One of the most courageous political figures to appear since publication of John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage, GOP sachem Robin Yess describes the Golden Hill facility as a symptom of Ulster County's swollen government. "Salary and benefit costs at Golden Hill are 34% higher than in the private sector," Yess told me in a telephone interview. "What would be the plan to reduce the inefficiency?" she asked. She added that the special committee has received eight bids, but six have been rejected. The remaining two are offers to buy the nursing home, which is only one of eight options that the legislature has considered. Yess asks why the request for proposals by which the legislature has solicited bids has been secret.
I questioned Catalano as to whether his numbers include the $50 to $85 million in capital investment that the various reconstruction and new construction options require. He e-mailed no, but that is an additional matter to investigate. But the math doesn't seem hard. Any differences in Medicaid reimbursement are small compared to the difference between spending $84 million on reconstructing the facility and receiving say $10 or $20 million from the sale of the facility and of the license to a private operator.