My letter was of course, edited, and appeared on a day when most people don't read the JS. But at least they printed it, leaving out the FACT that HO needed approximately $6 million property tax payer dollars to break even. JSEB blamed the inability to hire nurses for the fluctuating 150-180 beds filled in the 214 bed Taj Ma Hall built mainly as a "safety net" for Medicaid and Alzheimer patients.
The inability to hire nurses may have been the result that HO operates WITHOUT AN ADMINISTRATOR and recently reported dissatisfaction and arrests and convictions of a number of HO employees.
On 12/17/2010, the JS wrote that all the Democrats on the County Board plus Republican?? Mary Ardapple opposed shrinking HO to a smaller 174 facility. Then County Administrator Patrick Urich, said, "A smaller facility would be more conservative and a hedge against uncertainty". But Republican Mary Ardapple and Democrat Mike Phenan argued and won the 214 bed facility.
That the County should have removed themselves from ownership of a nursing home was never more important than a letter from our outside Auditor in 2007 that reads as follows, "During our audit, we noted that in some cases where accounting (County) personnel had identified to management problem accounts, there did not appear to have been consistent pursuit of collection of these accounts by management. In one case alone a single resident had accumulated in excess of $140,000 in past due receivables as of March 2007 even though this specific resident has been identified a problem account for years"
In 2007, bad debt write offs were $173,445.
I fought the folly of being in the nursing home business as hard as I could but got little cooperation from the Republican minority and no cooperation from the Democrats nor from the JS reporter covering County business at that time. (See my "In the Spotlight" printed in the JS on 6/13/10 and several other plu my numerous blogs on the subject.) You can find these blogs by entering BelWood, Heddington Oaks or other blogs by entering these subjects on my 'searrh bar' at the upper left-hand top of any blog.
As Peoria County looks forward for deficit years far into the future, Heddington Oaks remains a huge problem. So do the County Roads and Bridges, estimated need of $200,000,000.00 and the deteriorating County owned roads in the City of Peoria.
Happy New Year, property tax payers in Peoria County.