Board Member: Hope Creek Shortchanged about $9,000 a day

Rock Island County residents will continue their push for a tax increase that supports public ownership of the Hope Creek Care Center on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

The Hope Creek Care Center is shortchanged about $9,000 a day, according to County Board member Steve Meersman. Now, county leaders are pushing for a tax increase in order to keep it publicly owned. Rock Island County voters will be asked whether they want their property taxes to rise during the November general election. A person’s property taxes would rise about $50 on a home that’s worth $100,000.

Wednesday’s public meeting is the second one that the group Keep It Supported for Seniors (KISS) is putting on. They held the first one on Wednesday May 7, 2014.

“It’s very difficult to find an unbiased source of information for it,” Rock Island resident Jon Newkirk said at the first meeting. “I think you have to talk to both sides of it and find our for yourself, before you make a decision.”

Back in March of 2014, Rock Island County voters struck down a sales tax increase that would have funded public school facilities. Hope Creek supporters are wishing that their outcome will be a little bit different.

The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Wednesday’s KISS meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rock Island. The church is located at 4501 7th Avenue.

14 comments

  • Sherry

    The county board and employees are quick to ask for our tax dollars, but what if any changes have they made to fix this deficit? I’m not suggesting cutting care or services, but there are ways to tighten the belt without affecting the care.For example, maybe the employees could give back a benefit day a year, I’m sure that the union would not allow this though. I would just feel better if those that are supporting a tax increase would do something to meet me part of the way.

    • David Nipper

      you also say that they are quick to ask for help, wrong, there has been no raise for nursing home tax base for 15 years, they have tried to maintain with what the community has given them. its not the old folks fault everything medical has gone up except their help. just so you have some facts.

  • VJN

    In all honesty, if this issue is REALLY about seniors, why doesn’t RICo own ALL the care facilities in the county? This is not about seniors…this is about maintaining wages/benefits that are higher than the prevailing wages/benefits paid at all the other facilities in the county. And it does NOTHING to fix the problem-it is a mere bandaid. Unless there is some tightening of the belt, I can’t endorse this issue.

    • David Nipper

      just so you know the facts, many workers at hope creek live under the poverty level. they receive help from the state like other nursing home workers. for some reason you thing nurses and lpns at other homes make 9 bucks an hour, they do not, they make more then hope creek nurses on some levels. just so you know.

  • david

    Sherry and VJN you are exactly correct this is all about protecting union wages and has nothing to do with seniors. They claim private facilities have lower quality of care but state inspectors beg to differ!! They also use scare tactics and tell you medicade patients will be kicked out if Hope Creek is privatized but Mercer countys private home has the same percentage of medicade patients as Hope Creek does. Everything they say is a lie!! Privatize it now and save RICO.

  • David Nipper

    sherry the facts are that the union has given back, they have not received a raise since nov. 2011, on line or below the private sector. how would giving back the thanksgiving day holiday save n e thing? they still will pay for the nurse thats working. david is not telling the truth here, mercer county only has 100 beds, half maybe public aid. we have 245 beds, all public aid if needed. when you ask people like david what they think of a 100 year old lady laying safe in a county bed he thinks, union. what does he think of a poor soul racked in pain in a wheelchair, he thinks lousy democrats in the county. ask him about a 95 year old teacher of county kids for 40 years, laying in a clean bed with a full stomach, he thinks, greedy state of illinois democrats. he cant separate his anger from the person. its all wrapped up ion hate for union democrats. sad really. HOPE CREEK FOREVER.

  • Sherry

    Mr. Nipper is obviously a true blue employee and very passionate. I am aware of the pay scale and benefits of the Hope Creek care employees, first hand in fact. As far as a no pay raise since Nov. 2011, I would have to see that on paper. Your union would never ratify a contract allowing for that and if your union had made concessions, I’m pretty sure it would have made big news. Mr. Leone would have made sure of that. Now lets think about the holiday issue. As a county employee you are paid is it 12 or 13 holidays per year. 10 vacation days, 2 personal days and is it 10 or 12 sick days the first year. Those numbers rise from there. Employees are an organizations biggest expense. So say that the average wage is 15.00 and on Columbus Day 100 employees work and get paid time and 1/2 and 100 stay home and get paid regular time. At $15.00 per hour x 8 hours x 100 people is $12,000 for people to stay home and and extra 6,000 for people to work. Now is this a drop in the bucket, YES, BUT thats what you are trying to convince people that this tax increase is to my families income. So stop being argumentative and try and find a different solution, because the tax payers I have talked to are not convinced.

    • david

      Mr. Nipper usually shuts up when he is presented with facts!!! Unfortuately, we will have to read his ignorance next time there is an article about Hope Creek; until he is presented with overwelming FACTS that he cannot dispute. Unfortunately, that seems to be the only thing that shuts him up!! Fortunatelt, facts are on our side. The only thing he has are lies.

  • david

    Actually Mr. Nipper if you reread my statement I said “Mercer countys private home has the same PERCENTAGE of medicade patients as Hope Creek.” Mercer countys home has 63% while Hope Creek maintains around 65%! Did you ever think that possibly the lower amount of beds in Mercer County was due to the lower population? Actually Mercer County has more beds compared to population than RICO. Just so you know!

  • David Nipper

    if we have millions for labor and animals at niabi zoo, if we have millions for the county golf course, then we have money for the seniors. sell these other things first and support our seniors. period

    • david

      When Niabi asks for a tax increase I will oppose that as well. I didnt realize there was a county run golf course but if it isnt self sustaining it needs to go!!

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