MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County legislator Lori Cornell (D-Jamestown) was among those who was most outspoken against the sale of the Chautauqua County Home to Altitude Health Services, Inc. Cornell had said that she opposed selling the home to the company because its president, William “Avi” Rothner, has been connected to other poorly operated nursing facilities.
During the meeting, Cornell read a passionate statement about her personal connection to the County Home when her grandmother was a resident in the facility, and how she wouldn’t want someone with Rothner’s history connected to a home that meant so much to her and her family.
- LISTEN TO CORNELL’S STATEMENT PRIOR TO THE VOTE
Following the meeting, she said she was obviously relieved the sale did not go through.
“I felt from the beginning that Avi Rothner was not the right choice for Chautauqua County residents. We deserve better than that,” Cornell explained. “This is a gentleman with a history of abuse and neglect at many of the nursing homes of which he is affiliated. Our seniors don’t deserve that in Chautauqua County. We can do better and I know we will.”
County executive Greg Edwards, who has pushed for the sale of the county home for over the past-year-and-a-half, said that despite the sale not going through, he was still encouraged.
“I walk away from this meeting tonight encouraged that one vote short of a super majority agreed that it was the right thing to do. We certainly have options and we will pursue all those options and we’ll continue to work very hard to provide the best care we can out there, but also [to continue to] provide the people of Chautauqua County with all the facts.”
- LISTEN TO EDWARDS COMMENTS TO THE MEDIA FOLLOWING THE VOTE
Edwards said among those facts is that the county home is continuing to operate in a deficit and it would have run out of money this year had it not been for the legislature’s vote to appropriate nearly $690,000 to it as a matching IGT program.
In late 2011 the county hired the marketing firm Marcus and Millichap to seek out potential buyers of the county home. The firm is still under contract until the end of this year and Edwards said he will be in contact with them to continue exploring various options for selling the facility.