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
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
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.
Rock Island County Board Member
District 22- Coal Valley- Moline