Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has vetoed the County Legislature’s resolution to hire an outside consultant to study the nursing home issue, calling it a method to stall any decision.
“The resolution really made no sense if you read it. It wasn’t clear what they really wanted,” McCoy said.
McCoy handed down the veto on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The legislature had passed a resolution by a vote of 19-17 on Feb. 11 to hire an outside consultant to review a proposed agreement with Upstate Services Group. Negotiations are currently underway with USG, a private firm, for a 10-year lease that could save the county more than $100 million, according to proponents.
McCoy responded to the legislature’s request the following day by explaining in a statement that he already had hired an outside consultant, Peter Millock from Nixon Peabody, who had been looking at the deal for several months. Many legislators, including legislature Chairman Shawn Morse, were unaware of McCoy’s outside consultant.
Although McCoy vetoed the request, he said he has issued an RFQ, or request for qualifications, to bring in three outside consultants the legislature could then choose from. McCoy said he is not sure whether or not he will offer Millock as one of the consultants.
“They could use (Nixon Peabody), but they won’t,” McCoy said. “It would be smart for them to use them, but they want someone that’s independent from me.”
McCoy said he understands the legislature’s skepticism on signing the lease with USG, but he’s getting sick of the “stall tactics.”
“It’s the hardest decision they’re going to have to make as legislators. They want to make sure I’m not lying, I get that. They want to make sure I’m telling the factual numbers, I get that,” McCoy said. “This isn’t about me. It’s not about the legislature. It’s about representing the people of Albany County.”
McCoy said he plans on getting the list put together as early as next week. He said the latest he’d like to see a vote on the nursing home deal is April.
“It’s not fair to the residents. It’s not fair to the workers. We have to move forward or not move forward. We have to make a decision,” McCoy said. “We can’t keep dragging it out.”