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Edwards negotiating County Home sale with new company

July 12, 2013

MAYVILLE — County Executive Greg Edwards is negotiating the sale of the Chautauqua County Home with a new company....

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(27)

Captain

Jul-12-13 5:42 AM

GeorgeB: can you please explain why the CCLeg hasn't moved to replace CCH Admin Tim Hellwig? You don't need a super majority to do this, do you?

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GeorgeB67

Jul-12-13 7:27 AM

Captain: you are making the assumption that that Tim Helwig is the reason behind the losses at the county home. Since there isn't a single stand-alone county home in the state that isn't being supported by taxpayer dollars, I can't see how you can place blame soley on Helwig.

In fact, he is the person who has implemented the recommended cost savings which has reduced the losses at the home. Of course, as we know from the CGR report, the biggest piece of the cost savings recommendations are concessions from CSEA. None of which have occurred. Despite a petition signed by a majority of county home employees asking CSEA to make concessions. So I guess the real question is why has the membership not voted out the CSEA leadership?

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judeye

Jul-12-13 7:46 AM

I am DISGUSTED.

Tried to change the law so they could sell the HOME without a super majority. That failed. Now once again he is out there trying to sell our home..the home that cares for our most vulnerable citizens.

What should a government do if not care for its citizens...especially in their time of need?

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notalways

Jul-12-13 7:59 AM

How many times does Edwards need to be told NO! I am tired of his little tantrums. He even tried to change a long standing law to get his way. Now he keeps the name hidden, even from the legislators, so he hopes no one will have time to do the indepth research necessary to honestly investigate the buyer. Of course you want to vote in October, before elections.

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Captain

Jul-12-13 8:19 AM

Yes, Mr Hellwig did implement many of those cost-saving measures, but only AFTER a costly 2nd CGR repeated what the first CGR advised.

Further, have you found out who approved spending approx $440,000 on digging a gas well, only to abandon the project shortly thereafter? No one is willing to accept blame for this blatant waste of money. As a county legislator and watchdog of taxpayers' money, I "assume" you should know this. How can such a large sum of money (ALMOST HALF A MILLION DOLLARS) be spent W/O explicit approval from the CCLeg?

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DKexpat

Jul-12-13 8:33 AM

Agree with Captain. There's been too much buried or ignored (much less drilled) without any accountability or consequences for poor decisions or performance.

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DarkStar

Jul-12-13 8:44 AM

My problem with Mr Hellwig is that the taxpayer shouldn't have to pay for studies to come up with cost saving ideas, Mr Hellwig should be coming up with these ideas.

Where I work every salary employee is expected to come up with at least $50,000 in cost savings every year, and you know what, in our little facility we manage to save $600k to $800k every year in this manner, all without spending tens of thousands of dollars for a study to find these ideas.

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FredoniaFred

Jul-12-13 9:02 AM

The home must be sold. Taxpayers can not afford to spend nearly $9000 per day to subsidize an operation that can be better run by a private firm.

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Captain

Jul-12-13 9:37 AM

GeorgeB: Unless the Co Exec offers written long-term assurances to CCH employees that the county will NOT sell the home to a private owner, why would the union agree to concessions? If sold, a private owner can keep or dismiss any employee he wishes, at a lower rate of pay if he so chooses, UNLESS the new owner agrees to recognize the CSEA (as a condition of sale), thus honor the terms of the current CBA prior to any new talks.

Slamming CSEA leaders for upholding their duty is a cheap shot. I don't disagree that labor costs must be reduced, but I believe that objective should be achieved by modifying wages & bennies for ALL county employees (including mgmt), NOT just ppl who work at the CCH.

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Marcia

Jul-12-13 10:39 AM

Edwards knows he has less than six months to achieve his objective, and will do anything towards that end. Perhaps we should wait until after the election and see how the people vote on this issue.

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Krasnitz

Jul-12-13 11:35 AM

Edwards is a lame duck and is accountable to no one. Consequently he is free to give away the "farm" with no consequences to himself that we know of... His secret negotiations this late in his reign are incredibly suspicious as is the late date for submitting the results to our legislature. Let's not lose focus on Edwards by debating Hellwigs efforts.

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225522

Jul-12-13 11:58 AM

Oh boy. Now we have something to post our opinions for months to come. Look! 11 and it was only about an announcement that we are looking at a new company.

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Captain

Jul-12-13 2:20 PM

My gut feeling is Edwards ordered the drilling of the gas well, even though the home was already receiving free gas, but he hasn't admitted it. Does anyone recall any public notices announcing the county was accepting bids for the job? What's the name of the company that was awarded the contract? Judeye reportedly went to Mayville and searched thru records to find some answers, but to no avail.

The CCLeg denies authorizing this $400K+ expenditure, yet provides no public explanation on who did, and neither does Mr Hellwig.

A lot of you just say sell the home and be done with it, instead of demanding answers. CCLeg reps claim to know nothing on this matter. Soon we'll all be reading why we should vote these same ppl back into office. The sad truth is we probably will.

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DKexpat

Jul-12-13 2:33 PM

Captain, exactly.

If anyone in private industry made a $400,000 blunder, s/he would be hauled in on the carpet. In this case, however, the Chau Cty administration buries its mistakes.

What’s a cryin’ shame is that the legislators who approve the budget are the SAME ones who don’t demand answers!

Who’s up for a FOILA request? Why the well was drilled, how was put out to public bid (was it put out for bid?), what the estimated reserves are, what the well is worth today, etc. Please don’t say it’s “old news” because it factors into the ask/bid price for the CCH.

Edwards and Hellwig are very happy to keep taxpayers in the dark. Apparently, your elected local representatives – remember, 75% ran unopposed last time – are very happy to play along.

WHY?

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DarkStar

Jul-12-13 3:34 PM

"The CCLeg denies authorizing this $400K+ expenditure, yet provides no public explanation on who did, and neither does Mr Hellwig. "

And yet you want to keep these same either idiots or thieves, depending on what went on with the well, in charge of the County Home.

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Captain

Jul-12-13 4:00 PM

"..And yet "you" want to keep these same idiots or thieves...in charge of the County Home."

What did I write to make you think I want these same ppl back in office?

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FredoniaFred

Jul-12-13 4:31 PM

The gas well question has been answered by the CE and the legislature on several occassions. Why do the posters here sit at home and complain instead of coming to legislature meetings. I attended several meetings and the gas well was fully explained. Actually I believe someone posted the answers on this site some months ago. Don't ask me to post the answers so you can sit in your easy chairs and complain.

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DarkStar

Jul-12-13 4:57 PM

Captain,

Okay, so you want to put a whole different group of idiots or thieves in charge?

FredoniaFred,

rable rable rable! :-)

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Captain

Jul-12-13 5:10 PM

I'd say FF's response falls under DKexpat's prediction concerning "old news."

Strange how so many of us Observer customers AND/OR regular posters on this site missed these alleged published explanations. As a county legislator, GeorgeB67 must have the same answers as FF, but has apparently chosen not to share them either. According to FF, paying property taxes evidently doesn't entitle me to the answers I seek UNLESS I attend CCLeg meetings. Can someone else confirm what FF is saying by offering verifiable facts?

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DKexpat

Jul-12-13 6:51 PM

FF, since you know, perhaps you can share these answers for those who can't attend CCLeg meetings:

1. Was there an RFP?

2. When was public bidding conducted and when were the sealed bids opened?

3. Who won the contract, and who signed for both sides?

4. Why was the turnkey cost only to drill and without a clause for hook-up if economic?

5. What was the result of the open-flow test?

6. What wes the result of the reserve study?

7. Who made the decision to drill the well, and what budget discussions were held, either departmently or legislative?

8. Was NFG approached to buy the gas if the CHH couldn't use it? And when was that known?

9. What current and NPV values has the County Exec assigned to the well as part of the sale of the CCH?

Thanks in advance - headin' back to the recliner...

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judeye

Jul-13-13 7:15 AM

FredoniaFred "The gas well question has been answered by the CE and the legislature on several occassions"

Oh really? Would you please share? I went to my legislator with the issue..and he told me he would "look into it" He had NO answers.

I have many of the copies from the file I went through. If anyone would like to help me understand it all..please let me know. I just know I saw a contract for $444,000 to drill...another one for surveys...more for rights..etc..how much did this cost us?

Why are we not all screaming about this? Yelling about how much it costs us to care for our most vulnerable...yet no outcry over the total WASTE OF MONEY to drill a well that just sits there not producing

Is this a reflection of our priorities?

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Escapee

Jul-13-13 11:51 AM

There seems to be an extraordinary amount of attention to $440,000 spent on the gas well. If the home is costing $9,000 per day, the cost of the gas well is equivalent to operating the home for just 49 days. How long has the cost of the gas well been argued about while the cost to taxpayers of the home is accumulating every day?

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Captain

Jul-13-13 1:44 PM

The point in echoing a blatant waste of $440,000K on a gas well, one that would NOT have reduced energy costs for the home, raises valid questions concerning motive.

Repeatedly asking why CCH Admin Hellwig deliberately delayed implementing cost-saving measures, even AFTER we paid for a 2nd CGR to repeat the same recommendations outlined in the 1st one raises valid questions regarding motive.

Inquiring whether or not the contract was put out for public bid, what company was awarded the bid, who awarded it, all w/o any alleged knowledge or direct involvement from any member of the CCLeg all raise serious questions concerning ethics, proper procedures and motive.

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DKexpat

Jul-13-13 10:46 PM

Captain is spot on, and it makes ya wonder what else has been swept under the rug that taxpayers don't know about.

The omertà code by your -elected- representatives in making no effort to inform the public is worrisome. I know some CC legislators read these columns, so why doesn't one of you step up any supply the answers to the questions below?

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Escapee

Jul-14-13 12:07 PM

The gas well is a distraction. I’m figuring the gas well has been in place at least since Jan 2010 and the home is costing taxpayers $9,000/day. Over that period assuming absolutely no money had been spent on a gas well the home would have still cost $8500/day.

I’m not saying that I’m proud of the $440,000 gas well, but since it’s been drilled we’ve poured at least $8,100,000 into the county home and there is no end in sight. We should be willing to give the home away to anyone who would take it. Frankly, the taxpayers would be better off if we PAID new owners $9,000 a day and the home was on the tax rolls. We’ve already spent $7,660,000 more on keeping the home as a government owned facility than we spent on the gas well.

The government should be the employer of last resort. I expect government operations to be poorly managed because there is no incentive to manage them well for the taxpayers.

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