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On the Home front: Eyes on expansion

April 1, 2014 - John D'Agostino
This is the third of a series of blogs regarding the County Home.

In a meeting with VestraCare representatives, Edward Farbenblum, executive vice president, said he has hopes for expansion. One of the plans includes adult day care while another is a potential new building for additional care opportunities.

Besides Farbenblum, Shannon Cayea-Delker, an administrator with the group, is also part of the discussion.

The County Legislature approved the sale of the Chautauqua County Home to VestraCare in February. The sale is expected to be finalized by the end of the calendar year.

Click on the link at right to hear the full conversation.


Article Comments



Apr-06-14 7:08 AM

"...let's stop making assumptions based on fear and let the future develop under private sector investment & leadership."

Phil: I fully support private sector investment, but what I strongly oppose is making private investors wealthier at the expense of taxpayers, which is exactly what happened in this case.

The sale of CCH reminds me a lot of what happened when the steel plant sold in 2001, albeit the sale didn't involve sticking it to taxpayers, just the employees. Prior to the ESOP being established, as a result of severe CBA concessions, the business had a value of $38M in '99 (which US Bankruptcy docs can confirm), yet it sold for LESS than $4M in 2001! The value of the inventory in processed steel alone was worth MORE than the sale price. The new owner made money by just signing his name on the dotted line, and of course the employees (ESOP) got stugots! The only difference between the two is the workers got screwed over, and not the taxpayers.


Apr-06-14 6:25 AM

The expansion project alone cost over $16M, and the CCLeg sold the entire facility (bldg, grounds, medical equipment, even accts rec) ALL for $16M, yet you (and others) simply brush off the low sale price as merely being worth whatever someone was willing to pay? What was the CCH worth BEFORE the bank accepted it as collateral to finance that expansion project? Your position on letting the private sector take over ALL public services is well known, but the home is clearly worth a helluva lot more than what it sold for, but that's a separate issue.

I doubt you can convince any reasonable person that slashing wages, benefits & staff for the sole purposes of achieving profit targets will result in improving the care that CCH was known for. IF Mr F follows through on any plans to expand the bldg/services, it's only b/c the financial risk has been significantly minimized due to the extremely low sale price.


Apr-05-14 9:25 PM

CAPTAIN - your position is all based on assumptions and you fail to recognize that there are many privately owned faciities that provide quality services. As you know I have said from the beginning that the future of the home can be stabilized by private sector investment. Senior citizens need alot more than skilled nursing. We are seeing a need for assisted living arrangements throughout the country. There is a huge market for those services and when combined with skilled nursing you have a winning combination. Let's stop making assumptions based on fear and let the future develop under private sector investment and leadership.


Apr-05-14 7:42 AM

I'll admit the DPW workers (at least rubbish services and grass cutting) is a bad example since most are unskilled labor. They could all be easily replaced with a private firm that could likely deliver better services at less cost (profits), but ONLY with more workers, NOT less. I guess it all comes down to how much a private firm is willing to do the work before realizing the profits just aren't worth it. This is when the same level of service starts to diminish, and we start paying more for less.

btw, I also believe the annual salary for the Rec Dept Dir. is absolutely ridiculous, but not as crazy as Zurawski's, the city's bldg inspector.


Apr-05-14 6:06 AM

Phil: I opposed the CCH sale from day one b/c I feel the quality of care will be diminished. How will cutting staff to the level needed just to break even improve care? Now, cut staff even more to meet targeted profit goals and then explain how the quality of care will be maintained, or "better" as you put it?

You falsely believe cheaper expenses to mean "better" services. If BMH sold to rid itself of union employees, cutting staff & wages for the sole purpose of lowering THEIR costs (NOT ours) and increasing profits, how in the he ll does this result in equal or "better" hospital care?

Do you know the individual cost/revenue ratio for the DPD, DFD, or DPW? How many cops, FFs, or street/parks crew would a private firm have to cut just to break even? Do you honestly believe the service would be equal or "better" as a result?


Apr-03-14 5:00 PM

This is exactly what I have been suggesting all along. There is plenty of room for expansion and there is a need for assisted living. The private sector will always do it better.


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