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May 9, 2013

Board votes to create Manor seller

Otsego County lawmakers gave overwhelming approval last week to the creation of a local development company that will handle and control the marketing and sale of the deficit-ridden Otsego Manor nursing home.

The vote effectively removes the fate of the Manor from the 14-member Board of Representatives.

Meeting at the same building that had once served as the county’s public nursing home, the Meadows, the Board of Representatives voted 11-3 to approve the creation of the LDC, which will be known as the Otsego County Health Facilities Corporation.

The organization will set up as a nonprofit corporation within the the parameters of Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Its first three officers will be a lawyer who has recommended that the LDC be created, Shawn Griffin of the law firm of Harris Beach, along with Rep. Katherine Stuligross, D-Oneonta, and Rep. Donald Lindberg, R-Worcester. Griffin said he will be an officer only for the initial meeting of the LDC, when its board members will be appointed.

Board of Representatives Chairwoman Kathleen Clark, R-Otego, said she will be appointing people with specialized expertise — such as a banker, a gerontologist, businesspeople and those who support the goal of having quality care provided to patients by a private operator.

“We have to put together a board who realizes and accepts what the mission is, and what it is not,” said Clark.

One person under consideration for a spot on the LDC is James Empie, an executive at Key Bank in Cooperstown.

Voting against the LDC were Keith McCarty, R-Springfield, Rep. Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta and Rep. John Kosmer, D-Fly Creek. McCarty has been opposed to the sale of the Manor since the proposal first surfaced last year. Kosmer and Koutnik argued that board should stay in control of the Manor at least until the LDC comes up with a recommendation on a potential bidder.

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