Two months after more than 1,500 people signed a petition urging that Otsego Manor not be privatized, Otsego County lawmakers are inching closer to recruiting a consultant who would help them market the home.
Otsego County Rep. Katherine Stuligross, D-Oneonta, said of three applicants for the consulting position, a Rochester outfit called the Center for Governmental Research appears to have the experience qualifications sought by county officials for the guidance that will be needed for the complex transaction.
The full Board of Representatives is expected to vote on the contract after the members meet privately at an executive session scheduled for Jan. 11 at the county building in Cooperstown, she said.
Privatizing the 174-bed Manor is opposed not only by many patients at the nursing home but also by the union for more than 200 workers at the facility, the Civil Service Employees Association.
The county board began looking into selling the home last year when county Treasurer Dan Crowell did a financial analysis showing the ballooning deficit at the home will cause the taxpayer subsidy to the facility to soar above $5 million this year.
Stuligross said the Center for Governmental Research provided guidance to Fulton County lawmakers when they also chose to privatize its county-owned home.
That particular arrangement led to reductions in the nursing home workforce as well as concerns about the quality of care provided by the new operator, CSEA official Robert Compani told the Otsego board in November.
Stuligross said any final decision on the fate of the Manor will rest with the Otsego board — not with the consultant.
“We’re not going to sell to anybody who does not have a strong financial position, and we’re not going to sell to anybody who does not have a strong background in providing quality health care,” she said.