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The Erie County administration announced last week it will finally begin fining nursing homes for not complying with Ruthie’s Law. Now nursing homes are fighting back.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

The head of Erie County’s Department of Senior Services says he will fine nursing homes that don’t comply with Ruthie’s Law by the end of the month, seemingly ending months of criticism and scrutiny over a lack of fines.

 


Tom Dinki/WBFO News

WBFO reported in October that most Erie County nursing homes aren’t complying with Ruthie’s Law, yet none have been fined by the county’s Department of Senior Services. Last week, Senior Services officials invited WBFO to come along as they conducted unannounced visits on three of the noncompliant nursing homes. But some feel the county still isn’t doing enough to enforce the law. 

 

WBFO file photo

Roughly half of Erie County nursing homes are still not complying with Ruthie’s Law.

 

The county’s Department of Senior Services released the newest compliance data Tuesday, showing that only 18 of the county’s 35 nursing homes compiled with the law during the most recent reporting period.

 


 

 

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

It’s been more than two years since Erie County passed Ruthie’s Law, yet none of the nursing homes that have failed to comply during that time have been penalized.

 

On Thursday, the Erie County Legislature finally got to directly ask the county’s Department of Senior Services why that is.

 


Erie County offers a wide range of programs and services for older adults. And today seniors, their family members, caregivers or anyone interested, can weigh in on the offerings or learn more about what's available.


Erie County Department of Senior Services

From mental health issues to fiscal benefits, it's usually better for seniors to stay in their homes instead of going to nursing facilities.  A program called EISEP looks to help by paying a modest wage to individuals who can assist seniors with certain in-home needs.

WBFO file photo/Michael Mroziak

This holiday weekend, ceremonies will be held throughout Western New York, from parades to the more solemn remembrances of those who died while in military service for the United States. While there's no shortage of events, there is a growing challenge to staff one of the most important elements of Memorial Day gatherings: the color guard.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

Sales tax revenue in Erie County is on the rise. 

Comptroller David Shenk says revenue was up more than 4-percent in October, compared to one year ago.  And for the first ten months of the year, sales tax revenue was up by nearly 9-million dollars over last year.  Shenk says while revenues look promising, maintaining revenue growth is a concern. 

Sales tax revenue is the single-greatest source of revenue for the county.

Audit will review Erie County Water Authority

Sep 25, 2012

The Erie County Water Authority is taking center stage in the race for county comptroller. 

Monday,  Democratic County Comptroller David Shenk said his office will conduct an audit of the authority.

Shenk's Republican opponent, Stefan Mychajilw, held a news conference Sunday where he blamed Shenk for failing to catch two recent water authority hires that appeared to be patronage jobs. 

"Keep in mind, I'm not doing this because of the political issue. I'm doing it because it's long overdue," Shenk told WBFO and AM970 News.

Erie County's fiscal watchdog became official yesterday, as David Shenk was sworn in as county comptroller, filling a spot left vacant when Mark Poloncarz became county executive.

The new comptroller faces a grueling schedule of running the office and facing up to four primary and general elections between now and the end of next year.

The vote this year is for the final year of Poloncarz' term;  the vote next year is on a full four-year term.

Shenk says he has spent his life in public service.