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Angry citizens once again protest privatizing Maplewood

Huge losses makes sale of nursing home likely

Angry citizens crowded picketed before the Saratoga County Supervisors public hearing Wednesday, Jan. 9, voicing their objections to the supervisors’ plan to privatize the Maplewood Manor nursing home.

Angry citizens crowded picketed before the Saratoga County Supervisors public hearing Wednesday, Jan. 9, voicing their objections to the supervisors’ plan to privatize the Maplewood Manor nursing home. Photo by Marci Revette.

Barrett said it is an epidemic across the state.

“It is a system that, at the core, is irrational and broken,” he said. “Supervisors all over the state are facing the same issue with getting timely Medicaid reimbursements. … I hope when we go through the process that we learn from the mistakes of others and make good, sound fiscal decisions and at the same time protect the nursing home residents.”

Barrett said the current plan if an LDC is formed is for the county to maintain ownership for at least a year, with the nursing home employees continuing to have bargaining powers during that time.

“It is a very difficult situation,” he said.

Ballston Supervisor Patti Southworth disagreed with the need to privatize the facility and said she will be voting no at the Tuesday, Jan. 15, vote.

“It always comes down to numbers,” she said. “We need to find a way to follow our moral compass and find ways to reduce the costs of running the nursing home. … I think we are fooling ourselves if we form this LDC. We have to be realistic, but this is more than money, this is right versus wrong. It is part of our commitment to be good citizens.”

Southworth said a possible solution would be to put a vote to residents in the county and have them tell the supervisors if they want them to raise taxes to allow the facility to continue to be county-owned.

Tyler is trying to get a permissive referendum together, and she needs between 9,000 and 12,000 signatures. At that point it would go before the board, which could still refuse to put it to a public vote.

Tyler has 45 days from the Jan. 15 vote date, but she said she believes she can get that many signatures.

“They are telling us it is possible,” she said.

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