Rock Island County expects hard decisions for Hope Creek

4 The Record

Rock Island County has had a tall mountain to climb for a long time.

There are moments when reaching the summit seems to get further out of reach.

Now might be one of those moments, especially when it comes to the problems of the Hope Creek Care Center.

The financially beleaguered nursing home is more than $4.5 million in debt.

Two members of its advisory board resigned, one of them the board chair.

The facility’s executive director also resigned.

The county’s now in the process of dissolving the advisory board altogether.

There is a push to have the county’s governance, health and administration committee be responsible for overseeing Hope Creek directly.

We can’t forget about the wrench being thrown into the demolition plans of the old Rock Island County courthouse.

Circuit Chief Judge Walter Braud tried to expedite the process last month by ordering the immediate demolition of the building.

Several preservation groups banded together this month to block it by filing a lawsuit.

They claim the county overstepped its authority by trying to use some of the bond money for building the justice center annex to tear down the courthouse.

The City of Rock Island won’t issue the permit necessary to begin the demolition.

City council earlier this week voted to express a willingness to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Rock Island County to figure out something related to the courthouse.

What exactly that is, isn’t quite clear.

Nothing seems to go easy for Rock Island County.

Two people involved in the decision-making process for the nursing home and everything in the county are Rock Island County Board Chair Richard Brunk and fellow board member Drue Mielke.

They joined 4 The Record for a conversation.

Hope Creek
The executive director resigns, two advisory board members quit and massive debt.

Raising property taxes, raising fees and cutting expenses seem to be options to try to turn around the operation.

We know there’s a cost-benefit analysis being done. Yet, there’s a perception that Hope Creek is hopeless.

Brunk and Mielke discussed how close the county board is to reaching that conclusion.

Advisory board

We’re about to see the elimination of the advisory board.

It sounds like the governance, health and administration committee  would handle the oversight responsibilities.

Mielke and Brunk talked about what difference this will make and how confident the people of Rock Island County should be with the new oversight plan.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

That brings us to our question of the week. What changes do you want to see to improve the situation at the Hope Creek Care Center? Send your answer by e-mail to or answer it on the Local 4 News Facebook page:

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.