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County Home Questions
September 29, 2011 - Dunkirk OBSERVER
Posted by Nicholas L. Dean
Local CSEA President Rose Conti addressed the County Legislature last night.
Her comments were a list of questions which she posed to the county officials, questions which she has asked be answered.
She did not speak about the proposed employee cuts in the tentative 2012 budget, but instead asked about issues related to the County Home.
"When you're making your decisions that have such a broad impact on my members and the residents of this county and the residents of the County Home," Conti said, "I just ask that you think about these questions and if you can, provide the answers for them:"
Her questions were as follows:
1) What is your rush to sell (the County Home)?
2) When there was money taken from the County Home and placed in the general fund years ago, what happened to it? Where is that money and why can't we get that back?
3) Has anyone here considered contacting the Center for Governmental Research and asking them to do a study?
4) Before we decide to sell, shouldn't we have an unbiased opinion of the long-range impact of such a drastic move?
5) Why weren't the residents of the County Home informed before newspapers and before a marketing group of were informed (of privatization efforts)?
6) Has anyone considered doing an economic impact study on what this is going to do to the county?
7) I'd like to know what will happen to the businesses in the north end of the county if we replace family-sustaining jobs with low income jobs. Will the work force become users of the social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and HEAP? Programs that earlier this evening you were talking about how they hurt us?
8) Why hasn't the gas well that has been drilled (at the County Home) been connected to the County Home? Isn't that why we drilled it in the first place?
9) What will happen to the residents that need a higher level of care when there's no longer a county nursing home? Will their families have to travel hours to visit them?
10) How can you tell them that it will be alright when you have no control after you've sold their home to the highest bidder?
And finally, if after working hard all your life and giving up everything you have, someone came to your home tomorrow and told you that they were selling it out from under you, I would like to know how you would feel.
Additionally, Conti said:
"Back in 1986 was the first time that we talked about selling the County Home out from underneath the residents that live there and we're still talking about doing that to them. I think we have to take a look at the history of why we decided that was a bad idea and why we are responsible to these people who have given their whole lives to this county.
We find money for the things we want, I think we have time to take a look and see what we can do about saving what one person calls the jewel of Chautauqua County."
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