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Caring for Orleans citizens has to be put before all else

It’s been almost five months since the Orleans County Legislature voted to create a local development corporation for The Villages of Orleans, and the Concerned Citizens of Orleans County came together to begin fighting against that sale.

Caring for the people of Orleans County has to come first. The taxes we pay to keep The Villages as a safety net of care are minimal, especially when compared to the amount we pay for garbage service. In many cases, residents pay double, triple or more for garbage.

Another important fact is that even if The Villages is sold, the county still has an obligation to pay Medicaid costs for Orleans residents. That means that our taxes may not go down without The Villages, but the level of care for elderly and infirm in our county certainly would.

We have a great public nursing home in Orleans County, staffed by stupendous employees who provide high quality and loving care. Many of them don’t make a lot of money. In fact, the majority of the workers are part-time employees who don’t get many or any benefits and they don’t have high pay.

This isn’t a political issue. This is a quality of life issue. I have confidence that our political leaders are beginning to listen to us and that they will find a solution that doesn’t promote selling the nursing home. That is all I have asked of them. After all, our roots in this community are in agriculture, and I think I can compare our “people” to the farmers and fighters of our predecessors. Farmers never say never. They are always trying to find a solution to every problem that greets their day. So let’s think like a farmer, folks. Support the effort to save our great public nursing home.

Cindy Troy

CSEA Orleans County

Unit President