Democrat Allen Mayer kept up his successful rants about the 2003 successful tax levy increase referendum to "MAINTAIN" BW, gave the County Board the power to build a new BW for $29 million, oops, $34 million, ooops, $45 million, oooops, $54.6 million, whew!, without a new referendum to build anew. This 2003 referendum hinted that BW might need to be closed if the referendum didn't pass. (Neither Tazewell County or Sangamon County has County owned nursing homes). BW is touted as a safety net for the poor despite the fact that administration said that new BW rates MIGHT be just slightly less than the private sector and that the Medicaid people had no place to go despite having, so far, 130 beds in the private sector, that a location hasn't been selected yet and demolition and site preparation might mean $3-4.5 million more, that we don't have the money saved, that BW was supported by $3.2 million in property tax last year, that administration told maintenance to repair only life-safety issues starting in 2007, that 3 months ago, we were told that 24 residents came from OUTSIDE PEORIA COUNTY, that selling BW was never an option or SUGGESTED by our administrator, (now vacationing in Maine) despite the costs of remodeling rose dramatically from $12.5 million to $26 million after the hiring of a new consulting group, that the contractor that made the newest estimate on remodeling was the same contractor that is making the new estimates on building a new BW, despite the fact that the present building is about the same age as my house which the Assessor, until I appealed, said was rising in value.
Could it be possible that BW employs 167 union members, that the Peoria County Board has 12 Democrats, that Mike Everett, a union boss or Marty Clinch also representing the union, set in on all critical vote issues or was it the fact that the 12 members voting yes (Bob Baietto voted with the Democrats, Democrat Junior Watkins was absent)were such compassionate people? Or was it because as board members kept saying we had to "compete" to attract residents (at the last meeting it was suggested by one of these 12 that maybe we should drop the word "compete").
Or is Peoria County following the Federal Government and believes in more government growth? The County plans to use the old BW for other county functions if a new site is selected. Of course, all these things can be justified just like I can justify the need for a new car. Only my problem and yours, is that WE pay for it
I asked if so, why not store old records there? Good question, and administration said it was a possibility. Wanna bet?
Or is it after 10 years of service, I can escape, I mean, I had decided 2 1/2 years ago to not run for a fourth term in December.
Whew, I'm going to stop even though there is much more of the BW story to be told, fines, huge monetary settlements of lawsuits and the allegation that a union business manager was caught in a residents bed, allegedly the resident was there also and that it was confirmed in a letter from administration today that the state charged BW of another violation of some sort occurred and corrective action is being taken.This spring we paid the State $10,000 for numerous violations that I understand were negotiated down.
Stop. Administration says that the new 223 bed BW will be self-supporting. Similar to the claim that there still will be an IMAX in the museum? And that an extra $1 1/2million will be spent on a basement in the new BW to POSSIBLY hold old records that hardly anyone looks at (we will borrow that $1/12 million also) and disregarding the fact that there are empty buildings within walking distance of the courthouse. And the possibility of using the old BW for storage since we are going to keep it anyway.
Hey, it's OPM, let's spend it because we can justify because our residents want a new building and the 43 year old building is obsolete and run-down, so Board member Phil Salzer, ex-teacher and track coach and official, keeps saying. And 11 others agreed.
Boy, has this last 2 years on the board been fun, or what? Only 4 more months (whew, again) to go and most of the board can't wait till I'm gone.
Democrat Lynn Pearson, 19 year member of the board, who said a year ago that if we didn't build a new BW by 2012, an outright lie, that BW would be closed by the State, is up for re-election in November. Karrie Alms is running for Ms. Pearson's position. Her election would bring some sense and intellect to this board. And you can bet, Karrie will not be swayed by special interests. Please, those of you that can support her campaign by volunteering and/or contributing money that is always needed to win elections.
Thanks for reading me and please correct any errors of omission or commission in the comment section of my blogs.
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