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Open Letter on Hope Creek Vote

Judy Baar Topinka

Downsizing Board

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Hope Creek

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Hope Creek Town Hall May 28th

RICo in violation of Open Meetings Act

Update Speech

The Oath I took

Rock Island County Budget:  2013-2014

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County Board Meeting Information

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Jim Wozniak Interview

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An open letter regarding the Hope Creek County Board Meeting Vote

I sent this letter out a bit ago to a friend and supporter of Hope Creek and wish to make it an open letter.

 

 Although I did not vote for #2., I view it as a step in the path to get our home fixed.  

A majority of the residents that called or emailed me supported selling.  Two were adamantly against me voting anything other than keeping it "as is" and said they would no longer support me if I voted any other way.  I explained that I needed to represent the people in my district the best way which is to listen to a majority that said sell and that I believe that continuing as we are is not the best decision for anyone.

One of my FOUR precincts voted 60% in favor of increasing taxes to fund the home.  I took the measured, reasoned approach which was to lease as an interim step to selling.  We would be out of the nursing home business and be able to choose a management firm that CAN run it.  I realize that I cannot make everyone happy but I have more reasons why I chose leasing as an interim step.

For those who might ask why I didn't vote with #4 (outright sale), I explain that #3 leasing would assure that we would protect the vulnerable, the seniors in our home.  The current residents should not notice a change- other than improvement.

With leasing, if there were problems in quality of care, we could find another firm to manage our home.  When that right management company was running Hope Creek with the same quality care and sustainably, I would work towards a sale to that firm. I may be overly cautious, but I wanted that safeguard.  If we sell the home and it turns out badly, I've broken my commitment on which I ran, which was to listen to the vulnerable in our community that do not have a voice!  If we lease the home to an outside management firm and it goes well, then we can sell to that firm and I've assured that I have protected those whom I said I would protect.

When running for county board, I ran on this "I represent all residents and realize that vulnerable in our community do not have the loudest voice."  That said, I made the decision that is best for the continuation of the Hope Creek institution, preserving our county investment in the facility and continuing the level of care that Hope Creek provides.

I will be on "The Cities- With Jim Mertens" on WQPT Ch. 24, Thursday, January 22nd at 6:30pm and Sunday at 5:30pm.  In today's interview, I was asked "As a Republican board member, are you concerned about the new Republican Governor cutting funding that would hurt Hope Creek?" 

I answered:  "I have heard Governor Rauner speak several times and in every speech here in the Quad Cities he emphasized that we care about the most vulnerable who need our support, and we will become the most compassion state in the United States."  I went on to say that Hope Creek does not limit its residents to Rock Island County but yet Rock Island County taxpayers support it.  I expect that Governor Rauner will not look at cutting programs but rather looking at cutting the bureaucracy-  are our tax dollars really going where we think they are?  Or are they being siphoned off in waste? Our state suffers from a spending problem!--  Not a revenue problem!  We raised taxes to pay down debt and what happened?  We spent more!  Those are the things I expect Governor Rauner to look at."

I also told Mr. Mertens that "I am not against having a public nursing home.  But we need one that is sustainable. In Illinois, there are only 21 public nursing homes left.  This is not just us!"

Whether one agrees or disagrees, I want you to know that I worked hard to make the best decision for my district by listening to their feelings, their views, and combining that with prudent, reasoned measures that I believe would improve Hope Creek and bring it to a sustainable level.

Note, I am not in favor of keeping Hope Creek county owned in the state it is in now.  I am ok with it if it could be sustainable.  In today's show, I stated "We need to look at Hope Creek as AN INSTITUTION.  Be it public or private, it needs to continue and maintain high standards of care.  I am looking out for the institution and the residents and I believe we are not equipped as a county to run it anymore."

It has been a great privilege to be given the honor of representing.  I will always do my best to discern and make the best decision looking at all aspects.

Please contact me if if ever I can help.

Drue

Drue Mielke
Rock Island County Board Member
District 22- Coal Valley- Moline
www.DrueMielke.com


 
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