LETTER: Let voters decide on nursing home

Editor, The Spotlight;

One of the most disheartening features of being a legislator in Albany County is the current philosophy of legislative Democrats. Those in leadership believe they should decide all issues without opposition. Many feel they are much smarter than the public that elected them. They actually believe that being elected to office gives them free rein to promote their personal beliefs and to strive for political power.

For example, the nursing home problem has turned into an internal war among Democrats. As the battle rages and political egos clash, county taxpayers shell out millions of their hard earned dollars to keep the facility running. During this “civil war” the nursing home continues to deteriorate, maintenance costs continue to rise, and the homes’ residents are being held in limbo.

In 2010, I had introduced a legislative resolution calling for a public referendum on this matter. The resolution was voted down on the floor of the legislature with all Republicans present and four Democrats voting in support of the referendum. Three Democrats abstained, and the remaining 24 voted to keep the power in their own hands and out of the hands of their constituents.

In my opinion, this is unconscionable. As a result, I will again be introducing a resolution to let the residents of Albany County decide on this important matter. I will be asking for a public vote on the nursing home’s future, allowing residents to choose whether the ownership of assets and provision of services should be transferred from the public sector to the private sector, while reserving needed beds and services for Albany County residents, including the indigent.

The voters, not the politicians should decide this issue, as the politicians have made it very clear they are incapable of doing so.

Christine Benedict, Deputy Minority Leader


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