With his view from the outer fringes of the far left, County Legislator Timothy Hoyer of Jamestown declares in a letter to the Readers' Forum today that no matter what, he will oppose selling the County Home to the private sector.
The fuzziness of Hoyer's reasoning is plain to see in his justification that it costs homeowners just $1.25 a month in property taxes to subsidize the money-losing government-owned nursing home.
He forgets the County Home is just one item in a 200-page county budget. A hundred government services, programs and special employee benefits that each only cost homeowners, say, $1.25 a month may sound affordable individually. But add them together and you see why our overall town, school, city and county taxes in Chautauqua County are among the highest in the nation.
At least Hoyer has explained - however tortured is his reasoning - why he will vote to keep the nursing home a government-run facility, complete with an annual million dollar subsidy from local property taxpayers.
Other legislators who oppose selling the home have yet to explain in clear, precise language why they want to keep local taxpayers on the hook.
At first they said they wanted to wait until they had a report on the viability of nursing home finances.
Now they want to have time to try to implement suggestions from that report on ways to save money - ignoring completely Tim Hellwig, administrator for the skilled nursing facility in Dunkirk, who has told them those ideas won't produce the savings needed.
In fact, we have no doubt these legislators know full well that county taxpayers will be required - on threat of losing their homes - to continue the hefty subsidy of the government-owned nursing home unless it is sold.
Meanwhile, Hoyer's nonsensical opposition is significant because without the support of a large contingent of Jamestown Democratic legislators to help reach the needed 17 votes, the sale will not be approved by the County Legislators.
Right now, there are not enough votes. Jamestown Democrats, you see, are not as beholden to property owners as are other legislators - half of the housing units in Jamestown are occupied by renters not property tax payers.
Members of Ellicott Town Board last week took the unusual step of weighing in on the nursing home issue, even though it is a matter purely for county lawmakers to decide. The Ellicott board members unanimously passed a resolution calling on county legislators to sell the county nursing home.
''Our job as representatives is to listen to our residents,'' Cecil Miller, town supervisor, explained. ''We think it's time the financial burden of the County Home was taken off the backs of taxpayers;.''
Yes. And they know as well as the rest of us do that Jamestown Democrats can and will do whatever they want, regardless of what their constituents are saying to them now.
That is because, with history as their guide, Jamestown Democrats who run for re-election to the legislature next year know they can count on city voters returning them to office no matter what.
Still, we do not understand why so many of them remain opposed to the sale of the County Home.