By PAUL TESTA
I have been going to the County Home going on 20 years. Both of my grandmothers were there back to back, then my mother, who recently passed away, and now my aunt.
I have seen a lot of changes over the years at the Home and they have all been for the good. What a great place it is. Now, don't get me wrong; it's not perfect. But what place is? I think it's the best place we have in Chautauqua County for our aging or disabled loved ones. What a wonderful place.
Don't you, the residents of this county, think that we should give the Home the benefit of the doubt and see if some cost cutting, like the group that was hired said could be done, can be done? The County Home has been around for many years - many generations. It didn't matter way back then if you were young or old, rich or poor - if you needed a place to go, the Home was always there for our family and loved ones.
They were treated with dignity and most lived out their final days there. Don't you think this beautiful place deserves the respect to stay open a year or two longer to see what can be done? There is always going to be some sort of budget deficit. Taxes are always going to rise, no matter what.
And so, my fellow county residents, when it comes time that we may need a place to go, I hope the Chautauqua County Home is still there, and not as a privatized place, because it will never be the same home, and never again will we be able to say, "There's no place like our home."
Paul Testa is a Dunkirk resident.