Nursing home union asks state court to stop sale of county homeThe union representing workers at Maplewood Manor, a nursing home operated by New York's Saratoga County, has turned to the state supreme court to stop the sale of the facility.
In its suit, the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) said Saratoga County acted illegally when it set up a local development corporation (LDC) to take ownership of Maplewood Manor and facilitate its sale.
Like many county homes, Maplewood Manor has struggled to stay afloat, McKnight's Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman recently reported. Opponents of the sale say that quality of care could be compromised if the home is sold to a developer promising to cut costs. Saratoga County Board of Supervisors member Joanne Yepsen said she was disappointed that the board voted 17-5 to transfer Maplewood to the LDC, which Yepsen described as “shady.”
CSEA agrees with Yepsen's assessment, describing the LDC as “a non-regulated shell corporation that has little oversight and no accountability to taxpayers,” in a statement released Tuesday. The union also argues that a local government cannot sell property being used for a “necessary public purpose.”
CSEA also alluded to the bigger picture of the struggle of county homes in its release, saying “the Saratoga County action is a glaring example of a disturbing recent trend where counties have flaunted legal obligations, circumvented normal open meeting requirements and engaged in irregular bidding practices.”
The union filed a similar case with the Supreme Court in February over an Onondaga County facility. Oral arguments in that case took place this week, and the union anticipates a ruling within 60 days.