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Controversy over Privatization of Willow Point Nursing Home Food Service

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By Alex Howard.
The future of the Willow Point Nursing home in Vestal has been in question for some time, and with the County Executive's plan to privatize the food service of the home, County Legislature Democrats are up in arms about the plan.

County Legislator Mark Whalen and new Democratic Minority Leader Kim Meyers say that this action is a prelude to Debbie Preston's plan to close the nursing home by the upcoming 2016 election.

They also say that the privatization of the home's food service will severely cut benefits and pay for over 80 workers, a move they called "irresponsible leadership".

Deputy Executive John Bernardo had this to say in regards to Thursday’s press conference:

“The County Executive and her team have had extensive meetings and discussions with all the parties involved in this decision and all options have been thoroughly reviewed,” says Deputy County Executive John Bernardo. “I believe those who feel left out of the process chose not to get more involved since Debbie Preston presented her budget recommendation in early September. This proposal is more about SAVING Willow Point because it will reduce our costs and enhance our position there, while saving money for the taxpayers of Broome County. According to the recent study done at Willow Point by Toski, ‘Willow Point should evaluate the cost/benefit of outsourcing laundry, dietary, therapy and other functions.’ Anyone who says anything different is sadly misinformed.”