|Warwick, NY – Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton called today for all parties in the debate over the future of the Valley View Nursing Home to put aside politics and personalities and get behind an aggressive plan to find a solution.
Sweeton, whose position paper on the subject can be viewed on his website (www.michaelpsweeton.com/issues) said he was heartened by developments of the past week or so. “First of all, it appears that Legislator R.J. Smith has found a clear way forward; a plan similar to the one I would propose. Second, in a press conference last week at the Valley View facility, Legs. Roxanne Donnery and Michael Anagnostakis presented their idea to allow a two-year cooling-off period in which serious negotiations can be undertaken,” Sweeton said. “All three plans – the Smith plan, the Donnery/Anagnostakis plan, and my own – are not far apart. However, it will take a serious commitment from everyone to leave the partisan rhetoric at the door when discussions start.”
Sweeton’s plan recognizes the need for a strong leader to lead the discussion. “In my mind that leader should be R.J. Smith. Throughout the hearings by the special investigative committee, Smith avoided partisanship and political jockeying, concentrating instead on finding a solution,” Sweeton said. He urged Smith to hold a private meeting with many of the principal players in the debate to determine if there is room to proceed. “It will test the leadership ability of Legislator Smith, and the resolve of the others involved. However, I remain convinced that it can be done, and it seems to me that all the participants will need to shed all labels (legislator, Republican, Democrat, union leader) before coming to the table. For this to work, everyone must negotiate as a concerned citizen only; ready to listen, ready to compromise.”
Sweeton said he would help the process along in any way he can citing his reputation in Warwick for being able to working with a broad cross-section of people to solve difficult problems.