A plea to Essex County Supervisors

Guest Viewpoint

Is our generation and its politicians going to be known as the generation who disregarded the needs of our elderly for end of life nursing home care, our children for education and our military veterans for the services many so desperately need after they have put their lives on the line for our freedom both personal and political? You know that studies have been done as directed by you yourselves and suggestions made as a result of those studies on how to save money at Horace Nye, and I don't mean by feeding the residents prison prepared food. Ask yourself, why did none of you follow up on those suggestions? Why can you only see one solution, one that never can be reversed.

If you all vote to sell the Nursing home can we expect that the county salaries of every Essex County Supervisor and the County Manager will decrease by the proportion of the no longer present Horace Nye Budget since it will no longer be a concern to you or part of your responsibility that you get paid for overseeing? Who among you will stand and make a motion to reduce those salaries I mention if you obliterate our County Nursing Home out of existence? Who will second the motion and who will vote yes to decrease those salaries?

Before you vote, each one of you should take your responsibility very seriously and research every facility owned by those offering to buy. Some of you have never even set foot in Horace Nye and talked with the staff or residents or made contact with their families. You should go and talk with staff, residents and family of HNH and of the nursing homes owned by the groups offering to buy HNH. Only then can you make an informed decision of what you are getting Essex County into with your vote. Without that research, you are taking the easy way out, and it can never be reversed. That is the scary part. Will you be one of the Supervisors who take the easy way out, or will you be able to stand and say with your vote, "I vote yea or nay and I did go to the following facilities and talked to this many people (residents, family members and staff) and I am basing my decision on my conclusions drawn from those visits and not some of your conclusions that this sale is in the best interest of Essex County. Will you see some of the votes to sell for what they are, from Supervisors who don't care about the rest of the county because they have a nursing home in their own town or in close proximity? Some of you are new to the political scene all together. Do you want your first term to be known as a term that ignored the needs of elderly, Medicaid-eligible, Senior Citizens? You do realize that a sale of Horace Nye is not going to get rid of many of the expenses that you all are lamenting such as the benefit costs of HNH retirees, unemployment costs, disability costs, and all those Medicaid eligible folks who have yet to come into the system and will need beds and won't find them here in Essex County because private nursing homes support just so many Medicaid-eligible admitted.

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