Ex-officials call for sale plan halt
November 11, 2013
Two former Butler County commissioners on Thursday urged the current commissioners to not sell the Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Former Commissioner Jim Lokhaiser said commissioners Bill McCarrier and Dale Pinkerton, who support a sale, should change their stance. “Mr. McCarrier, where’s your compassion for the people of Butler County?” Lokhaiser asked at the commissioners meeting. Lokhaiser also asked if former Allegheny County Chief Executive Jim Roddey, who works with health care companies, is interested in buying Sunnyview. Pinkerton, who appointed Roddey several years ago to serve on a volunteer committee to evaluate Sunnyview, said Roddey never inquired about buying the nursing home. “All he did was help us,” Pinkerton said, referring to Roddey’s volunteer work on the committee. Former Commissioner Joan Chew also objected to selling Sunnyview. Chew made an emotional plea, recalling how the nursing home tended to her late husband. She told Pinkerton and McCarrier their legacy would not be the proposed new office building. “You will be known as the board that sold Sunnyview,” Chew said. Commissioner Jim Eckstein, who opposes a Sunnyview sale, said the same effort that kept Butler Memorial Hospital in Butler is needed now. “Community action is needed to stop the sale,” Eckstein said. The commissioners authorized issuing a request for proposals from prospective buyers, which must bid at least $13.5 million for the roughly 7-acre parcel. All bids must be submitted by 5 p.m. Dec. 13. Eckstein dissented, saying the process was moving too fast. The commissioners also voted 2 to 1 to hire the Pittsburgh law firm of Clark Hill Thorp Reed to provide legal services for a Sunnyview sale at a rate of $295 an hour.