By DEBBIE HAMERNICK
Why should the hard-working, taxpaying residents of this county spend their hard earned money on a nursing home for old and disabled people when we could direct those tax dollars to other, more important areas of this county?
Don't we have other county-owned departments that are just as needy, if not more, than the County Home?
Joe Carrus is leading the charge for County Home residents.
We have the airports. Both Dunkirk and Jamestown airports surely could use more of that money. Both airports serve as very important, much needed assets to our county. Just last week as my husband and I sat outside enjoying the day, we looked up and noticed a small, privately owned plane flying overhead that most certainly originated from the Dunkirk airport. What a sight that was for us to see! It made our week so special!
We have our jails. Why should we be spending tax money on the County Home when we could be putting it to better use in our jails by providing more and better accommodations to our prisoners? More tax money allotted to the jail system could provide added amenities such as softer pillows, better mattresses, upgraded cable TV, better quality foods and wouldn't color uniforms be chic!? Throw in a few well orchestrated outings a year and we could make it a "home away from home!" Well? Aren't the prisoners county residents too? Shouldn't they benefit from county tax dollars also? Maybe even more so than the old and disabled such as the residents at County Home since most prisoners are younger, have better eyesight and are more able to enjoy the added perks? Besides, the prisoners will be released (hopefully) at some point in time and will once again become responsible, taxpaying citizens, whereas the County Home residents, after having contributed to this county all their lives, just have no more to give. (Oh, but they still do!)
Next on the needy list would be our county landfill. If we can contribute thousands, if not millions, to the jails and the airports surely without the burden of the County Home in 2013 we could afford to send some money that way, also. Cleanliness is next to godliness and as long as we have a place to haul our trash to, there should be no reason whatsoever for anyone to be less than a godly person. Actually, for the reason alone, we should put the landfill at the top of the list! Maybe it would get us all a foot in the door to heaven!
What about added funding for low-income housing? Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? At the rate our county is going, this area will no longer be home to the people that actually contribute to this county. Jobs are soon to be non-existent in this area. Anyone left here at that point will be receiving benefits from the system - not paying into it!
The Fifth Commandment says "Honor thy Father and thy Mother." If you look at that commandment in depth, you'll see that the meaning is more than just be respectful, behave and listen to what your parents say. It also means providing and caring for our parents in their time of need just as they had done for us when we were in need as children and young adults.
Could God have possibly been wrong when he made that one up? Maybe he just meant "make sure you send Mother's Day and Father's Day cards on time." God was either wrong on that one or we, as people, have forgotten our God-given duties here on earth.
I would like to ask if our most vulnerable citizens, the ones who truly have contributed to this county above and beyond - the ones who made sacrifices beyond all comprehension, the ones that "roughed it" so we, their children and grandchildren, could have better - don't they deserve the peace of mind that living in the County Home gives them?
Contrary to what the media says, the County Home has not been a burden to the taxpayers of this county thus far. It has been reported that the Home is incurring enormous amounts of debt each day its doors are open. Not true! The County Home is fully funded through 2012.
Lastly, I would like to say that, no, I am not really in support of the county Executive's push to unload the County Home. Far from it.
The County Home, a facility that has been around and served this county well for 180 years, is a much needed asset to this county. The Jewel of Chautauqua County. A haven for the elderly and disabled. We need the Chautauqua County Home where it is. We need it as it is and we need it how it is.
I hope you all agree.
Debbie Hamernick is a Dunkirk resident.