institution, which stood by its origins as a symbol of bipartisanship and commitment to the needs of the most vulnerable in our community.

Very little mention has yet been made of how this money will be spent. My understanding is that after satisfying the loan balance from the renovation costs and paying some of the legacy and closing costs, less than $2 million will remain.

These funds will likely become discretionary funds under the control of the county executive. In the end, we, the taxpayers and owners of the Home, will have nothing to show in place of our cherished County Home, built and maintained at a cost of more than three times the selling price. I am baffled by the decision made by our representatives and the great rush to sell the Home at any cost.

This leaves me with two questions: First, what drove this two-year effort to market and sell the Home in the absence of an independent appraisal and the lack of commitment to improve the operation of the facility, given the detailed blueprint for achieving a more efficient and sustainable operation provided by the Center for Governmental Research?

Second, knowing how small an amount would be netted after the sale, why did the legislators continued to mislead the public into thinking that selling the Home was the only viable option?

What’s next? What will be the next county resource to be put up for sale? Is this the beginning of privatization in our county? If so, will it be in our best interest?

GUILIO MANNINO,

Fredonia