The three supervisors who were not present at the Aug. 1 regular board meeting may not have had an impact on deciding the fate of the Horace Nye Nursing Home, with one in favor of selling, one not in favor, and one unsure.
Essex’s Sharon Boisen, Westport’s Daniel Connell and Wilmington’s Randy Preston were absent from the monthly meeting, totaling 377 of the 2,843 votes under the weighted voting system.
While Kosmider and Connell said that they are not ready to say which way they would vote on the matter, Preston said that he felt the county needed to look into the sale of the facility.
“I would be in favor of putting it up for sale,” Preston said. “I do think that it is a drain on the county. We need to put it up to one vote and be done with it. However it ends up, that’s how it ends.”
Preston said that he felt the annual debate over the nursing home was also “unfair” to the employees at Horace Nye.
“We have gotten into this yearly discussion on Horace Hye and I think that we are being unfair to the rest of the people who work there,” Preston said.
Connell said that he wanted to learn more about what would happen before he cast a vote one way or the other.
“I need more information before I can make a vote,” Connell said.
Boisen released a statement just over a week after the vote to table the matter at the Aug. 1 meeting, stating that she is not in favor of looking into potential buyers for the site.
“(I) will not support the closure, or sale, of the Horace Nye Nursing home under any circumstances,” Boisen said in the statement. “(I pledge) to assist in finding a solution to reduce the deficit absorbed by the County tax payers while continuing to provide senior care to the residents of Essex County.”
During the Aug. 1 meeting of the county board, Crown Point’s Bethany Kosmider and Lewis’ David Blades said that they were undecided on which way that were going to vote on matter, a position both still hold.
“I understand the need to be fiscally responsible,” Kosmider said. “When I look at horace Nye, there are a lot of good, valuable employees that do a real good job.”
Kosmider said that she hoped there was more “wiggle room” that could be used to decrease costs at the facility.
“I’d like to see more on the management end on if they could give up something,” Kosmider said. “It comes down to, what do we do if we go belly up as a county?”
Blades said he felt, like Connell, that there are more things that need to be discussed.
“The problem is that there is so much that didn’t come out at the meeting,” Blades said. “I have very mixed feelings on this. I have relatives that are there and have used the service, yet we need to be very fiscally responsible in 2012 because we have to live with the tax cap. There is no definitive answer.”
Blades also echoed Preston’s remarks on the need for a final decision to be made.
“It is a very hard decision for the board but in the end, it will be made,” Blades said. “It’s a very polarized topic and one that is very passionate for both sides.”