County Home Issue Divides Candidates

To The Reader’s Forum:

It was a sincere pleasure for me to take over the top county job from County Executive Joe Gerace in 1983. The County Executive, and now retired Judge, asked me to take on the role when he went to Albany to work in the cabinet of the first Governor Cuomo.

In working to prepare the 1984 County Budget, it became evident to me that our small county government had no business continuing in the nursing home arena. So, I recommended to the 1983 legislature that they consider selling the Home at that time. The issues and financial damage to the taxpayers were however less acute in 1983, so the answer from the legislature was “thanks for your views, but no.”

Here we are now in 2013 with those same issues, yet with more taxpayers’ pain accumulating monthly. It is confusing to me how a self described “businessman” (Mr. Johnson) sees the public cost of the Home as manageable; and so has decided he will not work to privatize the Home. As a fellow businessman and significant taxpayer, I would suggest he consider how truly effective business people manage both revenues and expenses. The stark different points of view by the two candidates for County Executive in November should offer the voting public a chance to make a clear choice on this critical issue.

David Dawson