Richard Tromblee of Moriah Corners talks with Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava during the April 2 Essex County Board of Supervisors meeting.
The Chairman of the Essex County Board of Supervisors wants a little decorum.
Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said that while he appreciates debate over the potential sale of the Horace Nye Nursing Home, some of the mud-slinging had to stop.
Douglas spoke to the members of the board and those in the audience, saying he felt personal attacks were not helping the dialogue of a very serious matter.
“To say that we do not care for our seniors, veterans or communities is just plain wrong,” Douglas said. “Everyone in your communities knows what you do and how hard you work for them. I do not think that the personal attacks are appropriate. To label someone on this board based on how they vote is ludicrous. All of the personal attacks are wrong.”
Douglas also had harsh words for a guest viewpoint printed in the Valley News, written by Barbara Paye of Willsboro.
“To say that we do not answer e-mails or respond to the needs of our constituents is wrong,” Douglas said in response to a statement by Paye. “I am hearing from them daily. I have answered every e-mail and every phone call.”
Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava added that it would be nice to also hold public hearings on the metter before a final vote was cast.
“I think that it is only fair that we hear from our constituents,” Scozzafava said. “Not only have all the other counties that have gone through this had public hearings, but they have held them at different sites within the county.”
Douglas also took exception with another part of the letter by Paye:
“If you all vote to sell the Nursing home can we expect that the county salaries of every Essex County Supervisor and the County Manager will decrease by the proportion of the no longer present Horace Nye Budget since it will no longer be a concern to you or part of your responsibility that you get paid for overseeing?”
“I am just really tired of the personal attacks and the attacks on us as supervisors,” Douglas said. “Everyone in here works very hard for their constituents and for the county. I put about 30 hours a week into county work, and that is separate from my responsibilities in my town.”
Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston said he felt some of the attacks were being used to misrepresent fact.
“We need to take the emotions out of this,” he said. “Something somewhere has got to give. I think the mass hysteria that is out there that the privatization is a horrible thing is just not the case. The responsible thing to do is to look at this seriously and if we can do it, then we should be doing it.”
Douglas later took a moment to commend Richard Tromblee, a Moriah Corners resident who addressed the board earlier that day.
“He was very respectful and made some good points,” Douglas said. “He didn’t go after supervisors or resort to personal attacks.”
“There is and will be a need for care for our elderly,” Tromblee said during the guest comment portion of the meeting. “Maybe some of you will end up that way and need this care. Hands on care that they will not receive in a private nursing home. Before you decide to privatize the Horace Nye Nursing Home, please stop and think.”
The board of supervisors passed a resolution seeking the “highest and final” offer from each of the three companies seeking to purchase the home after the initial round of bidding.