That man, who lived in what was then the Our Island Home nursing home, but is now the Landmark House independent- and assisted-living apartments on Orange Street, was against a plan being floated to construct a new nursing home on the grounds of Nantucket Cottage Hospital.

His words, from across four decades, could just as easily have appeared in the pages of the I& M this year.

There were building committees then, as there are now. Folks said then having a nursing home close to the hospital would afford better, more efficient services, in much the same way people now argue that having a building off Miacomet Road next to the Sherburne Commons elder-living community would do the same.

Then and now there was a Town Meeting article asking for funds for the construction of a new building.

The differences, however, are telling. Earlier this month, voters rejected spending $30 million to build a new town-owned nursing home off Miacomet Road.

Four decades ago, an article asking for $1.6 million passed overwhelmingly, and a new building was constructed closer to The Creeks, to preserve the view of the residents. It is that building, completed in 1981 and cited by the state for multiple violations in recent years, that now stands as a symbol of elder care on Nantucket. It’s a symbol that is already costing Nantucket taxpayers $3 million a year in operating deficits.