July 9, 2007

The news that New York State Health Department will not force Niagara County to build an assisted living facility is good news to the taxpayers of this county. The ruling clears the way for the county to divest itself of the Mount View nursing home, and get out of the nursing home business altogether.

Dumping millions of dollars into an antiquated facility that would require millions more in taxpayer monies to update was never a good idea. I am a firm believer that the public sector should never compete with the private sector. If there are businesses out there that can do the job more effectively and efficiently than the public sector, which is almost always the case, the private sector should prevail.

This position has nothing to do with the employees or the care at the facility. Besides the rampant sex parties that are alleged to have occurred quite frequently, I have heard primarily good things about the care to patients.

What does boggle my mind is the position of the Minority Caucus. Dennis Virtuoso, the current Minority Leader, has been extremely vocal about Mount View. Every time I watch legislature meetings or LCTV or read the papers, there is Dennis crying like a little girl about Mount View.

What Dennis doesn't acknowledge is that in 2003, while he was in the Majority, the Legislature was given multiple presentations by then Administrator Ed Marchi about renovating Mount View. That's right, the ball was absolutely in Dennis's court when it came to determining the future of Mount View.

What did he do? Absolutely nothing. His failure to act in 2003, when he was in a position to invest millions into Mount View has put Mount View in the position it's in now. Not the Berger Commission, not Greg Lewis, but Dennis Virtuoso.

I do wish the employees good luck in their respective futures. No one deserves to have this game played with their livelihoods. I am confident that the patients will be fine, there are many facilities within 50 miles that can accommodate them. And Edwina Luscksh, well Edwina must be the happiest person in Niagara County with the news that Niagara County can now proceed with the closure of Mount View.

After all, it's Edwina who attends every Legislature meeting, calls LCTV, calls WLVL every opportunity she gets to say that Niagara County has way too many employees. Congratulations, Edwina, you just got your wish with the prospective layoffs of 200 county employees.


William Wallace said...

Leave it to the private industry to do things like run health care facilities. It's insane to think that running a health care facility is part of the government's domain.

FREEDOM: Freedom is the ability to do as one pleases. The government is here to ensure freedom for all its citizens. The moment the government gets involved in health care facilities, or even a national health care system, freedom is lost for the people.

Here's a perfect example: If the US creates a national health care system because 'everyone needs and deserves health insurance coverage and SOOO many people are without it, a true travesty', then freedom is instantly lost for everyone who does not want to be part of the system. People who do not want to pay into the system, must pay, regardless of their own desires. This is a huge problem with many unions in NYS (eg. teachers unions): employees are forced to be members and have their views represented regardless of their desire. That doesn't sound very fair nor like freedom.

In this situation, people were forced into paying for a health care facility that most people would never use, simply because the government "said so": This doesn't seem like freedom to me and isn't.

It is not a coincidence that the US is the 'land of the free' and that the government is the least involved in the lives of its citizens. This was a great step away from the natural socialistic tendencies of organized government, back towards keeping the US the 'land of the free'.

Robert the Bruce said...


crystal ball said...

I disagree 100%. I don't believe that there is a limit on what you can spend to care for our elderly. This is why facilities like Mt View must exist, people must always have an option.

larry s said...

But crystal, when does it end? If it's not the elderly, it's some other group. Government is obligated to pay for our "core" services.

Even that is a fine line, because the only service mandated by law in terms of public safety is the jail. Road patrols are a "luxury".

So when does it end? There is not a cut to be made that will not piss off somebody. We need relief. I'm sorry 200 people are losing their jobs, but if my tax bills go higher, I may lose my house, and that is what I'm looking out for.

Mr. Pink said...

Everyone always says reduce government and let the private sector do it more efficiently until whatever the "it" is becomes a proposal. Then the special interests start scaring the hell out of people and nothing gets done.

Let's be honest. Take away all perks from legislators. Take away cell phones from all county employees. Same thing for vehicles. You know what...it doesn't amount to any significant savings that will reduce taxes.

It might be symbolic. It might be the right thing to do...but I'm tired of people thinking the road to lower taxes is an easy ride.

You want lower taxes then some sacred cows have to go.

concerned taxpayer said...

They have been talking about closing mount view since i was a little boy so it shouldnt be a surprise to anyone. I blame Ed Mcdonald for the closing. Mount view could have been sold, but he filed suit halting the sale till the Berger finally ordered it closed. Way to go Ed. You just cost us millions. Maybe the employees at Mount view should have taken a couple of cuts to help save their jobs when they had the chance. Instead they cried saying how much they cared about the patients. What a laugh. I know several aids that worked there and i thank god i dont have any family at that facility. Lets just say that i did feel sorry for the workers till i seen how they acted, and how the patients got treated. Closing that facility is the best thing that could have happened to yhis county.