Elizabethtown A packed Old Courthouse at the Essex County Government Center watched as the supervisors gave their opinions.
There were some rounds of applause, some mumbling from the back rows, and the occasional loud moan as the 18 supervisors discussed the resolution that would allow the county to enter into an agreement with Marcus and Millichap to seek the potential sale or lease of the Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown.
When the talking was over, the supervisors voted 2,065 (72.6 percent) to 778 in favor of the motion, easily earning the two-thirds weighted vote needed for the resolution to carry.
Many supervisors who supported the resolution said that in the current financial climate, every possible cost-saving opportunity had to be looked at.
“I am not in favor of selling the home, but I am in favor of this resolution,” Keene Supervisor William “Bill” Ferebee said. “It only says that we are going to test the waters, and we have to test the waters.”
“I think the key words in the resolution are ‘acceptable to the board of supervisors,’” Newcomb Supervisor George Canon said.
“The question is not do we stay open or closed, the question is do we look at all of our options,” Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery-Corey said.
Some supervisors tried to explain that their votes were not a matter of personal interest, but the interest of the county and the taxpayers.
“There is a lot of anger that is already being focused on this board because of this, but the county did not ask for the 2 percent cap,” Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston said. “This is the first of a lot of very difficult, tough decisions. We didn’t create this, but we are going to have to be the ones that have to live with it. Sadly, everything is on the table. I wish people would not take this personally, but they are going to.”