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July 15, 2012

Scozzafava wants Horace Nye staff to get hiring preference

ELIZABETHTOWN — One Essex County lawmaker wants to make sure employees at Horace Nye Nursing Home are given first chance at openings in other county departments before ownership of the facility is transferred.

Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) said although a stipulation of the sale of Horace Nye states current workers will be offered jobs with the new owner, some might want to stay in county employment.

“I just think it’s the right thing to do,” he said recently. “We voted to sell the Horace Nye. They should be offered a preference for those positions.”

The Board of Supervisors voted in June to sell the Nursing Home to the Centers for Specialty Care of New York City for $4.05 million, and transfer to private ownership and operation is starting. The facility was losing more than $2 million a year, and the county sought bids to divest itself of it.

“If there’s anything we can do as positions open up,” Scozzafava said, “if they (Horace Nye employees) qualify for a position, they should be considered.”

County Manager Daniel Palmer said State Civil Service regulations bar them from telling department heads who to hire, but they’ll do what they can.

“In certain positions, you could provide some preference,” Palmer said. “In terms of the competitive (Civil Service) class, there’s not much you can do.”

And county employees have always been given first preference when other county jobs they are qualified for are open, Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) said.

“I wouldn’t think anything would change.”

Horace Nye Administrator Deborah Gifford said they’re trying to collect unpaid bills for care at the home as the sale looms.

“Work is under way on past debt collection. The attorney firm is working with Horace Nye.”

Horace Nye has about 150 full- and part-time employees.

Email Lohr McKinstry:

lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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